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IFPRI Publishes Papers on Climate Change and Economic Growth in Zambia, Agricultural Vulnerability in South Africa

© IFPRISeptember 2009: The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has recently published two papers modeling the impact of climate variability and change on economic growth in Zambia, and mapping the vulnerability of South Africa's farming sector to climate change.

The paper on climate change and economic growth in Zambia combines a hydro-crop model with a dynamic general equilibrium model to assess the impacts of climate variability and change on economic growth and poverty reduction in Zambia. A similar method is also used to examine the potential impact of climate change on the economy based on projections of a well-known global climate model and two hypothetical scenarios. The authors, James Thurlow, Tingju Zhu and Xinshen Diao, estimate that climate variability could cost the country US$4.3 billion over a 10-year period. They highlight that estimates of the economic impacts of climate change are most sensitive to rainfall patterns, and that costs could rise to over US$7 billion under the worst rainfall scenarios. They underscore that climate impacts are likely to keep thousands of individuals below the national poverty line over the coming decade.

In the paper on climate change and the South African farming sector, the authors, Glwadys Aymone Gbetibouo and Claudia Ringler, develop a vulnerability index and nineteen environmental and socioeconomic indicators to reflect the exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity of nine provinces of the country. The results of the study show that the regions most vulnerable to climate change and variability also have a higher capacity for adaptation. However, due to the high variability of development among the provinces, the authors highlight the need to develop region-specific policies and address climate change locally. [The impact of climate variability and change on economic growth and poverty in Zambia] [Mapping South African farming sector vulnerability to climate change and variability]