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ENVIRONMENT AND
CLIMATE CHANGE

Presentation

By

Dr. James Kamara

United Nations Environment Programme



Rotary Meeting


Nairobi, Kenya, 18 November 2009

1. INTRODUCTION

Six major areas or dimensions of the environment within
which the instruments of economic development are
anchored


Atmosphere


Land


Forests


Freshwater


Biodiversity


Coastal


Marine

These areas provide the environment on which, for
instance, rural and urban settlements and other systems
and facilities are built

INTRODUCTION Cont’d

Environment provides ecosystems goods and services

Provisionary


Food


Plants and animal products


Genetic materials, biochemical and pharmaceutical


Fuel/energy


Freshwater


Fibre


Non
-
living materials (building and crafts materials)

INTRODUCTION Cont’d

Regulatory


Purification of air and water


Mitigation of floods and droughts


Detoxification and decomposition of wastes


Renewal of soil and soil fertility


Pollination of crops and natural vegetation


Dispersal of seeds and translocation of nutrients


Maintenance of biodiversity from which humanity derives
key elements of agricultural, medicinal and industrial
enterprise


Control of a vast majority of potential agricultural pests



INTRODUCTION Cont’d


Partial stabilization of climate


Protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays


Moderation of temperature extremes and force of winds
and waves


Carbon sinks


Cultural or enriching


Aesthetic


Cultural and spiritual values


Social relations values


Education and scientific values

2. ENVIRONMENT
VULNERABILITY TO CLIMATE
CHANGE

Earth’s climate has always changed and evolved

Climate changes due to:



Natural causes e. g. earth’s movements


Human activities e. g deforestation and atmospheric
emission from industry and transport


Emissions are gases and aerosols or greenhouse gases
(GHGs) stored in the atmosphere


Greenhouse trap heat and raise temperature near the
ground


acting like a greenhouse on the surface of the
planet


ENVIRONMENT VULNERABILITY
TO CLIMATE CHANGE Cont’d


Global warming has begun to affect the
sea level, snow cover, ice sheets and
rainfall


Already affecting watersheds and
ecosystems in many parts of the world


Africa facing greatest catastrophe in
human history


2.4 to 5.4 C temperature rises already
predicted



ENVIRONMENT VULNERABILITY
TO CLIMATE CHANGE Cont’d


Many parts of Africa will face increase in
droughts, floods, diseases (such as
malaria, dengue fever and cholera) and
other extreme events leading to stress in
water resources, food security, human
health and infrastructure


About 67 million more people could be
affected by malaria epidemics by the
2080s




ENVIRONMENT VULNERABILITY
TO CLIMATE CHANGE Cont’d


Grain yield to decrease, diminishing food security



Sea level rise affect coastal communities and coastal
erosion especially in the Western, Eastern and Southern
African coast



Impacts directly related to environmental resources


atmosphere, land ,forests, freshwater, biodiversity,
coastal and marine resources



All these will constrain development

ENVIRONMENT VULNERABILITY
TO CLIMATE CHANGE Cont’d


Changes in ecosystems arising from
climate have large effects on the
provision of ecosystems goods and
services and wider social and
economic effects



ENVIRONMENT VULNERABILITY
TO CLIMATE CHANGE Cont’d


Climate change will alter quality and
functioning of ecosystems, reducing their
capacity to perform their role as important
life support systems



For example damage coral reefs can
cause reduction of fish stocks thereby
jeopardizing fish and tourism dependent
livelihoods




ENVIRONMENT VULNERABILITY
TO CLIMATE CHANGE Cont’d


Poor people heavily dependent goods and
services from ecosystems


either as
primary or supplementary source of food,
fodder, building materials, fuel and
medicines


Poor people highly vulnerable to
ecosystems degradation and climate
change



3. THE WAY FOWARD

Objective of the Convention on Climate
Change is to stabilize greenhouse gas
concentration in the atmosphere through
mitigation and adaptation measures:


Mitigation to reduce the sources of GHGs
or enhance the sinks of GHGS


Adaptation to reduce vulnerability to
negative impacts of climate change


THE WAY FORWARD Cont’d

Collective and individual measures to reduce
vulnerability to climate change using their assets
or capital


Social


Social networks


Natural
-

Environmental resources


Physical
-

Infrastructure


Human


Accessible information/collective
decision making


Financial
-

Resource mobilization and insurance
to reduce financial risks

THE WAY FORWARD Cont’d

Areas for individual or collective actions to reduce
vulnerability and attain green economy:


Water resources management


Land resources management


Forest resources management


Health


Agriculture


Industry and Infrastructure development


Fragile ecosystems management


Marine and coastal zone management


Climate change related disaster management






THANK YOU