Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Africa Analysis: Regional climate plan deserves support
According to the author, Linda Nordling, the new southern African climate plan needs more funding if it is to plug the continent's data gap because detailed studies on how climate change might affect areas of Africa are often thwarted by a lack of climate data. Now the continent's southern countries have agreed a plan to strengthen climate data collection and interpretation in the region. And the global climate summit to be held in South Africa in December is a great opportunity to raise funds to put the plan into action. The Southern African Development Community's (SADC) Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Implementation Framework to Support Climate Change Response was adopted by the region's science ministers in May. It sets out how SADC's 15 member states will collect and share climate information, and coordinate their scientific response to the threat of climate change. The data gap also affects the credibility and use of existing information in decisions, undermining the continent's attempts to mitigate climate change and plan for its impacts. The SADC document describes activities in four areas where STI is crucial to tackling climate change: observation and monitoring; impacts, vulnerability and risks; mitigation; and adaptation.