Climate change adaptation can help to promote Sub-Saharan African Livelihoods.

Investing in ways to adapt to climate change will promote the livelihood of 65 per cent of Africans, the United Nations environmental agency reported, warning also that failing to address the phenomenon could reverse decades of development progress on the continent.

Africa’s population is set to double to 2 billion by 2050, the majority of whom will continue to depend on agriculture to make a living, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

“With 94 per cent of agriculture dependent on rainfall, the future impacts of climate change – including increased droughts, flooding, and seal-level rise – may reduce crop yields in some parts of Africa by 15 – 20 per cent,” UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said.

“Such a scenario, if unaddressed, could have grave implications for Africa’s most vulnerable states,” he added.

In a new graphical report, Keeping Track of Adaptation Actions in Africa (KTAA) – Targeted Fiscal Stimulus Actions Making a Difference, UNEP details the implications of climate change, and provides examples of adaptation projects that range from forest ecosystem management to aquatics and agriculture.

The report describes sustainable examples of how countries in sub-Saharan Africa enhanced environmental and ecosystem resilience through the use of native plants and natural infrastructure, land plans and rainwater harvesting, among other examples.

The projects are integrated into national development policies which can strengthen and enhance the resilience communities against the impacts of climate change, while also contributing to the realization of the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to the report authors.

“By integrating climate change adaptation strategies in national development policies Governments can provide transitional pathways to green growth and protect and improve the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of Africans,” Mr. Steiner noted.
The projects also highlight the urgency to act now in adapting to challenges, especially in developing countries where capabilities to respond to the magnitude of the problem are limited.

This year’s Africa Environment Day, marked annually on 3 March, focused on combating desertification on the continent and enhancing its agriculture and food security. The continent has lost 65 per cent of its agricultural land since 1950 due to land degradation, according to figures cited by UNEP. Up to 12 per cent of its agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) is lost due to deteriorating conditions and 135 million people are at risk of having to move from their land by 2020 due to desertification.

Source; UN Report, August 2014.

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Africa and climate change

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Africa needs about $675 billion by 2030 to achieve low-carbon sustainable growth; the current carbon market for mitigation is not sufficient to address this. The Clean Development Mechanism, the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program, and the voluntary offset program are not fully utilized. Africa’s total ecological footprint is set to double by 2040. Ten African nations have pledged to include the economic value of natural resources in their national accounts. The regional focus will be on adaptation to climate change rather than mitigation

Price and weather-indexed insurance schemes will help Africa stabilize prices in domestic markets and help farmers adapt to climate change. Southern Africa could lose more than 30% of its maize crop by 2030 due to climate change. Sudan planted cotton for the first time in 2012, making it the fourth country in Africa to commercialize a biotech crop after South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt. Re-afforestation, saltwater agriculture along the coasts, and solar energy in the Sahara could be massive sources of sustainable growth. Mayors in Mali are now required to have couples plant trees as part of their marriage registration process.

Source: NOAA National Climatic Data Center with Millennium Project estimates

Policy Analysis in relation to climate change adaptation, mitigation, agriculture and REDD

This policy analysis in relation to climate change adaptation, mitigation, agriculture and Reduced Emission in Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) has been conducted within the framework of the project “climate change, agriculture and poverty alleviation: putting small- scale farmers at the heart of policy and practice”. The project is implemented in Kilosa and Chamwino districts by ActionAid in collaboration with the Tanzanian Community Forest Conservation Network (MJUMITA), the Farmer’s Network of Tanzania (MVIWATA), the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) and the Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM).

Follow the link below to read the whole report.

District Agricultural Development Plans [DADPS] can address Climate Change

This analysis of Kilosa and Chamwino District Councils District Agricultural Development Plans (DADPs) for 2010/2011, 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 was carried out in order to provide recommendations on how DADPs can address climate change adaptation and mitigation in relation to small-scale farmers.  In accomplishing this analysis, review was made to the said DADPs documents for the two districts as well as two field visits for Focus Group Discussions in two villages one in Kilosa District and the other in Chamwino District. Other relevant documents were also reviewed to make it possible to provide useful insights to respond to the requirements of the analysis.

The study revealed the following three mixed situations in as far as DADPs implementation is concerned, for more details see the final report below: