The world should listen to Africa

Mercy Chirambo is a Malawian climate change campaigner. As a Programme Officer for Catholic Development Commission (CADECOM) National, she works with the CCPM to ensure that communities we work with have a voice in Malawian politics and their concerns about climate change are heard.

She travelled to Katowice in Poland last month for the 24th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP) on climate change to carry the voice of the CCPM communities to a global stage, and make world leaders listen to those most affected by climate change. She’s blogged about the experience below.

It was a great trip. Tiring because of all the travel from Poland to Malawi but attending COP 24 was really enriching. As well as following the negotiations, the side events provided a platform to learn from what others are doing but also a platform to share our experiences and what we are currently doing to as it relates to adaptation as well as mitigation to climate change.

It was good to see Africans being listened to but I feel our economic position means we don't have much of the negotiating power.

Meeting with the Scottish Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham was a highlight. We mostly discussed about the status of CCPM program, the planned activities and what impact we envisage the program will have on the vulnerable communities in Malawi, stressing the importance of funding from the Scottish government.

We also stressed on the challenges communities are currently facing in the face of climate change and some of the current interventions to deal with the issue and the policy environment in Malawi. It was a free flowing open discussion and she was very welcoming.

Coming back from the conference I feel the CCPM program is the sort of program Malawi needs not just in the current targeted areas but rather having a broader reach. Especially on the focus of climate justice for the vulnerable communities.

The trip further opened my eyes to the climate injustices in different countries i.e. it is not just in Malawi and it was lovely to see so many different organizations fighting for climate justice.

Picture shows Mercy Chirambo and Julius Ng'oma with the Scottish Government  Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham.