News

Countries Affected by Climate Change Look to Summit for Help

Relief officials in Africa say environmental studies since the 1970's have shown the steady advance of the desert and irregular rains cause floods and drought in Sahelian countries

Multimedia

Audio

As officials from more than 100 nations begin talks in Copenhagen on a new global climate deal, Sahelian countries already affected by climate change want the conference to help them adapt to shifting agricultural production.  

At the last global climate change conference in Kyoto, the United Nations established a fund to address the "urgent and immediate" needs of developing countries.

The Least Developed Countries Fund prioritized more than 400 climate-change projects.  But eight years later, a study by the Danish government says just one of those projects has been funded.

Relief officials in Africa say the Copenhagen must do a better job of addressing the needs of developing countries.  Thomas Yanga directs operations for the U.N. World Food Program in West and Central Africa.

For some people, climate change is a new phenomena that will impact them in the future.  But Yanga says many others have been living with the negative consequences of climate change for years.

In Sahelian countries, for example, Yanga says environmental studies since the 1970's have shown the steady advance of the desert and irregular rains that cause floods and drought.

Yanga says the World Food Program hopes the Copenhagen summit takes into account communities that are already living with the impact of climate change and are now more vulnerable to changes in their way of live.  Climatic studies predict agricultural production in Sahelian countries could be cut in half by 2020.

Yanga says one of the most significant impacts of climate change is the migration of people abandoning lands where they have lived for centuries.  He says the World Food Program is working to stabilize the environmental impact of climate change by planting trees, re-fertilizing soil, and better managing limited supplies of water.

Yanga says for the Copenhagen summit, the World Food Program is asking donors to help people live decently by ensuring food security in areas affected by climate change, where  there are already higher rates of malnutrition.

Poor rains in the Sahel this year mean harvests for staple food crops will likely be one-third lower than normal levels in Niger, northern Nigeria, central Chad and northeastern Mali and Burkina Faso.  

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs