I.1. Context and justification of activities
The 6th report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of 2022 confirms the evidence of climate change and its adverse effects on socio- economic development and ecosystems. This report particularly reveals the very vulnerable character of Africa to climate change and underlines the numerous risks and impacts that this continent is already undergoing (in the countries of the Horn of Africa, it is observed that extreme droughts lead to agricultural losses resulting in a lack of access to food for the populations). In 2011, 12.4 million people were suffering from famine in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia (FAO, 2011). Thus, identifying solutions to the negative impacts on development sectors caused by climate disruption is becoming a priority for African countries.
In Cameroon, climate change is reflected, among other things, in the disruption of the onset and end dates of the rainy seasons, the decrease in rainfall amounts, the poor distribution of the number of rainy days, the multiplication of extreme climate events (floods, extreme droughts, violent winds, sandstorms and haze, etc.), which are increasingly recurrent and catastrophic. The corollary of this is the disruption of agricultural and fishing activities, the resurgence of plant diseases, the loss of biodiversity, the multiplication of conflicts over the management of natural resources, food insecurity, population migration and the degradation of ecosystems.
The increasing abruptness of these hazards is surprising to communities and decision-makers, who often find themselves at a loss. The absence of forecasts and baseline information on these hazards increases the country’s vulnerability to climate change (PNACC, 2015, National Communications, 2005 and 2014, PAN-LCD, 2006, NBSAP, 2012).
Cameroon, aware of the stakes of this global phenomenon for its socio-economic development, has engaged in various processes related to climate change, notably ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, adherence to the Kyoto Protocol, and very recently, the signature and ratification of the Paris Agreement. In order to better monitor the commitments undertaken within the framework of the above-mentioned Conventions and Protocols, the Head of State created and operationalized the National Observatory on Climate Change (ONACC), and entrusted it with the Main mission of « monitoring and assessing the socio-economic and environmental impacts of climate change, and proposing prevention, mitigation and/or adaptation measures to the adverse effects and risks associated with these changes ». Thus, the Observatory, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER), produces an annual agricultural calendar. This calendar is a decision-making and advisory tool for agricultural activities and adaptation to the effects of climate change. For the season from March to May 2023, an agricultural calendar specific to the monomodal and bimodal rainforest zones, as well as the Highlands zone, has been produced.