In light of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP17) at the end of this month in Durban, South Africa, considerable attention is focused on measures to mitigate the effects of rising atmospheric greenhouse gases. But many people, particularly farmers, are already experiencing the impacts of increasing temperatures and changes in precipitation.
Oxfam International (as part of its GROW campaign) and Kulima Integrated Development Solutions conducted a survey of farmers in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa about their observations of changes in climate. Presented in a new policy-practice report, the results highlight the elevated risk of poor yields and crop failures that farmers in Southern Africa now face. At the same time, farmers are being “as resourceful, enterprising and experimental as possible” to change agricultural practices and diversify livelihoods in order to respond to these climatic and other associated environmental and economic stressors. The report offers recommendations in terms of policy, funding, and technical capacity for COP17 and beyond.