Friday, 13 February 2009

Vulnerability of national economies to the impacts of climate change on fisheries

The authors of this report (24 pp.- Published online: Feb 4 2009) examined 132 national economies to determine which are the most vulnerable, based on environmental, fisheries, dietary and economic factors.

Two-thirds of the most vulnerable nations are in tropical Africa, where in many countries fish account for more than half of daily animal protein consumption and where research indicates that fish production in both coastal and inland waters is highly sensitive to climate variations.
In coastal regions, climate variations can significantly alter the flow of nutrient-rich waters - known as upwellings - which sustain fish populations that feed millions in sub-Saharan Africa. Meanwhile, in eastern and southern Africa, rising temperatures in freshwater lakes over the last century have already reduced fish stocks. Future climate change is expected to worsen this trend, while also leading to lower water levels due to decreased rain and increased evaporation.

Both coastal and landlocked countries in Africa, including Malawi, Guinea, Senegal and Uganda, four Asian tropical countries - Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan and Yemen - and two countries in South America, Peru and Colombia, were identified as the most economically vulnerable to the effects of global warming on fisheries. Overall, of the 33 countries that were considered highly vulnerable, 19 are already classified by the United Nations as "least developed" due to their particularly poor socioeconomic conditions.

More information
The study: Vulnerability of national economies to the impacts of climate change on fisheries
Fishing and Climate Change
The Stockholm Environment Institute will carry out the study of climate change impacts and their economic costs for Kenya, which it is hoped will inform decision-making by policy makers in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa. Posted on R4D 30 January 2009