The Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Edith Ofwona said agriculture which is the backbone of African continent is the sector mostly affected by climate change, NaijaAgroNet reports.
“The biggest challenge,” she disclosed “is how to work with communities not only to cope with short-term impacts but actually to be able to adapt and be resilient over time. We should come up with practical solutions that are affordable and built on the knowledge that communities have.”
Ofwonaro, NaijaAgroNet gathered, took this position at the international scientific conference on ‘Our Common Future under Climate Change’ which was held recently in Paris, which marks commencement of programmes to usher in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), also to be held in Paris in six months’ time, to pave the way for a global agreement to keep the rise in the earth’s temperature under 2°C.
Experts said temperature rise on the continent will likely exceed 2°C by 2100 with land temperatures rising faster than the global land average. Scientific assessments, NaijaAgroNet learnt, agree that Africa will also face more climate changes in the future, with extreme weather events increasing in terms of frequency, intensity and duration.
“Most sub-Saharan countries have high levels of climate vulnerability,” said an independent specialist and one of the lead authors of the 5th Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), South Africa, Penny Urquhart, “Over the years, people became good at adapting to those changes but what we are seeing is increasing risks associated with climate change as this becomes more and more pressing.
He said data monitoring systems are still poor and sparse over the region, “we do know there is an increase in temperature,” she stated adding that if the global average temperature increases by 2°C by the end of the century, this will be experienced as if it had increased by 4°C in Southern Africa, stated Urquhart.
According to the South African expert, vulnerability to climate variation is very context-specific and depends on people’s exposure to the impacts, so it is hard to estimate the number of people affected by global warming on the continent.
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