Climate Change in Eastern and Southern Africa: Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation


Africa as a whole is considered to be among the most vulnerable regions to climate variability and change due in part to a lack of financial, institutional and technological capacity. However, the role that non-climatic factors play in exacerbating or reducing the impacts of climate change creates a highly differentiated picture. A number of important findings have emerged from the climate change and development literature, and from analyses of risks and hazards.

Siri Eriksen, Karen O’Brien and Lynn Rosentrater (University of Oslo) | October 2008

These findings can be used to identify numerous entry points for reducing vulnerability to climate change in Africa. In this report we highlight five key themes that are important efforts aimed at addressing climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation in eastern and southern Africa.

  1. Climate change poses serious threats and challenges to eastern and southern Africa.

  2. Climate change interacts with many other types of changes.

  3. Vulnerability to climate change is differential.

  4. Indigenous strategies are insufficient to cope with the effects of climate change.

  5. Societal transformations are altering the context for adapting to climate change.


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