The IPCC recognises Africa as a whole to be "one of the most vulnerable continents to climate variability and change because of multiple stresses and low adaptive capacity". Climate change is likely to exacerbate the dry conditions already experienced in southern Africa.
And when rainfall does come, it is likely to be more intense, leading to erosion and flood damage. This will affect the poor most, with resulting constraints on employment opportunities and declining wages. But at present these predictions gain little policy traction in southern African countries. The multilateral climate change process is complicated and slow, and policymakers often see serious action on climate change as a domestic `vote loser'. One way to raise climate change concerns further up the policymakers' agenda is to try to put an economic value on the environmental impacts of climate change. Figures that provide a clear message about the expected impact of climate change will be powerful motivators for policymakers in developing countries to start considering climate change as a part of their national development policies.
This study is a first attempt to provide some economic indicators of how climate change will affect Namibia - one of the most vulnerable countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Focusing on natural resources, the study aims to assess the likely economic values of some of the most important environmental and socio-economic impacts of climate change in Namibia, and also to capture how some of the most important impacts might affect the overall structure of the economy.
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