Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Africa and climate change

An editorial in the Point (Gambia): There have been conventions, coalitions, and conferences held in its name. Hundreds of politicians have discussed, debated and even come to agree on possible solutions armed with which we might stand and face its impending challenge.

Thousands of scientists have released studies, statements, and reports documenting its harmful, and possibly even disastrous consequences for all of the world’s biodiversity. Experts said that Africa is already vulnerable to climate variability.

“Small rises in temperature and reductions in rainfall could ‘tip the balance’ and lead to severe water shortages and reductions in crop yields.”

It is said these could fall by as much as 30 per cent by the 2050s. Historical evidence shows that both natural and managed ecosystems in Africa face substantial adverse impacts from existing climate variability, the nature of which will almost certainly be altered by longer-term climate change.

The negative effects of climate change on crop production are especially pronounced in sub-Saharan Africa, as the agriculture sector accounts for a large share of GDP, export earnings, and employment in most African countries. Climate change could undo even the little progress most African countries have achieved so far in terms of development....

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