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Can Global African Diaspora Unity Slow The World's Climate Changes?

Faced with the threat of climate change, the unity of African countries is increasingly evident in importance to the global conversation, and deserves to be applauded: the initiative to create a yearly African Climate Week, along with the involvement of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and the African Group of Negotiators for COP, all under the leadership of the Committee of Heads of States and Governments on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), and with the Nairobi Declaration as the cornerstone of the a common African position, will create a robust mechanism to champion the climate interests of the planet.

Oxfam calculated last year that 13 million animals, worth $7.4bn, and hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops were lost, leaving millions of people without income or food. Our water engineers warned that one in five water boreholes they dig now in East Africa is dry or has water unfit for people to drink without treatment. Too often, they must drill deeper, more expensive, and harder-to-maintain boreholes only to find dry, depleted, or polluted reservoirs.Prompting countries to consider that in spending less than 25 million on solar powered industrial atmospheric water generators and water tower storage would have saved 2 billion dollars in losses of livestock and arable land!

African self sufficiency and avoidance of predatory loans to build infrastructure around employment for African citizens engaged in the continent's solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal resources could power a low-carbon future and help tackle Africa's economic issues and the planet's greatest threat. The Great Green Wall initiative is another example that demonstrates the potential role that African based initiatives can play in tackling climate change.

African countries in the Sahel are rewriting the playbook when dealing with nations claiming to be committed to implementing policies, regulations and incentives aimed at attracting local, regional and global investment in “green growth”. The newfound clarity about what can be considered “green growth” no longer allows the door to solutions that prioritize profit over people. For example, corporations can buy vast tracks of land to offset their carbon emissions abroad and continue pumping oil and gas – a reality sadly widespread in Africa and elsewhere – to the detriment of smallholder farmers and their environment.

African Diasporans are powerhouses of climate and sustainable innovation in their countries of residence and origin. Their contribution, for example through farming practices, direct investment, philanthropy and ancient technology skills transfer, is widely recognised. They are also among the first to respond when a disaster strikes in their countries of origin, but governments are yet to develop frameworks, policies and programmes that can unlock diasporas’ global connections and potential in accelerating climate change mitigation and adaptation.

By combining traditional knowledge with modern technologies, African countries are taking proactive steps to address the urgent water-related impacts of climate change. Furthermore, rainwater harvesting has been used in Namibia for centuries as an indigenous method of collecting and storing rainwater for later use.

African Diasporans and Indigenous communities have the ancestral knowledge, skills, and global connections that are crucial to accelerate climate action in their countries of origins and on a global scale as many so called first world countries only give lip service but put action behind corporate concerns rather than existential threats. The irony is the first to go due to climate will be the nations whose populations believe have governments fighting against climate change global warming. When in factthe glaring inaction and rheytoric is the reason current warming is irreversible which is causing a cascade effect of demographic decline in first world nations.

According to 2021,2022,2023, and 2024 studies from all over the globe, exposure to more frequent hot days reduces birth rates in Europe,Canada,USA,Australia,the Middle East five to eight months later, and more significantly nine to ten months after exposure. The study also found that the effect of hot days with high humidity is stronger than hot days with low humidity. A 2018 UCLA study published in the journal Demography also found that high temperatures can negatively impact fertility and birth rates, and that climate change could make it even harder to get pregnant in the future.

High UV radiation which occurs even at night and cannot be felt like heat is a major causal factor of population decline among those populations without significant eumelanin (natures way of protecting fertility) A 2014 USA National Institutes of Health (NIH) study found that men with high exposure to UV filters BP-2 or 4OH-BP had a 30% reduction in fertility. The study also found that some sunscreen ingredients can disrupt sperm cell function and mimic the effects of progesterone, a female hormone. High UV radiation exposure also breaks down folic acid in women, which is important for healthy cell growth and DNA synthesis during pregnancy.

Studies suggest that moderate sun exposure in the spring and autumn may may force the body to compensate by improving ovarian reserve in women between the ages of 30 and 40. A pregnancy is considered high risk if a woman is 35 or older because she or her baby may have an increased chance of health problems, premature or early delivery. The risks of pregnancy increase with age, and the further along the pregnancy, the higher the rate.Other research suggests that women at the beginning of their reproductive years may be less impacted by the sun's effects on fertility because they have a larger egg reserve. But,the general finding is that heat strongly decreases the birth rate. At the same time, thus fetal losses increase when pregnant women are exposed to hot weather.

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in Europe, and incidence rates are rising faster than any other cancer. In 2020, the European Union (EU) registered over 100,000 cases of melanoma skin cancer, which is a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes grow out of control. The main cause of melanoma is exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or artificial sources like tanning devices. Fair-skinned people are also at a higher risk. It's estimated that the number of new melanoma cases diagnosed in 2024 will increase by 7.3 percent in the USA. The number of melanoma deaths is expected to increase by 4 percent in 2024. An estimated 200,350 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2024. Because of the steady increases of death and infertility caused by high UV exposure even the tanning industry is being hard hit. To date, 44 of the United States and the District of Columbia either ban or regulate indoor tanning by minors, and numerous counties and cities have enacted their own laws or regulatory measures. This has resulted in varying levels of indoor tanning restrictions across the country.

Melanoma is not uncommon in young people, especially young women, and is one of the most common cancers in people under 30. In fact, for people ages 15 to 29, it is the ninth most common cancer. Scientists at The University of Manchester are recommending that everyone limit daily sun exposure of 10-15 minutes 45-60 if you have a dark complexion.

In summation through their social capital, diasporans can play a role in advocacy and raise awareness related to the green transition because they encapsulize the power of social influence, along with a justice based focus for developing policy frameworks for climate action. The essential African diaspora capital is cultural, where the transfer of values, perspectives and ideas can increase diversity and climate resilience.


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