Kategoriarkiv: Africa




Lancelot is the web application designed and produced by the Euro-Mediterranean Center on climate Change (CMCC) to provide an interactive, dynamic and integrated visualization of climate data on maps for a vast and differentiated audience. Select your indicators and explore hystorical data and climate projections provided by CMCC.


Hotspots of climate change impacts in Africa

pik africa may 2014

Potsdam PIK: Overlapping impacts of climate change such as drought or flooding, declining crop yields or ecosystem damages create hotspots of risk in specific parts of Africa. These are for the first time identified in a study now published by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The uncertainties in assessing the impacts do not necessarily hamper but can inform development strategies, according to the scientists. Likelihood and potential severity of impacts can be weighed to decide on suitable adaptation measures.

More: https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/hotspots-of-climate-change-impacts-in-africa-making-sense-of-uncertainties

Article: Müller, C., Waha, K., Bondeau, A., Heinke, J. (2014): Hotspots of climate change impacts in sub-Saharan Africa and implications for adaptation and development. Global Change Biology (online) [DOI:10.1111/gcb.12586]

Climate change to intensify important African weather systems

Stanford: Weather systems that bring rainstorms to many drought-prone areas of northern Africa, carry Saharan dust across the ocean and seed Atlantic hurricanes could grow stronger as a result of human-caused climate change, a new analysis by Stanford scientists suggests.  Known as African easterly waves, or AEWs, these weather systems form above northern Africa during the summer season and travel east to west, toward the Atlantic Ocean.

More: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/april/african-easterly-waves-042814.html

Journal Reference:

C. B. Skinner, N. S. Diffenbaugh. Projected changes in African easterly wave intensity and track in response to greenhouse forcing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1319597111

Nile Delta Disappearing Beneath the Sea

nile delta

IPS: Spread over 25,000 kilometres, the densely populated Nile Delta is the breadbasket of Egypt, accounting for two-thirds of the country’s agricultural production and home to 40 million people. Its northern flank, running 240 kilometres from Alexandria to Port Said, is one of the most vulnerable coastlines in the world, facing the triple threat of coastal erosion, saltwater infiltration, and rising sea levels.

more: http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/01/nile-delta-disappearing-beneath-sea/

Most at risk cities Dhaka, Mumbai, Manila, Kolkata, Bangkok – lowest risk in London, Paris

maplecroft 2013

The sixth annual release of Maplecroft’s Climate Change and Environmental Risk Atlas reveals that 31% of global economic output will be based in countries facing ‘high’ or ‘extreme risks’ from the impacts of climate change by the year 2025 – a 50% increase on current levels and more than double since the company began researching the issue in 2008.

When will climate change strike you?

climate departure

credit: Yahoo news: When will climate change strike you?

Phys.org : Ecological and societal disruptions by modern climate change are critically determined by the time frame over which climates shift. Camilo Mora and colleagues in the College of Social Sciences’ Department of Geography at the University of Hawaii, Manoa have developed one such time frame. The study, entitled “The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability,” will be published in the October 10 issue of Nature and provides an index of the year when the mean climate of any given location on Earth will shift continuously outside the most extreme records experienced in the past 150 years.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-10-reveals-urgent-climate.html#jCp


The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability

Camilo Mora, Abby G. Frazier, Ryan J. Longman, Rachel S. Dacks, Maya M. Walton, Eric J. Tong, Joseph J. Sanchez, Lauren R. Kaiser, Yuko O. Stender, James M. Anderson,

Christine M. Ambrosino, Iria Fernandez-Silva, Louise M. Giuseffi & Thomas W. Giambelluca

Nature 502, 183–187 (10 October 2013) doi:10.1038/nature12540

Received 25 April 2013 Accepted 06 August 2013 Published online 09 October 2013

climate departure


Spread of crop pests threatens global food security as Earth warms

University of Exeter: A new study has revealed that global warming is resulting in the spread of crop pests towards the North and South Poles at a rate of nearly 3 km a year.  The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change and carried out by researchers at the University of Exeter and the University of Oxford, shows a strong relationship between increased global temperatures over the past 50 years and expansion in the range of crop pests. Currently 10-16% of global crop production is lost to pests. Crop pests include fungi, bacteria, viruses, insects, nematodes, viroids and oomycetes. The diversity of crop pests continues to expand and new strains are continually evolving. Losses of major crops to fungi, and fungi-like microorganisms, amount to enough to feed nearly nine percent of today’s global population. The study suggests that these figures will increase further if global temperatures continue to rise as predicted.

Read more: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_316965_en.html


Crop pests and pathogens move polewards in a warming world

Daniel P. Bebber, Mark A. T. Ramotowski & Sarah J. Gurr

Nature Climate Change (2013) doi:10.1038/nclimate1990

Guardian: Hundreds of crop pests are advancing away from the tropics at a rate of nearly two miles a year, research has shown.  The mostly likely explanation for the trend is said to be climate change as rising temperatures make new habitats more inviting.  Pest invasions driven by global warming have serious implications for agriculture and food security, according to scientists.  Already, between 10% and 16% of global crop production is lost to pests such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, insects and worms.

Losses caused by fungi and fungi-like micro-organisms alone amount to enough to feed 8.5% of the global population.

read more: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/02/climate-change-crop-pests

Sahel: Recurrent Climate Shocks Propel Migration

Refugees International: Recurrent climate-related shocks in West Africa’s Sahel region are having severe impacts on vulnerable populations. Increasingly, those unable to feed themselves or their families have no option but to leave their villages, resorting to new forms of migration that bring with them serious protection risks.

Although the Sahel region is prone to droughts, over the past decade, marked changes in rainfall patterns have emerged. Rains have become more erratic in terms of quantity, timing, and geographic scope, making droughts and poor harvests more frequent. These changes are, in turn, having enormous impacts on the region’s livestock herders (pastoralists) and farmers who rely on crops to feed their animals (agro-pastoralists), given their dependence on rainfall for their livelihoods. This is especially the case for agro-pastoralists, for whom proper forecasting of the timing, location, and quantity of precipitation is crucial for planting. read more

What Climate Change Means for Africa, Asia and the Coastal Poor

wb 2013

World Bank: This report focuses on the risks of climate change to development in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and South Asia. Building on the 2012 report, Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided, this new scientific analysis examines the likely impacts of present day, 2°C and 4°C warming on agricultural production, water resources, and coastal vulnerability for affected populations. It finds many significant climate and development impacts are already being felt in some regions, and in some cases multiple threats of increasing extreme heat waves, sea level rise, more severe storms, droughts and floods are expected to have further severe negative implications for the poorest. Climate related extreme events could push households below the poverty trap threshold. High temperature extremes appear likely to affect yields of rice, wheat, maize and other important crops, adversely affecting food security. Promoting economic growth and the eradication of poverty and inequality will thus be an increasingly challenging task under future climate change. Immediate steps are needed to help countries adapt to the risks already locked in at current levels of 0.8°C warming, but with ambitious global action to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many of the worst projected climate impacts could still be avoided by holding warming below 2°C Read More

Guardian: World’s poorest will feel brunt of climate change, warns World Bank,  Droughts, floods, sea-level rises and fiercer storms likely to undermine progress in developing world and hit food supply

Changes in rainfall seasonality in the tropics

Nature climate change Early warning of climate tipping points - Nature Climate Change - Nature Publishing Group 2011-06-27 11-04-23

Climate change has altered not only the overall magnitude of rainfall but also its seasonal distribution and interannual variability worldwide. Such changes in the rainfall regimes will be most keenly felt in arid and semiarid regions, where water availability and timing are key factors controlling biogeochemical cycles5, primary productivity, and the phenology of growth and reproduction8, 9, 10, while also regulating agricultural production.

Xue Feng, Amilcare Porporato & Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe

Nature Climate Change (2013) doi:10.1038/nclimate1907

98% of all displacement in 2012 was related to climate- and weather-related events

idcm 2012

IDCM: The Global Estimates report reveals that 32.4 million people were forced to flee their homes in 2012 by disasters such as floods, storms and earthquakes. While Asia and west and central Africa bore the brunt, 1.3 million were displaced in rich countries, with the USA particularly affected.

98% of all displacement in 2012 was related to climate- and weather-related events, with flood disasters in India and Nigeria accounting for 41% of global displacement in 2012. In India, monsoon floods displaced 6.9 million, and in Nigeria 6.1 million people were newly displaced. While over the past five years 81% of global displacement has occurred in Asia, in 2012 Africa had a record high for the region of 8.2 million people newly displaced, over four times more than in any of the previous four years.


Malawians rethink maize planting as climate dries

By Karen Sanje

MZUZU, Malawi (AlertNet) – Less than three years after Ezelina Nyirongo reluctantly abandoned cultivation of her favourite local maize varieties, the 48-year-old from Rumphi in northern Malawi is thinking of going back to them.   Back in 2010, Nyirongo was advised by agricultural extension officers working in her area, near the city of Mzuzu, to switch from late-maturing local maize to new hybrid varieties.


New data tool tracks emerging conflict trends in Africa

africa robert strauss

AlertNet: By combining mapping, analysis and raw data from thousands of emerging and historical conflicts, the CCAPS Conflict Dashboard enables users to assess trends and detailed event data simultaneously.

Users can also relate these trends to a range of socioeconomic factors incorporated in the tool, created by the Strauss Centre’s Climate Change and African Political Stability programme (CCAPS) at the University of Texas at Austin. More

New Research Shows Complexity of Global Warming


Global warming from greenhouse gases affects rainfall patterns in the world differently than that from solar heating, according to a study by an international team of scientists in the January 31 issue of Nature. Using computer model simulations, the scientists, led by Jian Liu (Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Bin Wang (International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa), showed that global rainfall has increased less over the present-day warming period than during the Medieval Warm Period, even though temperatures are higher today than they were then. More

Nature: Divergent global precipitation changes induced by natural versus anthropogenic forcing, Nature 493, 656–659 (31 January 2013) doi:10.1038/nature11784

As a result of global warming, precipitation is likely to increase in high latitudes and the tropics and to decrease in already dry subtropical regions

10 places climate change kills the most people


DARA: The Climate Vulnerability Monitor 2nd Edition reveals that climate change has already held back global development and inaction is a leading global cause of death. Harm is most acute for poor and vulnerable groups but no country is spared either the costs of inaction or the benefits of an alternative path.  Commissioned by the world’s most vulnerable countries and backed by high-level and technical panels, the new Monitor estimates human and economic impacts of climate change and the carbon economy for 184 countries in 2010 and 2030, across 34 indicators. Continue

The Wall Street Journal: Global climate change and pollution from the use of fossil fuels killed nearly 5 million people around the world in 2010, according to a report released earlier this year by climate change advocacy group DARA. By 2030, this figure will rise to nearly 6 million deaths, the group’s second annual climate vulnerability monitor estimates. Continue

Hunger may be largest health impact of climate change

hunger alertnet www.trust.org

LONDON (AlertNet) – Malnutrition is likely to be the most serious health threat linked to climate shifts in the coming decades, as farmers struggle to cope with more unpredictable weather, a top health expert has said.

Linkages between climate change, extreme weather and health have so far focused mainly on an expected increase in deaths from disasters and heat waves, as well as rising cases of malaria, dengue fever and diarrhoea. Continue

World confronts serious water crisis

InterAction Council: The world today confronts a water crisis with critical implications for peace, political stability and economic development, experts warn in a new report issued jointly by the InterAction Council (IAC), a group of 40 prominent former government leaders and heads of state, United Nations University, and Canada’s Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation.

“The future political impact of water scarcity may be devastating,” says former Canadian Prime Minister and IAC co-chair Jean Chrétien. “Using water the way we have in the past simply will not sustain humanity in future. The IAC is calling on the United Nations Security Council to recognize water as one of the top security concerns facing the global community.”

“Starting to manage water resources more effectively and efficiently now will enable humanity to better respond to today’s problems and to the surprises and troubles we can expect in a warming world.”

In her foreword to the report, “The Global Water Crisis: Addressing an Urgent Security Issue,” IAC member and former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, underlined the danger in many regions, particularly sub-Saharan Africa or West Asia and North Africa, where critical water shortages already exist. Continue

AlertNet: Twenty more “Niles” needed to feed growing population.

The world needs to find the equivalent of the flow of 20 Nile rivers by 2025 to grow enough food to feed a rising population and help avoid conflicts over water scarcity, a group of former leaders said on Monday.

Factors such as climate change would strain freshwater supplies and nations including China and India were likely to face shortages within two decades, they said, calling on the U.N. Security Council to get more involved. Continue

Severe Droughts Drive Food Prices Higher, Threatening the Poor

World Bank: Global food prices soared by 10 percent in July from a month ago, with maize and soybean reaching all-time peaks due to an unprecedented summer of droughts and high temperatures in both the United States and Eastern Europe, according to the World Bank Group’s latest Food Price watch report

From June to July, maize and wheat rose by 25 percent each, soybeans by 17 percent, and only rice went down, by 4 percent. Overall, the World Bank’s Food Price Index, which tracks the price of internationally traded food commodities, was 6 percent higher than in July of last year, and 1 percent over the previous peak of February 2011.

“Food prices rose again sharply threatening the health and well-being of millions of people,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Africa and the Middle East are particularly vulnerable, but so are people in other countries where the prices of grains have gone up abruptly.” Continue

Land grabs leave Africa facing ‘hydrological suicide’

africa water grain

Squeezing Africa dry: behind every land grab is a water grab,

GRAIN: Food cannot be grown without water. In Africa, one in three people endure water scarcity and climate change will make things worse. Building on Africa’s highly sophisticated indigenous water management systems could help resolve this growing crisis, but these very systems are being destroyed by large-scale land grabs amidst claims that Africa’s water is abundant, under-utilised and ready to be harnessed for export-oriented agriculture. GRAIN looks behind the current scramble for land in Africa to reveal a global struggle for what is increasingly seen as a commodity more precious than gold or oil – water. Continue

Climate Change Has Intensified the Global Water Cycle

ClimateCentral: Climate scientists have been saying for years that one of the many downsides of a warming planet is that both droughts and torrential rains are both likely to get worse. That’s what climate models predict, and that’s what observers have noted, most recently in the IPCC’s report on extreme weather, released last month. It makes physical sense, too. A warmer atmosphere can absorb more water vapor, and what goes up must come down — and thanks to prevailing winds, it won’t come down in the same place.

The idea of changes to the so-called hydrologic cycle, in short, hangs together pretty well. According to a new paper just published in Science, however, the picture is flawed in one important and disturbing way. Based on measurements gathered around the world from 1950-2000, a team of researchers from Australia and the U.S. has concluded that the hydrologic cycle is indeed changing. Wet areas are getting wetter and dry areas are getting drier. But it’s happening about twice as fast as anyone thought, and that could mean big trouble for places like Australia, which has already been experiencing crushing drought in recent years. Continue

Drought could become a catastrophe for 13 million if action not taken in West and Central Africa, Oxfam warns

Oxfam: Some 13 million people are at severe risk from a food crisis which is set to escalate into a full scale humanitarian emergency in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa if urgent action is not taken, international agency Oxfam warned today.

Across Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and northern Senegal malnutrition rates hover between 10 and 15 percent, and in some areas rates have risen beyond the emergency threshold level of 15 percent. Over one million children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition. Continue

Global mining boom is leading to landgrab, says report

Guardian: Huge increase in large-scale mining is being fuelled by the rising price of metals and oil, as search for minerals centres on Africa. The global mining, oil and gas industries have expanded so fast in the last decade they are now leading to large-scale “landgrabbing” and threatening farming and water supplies, according to a report by environment and development groups in Europe, Africa and India. Continue


The Gaia Foundation: Opening Pandora’s Box – A New Wave of Land Grabbing for the Extractive Industries and The Devastating Impact on Earth.

Mapping Tool Analyzes How Climate Change, Conflict, and Aid Intersect

afrika ccaps

The CCAPS program released the pilot version of its dynamic mapping tool today. In partnership with AidData, CCAPS developed the online data portal to enable researchers and policymakers to visualize data on climate change vulnerability, conflict, and aid, and to analyze how these issues intersect in Africa.

The mapping tool, which uses Esri technology, allows users to select and layer any combination of CCAPS data onto one map to assess how myriad climate change impacts and responses intersect. For example, mapping conflict data over climate vulnerability data can assess how local conflict patterns could exacerbate climate-induced insecurity in a region. It also shows how conflict dynamics are changing over time and space. Continue

Climate change blamed for dead trees in Africa

BERKELEY — Trees are dying in the Sahel, a region in Africa south of the Sahara Desert, and human-caused climate change is to blame, according to a new study led by a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley.

“Rainfall in the Sahel has dropped 20-30 percent in the 20th century, the world’s most severe long-term drought since measurements from rainfall gauges began in the mid-1800s,” said study lead author Patrick Gonzalez, who conducted the study while he was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for Forestry. “Previous research already established climate change as the primary cause of the drought, which has overwhelmed the resilience of the trees.” Continue

Scientific Paper:

Tree density and species decline in the African Sahel attributable to climate

P. Gonzalez, C.J. Tucker, H. Sy

Journal of Arid Environments, Volume 78, March 2012, Pages 55-64

CLIMATE CHANGE: A Threat to Food Security in Africa’s Basins

AlertNet: While Africa has successfully avoided conflict over shared water courses, it will need greater diplomacy to keep the peace as new research warns that climate change will have an effect on food productivity.”Climate change introduces a new element of uncertainty precisely when governments and donors are starting to have more open discussions about sharing water resources and to consider long-term investments in boosting food production,” Alain Vidal, director of the CGIAR’s Challenge Programme on Water and Food (CPWF) told more than 300 delegates attending the Third International Forum on Water and Food being held in Pretoria, South Africa from Nov. 11 to 18. GCIAR unites agricultural research organisations with the donors. Continue

Too hot for chocolate?

CIAT: Over half of the world’s chocolate comes from cocoa produced by smallholders in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, many of whom are fair-trade certified. The CIAT study has found that rising temperatures in cocoa-producing regions of these countries could spell trouble for this heat sensitive crop, and the farmers who depend on it.

Funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it is the first of three studies to look at the effect of climate change on key cash crops in West Africa, with reports on cashew and cotton due soon. These follow similar studies of fair-trade tea production in Kenya and Uganda earlier this year.

The cocoa report predicts a one-degree Celsius temperature rise by 2030, increasing to 2.3 degrees Celsius by 2050. This is enough to inhibit the development of cocoa pods, which could send yields crashing and prices soaring. Continue

The Horn of Africa drought bites deeper

AfricaNews: As the devastating drought causes havoc on the Horn of Africa region the number of people affected is staggering. Food, water, medical care and proper housing have become elusive. As a result hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes in search of basic necessities.

Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp where people fleeing the drought and the fighting in Somalia have been seeking refuge is bursting at the seams. The camp which is about 50 miles from Somalia’s border was initially meant to hold just 80,000 people now has a population of some 450,000, and the number is swelling as hundreds of refugees trickle in daily. Continue

Food is the ultimate security need

Somalia, DR Congo top Maplecroft’s food security risk ranking

food security map maplecroft aug 2011

A new study assessing the availability and stability of food supplies in 196 countries has rated the food security of Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo as lowest in the world, whilst countries in the drought stricken Horn of Africa are also at ‘extreme risk’. Continue


guardian: Food is the ultimate security need, new map shows

Maplecroft food sec index aug 2011

The Food Crises and Political Instability in North Africa and the Middle East

Fao food price index 2011

Credit: FAO

NESCI: The Food Crises and Political Instability in North Africa and the Middle East

Social unrest may reflect a variety of factors such as poverty, unemployment, and social injustice. Despite the many possible contributing factors, the timing of violent protests in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011 as well as earlier riots in 2008 coincides with large peaks in global food prices. We identify a specific food price threshold above which protests become likely.

A new study shows that the timing of outbreaks of violence rocking North Africa and the Middle East is linked to global food prices.

Today’s headlines explode with stories of failed political systems, harsh regimes, and denial of rights underlying riots and warfare. The authors, however, point to rising food prices as a key factor too–not only in assessing the aftermath but in predicting future times of unrest.

The study, titled “The Food Crises and Political Instability in North Africa and the Middle East,” is by Marco Lagi, Karla Bertrand and Yaneer-Bar-Yam of the New England Complex Systems Institute.

foodprices and riots

Credit: New England Complex Systems Institute., ArXiv.org


Guardian: A provocative new study suggests the timing of the Arab uprisings is linked to global food price spikes, and that prices will soon permanently be above the level which sparks conflicts.

In the press

No Option but to Adapt to a Changing Climate

WINDHOEK, Aug 15, 2011 (IPS) – Extreme weather conditions predicted because of climate change in Namibia are likely to have a tremendous effect on the 70 percent of the country’s people who live in rural areas and depend heavily on agriculture.

According to experts in climate change, Namibia has no option but to adapt to the changing climate as radical changes in weather, such as extreme dry spells and exceptionally heavy rainfall, are forecast for the southern African country.

Continue: IPS

Climate Change and the Famine on the Horn of Africa

NatureNews: Chris Funk explains how his group last year forecast the drought in Somalia that is now turning into famine — and how that warning wasn’t enough.

“Last summer, our group was meeting when a La Niña weather system was forecast. We knew that such an event could bring trouble, and we issued an alert that East Africa might experience severe droughts.

We based this conclusion on information from three sources. First, we knew that La Niña events are commonly associated with weakened rains in the Horn of Africa from October to December.

Second, from work on the ground, we knew that persistent poor rains at the end of the past decade, combined with high food prices, had weakened the population’s resilience to food emergencies.

And third, research has linked warming in the Indian Ocean as a result of climate change to drying of March-to-June rains in East Africa. This warming has intensified the negative impact of La Niña events; it was the chance that both the autumn and spring rainy seasons could be affected, back to back, that really concerned us.”

Continue: NatureNews

aqviva related posts small

KENYA: Drought exacerbates conflict in Turkana

LOKICHOGGIO, 29 July 2011 (IRIN) – Cross-border armed conflict over resources among Turkana pastoralists in northeastern Kenya has increased following the severe drought ravaging parts of the Horn of Africa. Besides rampant malnutrition, the desperate competition has led to increased livestock theft, shootings and forced migration. Continue

New analysis indicates that 2010/11 was one of the driest years in the eastern Horn since 1950/51

Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) 2011-07-21 13-23-10 horn of africa usaid

FEWS NET/USGS has merged two historical rainfall data sets: interpolated rain gauge data from 1950‐2009 and satellite derived rainfall estimates from 1995‐2011. Using this merged data set, FEWS NET/USGS then compared rainfall totals from the past year (June 1, 2010 – May 31, 2011) with comparable data for the last 60 years for specific drought‐affected pastoral areas of Kenya and Ethiopia (Figure 1). Somalia has also been severely affected by the current drought, but historical data is too limited for this type of analysis.

horn of africa famine fews usaid

Continue: Famine Early Warning Systems Network

2011 Horn of Africa famine


The 2011 Horn of Africa famine is a famine occurring in several regions in the Horn of Africa as a result of a severe drought that is affecting the entire Eastern Africa region. The drought, said to be “the worst in 60 years”, has caused a severe food crisis across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya that threatens the livelihood of more than 10 million people. Other countries in and around the Horn of Africa, including Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan and parts of Uganda, are also affected by a food crisis. Continue

Dadaab: the largest refugee camp in the world — audio slideshow


• The total population in need in the region is about 10.7 million people. This figure includes some 778,000 refugees hosted in Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. Almost all the new refugees are from Somalia and are arriving in shocking health and nutritional conditions. More than 533,000 Somali refugees live in the region, mostly in neighbouring Kenya (423,000) and Ethiopia (150,000).


When the Nile runs dry

A new scramble for Africa is under way. As global food prices rise and exporters reduce shipments of commodities, countries that rely on imported grain are panicking. Affluent countries like Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China and India have descended on fertile plains across the African continent, acquiring huge tracts of land to produce wheat, rice and corn for consumption back home.

Some of these land acquisitions are enormous. South Korea, which imports 70 percent of its grain, has acquired 1.7 million acres in Sudan to grow wheat—an area twice the size of Rhode Island. In Ethiopia, a Saudi firm has leased 25,000 acres to grow rice, with the option of expanding this to 750,000 acres. And India has leased several hundred thousand acres there to grow corn, rice and other crops.

Continue: GRIST

Global Fire Information

Natural Resources and Environment- GFIMS home 2011-06-11 14-18-43 firms global fires

The Global Fire Information Management System (GFIMS) integrates remote sensing and GIS technologies to deliver MODIS hotspot/fire locations and burned area information to natural resource managers and other stakeholders around the World.

GFIMS is a monitoring system hosted at the Department of Natural Resources (NRD) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This product derives from the Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) developed at the University of Maryland on NASA funds.

GFIMS complements existing near real time information systems that deliver data and services to ongoing monitoring and emergency projects in FAO HQs and field, in other UN organizations, and the general public.

Continue: GFIMS Fire Mapper

Investor land deals exploiting Africa


Oakland, CA – Hedge funds and other foreign speculators are increasing price volatility and supply insecurity in the global food system, according to a series of investigative reports released today by the Oakland Institute. The reports are based on the actual materials from these land deals and include investigation of investors, purchase contracts, business plans and maps never released before now.

The “Understanding Land Investment Deals in Africa” reports also reveal that these largely unregulated land purchases are resulting in virtually none of the promised benefits for native populations, but instead are forcing millions of small farmers off ancestral lands and small, local food farms in order to make room for export commodities, including biofuels and cut flowers.

Continue: Oaklandland Institute

What is disconcerting about the current large-scale land investments in Africa is the lack of transparency of the deals. The Oakland Institute is making available detailed information and documentation collected in the course of our research.

Oakland Institute: Special Investigation: Understanding Land Investment Deals in Africa. Contry by Contry

Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are world’s most water stressed countries

Maplecroft-Water-Stress-I-006 africa 2011

The Gulf nations of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are rated as the world’s most water stressed countries, with the least available water per capita, by a new ranking of 186 countries.

The Water Stress Index, released by risk analysis and mapping firm Maplecroft, pinpoints areas of water stress down to 10km² worldwide by calculating the ratio of domestic, industrial and agricultural water consumption, against renewable supplies of water from precipitation, rivers and groundwater. It has been developed for companies to identify risk of water interruptions to supply chains, operations and investments.

Continue: Maplecroft


Guardian: The Middle East is running dry – and into the perfect storm?

Posted by Damian Carrington Thursday 19 May 2011 10.06 BST guardian.co.uk