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ASSAR researcher wins IDRC “Supporting Climate Change Leaders, 2017” grant

5 Sep 2017 - 13:30

By Birgit Ottermann

Congratulations to ASSAR Southern Africa researcher Omagano Shooya on being selected as an awardee for the 2017 “Supporting Climate Change Leaders” grant by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Omagano, who recently completed her Master’s degree in climate change and sustainable development at the University of Cape Town (funded by ASSAR), will take up a three-month job placement at Climate Analytics in Berlin from the 1st of October to develop her profile and abilities as a leader in the field of science-informed climate change policy in developing countries.  

"I am beyond thrilled to start this new and exciting journey,” says Omagano. “I am looking forward to the learning and networking opportunities that lie ahead, and it is my hope that this fellowship will provide me with the knowledge and skills to work at the interface of science and policy, thus reducing the gap, as well as creating new opportunities for collaboration between the local institutions in (southern) Africa and the international community. I also hope to, in the long run, influence policy at both the local and international level."

According to Omagano, she will be working on Climate Analytics’ IMPACT project and/or their project on science-based national adaptation planning in Sub-Saharan Africa – the particulars of her role will be determined closer to the time.

IMPACT is a cross-cutting, multi-faceted project that aims to strengthen the connections between the scientific assessments of climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to help enable access to finance and help Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) implement concrete adaptation projects. The project on science-based national adaptation planning supports francophone Sub-Saharan African LDCs in their National Adaptation Plans (NAP). The project accompanies government and scientific actors in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the NAP process, and engages with wider stakeholders from civil society and the private sector. One of the project’s main aims is to strengthen national science-policy interfaces.

Prior to starting her Master’s degree, Omagano worked at the Namibian Association of Community Based Natural Resource Management Support Organisations (NACSO) as part of the second group of the Conservation Leadership Programme. This programme is aimed at mentoring young individuals with the potential of becoming future leaders in conservation with a focus on community-based natural resource management.

“Through this programme, I have had hands-on experience working with rural communities, specifically on strengthening their institutional frameworks,” says Omagano. “I am currently working with the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia alongside a team of consultants to develop a proposal titled ‘Increasing Climate Change Resilience of Community Based Natural Resource Management through Adaptation in the Tourism Sector of Namibia’ which will be submitted to the Green Climate Fund.”