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Indigenous Technologies for Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa
The sub-Saharan Africa have experienced the negative impacts of climate change namely: drought, desertification, flooding, sea level rise, high temperatures, land degradation, biodiversity and ecosystem degradation, famine, intensive rainfall and reduced crop yields. Past global efforts at dealing with the impact of climate change was based on mitigation aimed at carbon sequestration. This was followed by adaptation which was seen as a viable option to reduce the vulnerability of the anticipated negative impacts of global warming. However adaptation and mitigation should not be pursued separately. The resource-poor farmers in sub-Saharan Africa have developed their unique capacity to think, adapt to change in their environment, forecast, accumulate and pass on intellectual wealth to subsequent generations through indigenous knowledge. Farmers in Africa have developed and implemented sustainable adaptation and mitigation technologies which successfully reduced their vulnerability to the climate impact using local ecological knowledge. Such technologies include changing of planting dates, cover-cropping, agro-forestry systems, use of local species of crops and livestock that adapt to the environment, regenerative agricultural practices, ability to forecast the weather for use in planning their cropping seasons, use of zero tillage and conservation agriculture, mulching, use of emergency fodder in times of drought and eco-farming systems that adapt and mitigate climate change impacts. These indigenous technologies are sustainable, culturally acceptable and environmentally friendly. The challenge is thus for various stakeholders and policy-makers to recognize and integrate these local adaptation and mitigation strategies into planning, research and environmental policy needed for tackling climate change scourge in sub-Saharan Africa which is already facing various problems such as poverty, population growth and food insecurity.