Heat-resistant crops, ‘green’ infrastructure, can prepare Near East and North Africa to better tackle droughts – UN agency

World Bank/Scott Wallace
A shepherd and his flock in rural Morocco, one of the countries at the front lines of North Africa’s combat against the impacts of climate change.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Countries in the Near-East and North Africa, where chronic water shortages are sure to worsen due to climate change, must take pro-active steps to become more resilient against droughts, the United Nations agriculture agency said on Friday.

Even though drought is a familiar phenomenon in the region, over the past four decades, droughts have become more widespread, prolonged and frequent ­– likely due to climate change. Though the region is not highly prone to drought, desert makes up three quarters of its territory, which stretches from Morocco to Iraq.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned in a new report that the Near East and North Africa’s technical, administrative, and financial capacities to deal with drought are inadequate, rendering farmers and herders ­– the first and worst hit when drought strikes ­– even more vulnerable.

Even as farmers and herders face mounting challenges as water becomes scarcer, land more degraded and eroded, and soils more fragile there is still too much focus on recovering from drought rather than being less susceptible to it, the agency said.

“We need to perceive and manage droughts differently, and shift from emergency response to more pro-active policy and long-term planning to reduce risks and build greater resilience,” said Rene Castro, FAO’s Assistant Director-General, Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department.

Released ahead of the World Day to Combat Desertification, marked annually on 17 June, the report assesses gaps in current drought management and provides a solid base to help governments rethink policies and reformulate preparedness and response plans by offering solutions that take into account each country’s specific context.

Drought solutions

Along with the development and implementation of national drought management policies consistent with the country’s development objectives, the report also recommends establishing early warning systems, sharing technologies to combat drought, and supporting policies and incentives to use land and water resources rationally.

Growing drought-tolerant, fast maturing and watershed crops, and encouraging advanced methods of irrigation (including drip and spray irrigation) are some of the measures that should be adopted at larger scale to combat climate change, added the report, which was co-authored by the Water for Food Daugherty Global Institute at the University of Nebraska.

It also notes that traditional livestock herding practices – keeping stocking rates low and moving herds when forage is low – can reduce the risk of overgrazing and land degradation.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: updates from the Near East and Libya, Ebola in DR Congo, World War remembrance

Electronic cigarette – is it really a safer alternative to smoking?

Speech by President von der Leyen at the AmCham EU Transatlantic Conference 2021 “Global leadership: A transatlantic opportunity”

EuroLat: serious concern about migration and support to multilateral trade

The pandemic has hurt women’s healthcare. This is why that’s bad for everyone

What’s the difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees of global warming?

Primary Healthcare vs Specialization Careers, how to promote PHC to the Young Health Workforce?

Measles cases nearly doubled in a year, UN health agency projects

Youth policy in Europe not delivering for young people

4 key steps towards a circular economy

5 ways you can personally fight the climate crisis

MEPs call for new EU strategy to promote democracy in Russia

Online platforms required by law to be more transparent with EU businesses

To entrepreneurship and beyond!

Mexico must increase foreign bribery enforcement: full implementation of anti-corruption reforms could help

The Monetary Union drives Europe into dangerous paths, CoR demands an EMU of regional content

A young doctor from Glasgow reports: in the UK refugees are left to rot

Deal reached on EU fund to help regions and businesses adapt to Brexit

China revisited by the former Ambassador of Hungary to China

UN agencies call for action to bolster rights of Europe’s stateless children

3 things to know about the fight against Alzheimer’s

Migrants and refugees face higher risk of developing ill-health, says UN report on displaced people in Europe

Where do health literacy and health policy meet?

Fisherwomen of Lake Chad show optimism in face of multiple challenges

These are the ‘positive’ tipping points that could slow global warming

Raj Kumar’s new book offers a strategy for transforming the global aid industry. Here’s an excerpt

Manipulating privacy and reaping the benefits of technology

5 lessons for social entrepreneurs on how to change the system

Coronavirus: Team Europe continues to deliver with more than €26 billion disbursed in support to partner countries in one year

Thousands of health professionals call on world leaders to prioritize a greener future, post-pandemic

Addressing the Challenges of COVID-19 Vaccination

Greece leaves EU aid program, gets last 15 billion euro

State aid: Commission approves €6 billion German measure to recapitalise Lufthansa

India’s economy is an ‘elephant that is starting to run’, according to the IMF

These are the world’s healthiest nations

The EU Digital COVID Certificate: a global standard with more than 591 million certificates

JADE Spring Meeting 2016 highlights

A new bioeconomy strategy for a sustainable Europe

Children’s rights: combatting exploitation, forced marriage and sexual abuse

Here’s a simple and fair way to end corporate tax abuse

Who are the winners and losers in Africa’s Continental Free Trade area?

UN Human Rights Council stands firm on LGBTI violence, Syria detainees and Philippines ‘war on drugs’

Green Deal: Coal and other carbon-intensive regions and the Commission launch the European Just Transition Platform

COVID-19 has shown us the true extent of global inequality. In 2021, let’s commit to ending it

EU Commission says falling labour remuneration leads to deflation and damages growth prospects

Improved access to financial information to curb serious crime

Can the next financial crisis be avoided?

Why David Cameron’s large victory in UK elections will not pursue a ‘Brexit’

EU Commission closer to imposing anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panel imports?

Madrid is banning high-polluting vehicles from the city centre

IMF: European banks do not perform their duty to real economy

Climate change and health: public health awareness in an international framework

Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain receive €279m after natural disasters in 2019

Citizens to be the cornerstone of the Conference on the Future of Europe

Cameron postpones speech in Holland

Harnessing the power of nature in the fight against climate change

Gynecologic care in the 21st century

European Semester 2018 Spring Package: Commission issues recommendations for Member States to achieve sustainable, inclusive and long-term growth

UNICEF urges governments to repatriate thousands of foreign children stranded in northeast Syria

As Marvel’s first comic book fetches $1.26 million, here are five things to know about the superhero business

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: