How Much Can Africa Offer in Combating Climate Change?


As we approach the UN summit on Climate Change scheduled to take place in Copenhagen next week, many people fail to understand the contributions Africa can offer in order to alleviate the Climate Change menace. Forget about the emissions cuts and the fancy technologies when we talk about African contributions. However, there are huge forest resources in Africa stretching from parts of Guinea Conakry through parts of Cameroon to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). According to Gettu (the Guardian newspaper, Saturday 5 Dec. 2009), African forests represent a major carbon storehouse, and they take in about 20 % of the total carbon absorbed by trees across the world. Therefore, the deal in Copenhagen next week for Africa is simple. They need more money for sustainable development projects( in agriculture, renewables, forestry management, eco-tourism, etc) in return for safeguarding the forests so that these forests continue to function as carbon storehouses for all.
By Kawsu cesay.


2 Responses to “How Much Can Africa Offer in Combating Climate Change?”

  1. rlinton Says:

    This would certainly be one step towards ensuring sustainable development while preserving current environemntal resources. But I suspect a far more elaborate deal will be needed in order to reverse climate change. For example where are the trees that are taking in the other 80% of carbon absorbtion? What efforts are needed to ensure that they are protected as well? And how are these sustainable development projects to be funded, and in themselves made financially sustainable?

  2. Chikaj Says:

    Africans need to seek ways to sustain their environment independently (i.e. without seeking funds from developed countries). By commoning at national and local levels, they can come up with innovative ideas geared towards sustainable development. Though there are few examples of projects that have been successful through these means (Commoning), unfortunately some required foreign assistance.
    The forest conservation project in Udzungwa Tanzania, the Mafi-Dekpoe water project in the Tongu district of Ghana and the Kianyaga dam project in Kenya are very recent examples. In the first two projects, the communities maintained links with western organisations that supported them financially. However, in the Kenyan project, the aid they received was purely human capital (a Dutch Industrial designer and social engineer) while the rest of the project was predominantly funded and managed by the community.
    With such innovative models (especially the Kenyan project), Africans will get to a point where they will stop begging and start giving

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