Climate change in Southern Africa

Climate extremes are a major impediment to resilience of food systems in Southern Africa, where livelihoods and economies are highly sensitive to weather fluctuations. While the region boasts an incredible diversity of ecosystems, natural resources, economic activities and cultures, it is also characterized by rapid population growth, urbanization of coastal areas, encroachment into ecologically marginal areas and poverty. The primary source of income for the region’s rural population remains agriculture, much of it rainfed and allocated to cereal production. The region’s uneven distribution of resources and changing climate dynamics pose significant challenges as well as considerable opportunities for cooperation across the countries of Southern Africa. This position paper builds a case for climate action in Southern Africa by WFP and its partners with key insights from regional leaders which were recorded during a regional climate symposium.

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