Resource 6: Climate change in Zambia

Background information / subject knowledge for teacher

Zambia 'hard hit' by climate change

Droughts are affecting Zambia

Local communities in Zambia are being hard hit by climate change, a new report has concluded.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) found that communities in the African country are aware of climatic changes but knowledge about why they occur is not widespread.

Villagers were found to have developed strategies to cope with extreme climatic events such as droughts and floods, but the report warns that these often result in social, economic and environmental problems, such as increased poverty and deforestation due to charcoal burning.

‘How can we survive when facing floods and droughts? We need to find other means of survival [instead of agriculture],’ local inhabitants of one of the villages told researchers.

It is predicted that climatic changes are likely to increase in Zambia. According to the report, these will negatively affect ‘the natural, physical, financial and human resources that are crucial for people's livelihoods’ and will lead ‘to increased food insecurity and health issues’.

‘The severity of current impacts (many communities have lost almost all their crops this year due to climate hazards, and there are high current levels of hunger, malnutrition and diseases) points out the communities' high vulnerability to climate change and variability,’ the report states.

‘Some adaptation to current climate variability is taking place … but these strategies are not necessarily sufficient to deal effectively with present and future climate change and variability.’

The findings of the project will contribute to a full pan-African project on climate change adaptation.

Adapted from: In the News, Website

Resource 5: Global warming articles

Section 5: Investigating other people and places