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Africa in a Changing Global Environment

Perspectives of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in Africa

Shingirirai Savious Mutanga, Thokozani Simelane, Nedson Pophiwa

Publication Year: 2013

Africa is one continent severely affected by the ravaging effects of global environmental change yet it is least responsible for this. The continentís rural and urban poor are particularly vulnerable to reduced agricultural production, worsening food security, increased incidence of both flooding and drought, spreading of disease and heightening risk of conflict over scarce land and water resources. As such this timely book consisting of chapters authored by scholars from multi-disciplinary backgrounds provides the reader a variety of contexts from which to understand the impacts of global environmental change and how a effected African communities are adapting and mitigating this scourge. In addition it discusses different models for mitigation and adaptation applicable to local contexts.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-3

Table of Contents

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pp. i-v

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pp. vi-vii

In the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008, development actors (par-ticularly in the global north) have spearheaded a policy shift towards eradi-cating a business-as-usual-approach to economic growth. The relationship between the economy and the environment has gradually moved from being a relationship of growth based on unsustainable extraction of resources to ...

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pp. viii-ix

The Project Leader and editors of the book “Africa in a Global Changing Environment” Perspectives of climate change Adaptation and Mitigation in Africa”, wishes to thank the following organizations and people for their generosity support in cash and kind. The Erasmus Mundus, of the European Commission (EMA), Department of Science and Technology (DST) and...

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About the editors

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p. x-x

Nedson Pophiwa is a Chief Researcher in the Democracy Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD) Programme at the Human Science Research Council (HSRC). He holds an MA in Forced Migration from the University of the Witwatersrand, and an MA in African Economic History from the University of Zimbabwe. The work that he is presenting on, regarding ...

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About the contributors

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p. xi-xi

...? Chipo Nyamwena, Researcher: Institute of Economics and Inno-vation, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa.? Edmore Kori, Lecturer: Department of Geography and Geo-Information ? Habtemariam Kassa (PhD), Scientist, Centre for International ? Justice Akpene Tambo, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Life Sciences, ...

Abbreviations and Acronyms

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pp. xii-xv

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pp. 1-10

This book is concerned with Africa?s disadvantaged position at the receiving end of the devastating effects of global environmental change. Its analysis borders on how African communities are experiencing climate change ? an aspect of the global changing environment ? and how they are adapting to these dire conditions. It also presents cases for mitiga-tion and adaptation that African countries can turn to as ways of playing their part in reducing and coping with global change. Most of the chapters ...


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pp. 13-32

The relationship between humankind and the environment over the years has resulted in fundamental physical and structural modification of the earth?s ecology. The exponential growth in the world?s population in the last millennia, and the resultant pressure it exerted and continues to exert on the world?s natural resources, are disturbing the climate system on a global scale. Shifting modes of occupation on the African continent during the second part of the last decade and the dawn of large scale industrializa-...

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pp. 33-48

Precipitation is one of the most important climate elements directly af-fecting the availability of water resources. Water availability is the most critical factor for sustaining crop productivity in rain-fed agri-culture and rainfall has always determined and influenced crop production Climate change and rainfall variation pose serious risks to rain-fed crop production in the semi-dry agro-ecological zones of Africa. Rainfall variability has significantly impacted on the rural poor,1 who rely on natu-...

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pp. 49-67

There is general consensus that the climate is changing, and it poses serious challenges to food security and livelihoods in many develop-ing countries. Countries whose economies are highly dependent on climate-sensitive sectors, like agriculture, fisheries and forestry, are ex-pected to be hardest hit by the adverse impacts of climate change.1, 2 Nigeria is particularly vulnerable because the majority of its population (about 70%) engage in agriculture as their primary occupation and agriculture in the ...

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pp. 68-83

Agriculture forms the basis of the Ethiopian economy, providing rough-ly 42 per cent of GDP,1 and it is the primary source of livelihood for the overwhelming majority of the population. The nature of Ethiopia?s agriculture is primarily rain-fed, hence production is sensitive to fluctua-tions in rainfall,2 and also to other climatic stresses.3 Drought is a recurrent phenomenon in many parts of the country, resulting in a sharp reduction of agricultural output.4 Besides its economic brunt, drought may also have a ...

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pp. 84-100

In the wake of climate change related risks and disasters, many countries around the globe have become relentless in adopting innovative spatial planning approaches to boost the resilience and adaptation capacities of their city authorities.1 Such a focus on city level planning is not misplaced, given that cities are generally centers of economic and population growth.2 It is this dominant feature that has seen cities becoming a focal point of both climate change related risks and disasters and the solutions thereof. ...


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pp. 103-124

The idea of a green economy is a new policy direction sweeping across both developed and developing countries as part of global efforts to mitigate against and adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. The move towards a green economy was motivated by increasing green-house gas emissions from human productive activities that are depleting the ozone layer and subsequently causing undesirable climatic changes and ecosystem instability. It is also motivated by recognition that world produc-...

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pp. 125-147

Most African economies depend on primary industries that thrive on extraction and collection of natural resources for economic activities. Agriculture, mining and tourism are some of the major industries. Sustaining Africa?s natural resources is therefore of paramount importance to the continent?s development. The continent itself is endowed with a rich natural resource base, which presents it with diverse opportu-nities for development. However, despite the resource endowment, Africa ...

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pp. 148-162

The African continent faces a lot of challenges, including: poverty, food insecurity, low standards of living, diseases, low life expectancy and politi-cal instability. In addition, climate variability and change is exacerbating these challenges, making the continent one of the most vulnerable. This situation is aggravated by the interaction of multiple stresses occurring at ...

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pp. 163-176

Urbanisation is a rapidly growing phenomenon worldwide and since 2008 urban populations have exceed rural populations.1 At present, there are more than 378 cities with over a million residents and it is expected that by 2025 this number will escalate to 599.2 Africa as a whole faces an even greater challenge of rapid urbanisation with an annual four per cent population growth rate, which means that by 2017 the continent will host 17 percent of the world?s population.3 The reality of growth in ...


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pp. 179-195

Biofuels have been advocated in the last decade as a mitigation meas-ure against climate change, in particular in the quest to reduce green-house gas emissions, coupled with the need to increase energy secu-rity and rural development. In pursuit of this noble cause, the government of Zimbabwe enacted policies to support production and distribution of biofuels. Ministerial taskforces, national programmes and institutions were established with a mandate to plan and implement biofuels in the country. ...

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pp. 196-215

The world is faced with considerable risk and uncertainty about climate change. Particular attention has been paid increasingly to hydropower generation in recent years because it is renewable energy. In Africa, hy-dropower contributes 90 per cent of renewable energy generation.1 However hydropower is among the most vulnerable industries to changes in global and regional climate change. The uncertainties are accentuated by ever changing and increasing competing priorities on water resources. Current ...

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pp. 216-220

This book not only illustrates the impact of climate change in Africa, but also how affected communities are adapting and mitigating the scourge. The discussion concurs with the notion that Sub-Saharan Africa is not responsible for the cumulative impacts envisaged in the re-gion. A demonstration of the impacts of climate change shows that climate change is a reality that needs to be tackled. What is critical is the way in which the changing global environment affects the local levels of African ...

Back Cover

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p. 238-238

E-ISBN-13: 9780798304047
Print-ISBN-13: 9780798303750

Page Count: 236
Publication Year: 2013