Saturday, January 17, 2009

Poverty hampers climate change adaptation, says Ethiopian Prime Minister

IRIN: Poverty poses a major obstacle for farmers in Ethiopia to adapt to climate change, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said. "The poor do not have the necessary technology and resources, in terms of money and so on, to be able to change and adapt," Meles told a national climate change conference in Addis Ababa.

"The injustice of the whole issue of global warming and climate change lies in the fact that those who have contributed nothing to its genesis will suffer the most from its consequences because they have the least capacity to adapt to these changes," he said on 15 January. "However unjust it might be we have to adapt or die. We can only succeed to adapt to climate change if we fight poverty effectively and generate the resources needed for the purpose," he said.

…According to a recent study, more than a third of rural Ethiopian households in the Nile River Basin have not made any adjustments to their farming practices in the face of global warming. The study was conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) , the Center for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa, the Ethiopian Development Research Institute, the Ethiopian Economics Association and the University of Hamburg in Germany.

"In the coming decades, climate change will have a major impact on the availability of water and food, particularly in rural areas of developing countries such as Ethiopia, where agricultural production is the major source of income and employment," Claudia Ringler, IFPRI senior research fellow and project leader, said.

…Ethiopian farmers identified shortages of land as the single biggest constraint to adapting to climate change. This was followed by lack of information and credit as well as lack of labour, inputs, water and poor soils.…According to the government, more than six million Ethiopians require emergency food assistance because of drought and rising food prices….

Ethiopian highlands, shot by by Giustino modified by Andro96 , Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License

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