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Friday, February 24, 2017
Report shows lives of millions in Kenya threatened by global warming
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¬†The entire way of life of millions of poor Kenyan livestock herders is under threat due to climate change, a new report from Christian Aid warns. This fresh evidence of how poor people are on the receiving end of global warming comes on the eve of vital United Nations climate talks in Nairobi this week, underscoring the urgency with which global politicians must now act to stem damaging greenhouse gas emissions. World leaders are meeting in the Kenyan capital from November 15 to 17 for high-level talks aimed at finding ways of reducing emissions. It is the first time a United Nations climate conference has been held in Africa and it is hoped that this will focus minds on the need to help vulnerable communities adapt to the rapidly changing climate. The Christian Aid report Life on the Edge of Climate Change: The Plight of Pastoralists in Northern Kenya reveals that droughts have increased in number fourfold in the past 25 years. So many animals have died that pastoralist families no longer have the means to support themselves. Already, half a million herders have been forced to settle around towns and villages ≠ abandoning their centuries old way of life and dependent on aid handouts for survival. "It is a cruel irony that these people ≠ who have done so little to contribute to climate change -- could become the world's 'climate change canary', as their traditional way of life is extinguished by global warming," said Andrew Pendleton, Christian Aid's senior climate change analyst in Nairobi. "Their plight illustrates what will happen to countless million other poor people unless industrialised countries world start reversing emissions immediately. If the rich world does not cut back, how can it expect others to do so? At the same time developed countries must commit to a huge programme of investment to enable vulnerable people like the pastoralists cope with climate change,' he said. "Governments and non-governmental organisations have hugely underestimated the seriousness of the threat facing people living on marginal lands like northern Kenya. Piecemeal measures are no longer enough to tackle the profound challenges posed by climate change. Alternative livelihoods must be developed to allow these people to support themselves instead of subsisting on handouts," said Mr Pendleton. On Saturday, Kenyan children lead a march of 10,000 people through Nairobi city centre to a rally in Central Park calling on world leaders to take urgent action to tackle climate change. Speakers included Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai and Christian and Muslim religious leaders. See also ICN 13 November 2006 Kenya: thousands march to save the environment
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