The economic -- as well as human and environmental -- costs of adapting to climate change will hit developing nations hardest -- none harder than those in Sub-Saharan Africa. New World Bank projections have adaptation costs carving out almost 7 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa's gross development product annually between 2010 and 2029. That's more than double the cost projected for Latin America and the Caribbean, and more than triple the cost to GDP that would be borne by developing countries in other regions. Yet only 16 of the 100 finalists in DM2009 were from Africa, and only three of them -- from Burkina Faso (anti-desertification), Ethiopia (anti-drought), and Nigeria (anti-drought) -- were among the 26 winners.
Below, from left, photos of winners from projects in Burkina Faso (Thomas Granier), Ethiopia (Mohammad Ehsan Dulloo), and Nigeria (Nnaemeka Chidiebere Ikegwuonu).
Of all the adverse impacts of climate change in Africa, the worst is drought. Already faltering food production in the region could fall by 16 percent long term because of more frequent and intense drier weather, according to recent projections. If that happens, Africa would be even further from meeting its Millennium Development Goals to reduce poverty.
With most of Africa's food grown by small farmers, most adaptation projects to protect the farmers against climate change will have to start on a small scale. The implications are as certain as the outlook for drier weather: Africa must become the center of many more projects like the region's three winners at DM2009.