In line with the conference commitment to action, event sponsors and partners have been working to construct and announce linked, long-term initiatives relevant to the conference theme of “Environmental Risk reduction and Economic Opportunities”.  We invite all participants to propose projects for discussion, financial support and formalization.  As of January, 2015, we expect to present, announce and fund all or a subset of the following projects.   Full descriptions of these initiatives will be available in the Conference Briefing Books and Proceedings:

1.) The East Africa Climate Impact Assessment Taskforce (EACIAT): 

Led by Yale University Climate & Energy Institute (YCEI) and based jointly at Yale and CERD, EACIAT will link climate researchers in the US and Europe to counterparts in East Africa, through multi-year research activities, that are both data intensive and multi-disciplinary.  The centerpiece EACIAT effort is to produce a climate model of East Africa, characterizing the impact of climate change on phenomena such as drought, flooding, sea level rise, monsoon patterns. This model would be a critical basis for studies in a variety of disciplines, from economics to public health and sociology. EACIAT is expected to be a major programmatic element within the mid-term priorities of the CERD Center for Environmental Science & Technology (see below). This is linked to CESTO and the Acute Care & Screening Network and the Big Data Project.

2.) The CERD Center for Environmental Science & Technology (CESTO)

A Djibouti-based environmental research unit, housed within CERD, coordinating the collection and analysis of data relevant to policy-making, and promoting the testing and commercial deployment of environmental technologies.  The center will host multi-year research projects concerning topics such as climate change, biodiversity, the potential for development of renewable energies, precision agriculture, and other topics relevant to the conference theme of environmental resilience and risk reduction. CESTO will focus on the collection, analysis and propagation of data, relevant to critical environmental issues. Priority areas for CESTO include:

  • Environmental monitoring (coastal ecosystems – corals, mangroves, temperature, flooding, fisheries health etc.)
  • Collaborative Climate modeling (see Above)
  • Cleantech- Waste transformation – Precision Ag – Technology research & demonstration
  • Health & Environment – monitoring the impact of environmental changes on human health and risk factors
  • Databases supporting the above, and policy papers based on findings
  • Collaborative research relationships with regional and international (U.S.) universities.

3.) The East Africa Acute Care & Screening Network:

The East Africa Acute Care & Screening Network aims to provide emergency/ acute care, and screening for chronic illness along the 700 km Djibouti -Ethiopia transport corridor. The current plan envisions a network of 12 “clinics” (see image) and much smaller health posts, spaced more or less equal distance along the corridor linking Djibouti with the Ethiopian capital of Addis Abeba. The clinics will provide treatment for acute illness (e.g., trauma, gastric illness, complications arising from pregnancy and childbirth), screen for chronic disease (diabetes, glaucoma, etc.), monitor for the spread of infectious disease, and track the emergence of pandemic threats (e.g., Cholera/ HIV/ Ebola). It will also collect data on climate & temperature, on road safety and infrastructure failures (cave-ins/ maintenance risks, etc.). Clinic structures feature easily-sanitized surfaces, with modular construction and male-female sections and entrances, 8 exam rooms, a laboratory, canteen and stocking room and VSAT Internet connectivity. Energy and water filtration and pumping is powered by solar, though kits manufactured by WorldWater LLC. Patient record management and inventory and financial transactions will be provided by purpose-built Solismed software. Training and management of medical staff will be done in coordination with the Djibouti and Ethiopian Ministries of Health and Higher Education, by UCSF Global Health, the African Federation for Emergency Medicine, the U.C. Berkeley School of Optometry, EyePACS, and Perim Associates.

4.) The Djibouti Risk Management Digital Platform

Smart Data Science LLC (SDS) under the supervision of The World Bank, and in close collaboration with the Center for Studies and Research of Djibouti (CERD) is in the process of delivering a Risk Management Digital Platform for Djibouti. One of the major objectives of this platform will be to make all the non-sensitive risk management information, awareness & training materials produced in the preceding years available to the wider public and private sector partners. This includes risk data, risk maps, risk and vulnerability assessment, post disaster needs assessment, videos, newsletters, press releases and media information (Internet, newspaper or television) and links to DRM program events. The platform will also serve as an information dissemination platform for schools and national stakeholders to more effectively communicate and provide feedback to decision makers. Users will be able to search and filters the results by relevant location. The future phases include extending the digital platform with smart phone applications for the Djibouti government decision-makers, collecting information from the field personnel, as well as disseminating non-sensitive data to different stakeholders as decided by the Djibouti government. In order to ensure the sustainable growth and maintenance of the platform, CERD will be responsible for the updating, upgrading and management of the platform.

5.) The East Africa Resilience and Adaptation Index

In conjunction with the Yale university-based Environmental Performance Index (EPI), the Government of Djibouti will look into the possibility of launching a regional resilience and adaptation index, identifying at first, the most relevant environmental, economic, climactic, social, and other vulnerabilities and risk factors, and their geographic location and intensity. Future iterations would be expected to include assessments of relative performance and success in adapting to adversity.

6.) An East Africa Environmental Law Facility

The idea is to create a resource, both virtual and brick-and-mortar, for information on best practices in environmental law, and the training of local policy makers and lawyers in related fields.   Part of the mission of this facility would be to investigate the need for a Djibouti or Region-based arbitration center, with expertise in environmental science and law.

7.) The East Africa Renewables & Environmental Technology Promotion Board

A voluntary association for the promotion of environmentally-friendly technologies, products and services. CERD/CESTO will facilitate the identification and demonstration of technologies with promise to impact conference themes of sustainability and adaptability.

8.) The Djibouti-East Africa Environmental Communication Initiative

The idea is to create an education and communication platform that will facilitate multi-sector, multi-state dialogue and collaboration on issues related to environmental science and policy.

How these initiatives are envisioned to fit together:

  • The Climate Initiative is linked to the Djibouti Observatory (CESTO) run out of CERD, and will engage Djibouti with researchers from Yale and 5 other US universities over 5 years, to produce a climate impact map of East Africa.
  • The Wildlife Preservation Project and the Adaptation Index rely on data produced by CERD and CESTO.
  • The Climate Initiative is part of the Djibouti Corridor Initiative.
  • The Djibouti Corridor initiative links the Acute Care and Screening health initiative with pandemic response and road safety, into the World Bank resilience strategy. The physical, internet-connected network provided by the “Clinic hub and spokes” will serve as a collection point for rich data on health/safety/infrastructure/ climate, and plugs into the Data Model commissioned by the World Bank and GoD.
  • The East Africa Renewables Promotion Board will work with CERD and CESTO to identify new technologies with the potential for regional impact.
  • All of the above are to be facilitated by the East Africa/IGAD, Environmental Communication Strategy.

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