Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mozambique: Climate change linked to natural disasters Mozambique's Environment minister, Luciano de Castro, on Wednesday suggested that the natural disasters that have struck Mozambique in recent years are in fact not entirely natural, but are linked to man-made climate change.

Speaking at a dialogue on climate change organised by his ministry, Castro suggested that the cyclical droughts in southern Mozambique, flooding in the major river valleys, and the occasional devastating cyclone hitting the Mozambican coast are associated with the global warming caused by human interference in the climate...

"Climate change and its effects know no borders", said Castro, "and do not discriminate between those who have contributed most to global warming and those who have contributed least".

Poor countries like Mozambique, he added, were more likely than rich countries to be severely hit by extreme climate events, "worsening still further the precarious conditions in which their people live".

Antonio Queface, a physics lecturer from Maputo's Eduardo Mondlane University, said Mozambique should take adaptation measures to face climate change. Such measures would include investing in drought resistant crops and water retention technologies, in order to deal with the likelihood of lower rainfall in the future.

And although it was true that the Mozambican contribution to global warning is insignificant, Queface thought that serious efforts should be made to reduce the number of bush fires set at the start of every agricultural season. Uncontrolled bush fires had taken on alarming proportions in some parts of the country, notably the southern province of Gaza.

"We have to make a greater effort to control these fires, since they too send polluting gases into the atmosphere", said Queface. "The level of uncontrolled bush fires in Mozambique is very high, and deserves serious attention".

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