The man-made crisis in South Sudan has pushed the country back on multiple fronts, hampering agricultural production, disrupting livelihoods and the coping abilities of communities.
These are but few of several compelling reasons as to why climate change risks in South Sudan should be a pressing worry at this point in time for the policy makers and international partners.
Despite its having no role in contributing to global warming, the country is at once highly vulnerable and least prepared to address looming threats systematically across sectors.
According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2017, South Sudan is ranked amongst the five worst performing in the world alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Haiti and Liberia. Projections indicate that in South Sudan, global warming will be felt 2 ½ times more than the global average
Up to 95 percent of the livelihoods of the people of South Sudan, or more than 11 million people, depend on climate sensitive sectors, including agriculture, forestry resources and fisheries. Anecdotally, seasonal streams are beginning to dry up, affecting fishing communities in several parts of the country. Drier weather spells are also likely to be an underlying driver of increased deforestation and resource-based conflicts between the pastoralists and the farming communities over access to grazing land.
Would forced migration end, if people knew that they could thrive and survive in their homeland?
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) asks this pertinent question as we observe World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June, focused on examining the important link between land degradation and migration.
A childhood memory that has stayed with me is from 1992, when Botswana, along with many other countries in southern Africa were hit by what the New York Times called 'the worst drought of the 20th Century'.
A biodiversity project in Afghanistan works with residents of the park on interventions that address immediate needs but also the long-term future of Band-e-Amir and Afghanistan’s other vulnerable areas of natural importance.