Sunday, April 29, 2012

Southern Africa is the region most affected by climate change

Clemencia Jacobs in via the Namibia Economist: Climate change is the greatest threat to humanity and the grand irony is that humans might be the architects of their own downfall, said Derek Hanekom, South Africa's Deputy Minister of Science and Technology at the signing of a declaration that will establish a regional science centre to support cross-border research into climate change.

Speaking at the signing ceremony on Wednesday last week, Hanekom said although sub-Saharan Africa is not the biggest culprit when it comes to pollution, it is the most affected by the impact of climate change.

Five southern African countries, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Angola and Botswana, with the assistance of the German government, will establish the Southern Africa Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL). The signing of the joint declaration effectively inaugurated the centre.

SASSCAL aims to strengthen trans-boundary science and technology development in the SADC region using regional and international expertise.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Zambia's Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, Dr John Phiri, said for too long Africa has relied on data and information on climate change from scientists outside the continent, therefore SASSCAL would come in handy.

"We have tended to look at climate change, food security and poverty challenges separately. We know that 60% of our people live in rural areas, we also know that 90% of our rural population depend on agriculture; most important of all, we do know the future climate predictions give a much more uncertain climatic condition for agriculture, with potentially devastating negative consequences.
Victorian Falls bridge, Zambian side, shot by Florence Devouard, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

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