This session is hosted by TMG, BMZ and IGAD, Swette Center (ASU) and dedicated to the ongoing Desert Locust upsurge and the interconnectedness with the climate crisis. Against all expectations the Desert Locust upsurge is still ongoing. The upsurge continues to profoundly threaten vast regions, especially the Horn of Africa and Western Asia, with livelihoods and food security at peril. Given that climate conditions favoring desert locust outbreaks will likely occur more frequently in the future, the session calls for new governance and innovative Early Warning systems to increase resilience in an interconnected world facing unprecedented events and disasters.
- There is increasing evidence that weather changes (higher temperatures in the Indian Ocean) due to the climate crisis have played an important role and are responsible for the magnitude of the ongoing desert locust outbreak While numbers are still preliminary, according to the World Bank*, as the upsurge began to fully transpire, “over 23 million severely food-insecure people and over 12 million forcibly displaced were, already in the area”.
- With climate change likely increasing the frequency and intensity of weather changes and therefore future outbreaks, the status quo is surely no longer tenable – better and more rapid coordination and governance are urgently needed in the name of adaptation and resilience.
- Prevention and management of transboundary pests and diseases need to be integrated into climate change adaptation and resilience efforts.
- It is necessary to understand the “true cost” of the campaign, not just the fiscal costs, but also the high costs to the environment and human health caused by the use of highly toxic pesticides. In other words, making the invisible costs visible.
- An innovative Early Warning system taking into account the new threats caused by climate change, the design of new prevention and early actions, including the use of satellites, precision drones, robotics, modern management and the development of effective bio control and least hazardous control options is essential for the benefit of small holders, vulnerable people and the environment.