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Monday, 15 September 2014

SIDS Conference: ECA Highlights Plight of Six Africa Countries

A new study by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) will for the first time, bring to the fore a serious discussion on the specific plight of African Small Island Development States, as they face rising sea levels, and dwindling economic activities in the face of climate change, according to officials of the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC). (see summary of the study, Blue Economy - Are African Small Islands Ready to Embrace the Opportunities?)

The study provides an update on the predicament of Cape Verde, Comoros, Guinea Bissau, Mauritius, São Tomé & Principe and Seychelles that often gets drowned in a narrative that focuses more on biophysical impacts with only superficial references to social vulnerability to climate change in these countries.

The paper is one of the key scientific contributions by Africa to the 3rd Conference on Small Island Development States that convenes at the Faleata Sports Complex, Apia-Samoa from 1-4 September 2014.

It highlights the major climate and development related challenges as well as the uniqueness of these challenges to the African SIDS, and elucidates the opportunities in these major frontiers of development in Africa, according to Ms. Fatima Denton, Director of the Special Initiative Division, and Coordinator of the African Climate Policy Center.

The study is titled "Climate change in the African Small Island Development State: from vulnerability to resilience --- the paradox of the small," explores traditional subjects such as the effects of climate change on the ecosystems, agriculture, fisheries, etc. but also makes good inroads into an important new area - loss and damage.