Investment in climate change adaptation can help promote the livelihoods of 65 per cent of Africans, according to a new report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
This is contained in a statement issued from the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi recently and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
The statement said that such investment could help ensure that the climate change impact which included a projected 20 per cent to 50 per cent in water availability does not reverse decades of development progress.
According to the statement, ‘Keeping Track of Adaptation Actions in Africa (KTAA) – Targeted Fiscal Stimulus Actions Making a Difference – is the first graphical report.
“It is the first report that presents practical examples of successful low-cost adaptation solutions from around sub-Saharan Africa in one concise handbook.
“The report includes examples of successful adaptation projects that have provided the impetus for large-scale government investments and policy action.’’
The statement quoted the report as saying that Africa’s population would have doubled by 2050.
It said that the continent would then be home to two billion people, the majority of which would still largely depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.
UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner noted in the statement that “ 94 per cent of agriculture was dependent on rainfall.
“The future impacts of climate change, including increased droughts, flooding, and sea level rise, this may reduce crop yields in some parts of Africa by 15 to 20 per cent.
“Such a scenario, if unaddressed, could have grave implications for Africa’s most vulnerable states.”
The statement further quoted Steiner as observing “using projects implemented in various countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the KTAA report clearly demonstrated how investment in adaptation actions can provide low-cost’’.
“It is not just low-cost solutions to climate change challenges, but can actually stimulate local economies through more efficient use of natural capital, job creation and increased household incomes.
“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.”
The statement said that the practical publication responded to the 2013 Africa Adaptation Gap Report that identified the potentially crippling costs of climate change for Africa.
It said that the report which was endorsed by the African Ministerial conference on the Environment (AMCEN) suggested greater resilience efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.
The statement, quoted the President of AMCEN and Tanzania’s Minister of State for the Environment, Dr Binilith Mahenge as saying that“ threats posed by climate change suggests increased efforts in future development.
“Particularly in terms of potentially overturning decades of development efforts in Africa, suggest that future development efforts should incorporate greater resilience to climate change impacts.
“The KTAA report is an action guide that showcases ways to do this in various sectors and African countries should use this as the guiding document for investments in adaptation to climate change.” (NAN)