Climate change is driving many of the poorest people in West Africa dangerously close to the edge of survival. Climate change will have major impacts on poor livestock farmers and on the ecosystems, goods and services on which they depend. These impacts will include changes in the productivity of rain-fed crops and forage, reduced water availability and more widespread water shortages, and changes in the severity and distribution of significant crop, livestock and human diseases. As a result, major changes can be anticipated in livestock systems related to livestock species mixes, crops grown, and feed resources and feeding strategies.
The effects of climate change
Scientists have concluded that human activities are changing our climate system:
- Surface temperatures have increased, and associated impacts on physicaland biological systems are increasingly being observed
- Sea level will rise
- Climatic zones are shifting due to increased temperatures and changes inprecipitation patterns
- Climate change will increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, and storms.
All in all scientists tell us that the effects of climate change will alter the fate of many generations to come and particularly impact on the poor if no appropriate measures are taken.
Impact of climate change on the poor
Generally, climate change is superimposed on existing vulnerabilities. In the near future it will:
- Reduce access to drinking water
- Negatively affect the health of poor people
- Pose a real threat to food security in West Africa
FECCIWA is aware that climate change is only one of the many factors influencing poverty. Therefore we are advocating immediate action to adapt to climate change impacts.
About our campaign
Climate change is threatening to undermine our efforts to achieve human and social development in West Africa. Erratic rainfall or constant droughts - associated with climate change – are currently jeopardizing agriculture in many West African states. The heaviest burden associated with climate change today is being borne by the poorest of the poor in many countries in West Africa. The question remains, how can we as churches respond to this unprecedented rate of climate change in our efforts to service God's people?
In order to mitigate the effects of climate change on the poorest of the poor and to protect our natural environment we are advocating adaptation measures to ensure sustainable development and poverty reduction strategies. Therefore FECCIWA advocates strengthening adaptation efforts by:
- Co-operating with governments to improve good governance on behalf of the
- Co-operating with national decision-makers to ensure that adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change fosters the realization of fundamental human rights and builds social, economic and environmental resilience
- Integrating climate issues into national strategies for sustainable development
- Empowering communities to participate in assessments of climate change and poverty reduction
- Developing an international engagement strategy that puts pressure on the industrialized countries primarily responsible for historic emissions to compensate all affected countries, groups and people for the adverse effects of climate change.
We would like to thank our partners for supporting our work. Our donors' funds are used carefully to support our efforts to reduce the damaging effects of climate change. We are grateful for your help and hope you will continue to provide assistance in the future..
We particularly acknowledge the support of:
• The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, Nairobi, Kenya
• KAIROS, Toronto, Canada