Sudan IS a sub-Saharan African (SSA) country that has been combating global warming for many decades. Similar to other SSA countries, Sudan can expect an increase in temperature of 0.4-0.9 degrees F (0.2-0.5 degrees C) per decade, which may lead to the climate becoming drier. In Sudan, rainfall is predicted to decrease by 25 percent over 30 years, leading to desertification in a country that is already 50 percent desert.
Since the 1930s, the desert in Sudan expanded between 31 and 124 mi. (50 and 200 km.), which has led to severe water shortages. It has been predicted that 350 to 600 million people will face water shortages in Sudan by the middle of the 21st century. Water shortages, especially in western Sudan, have led many herders from northern Sudan to migrate to southern areas onto farmers' lands in search of water. This conflict over water, which is a precious resource in Sudan, has led to violence and to 2.4 million people being displaced in 2003. Increases in livestock, which has degraded the land, and deforestation (loss of 12 percent of forests over the last 15 years) have also contributed to continuing desertification. The drying climate has threatened the food security of 1.7 million people, as 90 percent of the people in Sudan depend exclusively on rain-fed agriculture.
Positive adaptive measures have, however, been taking place since 1992 in drought-prone western areas of Sudan, such as the Bara Province. In this area, rangeland rehabilitation measures are being taken through community participation to manage land and water resources and promote agroforestry and sand dune fixation. This has helped prevent overexploitation of resources and restore the productivity of rangelands.
Although Sudan is facing many challenges because of climate change, it hardly contributes to worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, in 1998, Sudan's total carbon dioxide emission was 3,597 thousand metric tons (tmt) compared with 515,001 tmt for SSA and 24,215,376 tmt for the world. Non-carbon dioxide emissions for Sudan in 1995 were 132 tmt compared with 5,345 tmt for SSA and 141,875 tmt for the world. Even though Sudan hardly contributes to global warming, the government of Sudan intends to adapt to the consequences of the problem. It has prepared the National Adaptation Plans for Action, which highlight several policy measures to adapt to climate change. These include increasing irrigation and low-water crops, water management and conservation technology, sustainable forest resource consumption, and reduction of livestock. The government of Sudan has also ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
SEE ALSo: Carbon Dioxide, Climate Change, Effects; Drought.
BIBLioGRAPHY. Commission for Africa, "Our Common Future," www.commissionforafrica.org (cited July 2007); International Institute for Sustainable Development, "Sustainable Drylands Management: A Strategy for Securing Water Resources and Adapting to Climate Change," www. iisd.org (cited 2003); V.A. Orindi and L.A. Murray, "Adapting to Climate Change in East Africa: A Strategic Approach," IIED Gatekeeper Series 117 (2005); Michael Renner, "Desertification as a Source of Conflict in Darfur," www. scidev.org (cited July 2007); United Nations Environment Program, "Synthesis Report Sudan Post-Conflict Environment Assessment," www.unep.org (cited July 2007); World Resources Institute, "Climate and Atmosphere—Sudan," earthtrends.wri.org (cited 2007).
MOUSHUMI Chaudhury University of Sussex
Was this article helpful?