The first SASSCAL Climate Science Exhibition under the theme “From Knowledge to Action: Advancing Sustainable Climate Change Technologies for Adaptation” was held on Thursday, 3 December 2020. The main objective of the Climate Science Exhibition was to showcase existing climate change adaptation technologies, projects, inventions and experiments that have been developed for the communities, while inspiring advocacy for climate change solutions regionally and globally. The exhibition commenced with live studio panel discussion followed by virtual exhibition.
His Excellency Herbert Beck, the German Ambassador to Namibia, officially opened the event. During the opening session, H.E. Herbert Beck highlighted the importance of science and technology to address the challenges we face globally, as well as Germany’s commitment to fund such activities. He anticipated the science exhibition will provide a platform to connect exhibitors and interested parties on issues of sustainable climate change technologies for adaptation. He further reiterated, “I am also confident this exhibition will increase our understanding on technologies developed for communities while inspiring advocacy for climate change solutions regionally and globally”. The ambassador also acknowledged SASSCAL’s prudent regional approach to addressing the effects of climate change. The panel discussion was attended by H.E. Jovelina Imberial e Costa, Angola Ambassador to Namibia, H.E. Dr Batlang Comma Serema, Botswana High Commissioner and other prominent invited guests from various institutions.
In delivering her keynote address SASSCAL’s Executive Director, Dr Jane Olwoch, highlighted on SASSCAL’s activities in context of global and regional environmental challenges, SASSCAL historical background, research coordination and grant management experience, achievements and outlook. During her speech, Dr Olwoch emphasised the importance of strong regional, international partnership and technology transfer in addressing global challenges towards achieving our planet’s sustainability. She concluded her address by alluding to the fact that, the most inspiring photo from the Apollo 8 mission was not of the moon. It was of the Earth. The team remarked “We came all the way to explore the moon, but the only thing and most significant thing we found was planet earth. Everything else was either black or white but not the Earth”.
The panel discussion with the theme “Leveraging technologies for Climate Change adaptation solutions” brought together heads of relevant institutions and high-level representatives in the field of climate science technologies. Dr Jane M. Olwoch led the high-level panel discussion. The panel discussion participants were Professor Gabriel Miguel, Vice Chair of SASSCAL’s Governing Board representing Angola, Dr Olaf Pollma representing BMBF, Mr Riha Klemens of GIZ, Mr Balisi Gopolang, SASSCAL Alternate Board Member, Botswana, Mr Petrus Muteyauli from Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism in Namibia and Dr Lameck Mwewa of the Namibia University of Science and Technology.
A total of twelve exhibitors from institutions across southern Africa took part. These exhibitors were from NGO’s, Universities, Private sector, International Organizations, etc. The online event was attended by over 369 participants from several countries including SASSCAL member states. The event provided a platform for participants and exhibitors to engage on practical applications of climate change research in communities.
In her concluding remarks, Dr Olwoch acknowledged all the participants of the first SASSCAL Climate Science Exhibition and highlighted the diversity of the attendees. She further emphasized the importance of networking and cooperation to successfully address current global challenges in climate change through resource sharing, improved scientific research efficiency and innovative technology.