Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Regreening Africa




No matter what happens at Copenhagen or beyond, the world is locked in to decades of temperature rise and the associated climate impacts: deeper droughts, fiercer floods, more pests. How populations in the global South adapt to these changes will help decide whether millions of people live or die.


The tragic irony about global climate change, is that it will affect the poorest nations of the global south the hardest. This, despite the fact that these nations have contributed very little to the crisis. No wonder earlier this month African delegates threatened to upset climate talks in Barcelona if the US and rich countries don't live up to their committments and accept responsibility for global climate change. Activist Naomi Klein has even gone as far to declare that rich nations owe a debt to the poor nations of the world for the global climate crisis. In the midst of these developments, Mark Hertsgaard examines how many who live on the continent are sowing the seeds--literally--towards countering the damaging environmental effects of this looming man-made disaster.



Regreening Africa

By Mark Hertsgaard

November 19, 2009

The sun is setting on another scorching hot day in the western African nation of Burkina Faso. But here on the farm of Yacouba Sawadogo, the air is noticeably cooler. A hatchet slung over his shoulder, the gray-bearded farmer strides through his woods and fields with the easy grace of a much younger man. "Climate change is a subject I feel I have something to say about," he says in his tribal language, Moré, which he delivers in a deep, unhurried rumble. Though he cannot read or write, Sawadogo is a pioneer of a tree-based approach to farming that has transformed the western Sahel in recent years, while providing one of the most hopeful examples on earth of how even very poor people can adapt to the ravages of climate change.

Read full article here.

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