Vital Climate Graphics Africa

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Foreword

Klaus Töpfer
Executive Director
United Nations Environment Programme

Africa is considered highly vulnerable to climate change by the Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The TAR is widely accepted as the most authoritative source of climate change information available.

UNEP has attempted to unravel this complex science of climate change in Africa through simple graphics to increase public awareness. Recognising the direct relevance of long-term changes happening in climate to the daily life to residents of Africa, strong public awareness is vital to minimise adverse impacts.

Vital Climate Graphics for Africa is based on the most recent scientific data provided by the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC (2001) and other data reviewed by a Scientific Advisory Group. Policymakers, teachers, experts, media professionals and students who are making efforts to address the root causes of environmental degradation and climate change should find this publication an effective tool in their work.

The Article 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) legally ratified by 186 Governments calls for public access to information on climate change and its effects. This commitment requires not only a one way flow of information from the experts to the general public, but need to significantly benefit from observations by African citizens who take decisions every day that have the potential to either mitigate climate change or reduce vulnerability to it.

I hope that your personal copy of the Vital Climate Change for Africa will encourage you to be part of a Africa-wide network for improving the quality and quantity of information on how to mitigate and reduce vulnerability to climate change. This will help UNEP to up-date the Vital Climate Graphics for Africa as a more useful tool for everybody.

We recognise that the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol have the potential to renew efforts for improving sustainable development policies in Africa. UNEP through VCGA therefore aims to engage stakeholders and major groups in the development and implementation of policies related to UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, and promoting sustainable development in Africa.

I thank the various experts for their valuable contribution to this publication and am appreciative for the financial support provided by the Norwegian Government for this venture.

Nairobi 5 July 2002

Klaus Töpfer
Executive Director
United Nations Environment Programme

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