Third Eye

Agri-social policies crucial in climate change issues

Thursday, July 29th, 2021 00:00 |
Climate change. Photo/Courtesy

The world is faced with many environmental challenges more than ever before, most of which can be attributed to climate change. 

This weather phenomenon presents a significant threat to achievement of many developmental goals, especially those related to eliminating extreme poverty and hunger, economic growth and promotion of environmental sustainability. 

As our population continues to increase tremendously, so is the demand for food, wood and water.

Developing countries quest for food security through agricultural expansion, often leads to deforestation and forest degradation caused by rising demand for timber, fuel wood and charcoal. 

Climate change is likely to constrain biomass supply by lowering productivity, and making forests and woodlands less resilient.

A major challenge for much of Sub-Saharan Africa is how to formulate agricultural technologies that can resolve conflict between both sustainable and improved livelihood, and environmental conservation.

The world is developing strategies to combat the effects of climate change which, if left unchecked, will be a great threat to both our existence on earth.

The effects of global warming are already being experienced in Sub-Saharan Africa include floods, increased frequency and severity of droughts, food and water insecurity. 

The impact of climate change can only be minimised if we develop and promote technologies that can adapt to a changing environment, a process that will need sound decision support mechanisms from researchers and policymakers for effective implementation. 

One option that can bring great benefits is to integrate trees into agricultural landscapes through social forestry technologies.

This will offer multiple benefits as it will ensure sustainable food production and creation of an effective carbon sink.

There is need for policy interventions to articulate and share lessons on how the human capacity developed through social forestry training is being managed for impact on mitigating climate change. 

For instance, initiatives should focus on the region’s climate change response strategies with the aim of coming up with practical programmes on adaptation and mitigation measures within the region.

Implementation of such programmes will help reduce pressure on forests, a resource that can greatly cushion us from the effects of climate change. 

Kenya is largely dependent on bio-energy, with charcoal meeting up to 82 per cent of urban energy requirement; of which 75 per cent is sourced from woodlands.

Although there is an enabling legislation, tackling global warming cannot be achieved without the development of supportive technologies. 

We have a climate crisis on our hands and the prospects of climate surprises are high and likely to be very grave for the vulnerable sub-Sahara African countries.

Concerted efforts are, therefore, necessary in developing results-oriented climate change strategies.

We also have an obligation to lead the crusade against actions that lead to adverse climatic change and threaten the quality of our life.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has projected that the average temperature in the East Africa region could increase by 3ºC in the next 90 years as a result of global warming.

The frequency and intensity of extreme climatic conditions such as drought and floods are also projected to increase, and arid and semi-arid lands will be most affected. 

The best inheritance for progeny right now is to seriously address environmental issues that have direct impact on our social and economic well-being.

Meanwhile, we should also think of climate justice, which according to the Bali Principles of Climate Justice, Article 18, August 29, 2002 relates “the effects of climate change to concepts of justice, particularly environmental justice and social justice and by examining issues such as equality, human rights, collective rights, and the historical responsibilities for climate change.” — The writer comments on international affairs

More on Third Eye