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Climate Change Reporting in Africa Media Training Workshop October 8th-10th 2010 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia What is politics? Write on three cards what politics means to you. Each card should have single word Politics and Climate Change Minus Pointing Fingers Patrick Luganda Media Trainer and Consultant Climate Change and Politics Climate and politics make poor bed fellows as history tells us Climate is the most unpredictable and troublesome challenge for politicians Over 70% of natural disasters are climate relatedWMO Drought leads to increase in hunger Hunger leads to anger and discontent Widespread food insecurity leads to national insecurity Climate Change and Politics And consequently political social instability Death, injury to person and health insecurity Destruction of infrastructure, property Reversal of economic gains. Potential to disrupt socio-economic dev. Climate Change and Politics The implications can be mind boggling and have the unpleasant potential of causing the collapse of the political order. Politicians know this only too well and history is littered with examples of politics and climate What is Climate/ Climate Change Weather: the observed Temperature, precipitation and other atmospheric conditions over small area in time in a given geographical locality What is Climate: Observed weather ( T & P) cover a long period of time What of Climate Variability-variations in observed climate conditions later leading to confirmation of climate change Then Climate Change? But Climate change is the variation in the Earth’s global climate or in regional climates over a long time. It can involve changes in the average state of the atmosphere over long periods ranging from decades to millions of years Climate Change In Africa Climate change already affecting crucial sectors Environment, agriculture, tourism, power generation, food security, poverty, health, urban rural migration and destroying the cohesive family unit and social disorders National policies and development goals such as National Plans of action and internationally linked agreements such as MDGs Why Address Climate Change Now? Economic development Adaptation at the national, community and household levels Public awareness Mitigation actions by the national government Mobilization of public support Regional Situation Regional Cooperation in East, West, Southern and Central Africa need to urgently address issue. Move away from lip service African Union plays a leading role-CLIMDEV United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change World Meteorological Organization World Health Organization Millennium Development Goals Cartagena Protocol/Biodiversity National budgets and planning Climate Change Causes These changes can be caused by dynamic process on Earth, external forces including variations in sunlight intensity, and more recently by human activities These are well documented by the science community particularly the IPCCC Reports Linking Climate Change and Politics Experts argue weakened and failing states will witness a rise in extremism, internal conflicts, radical ideologies, and dictators clinging on to power These scenarios lead to a dramatic increase in humanitarian-assistance and crisis response missions by the international community. However, the most dangerous and potentially destabilizing impact of climate change is mass migration. Political Response to Climate Change As the world’s population continues to grow (an increase of over a billion people in just the past 12 years), migratory pressures become a major concern and a reality Libya is cooperating with the EU in a multi billion project to prevent the further migration of unwanted refugees to Europe When extreme climate conditions occur, there is a reactionary response by an increase in migrations to the large urban centers and cities (Masaai, Karimojong migrations 1984 to date) Conflicts such as in Darfur, pastoral communities have a strong climate correlation as do others around the globe Social Political scenarios Nations unable to respond and adapt to the migratory impacts of climate change are literally forcing citizens to seek greener pastures. Migrations within nations and regions, and across borders and continents, are hugely destabilizing events – for the nations being evacuated and those being populated. ( Refer to Sahel Region and Mediterranean Crescent) Negative Impacts Disorder Poverty Cultural conflict Overtaxed social welfare systems These are consequences of human migrations from have-not nations, and are serious challenges to the haves. Political Response to CC Populations these environments will face lifethreatening conditions with reduced water supplies, decreasing agricultural productivity, ill health, and forced mass migrations. Experts call it the scenario the “threat multiplier” As impacts are felt, regional states will realize they lack capacity to adapt to the effects of climate change. The threats will multiply further as resentment builds to the developed world, seen as responsible for the climate crisis. Current State of Affairs Many nations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East already stagger under the weight of extreme poverty, hunger, social unrest, and political instability Climate change will make matters worse by further eroding the legitimacy of many governments and heightening international security concerns. Take it or Leave It Asia: Fresh water for millions from glaciers may not exist by mid-century. Middle East : Rising seas threaten to contaminate aquifers, reducing precious fresh water resources Africa: Diminishing resources due to persistent drought, flooding and land use changes and pressure leading to conflicts. Land for crops and animals is turning to desert. The Way Forward This presentation has been intended to attune your mind out of the Climate Change box to see reporting on Climate Change from a wider perspective and prepare you for the next part Cancun, Mexico is only two months away, the media especially in Africa needs to discuss the international debate from informed positions on the Politics and Climate Change References: Report of the USA Military Advisory Board. “freedom’s Challenge” the Atlantic Council's book celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall Military Advisory Board Publication (2007)- “ Climate, Energy and the Dominant Challenges of the 21st Century. Linkages Between war and Temperature Change by David Zhang of the University of Hong Kong ( analyzed world history back to A.D. 1400 to find linkages between war and temperature changes) "Is Darfur the First Climate Change War?” Economist and Scientific American columnist Jeffrey Sachs at an event at Columbia University in 2007. "Don't doubt for a moment that places like Darfur are ecological disasters first and political disasters second. Miscellaneous literature data analysis.