Global Warming; are the African victims or guilty ?
Global warming represents a major concern because of its effects on life on earth. The increase of temperature has been significant in recent years, which are considered the hottest; they recorded peaks, never equalled, particularly the years 1991, 1995.1998.
If the earth has experienced warming in the past these were due to natural causes, such as solar activity, astronomical factors etc. But today they are due mainly to anthropogenic activities, that is to say they are man-made. The phenomenon of global warming is characterized by an atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), the causes of these concentrations are directly related to the industrial revolution, as well as various human activities.
the consequences of global warming affect all countries of the planet and the negative impacts are sometimes catastrophic and shared by everyone, but are supported more by the poorest because more vulnerable, especially as their capacity to adapt to changes is minimal, if any, whose livelihoods often depend on resources depending on the climate, the fact remains that the responsibility can’t be shared in the same way.
Indeed, the development known by the Northern Hemisphere during the last century has completely changed the chemistry of the atmosphere, and led to irreparable damage to the environment and the West has built its welfare not only at the expense of the earth, but also at the expense of the inhabitants of other continents, who bear the consequences, without receiving the benefits. Negative impacts of this climate change on poor countries, especially African countries are beginning to be felt, they are characterized by:
- A decrease in rainfall leading to a significant reduction in water resources and shortage of drinking water.
- An accentuated desertification and land degradation;
- A fragile ecosystem
- A change in the traditional agricultural calendar and the shortening cycle plant, causing a decrease in agricultural production;
- An increased degradation of forests,
- Periods of drought longer;
- Threats of floods; - A deterioration of the health of populations, due to a faster spread of infectious factors.
But more importantly, the exodus of millions of people to the north, causing waves of refugees, with its corollary; diseases, famines, plagues, etc.
Africa is a continent rich in natural resources, including minerals, biodiversity, forests, fauna and flora, fish resources and water, it also provides the largest tropical forests, and the second largest lake of fresh water by its size. Agriculture remains the primary source of livelihood for more than 60% of Africans.
Although Africa contributes only a small part in global production of greenhouse gases estimated at less than 3% of total carbon dioxide emissions. It remains the poorest continent and the most threatened by the phenomenon of global warming, whose consequences were not made to wait, so periods of acute drought occur, such as tropical forests, that no one would deny their role in global regulation of climate is being deteriorating, rivers are bogged down, depleted natural resources, plant and animal species are dying, entire populations are displaced, poverty is widespread, more than 50% of Africans live below the poverty line, more than 30% suffer from malnutrition, less than 50% of the population has access to drinking water.
Conflicts in some regions of Africa aggravate further undermine its already precarious situation.
The vulnerability of Africa to the impacts of climate change, growing more and more, and threatens an entire continent, in total disregard of the international community, the few sporadic actions initiated by international bodies, or returning to the Action Plan of the Environment Initiative of the New Partnership for Africa's Development “NEPAD”, do not leave the framework of temporary solutions or remedies which tend to calm down instead of cure, even more they serve to promote much more the diplomatic and media images of their founders, than the rescue of a continent that sank into the maze of the unknown, these actions should be placed in the case of good intentions but no more.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, some enlightened still discuss of the quite absurd relationship between poverty and climate change and the influence of one over the other. Some believe that it is poverty that affects the climate change and not the contrary, that the poor survive by trying to use models of exploitation of natural resources that threaten ecosystems and biodiversity and therefore contribute to the accentuation of the phenomenon of global warming, but by forgetting that poverty is ultimately a result of massive exploitation, not considered and unfair of natural resources of Africa, drawn by colonial powers in the past of one hand, and industrialization all over the place and the adverse impacts that know no borders, on the other.
Are the African countries condemned to pay the heavy bill in place of the developed countries, and what development models will they adopt? The search for solutions to stem poverty, is it compatible with the principles of preserving and protecting the environment? This is possible, but must go through the quest for sustainable development that can respond to these questions, which encompasses both poverty reduction and environmental conservation, but remains dependent on the will of the international community, and especially the developed countries to recognize their responsibility in the first place, to move beyond good intentions and focus on the effective implementation of programs and actions likely to revive if only a glimmer of hope for a brighter future for the poor by eliminating more sacrifices because, It is also important that the Africans must know that continue to wait for the alms of the West will eventually make them accomplices, not victims.
By CHAALAL MOULAY