Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Climate blights Zanzibar's economic future

Issa Yussuf in via the Tanzania Daily News: Zanzibar is already highly vulnerable to climate variability, and will be amongst most affected by future climate change, while sea level rise received most attention; there are multiple risks, particularly to ecosystem services that underpin island economies.

This is a concluding paragraph in a research report conducted on 'Climate Change on Zanzibar: Impacts, Adaptation, Economics &Low Carbon Growth' by the Global Climate Adaptation Partnership, and local partners. Thanks to the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) for funding. Researchers in the report launched two weeks ago, have advised Zanzibar that adaptation can reduce the risks, cautioning of cost, and requires necessary finance and capacity to access and effectively use resources.

Mr Paul Watkiss, the research project director, led other experts in the eight month research in the Islands advising further, Zanzibar to act now, including considering Low carbon development by providing a more sustainable energy future, development and sustainability benefits, and opportunities for finance

The objectives of the study were to: Assess climate change impacts and their economic costs for Zanzibar, analyze costs and benefits of adapting to these effects over different timescales, assess the potential for low carbon growth, including development benefits and finance opportunities, and build national capacity and take advantage of local knowledge. In a general perspective a large proportion of Zanzibar's GDP and most of the livelihoods on the islands are associated with climate sensitivity activities, either directly such as with agriculture or tourism, or indirectly for example from the use of natural resources.

Therefore the economy and people of the islands are very dependent on the weather and climate. However, the finding in the research shows that climate of Zanzibar has been changing, and in the last decade has seen a significant increase in extreme events (climate variability), the recent extreme events such as droughts and floods, as example, which has led to major economic costs....

Growing red algae in Zanzibar, shot by Leyo, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Switzerland license.

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