Climate change taking a toll on developing countries

November 27, 2012 - 3:13:45 am

Some of the delegates taking notes on the first day of the COP18 summit at the Qatar National Convention Centre yesterday.Salim Matramkot

By Isabel Ovalle 

DOHA: Climate change has caused extensive damage on vulnerable developing countries such as Bangladesh, Kenya, Bhutan, Micronesia and Gambia. 

These were the conclusions of research completed by the Government of Bangladesh and the Loss and Damage in Vulnerable Countries Initiative. 

The issue was addressed at one of the side events that took place in the first day of the UN climate change conference in Doha. 

Koko Warner, scientific director of the Loss and Damage in Vulnerable Initiative of UN University, said that the humanitarian consequences for raising global temperature is “already a reality.”

The study she presented centred on the five countries mentioned above. For Bangladesh climatic stressors have caused salinity intrusion, with impact on traditional rice varieties, which no longer grow well. In addition, she referred to the health implications of salty drinking water

Costs for Bhutan are associated with changing monsoon patterns, while in Gambia they are linked to draught. These phenomena have affected the habitability and cultivation in certain regions.

In Kenya the changes in climate have cause droughts as well. Research showed that for 72 percent of the population, coping strategies were not enough to avoid adverse impact, given that many coping strategies were found to be erosive and affect long-term livelihood sustainability.

Micronesia has suffered erosion in coastal areas, which has caused damage to houses and infrastructure and loss of beaches. Supported by the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), there have been additional case studies in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Nepal. The Peninsula