Linkages at International, National and Local Levels
The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Edited by Frank Maes, An Cliquet, Willemien du Plessis and Heather McLeod-Kilmurray
Change is one of the constants in life, thus part of nature, but no change has been steady and persistent with great repercussions on the wellbeing of man and nature like climate change. Environmental degradation and global warming are now popular topics, not only because of their link to nature and thus fascinating for studies, but also because these issues have an effect on politics, human rights, economics and so on. Environmental degradation does not only affect topography; nations are affected, security is jeopardized, in fact, the whole concept of human dignity is threatened. The potential dangers of climate change are being increasingly studied by scientists, who are concerned about its long-term effects on our natural environment and on the planet. Of particular concern is how climate change caused by human-made releases of greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide, can act interactively and have adverse effects on planet earth, its natural environment and humans’ existence. Africa has witnessed increasing drought over the years and this has led to a considerable amount of conflict in that region, but the most devastating, both in terms of loss of life as a result of environmental degradation (food, water, fertile land) and apparently remote but closely related to the degrading environment, is the war in Darfur (Sudan). Indigenous people suffer more from the adverse effects of climate change because they depend heavily on the natural environment for their livelihood. Sudan is endowed with rich natural resources, which include abundant arable land, water, mineral resources and oil (Eltigani, 1995).
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