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Climate change and “Sustainable Development” in west Africa

“….Each time we visit the grandfather who is over 90 years old today, he always has something to teach us. On our last visit he told us how the days were glorious in the past, how the world was green with forests that were home to all kinds of flora and fauna. “The world was a happy green village at that time. This was before the felling of trees and the destruction of our environment due to people's voracious ambitions. He told us how Ubuntu ruled the community and used to take care of both society and its environment. I then learned that Ubuntu means the fellowship of people working together for the common good of the community…”

June 6, 2023
4 min read

Image credit © by Alamy, Children around their grandfather in tenkodogo, burkina faso.

Africa West Africa Environmental Laws Development in Africa Climate Change Sustainable Development

In Africa and more particularly in West Africa, we have seen in recent years persistent climate variability, extreme weather conditions such as floods, droughts, and changes in rainfall. These phenomena were largely caused by human activities and considerable natural phenomena compared to previous years. In the long run, this leads to severe environmental pollution and degradation of natural resources.

Image credit © by Alamy, Old decaying Portuguese architecture, Bissau, Guinea Bissau.

Several challenges can impede the progress of sustainable development. In Africa, one of the major challenges is the lack of financial resources and the awareness of the population.

Africa faces huge climate change challenges yet receives only 5% of climate change funding. Thus, despite the passion of Africans for climate change, the lack of funding is very worrying, preventing the implementation of strong actions, including information and awareness campaigns among populations and societies. Sustainable development in Africa, and more particularly in West Africa, requires commitment and consistency from all stakeholders at all levels of government. The change desired by the World to maintain planetary integrity will be possible when we all take care of the environment for ourselves and for future generations.

Image credit © by Alamy, Senou Camp sits on the southern edge of Bamako, Mali’s capital city.

To address the already worrying current situation, strong environmental laws and policies must be enacted and implemented and adequate funding should be allocated. Community mobilization and sensitization programs should also be continuously carried out in the region and sub-regions of West Africa and beyond. Efforts to protect the planet, particularly in West Africa, require a change in the attitudes of citizens and governments. Protecting the planet is everyone's business.



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