ForAfrika Representative To Speak On A Panel At COP27

It is vital that stories of how climate change is affecting ordinary people across Africa, and the world, are told at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), starting in Egypt on 6 November 2022, says Kénia Diva of ForAfrika, the largest indigenous nongovernmental organisation on the continent.

Diva, a member of its Angola communications team, is to take part in a panel discussion on how climate change is affecting individual communities at COP27 on 9 November 2022, in the Blue Zone at the conference.

The University of Bath Institute for Policy Research offered Diva a place on the panel after she submitted a video, as part of the ActNow campaign, showing the impact climate change is having on her community. Diva’s video was worked into ActNowFilm2, a film that uses intergenerational conversations to highlight the impact of climate change on all generations, and on people worldwide.

“I am looking forward to participating in COP27 because I finally have an opportunity to tell the whole world that our country is suffering from lack of rain, and that affects the well-being of children. If there is no water, there is no food and consequently there is starvation, including among children. This should worry all of us, and inspire us to take effective action,” she says.

The most severe drought of the past 40 years is ravaging Angola’s southern provinces, where the food security of 3.81-million people is directly affected, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Supported by the UK Universities Network, and in partnership with ForAfrika, the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate and the nongovernmental organisation Plant-for-the-Planet, ActNowFilm2 is a short film compiled of intergenerational conversations from around the world in which young and older people share their experiences, and hopes and fears of climate change. Its production was led by the  University of Bath Institute for Policy Research and Cambridge Zero.

ForAfrika Angola country director Célio Njinga says: “Africa is the continent most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. We see these devastating effects every day. Extreme weather events wreak havoc on families and their livelihoods. 

“Many people in Africa are dependent on agriculture for food, but floods, droughts, locust plagues, landslides and cyclones destroy agricultural operations mercilessly. They often do not have the means to rebuild their lives. The world needs to stand up and take notice of what climate change is doing to innocent people.”

Diva started out studying chemical engineering, but her love of reading and writing compelled her to change direction and she completed various communications and marketing courses and is now doing exactly what she loves to do: tell stories and take photographs.

In her current role at ForAfrika, Africa’s largest indigenous non-governmental organisation, Diva visits communities in rural Angola and chats to ordinary people who display extraordinary resilience, despite their acute suffering. 

ActNowFilm2 will be shown in the Blue Zone COP27 on 9 November.

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