Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Nigerian minister says Africa vulnerable to climate impacts

AllAfrica.com, via Leadership (Nigeria): The minister of environment, housing and urban development, Architect Halima Tayo Alao, has reiterated that Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change....

According to Alao at the occasion of the thirteen session of the conference of parties to the UN climate change convention (COP 13) at the Island of Bali in Indonesia, Africa has little or no capacity to cope with the impacts of climate change. She said "the region is suffering from the consequences of climate change they did not cause which has invariably increased poverty burden thereby making survival more and more difficult".

Alao in this regard called for more concrete actions by the developed world in support of developing countries to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impact of climate change. Africa, due to its geographic location places Nigeria and other countries within it at the receiving end of numerous effects of the climate change, the phenomenon is further aggravated by the economies of the continent which has put the countries within it and its people, over 90 per cent below the poverty line".

A UN report had earlier stated that "an estimated 30 per cent of Africa's coastal infrastructure including coastal settlement in the Golf of Guinea, Senegal, the Gambia and Egypt could be inundated and between 25 per cent and over 40 per cent of species habitats in Africa could be lost by 2085 due to climate change". It is estimated that total available water have reduced by 40 per cent to 60 per cent in Africa's largest catchment basins of Niger, Lake Chad and Senegal. This has resulted in lower average annual rainfall, runoff and soil moisture which has invariably worsened desertification....

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