Representatives of the 8-member IGAD bloc have arrived in Kenya’s capital Nairobi for the 39th Extraordinary Assembly to discuss peace, security and other regional priorities.
According to the IGAD secretariat, the summit will see the Launch of a regional strategy on sustainable and resilient Livestock Development in view of climate change within the IGAD bloc.
In the face of Climate Change leaders are discussing together the Program for Climate Smart Livestock outputs, steps towards the strategy development and support of its implementation.
In the opening remarks of the regional strategy launch, emphasis was placed on addressing drivers of fragility and conflict, and fostering partnerships with the private sector, in building resilient and sustainable livestock in the face of climate change.
General Al Burhan the President of the Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan is the current Chair of IGAD.
According to experts, chronic food insecurity, protracted competition and conflicts over natural resources such as pasture and water for their livestock and occasionally unwarranted loss of human life because of increased frequency of drought has been the order of pastoral communities in IGAD region.
These are attributed to effects of climate change. Moreover, increasing human population results in additional food demand, including for animal source foods, in particular driven by growing urban populations with increasing incomes.
Livestock has been noted as one of the drivers of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the agriculture sector on the African continent (accounting for about 9% of total emissions in Sub-Saharan Africa) and have significant potential for contribution to mitigation efforts.
Compounding the situation, unsustainable use of natural resources can result in land degradation and water scarcity, jeopardizing the viability of livestock production itself.
These vulnerabilities are compounded not only by the uncertainties of climate change, but also by the potential for shocks and disturbances related to disease spread and price fluctuations.
There is a need to address the growing demand for animal products in a way that supports smallholder livestock-based livelihoods, improve the resilience, and ensure sustainable use of the natural resources.
IGAD and World Bank therefore collaborated on the development of a regional strategy on resilient and sustainable livestock to effects of climate change.