By Absalom Shigwedha
Namibia's agricultural production could drop by 13 per cent because of climate change, says a recent study by the University of Namibia.
Livestock production will also decrease. The report, titled 'Millennium Development Goals 7 and Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities', was presented by Dr John Mfune, a lecturer at Unam, last Thursday.
Mfune, who was the co-ordinator of the study, said the country will also lose biodiversity and revenue from wildlife-based tourism because of climate change. However, Mfune said his team was happy to see that some rural people in the Oshana Region have already taken measures to adapt to climate change. Instead of sowing the traditional pearl millet (mahangu) that needs a lot rain, they have turned to drought-resistant Okashana mahangu, which matures fast even in drought conditions.
Mfune said climate change would mean more frequent and severe droughts for Namibia, which would lead to water shortages and less wood from natural forests for building homesteads. The research team visited the Erongo, Oshana, Caprivi, Karas and Hardap regions. The report was presented at the launch of the 2007/2008 Human Development Report last month.
The Human Development Report also focused on the effects of climate change. The 13th conference of parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) started in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday and will run until next week Friday.
Namibia acceded to the UNFCCC in 1995 and is represented at the Bali meeting.
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