Climate change is a critical issue worldwide and has received considerable attention on the world stage in recent times.
The BBC reported in October 2006 that the climate change phenomenon is already affecting people across Africa and “will wipe out efforts to tackle poverty unless urgent action is taken”. In the face of such damming revelations what then is Africa’s response to climate?
At the final day of the African Green Revolution Forum in Accra, Ghana, stakeholders from both public and private sectors have discussed what is working and what can be adapted to scale change adaptation and mitigation initiatives in Africa.
Key among what was discussed is that climate change is a real issue affecting Africa and that a holistic approach must be adopted to mitigate the effects on Africa and its desire to be the next frontier of the green revolution. Panelists were of the view that the continent does very little in terms of carbon dioxide emission yet it suffers most in terms of the effects of climate change. Consequently, the end products of climate change will have an effect of food production.
“The reality of the African scenario is much more complex because we have diverse food systems and heterogeneous ecosystems”, Kwesi Atta-Krah, Deputy Director General of Bioversity, explained further.
He however said Africa has the advantage of hindsight from the green revolution in Asia adding that “it will be foggy not to take advantage of the advantage we have”.
The discussants agreed that it was important for governments and development partners to build mitigation and adaptive capacity to deal with this climate change. African governments were admonished to develop home grown solutions to solving the climate change problem. What was apparent in the discussion was the need to for all stakeholders to work together. Emphasis was also placed on capacity building on climate change issues.
Poul Engberg-Pedersen, Director General of NORAD. also prescribes that it is important to give incentives to people not to cut down trees since 17% of CO2 emissions come from the degradation of the rain forest.