Wednesday, November 13, 2019
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Climate change major threat to agricultural development – Expert

Mrs Ibironke Olubamise, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), National Coordinator for the Global Environment Facility Programme, says climate change is a major threat to agricultural development. She made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja, on Thursday. Olubamise said there was a need for a concerted effort by global players to curb the effect of climate change, which was becoming an emergency, particularly with regards to food security. She said that the decreased yield suffered by farmers was due largely to increased temperature and erratic rainfalls, which lead to flooding, drought, crop loss and erosion. She added that “if the agricultural practice is affected, then food is affected.” She said that the ecosystem which was being distorted due to man’s activities were affecting agricultural sub-sectors like fisheries. According to her, the disruption of the ecosystem has led to a warmer body of waters, making them uninhabitable for sea life, including fish, a major source of protein for man. Okowa says effective fire fighting service will check rising incident Gernot Rohr releases 23-man squad for Brazil friendly She stressed that in spite of increasing demand for fish due to its health benefits, global warming had led to warmer waters, which held less oxygen required by fish to survive. The national coordinator further pointed out that poultry, another source of protein was being affected by climate change. “The effect of climate change on agricultural sub-sectors like fisheries, crops, and livestock, is disturbing. “One of the indications of climate change is the weather getting hotter and if the waters cannot maintain the temperature used to support lives, then living organisms including fish is affected. “Poultry is another major concern when it comes to the effect of climate change. “For instance, when chickens that are meant to lay eggs at a particular temperature do not get to do that, it affects yield and quality. “Also, we cut trees for development, clear forest for agriculture, produce chemicals that change the balance of the ecosystem and all of these have effects on the atmosphere. “Some people argue that the issue of global warming is being exaggerated, but the scary realities are here for all to see. “Some of the natural disasters that have claimed several lives and rendered people homeless, are not natural disasters in the real sense, but the negative effects of man’s activities over time,” she said. Olubamise blamed nonchalant attitude of people toward natural resources, ignorance, and poverty as well as greed; for climate crisis in the world and Nigeria in particular. “Naturally, everything was created with a balance – a time for rainfall and heat season. But when man, out of nonchalant attitude towards natural resources because of ignorance, poverty and sometimes greed; began to distort the balance, things became worse. “Man’s activities have disrupted rain pattern for instance and it is affecting agriculture. “Before now even rural farmers who are not so literate know when each season is approaching and they prepared toward planting or harvesting. “In as much as we can use technology to predict weather patterns and all that, it does not mean we should continue to destroy the environment. “With new findings on the effect of climate change on humanity; we cannot continue business as usual as far as exploitation of natural resources is concerned,” she said. Olubamise commended President Muhammadu Buhari for presenting a paper at the recently held climate change meeting in New York, saying his presence at the meeting, was an evidence of his interest in a safe environment. “We hope the points put forward at the meeting will be implemented and while encouraging people to desist from activities that could lead to an imbalance in the ecosystem, we should also provide alternatives.” She called for concerts effort by all relevant stakeholders to tackle the menace. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that climate change is a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular, a change attributed to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. The Climate Action Summit 2019, held in New York on Sept. 23, witnessed several heads of government who made commitments to tackling climate change in their countries.

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