Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nigeria and adapting to climate change

Daily Trust (Abuja, Nigeria): How can the impact of climate change be mitigated? This is the question stakeholders converged on Sokoto to consider at an Information and Policy Advocacy Session convened by the Heinrich Boll Foundation, Nigeria in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment. The meeting sets to explore ways to stem the effect of climate change through adaptive strategies for sustainable livelihoods and development.

The issue of climate change which is a global phenomenon has been attracting international concern. However, some countries are noted to more vulnerable to the impact of climate change than others. Nigeria is said to be highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Statistics indicate that desert which now covers about 35 percent of Nigeria's land mass, is advancing at an estimated 0.6kmper annum while deforestation is taking place at 3.5 percent per annum.Findings revealed at the advocacy session also show that the desert belt has moved from Kebbi, Kano, Maiduguri to new Bussa, Kaduna, Jos, Sheleng while Savannah Interface between desert and forest is observed to be now along Oyo to Osun,Kogi and Benue state.

….Since climate change threatens to introduce climatic conditions that fall outside the range of current coping experience, adaptation to its threat, Arc Halima Alao says, is the only panacea. Her words "While it has been difficult to define what role adaptation should play, it has become increasingly apparent that all countries will need to develop thorough sustainable adaptation strategy if the impacts of climate change are to be effectively addressed."

The minister adds that adaptation should start with actions that are target at current vulnerabilities and build upon community -based experiences in coping with the vagaries of climate. "Considering the significance of agriculture to our people in provision of food, income and other livelihoods, there is need to evolve adaptation strategies to safeguard the sector .for instance, likely changes in precipitation and discharge regimes call for a wide range of adaptations".

Flag of Nigeria, Wikimedia Commons

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