Thursday, July 30, 2015

Agriculture vital to tackling effects of climate change

Sam Otieno in Agriculture should receive more attention as climate change could affect rainfall rates and patterns, resulting in more droughts and increased catastrophic flooding that could affect food production across the world, according to experts.

At a meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) panel last month (1-11 June) in Bonn, Germany, the experts discussed the need to make agriculture more prominent in a global treaty on climate change expected to be signed in Paris, France in November-December this year.

Scientists have warned that Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly vulnerable to the threat of El Nino as 95 per cent of its crop production area relies entirely on rainfall. Under climate change, this means that multiple stresses such as drought interact, causing large decreases in productivity.

The UNFCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) that marshals scientific evidence to support countries’ decisions to be included in the treaty, says that a central objective of agricultural research, extension, education and rural credit systems must be to help farmers and producers successfully adapt to changing climatic conditions.

....“It is difficult to be prescriptive on adaptation and mitigation strategies because options and needs vary largely in space and time,” said Julian Ramirez-Villegas, a, who researches in climate change impacts and adaptation at CIAT. “Something that is clear is that for most countries in Africa adaptation is a priority, but we need to understand the mitigation impacts of any implemented adaptation actions....

Climbing beans growing in the province of North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, shot by Neil Palmer (CIAT), Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license 

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