Climate Change


Drylands cover 41 percent of the earth’s terrestrial surface. The urgency of and international response to climate change have given a new place to drylands in terms both of their vulnerability to predicted climate change impacts and their potential contribution to climate change mitigation. This book aims to apply the new scientific insights on complex dryland systems to practical options for development. A new dryland paradigm is built on the resources and capacities of dryland peoples, on new and emergent economic opportunities, on inward investment, and on the best support that dryland science can offer.

The complete document is available from the IUCN website

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From Science Blog 26/08/10

Cattle grazing maize residues after harvest in Zimbabwe. Photo: Sabine Homann

As climate change intensifies drought conditions in Africa and sparks fears of a new cycle of crippling food shortages, a study released today finds widespread adoption of recently developed drought-tolerant varieties of maize could boost harvests in 13 African countries by 10 to 34 percent and generate up to US$1.5 billion in benefits for producers and consumers.

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SLP Comments: Benefits of drought tolerant maize by-products/crop residues should also be addressed as the technology is mainly targeting mixed crop-livestock smallholders

Seen on IIED website

The ancient tradition of pastoral nomadism in landlocked Niger in West Africa is a source of huge cultural wealth in one of the poorest countries on earth. But with Niger’s eastern reaches suffering 35 years of drought — an entire generation’s worth — local pastoralists have faced a massive challenge. Diffa, les premiers matins du monde is a new video that tells the stories of many of these pastoralists and how they have coped with increasing drought.

An interesting letter exchange between John McDermott (ILRI’s Deputy Director General for Research) and Vicki Hird (Senior Food Campaigner at Friends of the Earth) is published in the June 2010 issue of People&Science

Read on People Daily Online website (China)

Climate change in Africa and the world at large has impacted on many fronts resulting in drought and floods hence resulting in food shortage.

Consequently, poverty levels have increased leading to low development among many developing nations.

It is against this backdrop that leading agriculture and climate scientists, policymakers, farmers, and development experts from around the world will gather in Nairobi from today to focus on the threat of climate change to the global food supply.

The conference is jointly convened by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP).

Speakers are drawn from World Agro forestry Centre (ICRAF), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), UNEP, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The conference conveners noted that if climate change is not checked, it could negatively affect efforts to reduce poverty and hunger.

This would threaten the stability of entire nations as farmers struggle in hotter and more uncertain conditions to feed a population set to reach 9 billion people by 2050. Less rain and changing rainfall patterns have resulted in low yields.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, one in three people living in Sub-Saharan Africa were chronically hungry in 2007.

The region is also hardest hit by extreme poverty, harboring 75 percent of people worldwide that live on less then a dollar a day.

Since 2007, erratic rainfall has led to increased food shortages in southern Africa where droughts damaged and destroyed maize crops.

A study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) warns that in Africa alone, over the next four decades higher temperatures and more frequent droughts could depress wheat yields by over 30 percent, rice by 15 percent, and maize by 10 percent.

Yet FAO has projected that over this same period food production globally must increase by 70 percent to feed a population expected to reach 9.1 billion people.

IFPRI found that neutralizing the effects of climate change on productivity requires investing at least 7 billion dollars per year on research, irrigation, and rural roads.

The conference comes in the wake of talks in Copenhagen last December, where high-level recognition of the link between climate change and food security was reinforced.

In a month’s time, climate change negotiators reconvene in Bonn, Germany to continue discussions to reach consensus on a new global agreement for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to their impacts.

African leaders have been particularly frustrated by the failure of negotiators to give adequate attention to the food security-climate change connection and have joined other developing country officials in declaring: “no agriculture, no agreement.”

Scientists blame climate change for causing more intense and frequent droughts, floods, hurricanes, rising sea levels, and other negative effects in different parts of the world.

The cheapest and most efficient way to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change on poor nations like Kenya is to have lots of trees. Trees absorb excess carbon dioxide and other harmful gases from the atmosphere. But when trees are cut down, this process is halted.

The government recently, launched the third phase of tree planting in bid to reclaim Kenya’s water tower the Mau forest and forest cover.

Source:Xinhua

The effects of climate change – such as drought, livestock deaths and resource conflict – may be all too apparent for the pastoralists of northern Kenya, but there is much to be done to explain the true causes

Read the rest of the story on allAfrica.com

From  the Meat Trade News Daily website

New evidence from a study from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) indicates that on-going extreme changes and variability in Zambia’s climate could bring losses of more than US$4 billion in agricultural income in the next 10 years, driving hundreds of thousands into poverty and food insecurity.

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