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Climate change in Africa: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability

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P. Desanker
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Africa is highly vulnerable to the various manifestations of climate change. This paper focuses on a number of variables that will be affected by climate change, including, water resources, food security, ecosystems, natural resources, human health, agriculture and overall vulnerability. A number of recommendations to help plan for climate change adaptation are also proposed.The paper highlights six situations of particular importance, in light of predicted climate change:water resources in international shared basins where there is a potential for conflict and a need for regional coordination in water managementfood security is at risk from declines in agricultural productionnatural resources productivity is at risk and biodiversity might be irreversibly lostthe spread of water-borne diseases, especially in areas with inadequate health infrastructurecoastal zones vulnerable to sea-level rise, particularly roads, bridges, buildings, and other infrastructure that is exposed to flooding and other extreme eventsexacerbation of desertification by changes in rainfall and intensified land use.Climate change adaptation strategies for Africa include:national environmental action plans and implementation must incorporate long-term changes and pursue no regret strategiesimprovements in national and regional data and capacity are required to predict impacts of climate changedeveloping African capacity in environmental assessment will increase the effectiveness of aidregional assessments of vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation should be pursued to fill in the many gaps in information.[adapted from author]