Empowering Young Leaders to Mobilize Climate Action in Africa.

In an ever-changing world, where climate change impacts threaten our future, Impulsouth’s Climate Solutions Lab is working to strengthen capacity-building in Latin America and Africa. How? By inspiring and empowering the young leaders of tomorrow to take climate change into their own hands.

Meet Philippa Hamakasu, an inspirational young woman from Zambia’s heartland. Philippa is a Senior Green Economy Development Officer in charge of Project Proposals at Zambia’s Ministry of Green Economy and Environment. She is a climate change expert, an environmental management professional and a passionate advocate for climate resilience and low-carbon development. Philippa is committed to finding sustainable solutions to the challenges facing people, the planet and economies. Drawing on over seven years of experience, Philippa represents the spirit of change.

Photo with Rural Farmers: An inspiring day sharing knowledge on climate change with rural farmers, in the context of the implementation of the Carbon Market Viability for Small Scale Producers in the Forestry and Agriculture Sectors project.

She is proficient in policy formulation and analysis, climate finance, climate modelling, research, project proposals and technical support. She has proven experience in formulating national climate change and environmental policies and strategies and in developing and implementing adaptation and mitigation plans. Philippa has expertise in Paris Alignment topics, including documenting and communicating climate risks and impacts, and in investment requirements for climate change mitigation and adaptation. She has experience preparing project proposals and documents to enhance climate action. She also provides technical expertise and support in the calculation of gross and net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and project-related emission reductions as well as in the development of systems for the Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) of GHG emissions. 

Philippa was among the experts who developed and prepared the African position papers on Agriculture, Gender, ACE and Response Measures in preparation for the SB58 sessions held in Bonn, Germany in June 2023 and for the upcoming COP 28. 

She is also passionate about youth leadership and sees it as crucial in addressing the urgent and complex challenge of climate change, since youth leaders bring fresh perspectives, innovative ideas and a sense of urgency to the climate movement and are also instrumental in driving public awareness and engagement on climate change issues. 

Philippa firmly believes that networking, participating in mentorships, and crafting robust proofs of concept are key milestones along the path to meaningful climate action. Her journey through the Solutions Lab reinforced her belief in the importance of adaptability, resilience and a spirit of collaboration that values teamwork over competition. It also gave her the opportunity to cultivate her time-management skills and master the art of persuasive discourse. Recognizing that the arena of climate change and sustainability remains in a constant state of flux, she is an ardent champion of continuous education.

Her experience as part of the Impulsouth Solutions Lab: She was part of a group dedicated to defining green financing for biodiversity and climate change adaptation. The one-week session focused on professional laboratories and how they can be established to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and launch projects.

Through unwavering dedication and efforts, Philippa has made significant strides in the battle against climate change. Her project centers on assessing the viability of carbon markets for smallholder farmers and foresters within Zambia’s Katete District. This project aims to not only bridge a critical knowledge gap but also spark crucial dialogues among rural farmers who were previously unacquainted with the concept of carbon markets. It represents a pivotal step towards fostering cost-effective emissions reductions, conserving biodiversity and alleviating poverty.

Philippa’s story serves as a reminder that young leaders have the power to bring about transformative change. As she puts it: “My impact extends beyond mere words, manifesting in the substantial changes I facilitate for our planet and its inhabitants.” 

Climate Solution Summary: Carbon Market Viability for Small Scale Producers in the Forestry and Agriculture Sectors

Carbon markets are one of the tools that can be used to tackle the climate change problem. The creation of markets for carbon trading should be seen as key to stimulating the development of new ‘cleaner’ energy options and more environmentally-friendly industrial and corporate practices. The main objective of the project is to encourage small-scale producers in the forestry and agriculture sectors to participate in carbon markets, thereby delivering cost-effective emission reductions, while promoting biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation. The project will involve rural communities in the Katete District of Zambia’s Eastern Province and will use their feedback to shape future projects based on the concept. This area was specially selected because the province has the highest rate of deforestation in the country and also has large areas dedicated to national parks and forest reserves. The initiative was launched in the last quarter of 2022 and will run for 4 years.