Africa is facing the worst consequences of climate change, wildlife is in danger
During the “COP 27” conference in Egypt, climate activists emphasize the need to accelerate the achievement of climate goals and help developing countries compensate for the damages suffered as a result of natural disasters.
During Monday’s conference, Ugandan climate activist Leah Namugerwa asked world leaders attending the summit to speak as if they were in an emergency, because that is exactly what is happening.
She described how her life changed when she saw people close to her die in landslides caused by rainstorms in Uganda when she was just 14 years old.
This prompted her to start her own non-governmental association “Božićna drvca” at the age of 15, with which she invites people to celebrate tree planting during the holidays.
“My goal is to plant a million trees,” Namujiro asked world leaders. “What is your goal?”
And as the 27th climate summit was dubbed the “African Climate Summit”, Namujiroa urged those present to highlight the fact that her continent (Africa) is facing the worst consequences of climate change despite producing less than 4 percent of the world’s emissions.
She hoped that the African Conference of Parties would be a different conference, “Let the African Conference of Parties be a conference of action”.
UN News explained that Namojiro spoke out, challenging heads of state and government to consider whether they want to be remembered as leaders who “did nothing” while in power.
In Kenya, Kenyan Tourism Minister Benina Malunza said before the conference that her country’s drought had killed 205 elephants and dozens of other wild animals between February and October, at a time when large swathes of East Africa were suffering their worst drought in 40 years , reports Reuters.
Although intermittent rains have recently started in the region, the Kenya Meteorological Service expects below-average rains in most parts of the country in the coming months, raising fears that threats to Kenya’s wildlife are far from over.
“Drought causes wildlife to die due to depletion of food sources as well as lack of water,” Malunza, who is the minister of tourism, wildlife and heritage in her country’s government, told a press conference.
She stated that 14 species of organisms were affected by the drought.
In addition to the death of elephants, 512 African antelopes, 381 zebras, etc. died as a result of the drought in the same period, some of them in national parks, which are a major tourist attraction of the country.
The news of the damage to wildlife in Kenya, where tourism accounts for about ten percent of economic output and employs more than two million people, came a few days before the start of COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh.
One of the highlights of Monday’s meeting at COP27 was the screening of a 10-minute film produced by the host country on giant 360-degree screens inside the conference room.
The film included the audio of a moving song detailing the responses the ancient Egyptian civilization used to adapt to climate change.
The globe map was dotted with red flags to show the places that suffered disasters in 2022 alone, and these dots covered almost the entire world.
From Oman to France, from Brazil to Sudan, stark images of devastation are shown alongside the testimonies of victims of climate change, including children.
The video also showed that famous locations like Alexandria, Osaka, Rio de Janeiro, Maldives, Miami and Venice could simply disappear due to climate change.
A sobbing Venetian pleaded, “Please do all you can to save our city.”
However, the video ended on a hopeful note, stressing that the planet is constantly giving us opportunities for governments to make changes, switch to renewable energy and spend more ethically.
“The climate is changing us all,” said a woman reading the film’s script, urging world leaders to mitigate our current challenges, just as the ancient Egyptians learned, giving their civilization another 500 years of survival.
Is financing the solution to Africa’s crisis?
Environmental expert May Jurdi opined, in a previous interview with Al-Hurra, that “it is true that developing countries have not affected emissions much, but they have been seriously affected by the repercussions of the climate crisis.”
And she continued: “The problem is that waste and corruption prevail in third world countries, and they spend their resources without developing a strategy to achieve results,” stressing that “funding, if not accompanied by reforms, is useless.”
In this context, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, confirmed in an interview with “CNBC” that only the help of the governments of developed countries will not be enough to bridge the gap in financing climate change initiatives in developing countries.
To close the gap between what is needed and what can be delivered, Georgieva noted that more private investment is needed to help developing countries meet their climate change goals.
“It is important, over the coming months, to create opportunities for private investment in developing countries,” she added.
To help developing countries adapt to the climate crisis, the United Nations called for “increased funding and implementation of measures” ahead of the Sharm el-Sheikh summit.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres predicted that “adaptation needs in developing countries will rise to $340 billion a year by 2030. However, adaptation support today is less than a tenth of that amount,” condemning that “the most vulnerable are people and communities are and those who pay the price”, and believes that “this is unacceptable”.