Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Warsaw – Day 9: One billion Africans in harm’s way

Eco-Business: Africa is already struggling to cope with the effects of climate change and the adaptation costs are so huge that hundreds of millions of people will be put at risk unless richer nations provide $200 billion of aid a year, the United Nations Environment Programme says.

A UNEP report published here, Africa’s Adaptation Gap, paints a grim picture of sea level rise, loss of agricultural production, spreading disease, floods and droughts beyond the power of Africa to deal with.

Launching the report, Mr Tosi Mpanu, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, leader for the African Group of Negotiators here, said the plight of Africa was not of its making. It was the developed countries that had caused the problem and Africa was asking for the funds to help. But so far they had not been forthcoming.

“This report shows that one billion Africans are in harm’s way. We witness instability in rainfall, diseases spreading, sea level rise and floods”, he said. “One of the effects of climate change is to send Africans further and further to seek water. This brings them into conflict with other Africans. We are faced with wars on African soil that are not created in Africa.

“We came to this conference in Poland expecting help with the adverse effects of climate change, but so far there are no signs of the finance that Africa needs. We are hoping that the arrival [in Warsaw] of ministers will signal a strong political commitment to scale up the finance to help us adapt. There are many adaptation projects in the pipeline but the money to do them is running out. We need a top-up for these funds,  but so far there is no sign of it.”...

A NASA image of a dust storm in the Bodélé Depression in Chad. This particular storm was blowing on the afternoon of 18 November 2004, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flew over on NASA's Aqua satellite.

No comments: