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Nigerian President Calls For International Action On Climate Change

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo

Niger seeks help to hold back desert
Niamey (AFP) Jan 12 - Niger's President Mamadou Tandja has called for international help to counter growing desertification which has already overrun two-thirds of the vast West African country. Tandja told foreign diplomats here that the drought-prone country had made progress in stemming the spread of desert over the past six years, but still needed international help.

"We are calling on all our partners to intensify their cooperation and help Niger with their expertise to consolidate our gains," Tandja said in a New Year address to the diplomatic corps. "Satellite observations in 2006 show that Niger has been able to push back the advance of desertification by nearly three million hectares (1.2 million acres)," in the past six years, the president said.

Soil restoration, vegetation regeneration and water conservation projects had boosted agricultural land, and this year 60,000 unemployed youths would be mobilised to help reclaim desertified territory, he said. Drought and locust attacks caused a major food emergency in 2005, which left three million people dependent on emergency food aid.

by Staff Writers
Accra (AFP) Jan 13, 2007
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has called for international assistance to help Africa deal with the devastation caused by climate change. Speaking at a conference on German-African partnership in the Ghanaian capital Accra, Obasanjo called late Saturday on all nations to adhere to international protocols the environment.

He said deforestation was having a detrimental effect on the continent's ecology and called for urgent action to prevent Lake Chad, a shallow lake providing water to millions of people in several African countries, from drying up.

"We have to do something about the lake so that about 10 million people will not be out of water," Obasanjo warned.

Lake Chad borders Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad. Water levels have been falling in recent years due to climate change and increased human usage.

The conference, hosted by Ghana's President John Kufuor, was being attended by German President and former International Monetary Fund head Horst Koehler during a four-day visit to Ghana.

Also attending were presidents and 50 youth leaders from 18 African countries, including Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and African Union Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare.

Koehler used the event to call earlier on Saturday for the European Union to change its attitude toward Africa and address double standards in areas such as trade and human rights.

"It is inconsistent that we in Europe demand justice while closing our eyes to injustice in Africa. This also means that we in the north must change our behaviour," he said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Governments and businesses must act now against climate change, and the United States needs a bigger public debate about its risks, the chairman of the Lloyd's insurance market said Friday. Peter Levene warned that vast storms bigger than Hurricane Katrina are likely to batter the United States in coming years despite a relatively calm 2006 Atlantic hurricane season.

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