Thursday, July 19, 2007

Africa: Environmentalists discuss climate change adaptation strategies African environmental experts meet in South Africa in August to strategise on a continental position to incorporate climate change adaptation programmes in national development policies. The Climate Change Action Africa 2007 conference will be hosted by the International Quality and Productivity Centre (IQPC) in Midrand from 28 to 30 August.

…Jackie van der Westhuizen, senior project manager with IQPC, said Africa is paying the price for the evils it least contributed in committing.

"Ironically, Africa is the continent that will be hardest hit by the effects of climate change, yet have contributed least to pollution levels due to the relatively small part it has played in the global production of greenhouse gases," said van der Westhuizen.

Adaptation is dependent on the various countries' adaptive capacities towards extreme environmental events that result from climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has indicated that the floods of February 2000 in southern Africa exposed the vast differences in adaptive capacities between and among countries with regards to responding to natural disasters. The floods mainly affected Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Adaptive capacity was influenced largely by the ability to communicate potential risks to vulnerable communities and the ability to react as a result of perceived risks….

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