"African countries need to take actions against climate change"

According to a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) report, around 220 million people experience droughts annually, and one third of Africa lives in drought-prone areas. Drought combined with overuse of land can result in desertification, posing a real threat to the future of Africa's land.

Richard Muyungi, the chairman of scientific and technological advice of UNFCC said that Africa's tropical location as well as its widespread poverty and reliance on subsistence agriculture makes it the most susceptible to climate change. He stressed that countries need to mainstream climate change in planning processes and government agendas, as it affects all areas of life.

Dr. Jan Verhagen, agriculture and climate change expert and researcher from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, explained that climate change adaptation includes disaster preparedness, as climate change is sure to bring about more extreme and violent weather.

However, according to Verhagen, climate change does not result in constant bad weather. "There are ups and downs for climate change," he mentioned, noting that people must take advantage of favorable times to plan for their future. "If it becomes a better climate for you, for your job, you might be able to access the benefits of it."

Climate change needs to be considered in all aspects of life to insure effective adaptation for the many ways it will impact life. Ben Yassin, Malawi's Chief Environmental Officer, believes that African countries need to take both short-and long-term actions against climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He stressed that industrialization projects require intensive assessment to make sure that they will not impact negatively on the environment.

"When you are planning, you have to include issues of climate change, adaptation, mitigation, in a manner that prevents what we are using from disappearing for the future generation," he noted.

But environmentalism does not have to be anti-industrialization. Muyungi argued that Africans need to industrialize sustainably. "No country has developed itself without industrialization. We need to use industry in a much more efficient way and for efficiency in technology," he added.

Source: AllAfrica.com

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