The climate change challenge in Africa:- impacts, mitigation and adaptation
Climate change is now a reality, and is already having devastating effects on the natural environment and human populations across the world. Many studies (Maathai, 2006; UNFCC 2006; CCDI 2007; IPCC 2007 and UNDP 2009) have confirmed that Africa contributes the least to global warming but the region is the most vulnerable and most adversely affected by climate change. Unpredictable rains and floods, prolonged droughts, subsequent crop failures and rapid desertification among others have in fact already begun to change the face of the continent. Africa’s poor and vulnerable will be particularly hit by the effects of the rising temperatures. This paper examines the problem of climate change in Africa; its impacts, mitigation and adaptation measures are equally investigated. The paper explains that neither mitigation nor adaptation alone can avoid significant impacts but together they can compliment each other and reduce significantly the risks of climate change. Finally it concludes with recommendation to African Countries to enable them reduce vulnerability and increase capacity to adapt while suggesting the need to integrate climate change concerns into all planning whether it be infrastructure, education or health.