Africa to lose two thirds of its arable land by 2025

Noting that Africa lost 65 per cent of its arable land between 1950-1990 and can expect to lose up to two thirds by 2025 due to land degradation, Issa Aboubacar from the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS), spoke recently at a UNFCCC workshop about OSS’s work generating information to support decision making through 30 observatories situated throughout the continent.

Early warning systems in place: Aboubacar elaborated on OSS initiatives on environmental surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, and systems of early warning.

Institutional cooperation needed: Commenting on the vicious cycle whereby poverty leads to over-exploition of natural resources, decreased production, and increased vulnerability, Aboubacar called for a new strategy focused on:

# improving institutional cooperation;

# mobilizing capacity for the production; and

# sharing of inhumation and integrating adaptation action programmes in economic plans.

Local coping strategy database: The UNFCCC Secretariat announced the existence of a searchable database on local coping strategies, consisting of several hundred cases that are replicable and initiated and undertaken by communities (see http://maindb.unfccc.int/public/adaptation).

Reference: The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) African Regional Workshop on Adaptation was held at the M Plaza Hotel in Accra, Ghana, from 21-23 September 2006.

Erisk Net , 27/9/2006

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