Culled from AllAfrica.
Abuja — Nigeria preps to become the world’s 20th largest economy, its leaders are looking at ways to lessen the impacts of climate change and grow the country’s economy with a reduced carbon footprint.
In 2012, during the rainy season, flooding killed nearly 400 people, displaced an estimated 3.8 million more, damaged oil production facilities and destroyed homes and businesses. Today, the government, along with its international partners, is taking steps to rebuild, and making climate resiliency and low-carbon growth part of its development plans.
Two new reports from the World Bank, Toward Climate-Resilient Development in Nigeria and Low-Carbon Development Opportunities for Nigeria, examine the many challenges Nigeria faces from potential climate change effects in several sectors, such as agriculture, energy and water management.
In agriculture, which accounts for 40 percent of the country’s GDP and employs 70 percent of Nigeria’s people, higher temperatures and more erratic rainfall could contribute to a long-term 20-30-percent reduction in crop yields, according to the reports.
Climate change impacts the production of livestock by reducing feed and increasing thermal stress to animals. Declining domestic yields could lead to a 40 percent increase in rice imports in a country where much of the fast-growing population depends on rice as a staple of its diet.
“Various climate models indicate that average temperatures across Nigeria are expected to rise an average of 1-2°C by 2050 and even more during the winter,” says Raffaello Cervigni, Lead Environmental Economist at the World Bank and author of the two reports. “In this way, climate change is likely to make food, energy, and water security harder for Nigeria to achieve.”
According to Cervigni, these likely impacts will be felt the most by the country’s poorer segments of the population which have less means to adapt and diversify the sources of their livelihoods.
A Way Forward
The reports, launching on June 10 in Abuja, propose specific policies, technologies, and other solutions to help Nigeria develop its economy while remaining climate resilient.
Toward Climate-Resilient Development in Nigeria takes a comprehensive look at the potential impacts of climate change on agriculture, livestock, and water resource management.
According to the report, to help protect vulnerable rain-fed crops against the harsher climate of the future, farmers can incorporate sustainable land management practices such as agroforestry – where trees are integrated with crops, animals, or both to provide shade and natural fertilization – and conservation agriculture methods such as low or no tillage, which reduces soil depletion…
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