“Poor people already live on the front lines of poverty, environmental degradation and  natural disaster. Their livelihood...
climate change        Regional impacts and humanitarian implications        Charles Ehrhart        CARE International     ...
key regional impacts                   Increasing temperatures and a                   reduction in the difference between...
changing intensity of hazards (focus on floods and droughts)                Scientists have documented an                in...
floods         During the next 20-30 year period, it is         unlikely that we will see significant         changes in whe...
This map shows humanitarian risk        hotspots for flooding in the East Africa          region based on the interaction o...
drought         During the next 20-30 year period, it is         unlikely that we will see significant changes         in w...
This map shows ‘drought risk    hotspots’ based on the interaction    of extreme and significant drought          hazards w...
growing vulnerability                 “Vulnerability” refers to the likelihood                 that individuals, communiti...
food & water                 Climatic changes will                 contribute to water stress,                 land degrad...
population & displacement                 Populations affected by intensifying                 hazards may come under subs...
conflict hotspots                  The risk that weather-related                  conditions will trigger human-           ...
women and climate change       •        Climate change affects women’s economic                insecurity more than men’s....
key conclusions                  We can make reasonably certain projections about the nature of floods and droughts        ...
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Humanitarian Impacts Of Climate Change In East Africa Region, 2009

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Presentation to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (East Africa Regional Mission)

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Humanitarian Impacts Of Climate Change In East Africa Region, 2009

  1. 1. “Poor people already live on the front lines of poverty, environmental degradation and natural disaster. Their livelihoods and food security depend directly on agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Their economies will suffer most from the heightened frequency of extreme droughts, floods and storms associated with climate change.” Kofi AnnanFriday, January 28, 2011 1
  2. 2. climate change Regional impacts and humanitarian implications Charles Ehrhart CARE International Poverty, Environment and Climate Change Network CoordinatorFriday, January 28, 2011 2
  3. 3. key regional impacts Increasing temperatures and a reduction in the difference between day and night time temperatures Changes in the amount of rainfall - wet places will get wetter while dry places become drier. Overall, annual mean rainfall in the East Africa is expected to increase. Changes in when the rain falls - seasons are becoming less predictable An increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather (esp. heavy rainfall and the intensity, duration and frequency of droughts)Friday, January 28, 2011 3When we hear references to “global warming,” people are only talking about the way in which human behavior is increasing our planet’s temperature. However,this is triggering a wide range of climatic changes - e.g. shifting seasons (winters/rains arrive later in the year), changing rainfall levels, increasing intensity and/orfrequency of floods, droughts, hurricanes, etc. One way of understanding this connection is to draw from our own experience: Have you ever looked into a pot ofwater that you are heating on the stove? At first, the water is still. As you add more heat/energy to the water, you begin to see swirling convection currents. Thesame thing is happening in our atmosphere - as we add more heat/energy to the system, it becomes more dynamic, more turbulent... and more chaotic.“Climate” typically refers to weather conditions averaged across 30 years (a period recommended by the World Meteorological Organization). An easy wayto understand the difference between “climate” and “weather” is to think: “climate” is what you expect to happen (this time of year is hot), “weather” is whatyou actually get (today was mild).
  4. 4. changing intensity of hazards (focus on floods and droughts) Scientists have documented an increase in the frequency of temperature extremes, an increase in areas affected by drought, increasingly frequent heavy precipitation events, shifting wind patterns and changing cyclone tracks. During the next 20-30 year period, the intensity, frequency, duration and extent of weather-related hazards will increase in East and Central Africa.Friday, January 28, 2011 4
  5. 5. floods During the next 20-30 year period, it is unlikely that we will see significant changes in where floods occur. However, we are likely to see: An intensification of the water cycle and a polarisation of rainfall patterns. In general, wet places will get wetter while dry places become drier. The frequency of heavy precipitation events is also likely to increase over most land areas in East Africa. These changes will result in more flash floods and large-area floods.Friday, January 28, 2011 5
  6. 6. This map shows humanitarian risk hotspots for flooding in the East Africa region based on the interaction of extreme and significant flood hazards with high overall human vulnerability. Also shown are areas with significant or extreme flood hazard but lower human vulnerability and areas where climate models predict an increase in extreme precipitation, as an indicator of possible future increases in flood risk.Friday, January 28, 2011 6
  7. 7. drought During the next 20-30 year period, it is unlikely that we will see significant changes in where droughts occur. However, we are likely to see: Widespread changes in annual and seasonal levels of rainfall Shifts in the timing of rainfall Longer dry periods in many parts of the world An increase in the number, intensity and duration of droughts An expansion of areas currently affected by droughtFriday, January 28, 2011 7
  8. 8. This map shows ‘drought risk hotspots’ based on the interaction of extreme and significant drought hazards with high overall human vulnerability. Also shown are areas with significant or extreme drought hazard but lower human vulnerability and areas where climate models predict an increase in dry periods, as an indicator of possible future increases in drought risk.Friday, January 28, 2011 8
  9. 9. growing vulnerability “Vulnerability” refers to the likelihood that individuals, communities or societies will be harmed by a hazard. It is determined by a combination of physical, social, economic, political and environmental factors or processes - including the character, magnitude and rate of climate change, as well as the variation people are exposed to, their sensitivity and coping capacity. The day-to-day impacts of climate change, such as higher temperatures and erratic rainfall, are increasing many people’s vulnerability to hazards.Friday, January 28, 2011 9
  10. 10. food & water Climatic changes will contribute to water stress, land degradation, lower crop yields and increased risk of wild fire. 50% decline in agricultural productivity by 2020 (rainfed, lowland agriculture) The consequences, including food and water shortages, could be severe. As a result of climate change, between 75 to 250 million people in Africa will not have enough water to meet their basic needs by 2020.Friday, January 28, 2011 10
  11. 11. population & displacement Populations affected by intensifying hazards may come under substantial pressure to migrate. Prolonged droughts exert the greatest pressure on households to move – particularly from rural to urban areas. In the Horn of Africa alone there are more than 20 million pastoralists currently living a lifestyle that is centred on the search for increasingly scarce pasture and water.Friday, January 28, 2011 11
  12. 12. conflict hotspots The risk that weather-related conditions will trigger human- induced disasters is especially acute in drought prone parts of the world. Climate change raises the risk of conflict in parts of central and east Africa.Friday, January 28, 2011 12
  13. 13. women and climate change • Climate change affects women’s economic insecurity more than men’s. • Gender-based roles and restrictions create obstacle to women coping with and recovering from disasters. • Girl children are the first ones to be pulled out of school when livelihoods become stressedFriday, January 28, 2011 13
  14. 14. key conclusions We can make reasonably certain projections about the nature of floods and droughts during the next 20 to 30 years. As a useful rule of thumb, areas already affected by weather-related hazards will see an increase in their frequency and/or intensity. There will also be an expansion of areas already affected by drought and floods. Even though weather-related hazards will get worse during the next 20 to 30 years, people’s declining capacity to cope with hazard events may be a greater problem. We should prepare for more quick- and slow-onset disasters as a result of climatic changes. The need for humanitarian assistance will be particularly acute in areas already identified as being at higher risk. Climate change provides an imperative to increase investment in, as well as improve quality and accountability vis-à-vis, disaster preparedness and response. Natural resource based livelihoods in already marginal ecosystems throughout the Horn of Africa may become non-viable by 2025.Friday, January 28, 2011 14

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