The African Forest Forum (AFF) continues to mobilize and strengthen the voice of stakeholders on many issues in African forestry. This year, and for the first time, AFF extended this effort towards the Eleventh Conference of Parties (COP 11) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) that was held from 16 to 27 September 2013 in Windhoek, Republic of Namibia. At this conference AFF was accredited to sessions of UNFCCD. Suffice to add that one of the attributed goals for AFF is to ‘galvanize a common African voice and opinion’ as it relates to how the continent handles issues related to forest and tree resources. In this regard AFF, partnering with UNEP, did exactly that through a preparatory meeting of African delegates to this COP 11, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on August 21-23, 2013.
In furthering its work on climate change, AFF has in this period concentrated on a key area: limited knowledge on the relationship between forests and climate change in Africa; and especially on adaptation and mitigation to the adverse effects of climate change, as well as capitalizing on the opportunities that climate change and variability offer the continent. As reported in an earlier Newsletter, AFF developed training modules in 2012 to partly facilitate how education and training institutions can start containing this shortcoming. Hence, AFF organized four sub-regional training workshops to capacitate participants with key elements for professional training on climate change in forestry; and in this process validate the training modules.
Participants to the workshops were lecturers and researchers as well as staff from extension and civil society organizations in key areas of science and practice of climate change in relation to forests.  The training was offered to two groups, namely   training and research institutions, on one hand, and extension and civil society organizations, on the other. The training addressed issues of adaptation, mitigation, carbon assessment and trading and payments for ecosystem services (PES); all as related to forestry.
These workshops were held in Cameroun and Burkina Faso for Francophone countries, and in Ghana and Tanzania for Anglophone and Lusophone countries; and were organized in collaboration with selected national institutions. They were attended by 157 participants from 40 African countries.
We expect that knowledge gained from these training sessions will make us better prepared to deal with the vagaries of climate change and adapt better to its effects.
Thank you!