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UN Report on "Climate Apartheid"On June 25th, the United Nations released a report saying the world is at risk of a “climate apartheid.” This describes a situation where wealthy people will be able to escape heat and hunger caused by climate change, while the poor are forced to endure distressing conditions. Philip Alston, a UN expert on human rights and extreme poverty, said climate change “could push more than 120 million more people into poverty by 2030 and will have the most severe impact in poor countries, regions, and the places poor people live and work.” While there are many things to understand from the dense findings, there are key highlights that are crucial to know about the UN report on “climate apartheid.”

5 facts from the UN report on “climate apartheid”:

  1. Extreme weather conditions threaten to undo the last 50 years of progress in poverty reduction around the globe.
    Weather-related conditions like droughts and flooding are much more likely to occur if climate change continues to worsen. People who already experience extreme poverty tend to live in communities that depend on local harvests to survive. If weather causes food supplies to disappear, these people are likely to experience famine and malnutrition. This can result in illness and death.
  2. Even the “best-case scenario” for climate change would lead to food insecurity in many regions.
    Next, Alston says that “even if current targets are met, tens of millions will be impoverished, leading to widespread displacement and hunger.” Reaching current targets would mean only a 1.5 degree Celsius increase in temperature by 2100. This would cause many already poor regions to become food insecure.
  3. The UNHC says that it’s likely the wealthy will be able to pay to escape worsening conditions.
    Alston notes that “an over-reliance on the private sector could lead to a climate apartheid scenario in which the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger and conflict, while the rest of the world is left to suffer.” For example, he cited the 2012 Hurricane Sandy as an example of this, because many impoverished New Yorkers were without basic necessities during the disaster, while “the Goldman Sachs headquarters was protected by tens of thousands of its own sandbags and power from its generator.”
  4. Democracy could be at risk in affected regions.
    If weather conditions lead governments to declare states of emergency, it is likely to cause drastic changes in power structures. The report says “states may very well respond to climate change by augmenting government powers and circumscribing some rights. This will be a very fraught process and require great vigilance on the part of governments, human rights institutions and national and regional courts.” Additionally, some governments will be under-prepared to cope with serious conditions. As a result, this can cause social unrest and community discontent. It could even spark nationalist, xenophobic and racist responses.
  5. There are potential solutions.
    The report also suggests that tackling the problem with a human-rights-focused response may be the best way. It includes giving vulnerable communities access to protective infrastructure, financial aid, relocation options, employment support and land tenure. Additionally, this includes access to food, clean water and healthcare. Furthermore, the report noted that building coalitions are key to addressing the issue, saying “major human rights actors must tackle questions about emissions, resource allocation, and energy and economic policy that states are grappling with and where there is a real need for detailed, actionable recommendations.”

Why the report matters

Overall, the release of the UNHR document has sparked widespread media coverage and global awareness. Understanding these 5 Facts from the UN report on “climate apartheid” is a critical step in addressing the problem.

-Natalie Malek
Photo: Flickr

Global poverty is not “too big” to fix but it won’t be solved overnight. Progress is attainable and 2015 was a landmark year in many ways. New data revealed historical progress was achieved, innovative development strategies were pursued and the fight against global poverty continued.

While global poverty persists in 2016, these five global poverty infographics show what the fight looked like last year, how far the global community has come and the importance of continuing the fight this year.

Infographic #1: For the first time, fewer than 10 percent of people in the world were living in extreme poverty.Infographic 1- 2015_Charts_Poverty-690
Making headlines, the World Bank measured extreme poverty at its lowest level ever. Rising prosperity in countries such as China and India contributed to the reduction. The decrease is also considered a success for the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the first of which aimed to cut poverty rates in half between 1990 and 2015.

Infographic #2: What are the SDGs about?Infographic 2- sdgs
While 2015 was the target year for the MDGs, it also kicked off the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Taking stock, the international community assessed, applauded and reconsidered what the MDGs accomplished and didn’t. Now, the SDGs aim to carry that momentum forward.

Infographic #3: The 2015 Data Report: Putting the Poorest First.DATA_Report_2015_infographic 3
Data was center stage in 2015 and will continue to be this year. Increased access to data throughout the world has helped aid organizations better understand the dynamics of global poverty. The ONE campaign compiled their data into the 2015 report and advocated for providing aid to the least developed countries first.

Infographic #4: Why invest in women?
Infographic 4- why-invest-in-women
USAID is targeting female populations to maximize the impact of aid and investment. In addition to advocating for gender equality, numerous governments and NGOs have observed women multiplying the benefits they receive and uplifting the greater community.

Infographic #5: Managing the impacts of climate change on global poverty. Infographic 5- Climate and Poverty
These global poverty infographics show that despite success in reducing global poverty rates, the future holds more challenges and uncertainties, such as climate change. In the lead-up to the UN Climate Change Conference, the World Bank raised awareness that climate change may ultimately increase poverty rates. To mitigate this, the World Bank and other organizations began calling for sustainable, “climate-smart” development to ensure poverty reduction continues.

Cara Kuhlman

Sources: The New Yorker, EurActivONE, USAID, World Bank

Reduce Climate_Change_and_PovertyOn December 5, officials from 195 different countries agreed on a proposal to reduce global carbon emissions in an effort to reduce climate change and poverty worldwide.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has released the drafted agreement that addresses issues relating to reducing climate change and poverty such as food security, deforestation and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

There are three global goals listed in the draft agreement, the first being to “maintain global average temperatures short of a two degrees Celsius increase over pre-industrial global temperatures.”

According to the National Centers for Environment Information (NOAA), every state in the U.S. had above-average fall temperatures during September and November of last year. The average global temperature during the month of October was the highest ever recorded.

The second goal of the climate change draft proposes increasing a nation’s ability to adapt to resulting climate change and respond effectively. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warns that climate change is a threat to economic growth in Africa and other parts of the developing world.

A World Bank report finds that globally, poor people are at a high risk for climate-related disasters, so it is important for communities to develop early warning systems. Being prepared for a catastrophe, like flooding or crop damage due to heat, can save resources and help to counter the effects of climate change on the economy.

The third global goal of the UNFCCC climate change draft suggests creating sustainable development strategies in order to create climate-resilient communities with minimized greenhouse gas emission to reduce poverty rates.

The climate change draft to reduce poverty also includes the following proposal: “Developed countries shall provide developing countries with long-term, scaled-up, predictable, new and additional finance, technology and capability-building.”

According to the World Bank, climate change can put 100 million more people into poverty by the year 2030. John Roome, Senior Director for Climate Change at the World Bank Group, recognizes the importance of creating sustainable development strategies to reduce climate change and poverty.

He states, “We have the ability to end extreme poverty even in the face of climate change, but to succeed, climate considerations will need to be integrated into development work. And we will need to act fast, because as climate impacts increase, so will the difficulty and cost of eradicating poverty.”

Kelsey Lay

Sources: CNN, National Centers for Environment Information, NPR, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Photo: UN

What the Pope’s Encyclical Means for the World’s Poor-TBP

In June, Pope Francis aligned himself with mainstream science by accepting the truth of climate change. With the release of his 184 page encyclical that calls for immediate action on climate change, Francis has added a moral scope to the biggest problem that humanity has ever encountered.

In it, Francis cites the mindless drive toward monetary gain and economical shortsightedness as the main reasons humanity is this situation today.

While environmentalists around the world applaud the encyclical as a much needed call to action by country and individual alike, the encyclical also revealed who would be impacted the most by climate change: the poor.

Francis says the poorest have been left in the wake of consumerist ambitions of the richest nations. They are being displaced and disregarded.

He also implores that the countries mainly responsible for the climate crisis have an obligation to help the poorest countries.

Numerous studies back the words of Francis’s encyclical. In 2014, the U.N. Climate Panel released a report that found that global climate change, while affecting everyone, would affect poorer countries more and threaten human security.

The report notes the risk climate change presents to agriculture. As some regions become dryer and hotter, food yields will suffer. In an interview with The Guardian in 2014, Princeton Professor Michael Oppenheimer said that even now, the poorest countries are already struggling to adapt their agriculture methods. If climate change is left unchecked, the lack of food will result in higher prices and competition, thus causing violence and the destabilization of poor regions.

Impoverished countries also face the heightened potential for natural disasters. Natural disasters are indeed, natural, and every country is at risk for them. However, the wealth of a country plays a pivotal role in how they are responded to.

When a natural disaster goes through an impoverished region, aid response is significantly slower. More people will end up dying from malnutrition and dehydration than from the actual disaster.

Maarten van Aalst, who directs the Red Cross Climate Center and co-authored the report, said that from 2000 to 2009, the number of natural disasters tripled compared to the same period in the 1980s.

This rise is attributed to climate change.

The poorest countries were already at a disadvantage. With climate change, those same countries may have a harder time climbing out of poverty.

Professors Francis Moore and Delavane Diaz out of Stanford published a study earlier this year noting the relationship between poverty and heat.

Impoverished countries, on average, are located in significantly hotter regions than non-impoverished countries. As mentioned by the U.N. report, agriculture in these countries are already struggling with adapting to the changing climate.

Moore and Diaz note that climate change will lower per-capita GDP in poor regions from 3.2 to 2.6%, making it harder to grow economically. This directly supports the findings in the U.N. report.

Wealthy countries are expected to continue economical growth.

With his encyclical, Pope Francis has not so subtly nudged the developed world to action on the environmental crisis. In doing so, extreme poverty may also be confronted as well.

– Kevin Meyers

Sources: The Guardian 1, The Guardian 2, New York Times
Photo: Grist

 

global_middle_class

Although one billion people have risen out of extreme poverty in the past 15 years, concerns still remain. Amid the success in this impressive reduction, there are new concerns over how those who have risen up out of extreme poverty are transitioning into a working middle class.

A new study from the Pew Research Center found that, despite slight growth in the population living on between $10-20 per day (middle income), the growth was largely concentrated in specific regions of the world. These hot spots of growth include China, Eastern Europe and South America. In areas where extreme poverty is extremely concentrated, such as in India, Southeast Asia, Africa and Central America, growth was minimal. Furthermore, there are still large inequalities in wealth distribution, as demonstrated in the areas that have the majority of middle and upper income populations—North America and Europe.

The study also notes that even in these specific areas of improved prosperity, the improvements in their standards of living and qualities of life did not improve as much as may have been expected. Another reason for small middle class growth, despite larger reductions in extreme poverty, is the volatility of climate change. Of the many factors that push people back into poverty, climate change is increasingly understood as the true threat, as changing weather brings its effects to light.

The lack of growth in the middle class has huge implications on individual countries and globally. The middle class was predicted to have grown, which would have increased national economic and political participation and boosted health outcomes.

Many experts associate the development of the middle class with a certain advantageous social structure that benefits the country as a whole. The middle class is generally able to focus less on strictly surviving, which enables them to make certain choices about the kind of lives they want to live, and to demand rights to make those choices, which leads to, all around, more developed nations.

Still, over 70% of the world’s population lives in poor to low-income levels, and progress still needs to be made. The disparities seen, despite progress, are calls to action. One of the biggest public health and developmental challenges we face today is that of inequality and inequity. Seeing such discrepancies on a global level is further proof that this is a problem that needs global attention.

The report brings attention to the fact that, although poverty reduction has been successful in some cases, on a more global and long-term level, changes need to be made. There need to be more effective strategies aimed at not only helping people come out of poverty, but also helping people stay out of poverty. We now know that the effects that we had hoped to see as a result of poverty reduction have many intermittent steps and barriers that also need to be addressed in order to see the kind of results that were predicted. The benefits of a growing middle class are achievable and progress in poverty reduction is the first step, but until the other barriers that new global middle class members face are also addressed, people, their nations, and the world will not see the maximum benefits.

Emma Dowd

Sources: BBC, Pew Global
Photo: Deccan Chronicle

sustainable_soil_management
Although 795 million people worldwide are still undernourished, global hunger has been steadily declining in recent years. This is due to a combination of factors, such as social protection programs, agricultural development measures, and inclusive economic growth in developing nations. So far, 72 countries have reached the Millenium Development Goal target of halving the hungry population by 2015. However, completely eliminating global hunger will be difficult with the looming threat of climate change.

Climate change has already begun affecting food production, and could increase the risk of hunger by 20 percent by 2050. The world has seen an increase in the number and intensity of both floods and droughts, which can destroy crops and necessary infrastructure. Rising sea levels can render land unsuitable for growing crops, and glacial melt can affect water quality. Higher temperatures, along with too much or too little rainfall, can decrease both the quality and quantity of crops.

The decrease in food production caused by climate change disproportionately affects those living in poverty. With less food being produced, prices will spike, meaning that many will be unable to afford to feed themselves and their families. It is time to focus on environmentally friendly methods of maintaining or increasing current levels of food production in order to continue effectively fighting world hunger.

Quality soil is the foundation for successful agricultural systems and food security. It is resilient to flood and drought, and its stores of carbon contribute to climate change mitigation. However, many do not recognize that soil is a non-renewable resource, and therefore do not understand the need for sustainable soil management.

Soil degradation is caused by unsustainable land use practices and climate extremes, and negatively impacts food security. A 60 percent increase in demand for food is expected by 2050, but with 25 percent of usable soil highly degraded and 44 percent moderately degraded, it will be difficult to keep up this level of production without intervention. Sustainable soil management needs to be prioritized on global development agendas.

There is still progress to be made in ending world hunger, and focusing on sustainable soil management can help to feed more of the world’s population. Governments need to recognize the issue of soil degradation and invest in appropriate land management projects. They also need to effectively regulate contaminants that impact soil quality, while focusing specifically on protecting organic, carbon-rich soils such as peatlands and permafrost. Systems and technologies that can produce more food using less soil will be especially important. Feeding the world’s people in the face of climate change requires a close look at the most basic requirement of food production: quality soil.

Jane Harkness

Sources: FAO, WFP 1, WFP2
Photo: Flickr

climate_change_in_bangladesh
Within the scientific community, it is a foregone conclusion that developing coastal nations with lowland geography are the most susceptible to impending climatic changes. Bangladesh has recently begun to see these effects with sea levels rising and more frequent and intensified weather conditions. Being situated in Southeast Asia, the country is already susceptible to monsoons, landslides, hurricanes and natural flooding. These factors present an alarming set of natural environmental implications.

This is especially true for a country where a quarter of the land area is less than 7 feet above sea level. Bangladeshi scientists have estimated that by 2050, 17 percent of the country area will have been submerged. This would displace roughly 18 million people and, in turn, significantly cut the country’s food supply.

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated and underdeveloped countries in the world. The country has roughly a fifth of the land area of France and contains a population of about 166 Million. This has resulted in an incredibly high population density at 755 persons per km. This set of circumstances poses a serious problem for almost all current climate projections and estimates.

The overpopulation has also caused a great strain upon the country’s remaining fertile lands. Bangladesh lies in the Ganges River Delta which is made up of over 230 rivers and streams. Approximately 55 percent of the country’s low lying geography is arable land, making agriculture one of Bangladesh’s biggest industries. Currently, 45 percent of the country’s workforce lives in and relies upon a suddenly shrinking agriculture industry.

As flooding increases and sea levels rise, there is simply not enough arable land to sustain a country of over 160 million people. The country’s economy is mostly agrarian-based and many residents are subsistence farmers. The floods have completely destroyed many of the county’s rice crops which are a staple of the Bangladeshi diet and crucial for many farmers’ livelihoods.

Historical data shows that floods have increased in frequency, intensity and duration since Bangladesh’s independence in 1971. This past summer, flooding in Northern Bangladesh left half a million people displaced and homeless. The two main rivers of Bangladesh, the Meghna and the Brahmaputra, rose to dangerous levels and completely flooded 14 of the country’s 64 districts. Being displaced from their homes, people sought refuge in makeshift shelters, and in some cases, schools.

In response to these conditions, Bangladesh has initiated a National Plan of Action and National Climate Change Strategy. The programs have begun a process of dredging rivers, raising levees and pumping water to compensate for increased flood conditions. The programs have also focused on creating early warning systems and has built over 2,500 concrete storm shelters. Almost 6,000 km of embankments have been constructed in efforts to combat heightened flood conditions. Additionally, 200 flood shelters have been built as well as almost 5,000 km of drainage channels meant to redirect the flow of floods.

These measures have made a significant impact in short term disaster safety. In 1970, before any sort of emergency response infrastructure, Cyclone Bhola killed an estimated 550,000 Bangladeshis. This stands in comparison to 200 casualties during Cyclone Aila in 2009. While the latter was still a disaster of immense proportions, the disaster preparedness and response measures were clearly evident and effective in terms of saving lives.

In 2013, emergency measures were once again tested when tropical storm Mahasen broke Bangladeshi shores. An estimated one million people from 13 coastal districts were evacuated north to shelters and fortified locations. This was accomplished through a procedure of government alerts, notifications and by collaboration of thousands of volunteers.

A statement by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs read, “While tropical storm Mahasen reached the coastline of Bangladesh on Thursday weaker than anticipated, the preparedness work undertaken by the Government and humanitarian partners saved countless lives.” This provides further evidence that the disaster mitigation protocols have been effective.

However, being a developing nation in an increasingly dangerous climate, Bangladesh is still relying upon developed countries and NGOs to jointly make changes in both emissions standards and practices. Acute response tactics can certainly provide temporary solutions for saving lives and crops, but measures with a long term focus are necessary for a solution to a much greater global issue.

Frasier Petersen

Sources: BBC, New York Times, United Nations Environmental Programme, Science Direct
Photo: Oxfam

global_warming
A new study published in The Lancet claims that climate change and global warming could erode as much as 50 years of global health advances. The study confirms what many health and climate change experts have been predicting for years but had unfortunately, for the most part, not been taken seriously.

As we have seen in recent months with intense heat waves in India and Pakistan, dramatic changes in climate have disastrous effects on public health. The heat waves bring storms, droughts and floods, which in turn brings about changes in water quality, pollution, land use and ecological differences. These changes translate to large swings in the social dynamics of a country. As the demographics rapidly change, so do health status, socioeconomic status and infrastructure. As a nations health is undermined, social capital declines, as do social and political institutions decline so drastically that years of work in development can be eroded. As the institutions that bind us are broken down, the opportunities for conflict rise, and opportunities for meaningful economic contribution decrease. The biggest calls for concern are the long-term effects that these problems cause that primarily stem from the heat waves, epidemics, storms, sea level rise and large-scale migration. Climate is often seen as an “X Factor” in globalization and development models because it is so unpredictable. Climate change makes the “X Factor” even more volatile but even more important in global leaders consideration and negotiation of major international moves.

Global warming has both direct and indirect effects on global health. Immediately, intense heat waves cause a significant amount of preventable deaths annually. Also, the types of natural disasters that we can expect to see in coming years are predicted to be even more chaotic and destructive. As these storms wipe out communities across the globe and force others to migrate elsewhere, demographic and population shifts will effect the general health and wellbeing of generations to come. These storms also contribute to the prevalence of mental illness, malnutrition, allergies, cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases, injuries and respiratory diseases.

The most vulnerable countries are the countries that need to focus on immediate development rather than sustaining current development levels. Developed or industrialized countries have the means to make changes now to alleviate future complications by climate change. Developing countries often do not have the flexibility to up-haul current industrial practices or to enact nationwide preparedness protocols for natural disasters on the large scale that it is expected.

With climate change, much of the damage has been done, and immediate action is essential to maintaining the health of the world, let alone improving it. But on the bright side, nearly all of the ways that we can mitigate the risks that climate change creates also contribute to better individual and public health. Investing in reversing climate change is an investment in the environment, in the economy and in health.

– Emma Dowd

Sources: The Economist, PRI, Time, US News, Washington Post
Photo: India Water Portal

climate_change
Pope Francis will deliver an encyclical this summer on the subject of climate change. In preparation for the speech, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences held a heavily attended workshop on April 28 in Rome. Included among the guest groups were the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and the Heartland Institute.

Another prominent guest, Cardinal Peter Turkson, asserted that “irrespective of the causes of climate change,” Christians are obligated to help the poor. Therein lies a complicating factor: Christians must now consider altruism without unwittingly aggravating the causes of climate change.

This brings to light a much more generalized question regarding religion’s role in the alleviation of poverty, or lack thereof. Fundamentalist Christians, for example, would read the Bible and disregard any pontifical command to pay attention to climate change.

The picture becomes even cloudier when politics are factored in. Most Evangelical Christians and Mormons are conservative Republicans who believe that the scientific evidence supporting the phenomena of climate change is inaccurate and/or falsified.

Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist and Evangelical Christian, attempts to bridge the gap between science and evangelical faith. She is a member of a statistical minority; according to the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, only 44 percent of evangelicals believe that global warming is both real and the result of human behavior. Some politicians even believe that God would not let human behavior destroy the planet.

Hayhoe debunks biblical arguments such as those saying that bad things still happen even with a Judeo-Christian God in existence because that God grants free will to His people. “That’s really what climate change is,” she explains, “It’s a casualty of the decisions that we have made.”

She goes on to hypothesize that many evangelicals fear the concept of climate change for two reasons. First, they erroneously believe that all scientists are atheists. Second, their typically conservative political viewpoints biases them against any and all potential “big government” interventions.

To make matters of religion and politics even more complicated, most Jews lean politically left and are beginning to take active steps as a community to alleviate climate change. The Reconstructionist and Reform movements tend to be the most liberal, followed by the Conservative and Orthodox Jews. Generally, the more traditional the sect is in its practice of Judaism, the less environmentally active that movement tends to be.

Consequently, researchers find a startling, ironic commonality between the most observant Jews and the most observant Christians. It appears that the more conservatively a religious sect’s people practice that religion, the less likely they are to take steps to stop climate change.

Adding fuel to that fire, it is the poorest populations that suffer the most from the effects of climate change. The one demographic that both Jewish and Christian ideologies make the most efforts to help is the very group that falls on the receiving end of their most devout groups’ inaction.

So what is to be done? Should the secular American population vote in politicians who choose religious freedom over environmental activism, or vice-versa? Maybe the next election cycle will bring forth more people like Katharine Hayhoe, but then again, maybe not. Only time and ballots can tell.

– Leah Zazofsky

Sources: Slate, The Heartland Institute, Yale Climate Connections
Photo: Telegraph

african farmers
In a new report released by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, African farmers, small-scale farmers in particular, are facing serious risks from climate change.

Accounting for approximately 80 percent of farmers in Africa, small-scale farmers are at risk especially due to their small plots of land and lack of resources, hampering their ability to develop effective and reliable irrigation systems. With insufficient labor and resources, these farmers have low input and low-yields, resulting in essentially subsistence level agriculture.

Released at the African Green Revolution Forum, which drew approximately 1,000 delegates including heads of state and government, scientists and business leaders, the report highlighted the consequences of the changing climate of the continent, both in the short and long term.

The report estimates that climate change could increase the number of malnourished from the current 223 million to 355 million by 2050, a 40 percent increase.

The variation in climate, such as prolonged droughts or torrential downpours, has introduced the concept of “failed seasons;” growing seasons that are particularly hampered by the effects of climate change. Increased temperatures have already plagued farmers and average temperatures are expected to continue to rise, with a 1.5 to 2.5°C increase expected by 2050.

Changing climate conditions also has the potential to lower mineral concentrations such as iron and zinc in crops, aggravating the existent problem of nutrient deficiency in Africa.

For some basic crops, the conditions have already become too extreme to tolerate. In East and Central Africa where beans are grown, the effects of climate change could reduce its current seven million hectares by 25 to 80 percent. Land in West Africa and the Sahel suitable for growing bananas could also see a drop of eight and 25 percent respectively.

With food production difficult even now, climate variations threaten to exacerbate the situation further with intense food shocks and cement a perpetual cycle of rural poverty.

Such extreme effects have already begun to take place. Parts of Angola can no longer be used for agriculture after a prolonged three year period of little rainfall and drought.

To adjust to the almost inevitable effects of climate change, the report recommends small-scale farmers adopt a number of ‘climate-smart’ techniques and policies.

Dr. Ameyaw, director of strategy monitoring and evaluation for AGRA, stressed the “efficient use of water—groundwater, surface water and rainwater” in a system that is 98 percent reliant on rainfall.

Included among these climate-smart investments are improved soil and water management, utilizing new crop varieties and improved efficiency through mechanization.

Furthermore, a shift in culture toward sustainability is encouraged. Developing stronger land rights, for women in particular; improving information systems; investing in research and encouraging the preservation of biodiversity are all potential areas of expansion that would help improve the situation.

The authors of the report also emphasize other trends to be concerned about such as rapid population growth and urbanization, which both can affect development and growth.

William Ying

Sources: Africa Agriculture Status Report 2014, BBC, Phys.org, AllAfrica 1, AllAfrica 2
Sources: MSU