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Friday, September 28, 2012

UNCCD, WMO call for more efforts against climate change threats

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), have called for more efforts to combat the threat of climate change as well as its effects on global food security.
They also said this effort underlines the vulnerability of an inter-connected world to a natural hazard.
The UN agencies are also stepping up efforts more coordinated and proactive policies to manage drought risk and fill existing vacuum in virtually every nation.
A joint press release by the two agencies made available to NaijaAgroNet revealed that WMO, UNCCD and other UN partners plan a high-level meeting on National Drought Policy between 11 and 15 March, 2013.
NaijaAgroNet recalls that the July 31 edition of the US Drought Monitor, a weekly map that provides an accurate way to express drought conditions to decision makers and the public, reveals that 62.9 per cent of the contiguous US was experiencing moderate to exceptional droughts.
Recent report about India by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also shows that there is a weak southwest torrential rain which began early June 2012, and led to deficient rainfall in 50 per cent of the 624 districts of India through the end of July.
NOAA’s State of the Climate Global Analysis for July 2012 states that the global average temperature for July 2012 is the fourth warmest July since 1880. It also marked the 329th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average.
NaijaAgroNet recalls that severe drought developed in parts of East Africa towards the end of 2010 and spilled over to 2011 affecting eastern and northern Kenya, western Somalia and some part of southern border of Ethiopia.
And according to the 2011 WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate, the most significant drought of 2011 was in the south-central United States and adjacent areas of northern Mexico.
WMO Secretary General, Michel Jarraud affirmed that climate change is projected to lead to increase in the frequency, intensity and duration of droughts. Michel also warns that the change will have impact on many sectors especially food, water and energy. “We need to move away from a piecemeal, crisis-driven approach and develop integrated risk-based national drought policies.”
Also speaking, the UNCCD Executive Secretary, Luc Gnacadja explains that developed and developing countries are vulnerable to drought following the 2010 drought-inclined famine in the Horn of Africa as well as the ongoing crisis in the Sahel region and the extensive drought in USA.
Gnacadja recommended effective long-term solutions in mitigating the effects of droughts, addressing desertification. Mainstreaming of land degradation in national development plans and policies was also recommended.

Yinka Awosanya/LS
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