Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation in East Africa (EA) and South America (SA)

  • Anne Nyatichi Omambia
  • Ceven Shemsanga
  • Ivonne Andrea Sanchez Hernandez


In recent decades, global climate change has continued to cause devastating impacts to various places on Earth. Geographic and socioeconomic characteristics in East Africa (EA) and South America (SA) make the regions among the most vulnerable to the current temperature variations attracting several studies with wider implications. Presently, in these two regions, remarkable evidence of climate change includes repeated droughts and increase in dry lands affecting water and food availability for humans, livestock, and wildlife (EA), intensification of climate-sensitive diseases, sea level rise, fast retreat of glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount Kenya in Kenya, and Andeans Mountains of South America, change in the rainfall patterns in the Amazon forests and in the whole of EA, and increasing of the frequency and intensity of the El Niño and La Niña phenomenon in the South Pacific that affect both EA and SA, among others. Although these two regions are not major contributors of greenhouse gases (GHGs), the poor conservation of strategic ecosystems through deforestation of the Amazon forests in SA and various forests in EA coupled with intensification of agriculture, land degradation, rapid rates of urbanization and industrialization all driven by rapid population increase are putting a strain on valuable natural resources whose conservation would be critical in mitigating climate change. Adaptation measures have been constrained by climate change impacts. In both regions, poverty is widespread and climate change impacts have jeopardized most poverty alleviation initiatives including realization of some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Moreover, both regions have a strong dependency on rain-fed agriculture for economic development with hydroelectricity and biomass as main sources of energy. Consequently, adaptation measures are required for all the sectors, but especially in agriculture, health, and energy where the loss of soil productivity, increasing spread of climate-sensitive diseases, reduction of water and energy source supply are already threatening the social and economic security of both regions. Both regions have a wealth of indigenous knowledge and coping mechanisms of various local communities that should be incorporated into conventional adaptation measures of climate change. This chapter describes the main climate change impacts in EA and SA, vulnerabilities thereon, and adaptation measures that offer an opportunity to the two regions to develop in a sustainable way.


Climate Change Gross Domestic Product Food Insecurity Climate Change Impact Clean Development Mechanism 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Nyatichi Omambia
    • 1
  • Ceven Shemsanga
    • 2
  • Ivonne Andrea Sanchez Hernandez
    • 3
  1. 1.National Environment Management AuthorityNairobiKenya
  2. 2.Department of Eco-tourism and Nature ConservationSebastian Kolowa University College, Tumaini UniversityLushoto-TangaUnited Republic of Tanzania
  3. 3.Settlements Research GroupSanta Maria de la Loma Experiences Exchange CentreLas Rosa de CabalColombia

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