The grinding effects of climate change affect three quarters of the global citizens particularly those in the rural communities who depend on the natural habitat for their livelihood. Speaking during a United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Programme which was running concurrently with the COP 17 climate change talks, Mr. Kgalema Motlanthe said land degradation threatens the existence of the ecosystem while exerting pressure on the poor communities who depend on the natural habitat.
Mothlante said the depletion of the land, will only result in food insecurity, civil wars and more crisis on the African continent. He said African governments should adopt sound policies that will rehabilitate the land as well as empower vulnerable communities with mechanisms to protect their environment.
The South African Vice President said depleting the land is one thing the African continent cannot afford to do at the moment.
Zimbabwe is one country on the African continent that has made strides towards rehabilitating the land by decongesting the rural areas which were characterised by excessive land use pressures that caused land degradation and desertification through the historic land reform programme.
To complement that, Zimbabwe signed the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification to monitor land degradation and has been working with various stakeholders to combat desertification through different interventions such as reforestation.
Moreover, a national target of planting 10 million trees in 2012 has been set by the forestry commission in a bid to reduce erosion rates, to rehabilitate, reclaim and restore degraded land.