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SECCAP Inception Workshop
Lesotho
24 June 2011


The Institute of Southern African Studies (ISAS) based at the National University of Lesotho (NUL), hosted a Joint ISAS-FANRPAN workshop on 8th June 2011. The purpose of the workshop was to launchthe SECCAP (Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Linking Climate Change Adaptation to Sustainable Agriculture in Southern Africa) project in Lesotho and to plot the way forward in the implementation of the project. This project is led by FANRPAN with support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). It has been argued that climate change poses a real risk to the future of farming and food security in southern Africa. One key strategy for mitigating risk and vulnerability associated with climate change is developing and implementing evidence-based policies and programmes that respond to local realities and priorities.

The workshop was held at Maseru Sun hotel in Lesotho, and was attended by 20 participants from different organizations that included Government, NGOs, Lesotho National Famers' Union, research organisations, and NUL faculty members and students.

Mrs. Thope Matobo, FANRPAN Node Coordinator for Lesotho,chaired the meeting whilstthe ISAS Director, Professor R.C. Leduka, welcomed participants to the workshop.Professor Leduka acknowledged previous partnerships with FANRPAN, and welcomed the new SECCAP project. He indicated that the region is vulnerable to climate-related risks and climate change is expected to result in increased extreme weather events such as droughts and floods, leading to further stress on water resources, food security and animal health. He stated that the negative impact on food security made it impossible to achieve the Millennium Development Goals,especially those relating to poverty reduction. This calls for empirical evidence to inform response programmes and policies, an issue that the SECCAP project seeks to address.

FANRPAN Regional Secretariat staff members shared with participants the dynamics of the new SECCAP project to be implemented in three countries: Lesotho, Malawi and Swaziland.The team also outlined project objectives, implementation road map,expected outputs and outcomes, budget and a comprehensive work-plan. To guide the implementation of the project in Lesotho, the participants agreed to form a Project Steering Committee comprising representatives from key stakeholder groups: government, research and farmers' organisations, civil society, private sector, World Vision and NUL.

The key workshop recommendations included:
  1. ISAS will be the Secretariat to the Lesotho SECCAP Project Steering Committee;
  2. ISAS will write to all stakeholders requesting them to identify a member to representthem on the Project Steering Committee;
  3. The Steering Committee will choose its own Chairperson, and he/she should not be from ISAS or World Vision (FANRPAN node hosting institution and implementing partner, respectively);
  4. NUL will identify, through the Faculty of Agriculture, students who would be enrolled in the climate change and crop production programmes with support from the SECCAP project; and
  5. Maphutsengarea will be used as the SECCAP project study site in Lesotho.
The key deliverables for Lesotho include the development of a Lesotho Work Plan, identification of students for the project, the dissemination of outputs by World Vision.

The FANRPAN Regional Secretariat was represented at the meeting by Mr Ian Mashingaidze (livelihoods coordinator) and Dr Sepo Hachigonta (climate change coordinator).

SECCAP Inception Workshop

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