African governments must broaden their "vision and thinking" on climate change, a South Africa's environmental activist said, calling for shared African action plan on global warming.
In an interview with Xinhua on Saturday during a protest organized by civil society to voice their concerns at the ongoing 17th Conference of Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) , Nkwame Cedile said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) should collaborate and come up with an African solution and long term plan to deal with climate change.
"AU and SADC should come together and come up with an African plan of development on climate change and not development determined by foreign powers," Cedile told Xinhua.
All key continental political organizations and financial institutes including the African Development Bank (AfDB) are at the UN Durban conference and are holding formal and informal talks on how the continent face climate change.
"A solution on how Africa can fund climate change must be established. Our governments must see that it takes deals and deals for developed countries release their money to us," Makhosonke Mdlalose from Environmental Justice Newcastle branch said.
According to the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, people who are poor are least equipped to adapt to the impacts of climate change - and many of such people are in Africa. The studies show that Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change.
"An African solution must be found to address all these we are seeing as a result to climate change," Cedile said.
"I am not saying we don't need global assistance but saying lets work out a solution for this aid," he said. "This will encourage willing partners to help Africa," the activist added.
Reports indicate that by 2020, between 75 million and 250 million people in Africa will suffer an increase in water stress due to climate change. And the area of the continent suitable for agriculture is likely to decrease, particularly along the edges of semi-arid and arid regions.
Experts say by 2020, yields from rain-fed agriculture in some African countries could decrease by as much as 50 percent exacerbating food security problems.
"Climate change is affecting us. Food is getting to expensive," and many are loosing their jobs caused by climate changes, said Roseline, a 42 year old protester.
After about five hours of protest, activists handed over a memorandum to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) executive secretary Christiana Figueres and COP17 President Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
Figueres assured protestors that she stood with them and that negotiators were trying to reach concrete outcomes.