Monday, August 29, 2011

Gambia already suffers the negative impact of climate change

Africa Science News: Gambian National Environment Agency, NEA said recently that the country is already facing the worst ramifications of the climate change. NEA’s executive director, Momodou B. Sarr said in Banjul that already climate change impact on agriculture is attributed to 40 per cent drop in groundnut yields due to rising temperatures and the disappearance of freshwater swamps, and soil salinization in lowland areas resulting from sea level rise is likely to impact negatively on rice production and the lives of women farmers in these areas.

He said dominance of heat and drought-tolerant species could lead to further loss of agricultural biodiversity, increased food insecurity, rural poverty and hardship, among others.

On fisheries, the NEA boss said sea level rise may initially favour the mobilisation and export of nutrients from wetland sediments, but the same process could equally release pollutants into the aquatic ecosystem.

He added that loss of estuarine mangroves (important life cycle habitat, food and refuge for crustaceans, shellfish, oceanic nekton and marine mammals) could lead to the collapse of some pelagic fish populations, threaten food security for a significant proportion of Gambians and undermine the livelihood and traditional way of life of fisher-folk in the country....

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