Climate change is real in South Sudan-Taban
The impact of climate change in the country is worrying and it needs more efforts from development partners to combat it, First Vice President Taban Deng Gai has said.
“It is a deep cause of worry for all of us, consequently we need to come together with our international development partners in order to find a smart and adaptive solutions and begin to prepare ourselves,” Taban Deng Gai, the First Vice President said.
First Vice President Taban Deng Gai made the remarks at the opening of a two-day conference on climate change, food insecurity and resilient livelihoods whick kicked off yesterday in Juba.
Gai said the effects of climate change would expose many sectors, particularly agriculture upon which the livelihoods of the country depend to danger, which would exacerbate existing vulnerability of natural resources.
The conference was organized by the Ministry Environment and Forestry in collaboration with United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The conference which was opened by First Vice President Taban Deng Gai attracted experts from the region, and state government officials.
It is to also engage high level stakeholders, senior leadership, and external experts to deliberate on the inter-linkages between climate change, food insecurity and resilient livelihoods towards domestic preparedness on climate change adaptation.
The First Vice President said the government would incorporate climate change adaptation plan into the strategic development plan of the country.
Taban suggested that the experts should consider the practices of the local people, especially bush burning, which produces a lot of heat.
He said some people set bush fire in order to kill ticks in the cattle rearing places, while others burn bushes because of the need for green pasture for their cattle.
He reiterated the commitment of the government to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change in order to adapt to its effects.
Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, and the Acting Minister of Environment and Forestry said over 11.5 million people of South Sudan are depending on climate change prone natural resources, which make their livelihoods vulnerable to climate change increasing food and nutrition insecurity.
“We need to invest in environmental education to safeguard the environment for the future generation,” he said.
According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2017, South Sudan is ranked as the fifth worst performing countries in the world.
In the past four decades, South Sudan has witnessed high levels of temperature increase at 1.3 degree celsius, two and a half times higher than the global averages.
Summer rainfalls have decreased by 10 to 20 percent in South Sudan.
“If the trend continues, the area receiving over 500mm of rainfall necessary to sustain agricultural livelihoods will contract by 30 percent of what it was during 1960-1990,” warned UNDP’s Senior Programs Advisor Biplove Chaudhary.
According to Chaudhary, 95 percent of South Sudan’s population depends on climate change-sensitive natural resources particularly agriculture. 78 percent of households depend on crop farming or animal husbandry.
Jean Luk Stallon, UNDP Acting Country Director said the partners must act immediately to change the situation of climate change in the country.