Future Climate for Africa hosted a micro e-learning course on Expert and Government Review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports. The objective of the course was to increase the involvement of African experts and governments in the review process for the IPCC 6th Assessment Report (including Special Reports) with a view to enhancing both the scientific quality and policy relevance of the IPCC reports for African stakeholders. The training was aimed at African experts and governments on physical climate science, climate impacts, adaptation, vulnerability and mitigation. The course was delivered by distinguished international experts with extensive past involvement in the IPCC.
ContextThe IPCC Assessment Reports are internationally regarded as authoritative sources of climate change knowledge. The periodic Assessment Reports are also highly influential: Not only do these reports play a central role in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, they also inform policy making on national and subnational levels, actions by local and international civil society, private sector investments, and news and popular press reporting. A strict process for developing the assessments has ensured extensive international collaboration, transparency, academic rigour and policy relevance. The Fifth and latest Assessment Report involved 831 authors from over 70 countries. However, participation from African authors and reviewers has been extremely low. For the 5th Assessment Report (AR5), out of approximately 8000 reviewers across Working Groups 1 – 3, only 92 (1.15%) were African. The big majority of African reviewers have been from South Africa, while many other African countries have not participated in review rounds at all. To support increased participation of African reviewers, FCFA is hosting a micro e-learning course on Expert and Government Review for the IPCC Assessment Reports, targeted at African experts from academia, private and public sector and governments with relevant interest in climate change and its policy responses.
Course contentThe micro e-learning course included:
- How the IPCC and its review process works;
- IPCC guidance to expert reviewers;
- Judging draft texts, diagrams and figures;
- Analysis of the validity of a statement by checking underlying literature sources;
- The appropriate usage of grey and non-English literature.