Africa has been identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as the continent most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Ecosystems are already being affected and future impacts could be substantial.
East and Southern Africa has been experiencing more frequent extreme weather events and changing rainfall patterns, leading to droughts in some areas and flooding in others. The region’s population is highly dependent on rain-fed agriculture, making it particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including potential effects on food security.
With the agriculture sector absorbing nearly 30 per cent of the country’s labour force, while providing livelihoods to 70 per cent of the country’s rural population, a majority of our communities are at the unrelenting mercy of inevitable climate shocks.
The Mahaweli River Basin, the largest draining area of Sri Lanka’s extensive collection of rivers, is home to a large proportion of the small rain-fed farming communities on the island. And, unsurprisingly, climate shocks have exacerbated the prevalent poverty and food insecurity within these communities.
Natural disasters displace three times as many people as conflicts
In 2018, natural disasters including drought, cyclones and floods forced almost 2.6 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa to flee their homes. This triggers competition over depleted natural resources which can spark conflict between communities or compound pre-existing vulnerabilities.
In West and Central Africa, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is at the heart of the climate action for building resilience to climate change and peace promotion.
It’s half past midday in Kawama Village in Northwestern Zambia and Mildred Kikwanda is busy preparing 'Nshima' – the staple maize meal – with chicken stew and vegetables, using a non-traditional means of cooking – a wood-saving, earth-block stove popularly known as the energy-saving stove.
Beaming with a smile, and with a blue colourful ‘chitenge’ (wrapper) tied around her waist, she takes some ‘mealie meal’ (maize flour) from a sachet and sprinkles it into a boiling water while briskly stirring it with a cooking stick to make it thicker.
Across the globe, the impacts of anthropogenic action are pervasive as never before: in the Maghreb, crops grown on marginal lands are failing; in Egypt, rising sea levels are impacting impoverished neighbourhoods; in Jordan, competition and tensions over resources is predicted to only intensify as warming temperatures further heighten
The Protocol does this by establishing more predictable conditions for access as well as ensuring benefit sharing when genetic resources leave the country. Furthermore, the Protocol creates incentives to conserve and sustainably use genetic resources, enhancing the contribution of biodiversity to development and human wellbeing.
Despite being one of the first countries to have ratified the Protocol, Rwanda’s progress towards domesticating the Nagoya Protocol has been slow to pick up momentum.
The day the cyclone hit, we accommodated five neighbour families who sought refuge after the cyclone winds destroyed their houses. A total of 33 people sat in our small sitting room and I had to climb up the roof to place stone blocks to prevent the roof of being swept away.