Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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Africa’s heritage sites under threat from climate change

Heritage is often ignored when it comes to climate policies. But it is crucial to people’s identity, culture, wellbeing, the sustainability of communities, ecosystems and biodiversity. Climate change threatens many African heritage sites. Joanne Clarke and her colleagues set to work to map what could happen under different climate scenarios and found that 70% of these sites are at serious risk from rising sea levels. This can inform decisions about which sites need the most urgent protection.

Marine pollution is high on the agenda of the United Nations Environment Assembly, meeting in Kenya this week. Plastic in various forms is a big contributor to pollution in the sea and in freshwater – and Nigeria is lagging behind some other African countries in tackling the problem. Lagos alone produces thousands of tonnes of plastic waste daily and it’s not properly managed, ending up in waterways where it can harm living creatures, block drainage and make open spaces unusable. Emmanuel O. Akindele rounds up some research on the impact of plastic pollution in Nigeria and makes some recommendations for combating it.

The South African government has renewed its focus on climate change recently. In February the Climate Change Bill was formally introduced in parliament, and the finance minister’s budget speech set new targets for a carbon tax. Lee-Ann Steenkamp explains how the developments could put South Africa back on track to decarbonise on time – if implemented effectively.

Ozayr Patel

Digital Editor

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