Climate change threat to Africa

Climate change threat to Africa

04/05/2010

Climate change can significantly reverse the progress towards poverty reduction and food security in Africa, according to a paper presented to the FAO regional Conference for Africa being held in Luanda, Angola this week. The main consequence of higher temperatures and more unpredictable weather was a likely reduction in crop yields – 6.9 percent in the case of maize, an important staple – and a heightened risk of food insecurity.

The paper, “Climate Change Implications for Food Security and Natural Resources Management in Africa,” warned that business as usual was no longer an option and urged African governments to “prioritize and implement measures to develop agriculture and sustainable natural resource management”.

One-third of the African population lives in drought-prone areas. Six of the ten largest cities in Africa are located on the coast. These are both areas susceptible to climate change. Climate change will affect poorer African countries disproportionately. The poorest people in those countries will suffer the greatest consequences. The African subsistence farmer is among the most vulnerable. Those least able to cope will be hit the hardest.