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Mapping climate vulnerability and poverty in Africa

This 200-page report provides background data and analysis on climate impacts in sub-Saharan Africa, and identifies 'hotspots' of environmental change. It maps current farming systems throughout the continent, as well as key indicators of climate change including number and length of growing seasons and annual rainfall. A map of 'vulnerability' across the continent is presented, based on natural, physical, social and human indicators, and financial capital under different climate scenarios.

Some of the uncertainties in the analysis are identified and the decision-making implications discussed. Although the maps do not disclose the causes of climate change in Africa, they do give policymakers warning of the communities and farming systems likely to suffer most.

The report points out that Africa will face some of the largest impacts despite its countries being among the world's lowest greenhouse gas emitters. Developed countries therefore have an ethical obligation to help the continent prepare for climate change impacts, say the authors, although they also emphasise the need for local communities to start implementing adaptation strategies for themselves.