Sunday, July 8, 2012

Call for research on climate change adaptation in Swaziland

Ackel Zwane in the Weekend Observer (Swaziland): ...The commercial forests of Swaziland have brought many benefits for as long as their exploitation brought employment and infrastructure for access by surrounding communities such as schools, hospitals and other amenities including provision of safe drinking water and electricity.

 The Centre for International Forestry Research has noted that a lot of empirical evidence already exists on how local communities use forest and trees to adapt to climate change such as planting or keeping trees on their fields and having multiple use strategies about forest products.

A local network has already identified its objectives of empowering communities, mainly the youth, with sustainable projects in order to harness the benefits from forests. These are benefits over and above the commercial ones in most parts of the commercial forests of Swaziland. However, bee keeping in Shiselweni, Pigg’s Peak and Bulembu is coming up as a highly feasible project involving commercial forests. Swaziland has recently been destroying the indigenous forest through the lucrative gains in the firewood market, what with the ever escalating cost of electricity! The indigenous forest has also been killed for its ample supply of traditional medicine, what with the high cost of modern medicine.

Robert Nasi of the Centre says “however, the more you go to the regional and global level, the more you face knowledge gaps and controversies. This is where we need to have very targeted research the roles that forests play in the regulating systems in the world,” he said this at a side event at the Rio+20 summit....

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