Climate change and Food Security (IPS)

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Measuring How Climate Change Affects Africa’s Food Security

By Xavi Fernández de Castro

For the past 40 years Josephine Kakiyi, 55, has been cultivating maize, beans and vegetables on her small plot of land in the remote area of Kwa Vonza, in Kitui County, eastern Kenya.

Even though this has always been a hot and semi-arid region, over the last 15 years Kakiyi has noticed that the rainfall has reduced and become increasingly unpredictable.

She doesn’t exactly know why this is happening. The only thing she knows for sure is that “now it’s harder to say when it will rain.”

But farmers all over Kenya, and in most African countries, are facing similar problems.

Experts from around the world are certain that climate change is playing a major role in the difficulties Kakiyi and hundreds of thousands of other farmers are experiencing on the continent.

The report also states that “floods, drought, shifts in the timing and amount of rainfall, and high temperatures associated with climate change could directly affect crop and livestock productivity.”

All of these phenomena, when combined, may easily create numerous crises on a continent that is expected to double its population to 2.4 billion by 2050.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World report, published this year by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the U.N. (FAO) and  International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), estimates that there is around 227 million undernourished people in Africa – a fifth of the continent’s’ population.


Posted in Climate / climate change, Desertification, food / food security

Africa can accelerate its march to sustainable development (IPS)

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Sustaining Africa’s Development by Leveraging on Climate Change

Analysis by Busani Bafana

By leveraging knowledge on climate change, like adopting improved agriculture technologies and using water and energy more effectively, Africa can accelerate its march to sustainable development.

Policy and development practitioners say Africa is at a development cross roads and argue that the continent — increasingly an attractive destination for economic and agriculture investment — should use the window of opportunity presented by a low carbon economy to implement new knowledge and information to transform the challenges posed by climate change into opportunities for social development.

“Climate change is not just a challenge for Africa but also an opportunity to trigger innovation and the adoption of better technologies that save on water and energy,” Fatima Denton, director of the special initiatives division at theUnited Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), told IPS.

“At the core of the climate change debate is human security and we can achieve sustainability by using climate data and information services and feeding that knowledge into critical sectors and influence policy making.”

Africa, while enjoying a mining-driven economic boom, should look at revitalising the agriculture sector to drive economic development and growth under the framework of the new sustainable development goals, she said.

Denton said that for too long the climate change narrative in Africa has been about agriculture as a vulnerable sector. But this sector, she said, can be a game changer for the African continent through sustainable agriculture. In Africa, agriculture employs more than 70 percent of population and remains a major contributor to the GDP of many countries.

Climate-smart agriculture is being touted as one of the mechanisms for climate-proofing Africa’s agriculture. CGIAR— a global consortium of 15 agricultural research centres — has dedicated approximately half its one-billion-dollar annual budget towards researching how to support smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa through climate-smart agriculture.


Posted in Agriculture, Climate / climate change, Desertification, energy/bioenergy/biofuels, sustainable development

The Great Green Wall and Ethiopia (Google / World Bulletin)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

Ethiopia to endorse anti-desertification scheme

The Initiative aims to combat soil degradation and reduce poverty in Africa’s Sahel-Saharan region, focusing on a strip of land – 15km wide and 7100km long – from Dakar to Djibouti.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said Wednesday that his country would soon endorse a pan-African initiative aimed at combatting desertification.

The announcement came during a meeting in Addis Ababa between Desalegn and Mauritanian Environment Minister Amedi Camara, Ethiopia’s state-run ENA news agency reported.

The scheme, dubbed “the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall of the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative,” was originally established by 11 African countries.

The initiative aims to plant a wall of trees across the southern edge of the Sahara Desert as a means of preventing desertification.

Only seven of the 11 countries have officially endorsed the pact. While Ethiopia is one of the initiative’s co-founders, it has yet to formally endorse the agreement.

Ethiopia, the news agency quoted Desalegn as saying, “will endorse and implement the pact soon in relation to its food-security and environmental protection strategy.”


Posted in Desertification, Great Green Wall (GGW)

4.5-year program to bolster sustainable land management and restore drylands (Google / Farm Chemicals Int.)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

Anti-Desertification Effort To Create More Demand For Crop Inputs in Africa

The European Union (EU) and FAO in collaboration with the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) have launched a €41 million, 4.5-year program to bolster sustainable land management and restore drylands and degraded lands in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

The program, named Action Against Desertification, is designed to fight hunger and poverty, foster stability and build resilience to climate change in some of the world’s most vulnerable areas, the program sponsors say. It will teach farmers about the causes of desertification and the best ways to combat and prevent it, which could create more demand for crop inputs in Africa.

“Desertification and land degradation are very serious challenges. They lead to hunger and poverty, themselves at the root of many conflicts,” said José Graziano da Silva, FAO’s Director-General about the need for the program. “But recent successes show that these problems are not insurmountable. We can boost food security, improve livelihoods and help people adapt to climate change.”


Posted in Agriculture, Climate / climate change, Desertification, hunger / famine, poverty

Action Against Desertification in Africa (Google / allAfrica)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

Africa: In Fight Against Hunger, UN Launches Initiative Targeting Threat of Desertification


The growing menace of desertification poses a distinct threat to the world’s agriculture and eco-systems, the United Nations agriculture agency warned today, as it announced a new initiative aimed at curbing the spread of land degradation and building resilience to climate change.

The programme, named Action Against Desertification and launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in partnership with the European Union and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP), will devote some €41million to bolstering sustainable land management across the world’s most vulnerable areas in an effort to fight hunger and poverty.

“Desertification and land degradation are very serious challenges. They lead to hunger and poverty, themselves at the root of many conflicts,” FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, said in a press release marking the programme’s launch.

“But recent successes show that these problems are not insurmountable. We can boost food security, improve livelihoods and help people adapt to climate change.”

The FAO reports that more than 70 per cent of people living in drylands and other fragile ecosystems across Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific derive their livelihoods from natural resources. At the same time, an uptick in population growth and climate change has placed increasing pressure on these ecosystems, intensifying degradation and desertification and putting millions of lives at risk.

In an effort to thwart the costly effects of desertification in Africa, the Action Against Desertification will build on an already existing “flagship programme” – the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative – which supports local communities, Government and civil society in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gambia, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal with the sustainable management and restoration of their dryland forests and rangelands.


Posted in Desertification, Great Green Wall (GGW)

Desertification in Classwork Series (Google / Passnownow)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

Classwork Series and Exercises {Basic Science- JSS3}: Desertification


Desertification is the process by which fertile land becomes desert, typically as a result of drought, deforestation, or inappropriate agriculture.

Posted in Desertification

The timeline of the Great Green Wall : 2025-2050 (Google / European Public Affairs)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

A Great Green Wall at the edge of the desert

23 October 2014 | by

Desertification and land degradation affect millions of people in the Sahel and the Sahara, home to the world’s poorest populations. In a place where around two-thirds of the land cover consists of drylands and deserts, desertification makes its way – boosted by human pressure, deforestation and climate change. Food security and the livelihood of local communities are at stake.

The will of facing this challenge lies at the core of the Great Green Wall (GGW). This ambitious initiative, which aims to be a game changer in African drylands, was originally conceived as a band of drought-resistant trees stretching from Senegal to Djibouti, and has turned into a patchwork of actions oriented to increase resilience and fuel rural development.

Eulogio Montijano, from the EU special mission to the African Union and Project Manager of different projects in support of the GGW explains the origins, timeline and objectives.

A brief recap: What are the origins of this initiative?


What is the timeline?

The initiative has an open end, as it targets ambitious objectives that are meant to be sustained over time but there are deadlines in which some of the objectives are expected to be achieved. By 2025, it is expected that there will be a reversal in land degradation trends, and increased climate change resilience. By 2050, it is expected that huge areas of the Sahara and the Sahel will be transformed into rural production and development hubs.

Is this realistic?

The timeline might be a bit optimistic, but the objectives are realistic and achievable, should there be the politic will, and the support of all collaborating partners.

What have been, so far, the main achievements?

Between 2011 and 2013 there have been ten national action plans and some transnational projects, as well as the formulation of a capacity-building strategy.


Posted in afforestation, Desertification, Great Green Wall (GGW)