The Climate Report 2017/18 - Page 44



Figure 2: Strategic framework of the African Climate Policy Centre
reduce the continent’s vulnerability to extreme
weather-related events such storms, heat waves,
droughts and floods. Erratic climate events damage
agricultural systems, leading to food, water and
energy insecurity. Climate change also stands to
render fragile continent’s weak infrastructure – such
as roads, telecommunications, water and energy
systems. Addressing climate change impacts has
therefore become central to the continent’s
development agenda.
management even in the presence of uncertainty.
Various important knowledge gaps exist that prevent
information on climate change and climate
variability from being integrated into agricultural
policy. These include:
Uncertainty of climate change predictions:
Climate change projections are uncertain. This
results from natural variability in the climate
system, an imperfect ability to model the
atmosphere’s response to any given emissions
scenario, lack of sufficient data, and lack of tools
and models at spatial and temporal scales
appropriate for decision-making.
The continent’s vulnerability is further aggravated
by factors including over reliance on rain-fed
agriculture, high levels of poverty, low levels of
human and physical capital, and inadequate
infrastructure. The result has been poor access to
inputs and markets. One of the existing challenges to
development of appropriate policies for enhancing
the capacity of Africa’s agricultural producers to
adapt to climate change and/or mitigate its effects is
the mismatch between the data available and the
data required to design effective policies,
particularly at the regional, national, and subnational levels. However, agricultural sector policies
can focus on win-win options that promote
sustainability of agricultural production and land use
Uncertainty about impacts of climate change on
pests: On average, 30-50% of the yield losses in
agricultural crops are caused by pests despite the
application of pesticide to control them.
However, it is difficult to accurately quantify the
potential impacts of climate change on pest
damage given the complex and highly variable
response of pests and their hosts to what could
potentially be multiple and interrelated shifts in
environmental conditions. These conditions
include elevated CO2, ozone, and temperature;
changes in relative humidity and cloudiness;
42

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