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Population, Development and climate change

International Symposium, Dakar 12 to 14 december 2012


Climate change is one of today’s phenomenon that mostly concerns decision makers, scientists and civil society representatives. Because, at first, it is the result of the development everybody is craving for and then it is the cause of many big damages for mankind. Indeed, Man, via his productive activities of goods and services meanwhile contributes to the degradation of his environment : clearing of trees, deforestation, water and air pollution, modification of the atmosphere components, global warming, etc which results in serious consequences for man’s wellbeing and mankind at large : Jeopardy on our health, poor quality of the air and of the water, droughts and food precariousness menaces..
At the Population and Development International Conference (P DIC, 1994), those issues had already been discussed and had been taken into account in the PDIC Action Plan Programme (AP/PDIC). The AP/PDIC evaluation due in 2014 will be an opportunity to set the records straight on the progress made in the implementation of the programme recommendations. Thus, all through 2013, countries and institutions will be preparing that evaluation that somehow will be a summary of all the efforts made by the continent and the rest of the world, in view of bringing in line the interaction between the population and the environment in general, and more specifically the demographic behaviours and the climate change, which today is most blatant and the most concerning.
At the United Nation Conference on Sustainable Development ( RIO+20),held last June in Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, member states have asked developed countries to keep the promises made to support Africa in its attempts at reaching the Millennium Development Goals ( GMD). In that respects, pleading activities are scheduled so that investments and all the other initiatives from African countries be punctuated by guarantees meant for the protection of the environment and the implementation of a sustainable development policy. The question of financial compensations for poor countries in general and particularly for African countries has also been a topical issue.
Those compensations are for repairing the damages made on the environment ; the first concerned being the developed countries both from the North and the South.
They have also raised the financial compensation issues for poor countries in general and for African countries more precisely. They aim at repairing the damages made on the environment by the developed countries in the North and the South as well.
However, despite the numerous recommendations and decisions from the different United Nation Conferences on Sustainable Development, progress in the Protection of the environment has been very mild since Rio 1992.
Mine exploitation of African natural resources keeps going on, along with the deforestation, water and air noise pollution ; there is rampant insalubrities in the African towns and some have turned into junk places for the wastes from the North. These examples show clearly the importance of the challenges to be met. And yet, we have to reconsider the result of the ill-development impact on the environment to which climate change is one of its main corollaries.
By the way, the current reflexion tends to give top priority to the connexion between the economic behaviours on the one hand, the environment degradation and the climate change on the other. There is no strong emphasis on the demographic factors that motivates those economic behaviours or directly impacts the climate change, or has a boomerang-effect on some demographic behaviour. The high fecundity level in rural areas for instance has some impact on the deforestation, which in turn impacts the labour migration, either directly or through the issue of food security. But what is the situation all about in the different countries ?
It is above all admitted that men and women are of different vulnerability towards the climate change effects which depends on the sharing responsibility based on gender, on the unequal access to resources, they, as a result, benefit from unequal opportunities to react to the climate change effects and adjust well. Thus, all the vital interest to devote to the differences related to gender in the analysis of the phenomena related to the climate change.
To answer those questions, share the teachings on the climate risks and the impacts from its current dynamics as well as the strategies to be implemented to maximise the good effects and attenuate the negative effects of the climate change, the Population, Development and Reproductive Health Institute of Dakar Cheikh Anta Diop University
(IPDSR) and CODESRIA, in partnership with some African and European Institutes and Research Centres are organizing a symposium about the current interrelationships between climate change, population and development.

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Population, development and climate change

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