Periscope :Climate Change in Sudan in the Context of Rio+20 Conferences
The Higher Council for Environment & Natural Resources sent us a very valuable gift consisting of several books on the environment and climate change representing the various studies conducted by the Council. In this and other Periscopes, we will try to highlight the most important issues raised in these publications.
The starting point will be the book on Climate Change in the Sudan written by Dr. Balgis Osman Elasha which was funded by DFID (UK Department of International Development).
One of the major points highlighted in the Executive Summary of the Book was that much of the country’s land area is considered highly sensitive to change in temperature and precipitation. Also beside the major drought evens that have engulfed the whole country, Sudan has also experienced localized drought, often every two years, mainly in the Western Sudan, in Kordofan and Darfur regions and parts of the central Sudan. These are widely acknowledged to have contributed to the fueling of the prolonged civil conflicts that have had a devastating effect on the rural population.
The Author on this context added a warning; pointing to that the results extracted from Climate Change scenarios for Kordofan indicates that average temperature are expected to rise significantly by 2060.In addition to that projections of rainfall under future climate conditions predicates that there will be a decrease in the average rainfall.
Dr. Balgis Osman recommends that as there is still much uncertainty, it should be addressed through the use of regional circulation models and to develop national capacities in relation to the generation and use of climate models.
It is evident that, the effects of climate variability and change are real with impacts already effecting Sudan’s ecosystems and human health. The negative impacts associated with Climate Change are also compounded by many factors, including widespread poverty ,conflicts and human diseases .Under the previously-mentioned projected Climate Change , changes in temperature and precipitation could further affect the productive capacity of rain fed agriculture , and thus ,in the security of the nation food supply, Sudan is thus faced with the pressing challenge of addressing the national priorities of food security, water supply ,and public health. The ability for long term projection as well as short term anticipation of how Climate will change from one year to the next will lead to better management of agriculture, water supplies, and other resources. Moreover, by incorporating Climate Change into management decisions, human livelihood systems would become better adapted to the variability and changing rhythms of Climate.
The Author also stress on two important points , the first that there is a significant pressure exerted on Sudan’s fragile urban environment resulting from a rapidly growing urban population in the absence of national land use planning and development ,weak infrastructure and increasing unemployment and poverty rates. The second point that the increasing rural-urban migration resulted in abandoning of agricultural land, declining agricultural productivity and threatening food security and rural livelihood .This situation is exacerbated by the increasing number of IDPs due to the civil strife in the south and Darfur.
This valuable study deserves more than one column or article, so we hope to revert back to this vital issue again.
By Alula Berhe Kidani, E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org, 17/06/2012