Thursday, February 5, 2009

How Africa can adapt

This Day Online (Nigeria): …Africans are highly dependent on climate-sensitive resources like agriculture which up to 90 per cent is rain-fed, accounts for 70 per cent of regional employment. The poorest inhabitants of developing countries, especially those in the least developed countries are already struggling to cope with current extreme weather events and climate variability. In 2004, for example, severe flooding in Bangladesh caused by excessive rains of the annual Asian Summer Monsoon killed over 600 people and displaced over 20 million.

….Adapting to the impacts of climate change, is a way of reducing vulnerability, increasing resilience, moderating the risk of climate impacts on the lives of Africa people, and taking advantage of opportunities posed by actual or expected climate change. In building capacity to adapt to climate change, there must be an improvement on social, economic and technical resilience and increasing flexibility within systems as a form of adaptation.

….Adaptation should aim to strengthen traditional coping mechanisms, optimising current systems whilst building flexibility to cope with the uncertainties posed by climate change. Introducing new technology can be sustainable where it strengthens and builds on traditional approaches and reinforces local knowledge.

…Initial work will focus on linking seasonal forecasts with health and agricultural planning to build resilience to short-term climate variability. Strengthening of climate monitoring networks will take place in regions with data deficiency, such as Africa. To further increase awareness of climate change through education aid agencies, such as the Red Cross, find that people in developing countries are aware of changes taking place and have begun to adjust through long and short-term coping methods.

…Although climate change is a global issue, its impacts are felt locally. Managing the impacts, including adaptation, is a national issue, taking place at national level, community and individual level. Adaptation requires a very different project development and implementation framework than climate change mitigation efforts.

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