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Solving climate problem cannot be separated from eradicating poverty, South African president

(Xinhua)

11:09, November 29, 2011

DURBAN, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- "Climate change poses serious risks for humanity, especially in the developing world," South Africa President Jacob Zuma said here on Monday.

Zuma said this at the official opening of the Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP7) in Durban, east coastal city of South Africa.

He said climate change is a holistic sustainable development challenge and must not be treated as just an environmental challenge.

According to Zuma, Africa is more vulnerable because of poverty which limits the ability of most African nations to cope with the impact of climate change and agricultural output in many African countries is expected to decrease by as much as 50 percent by the year 2050, "which will cause serious food shortages."

Zuma said severe drought in Somalia is exacerbating an already volatile region causing displacement of populations and increasing refugee communities in Kenya.

"Given the urgency, states parties should strive to find solutions here in Durban," Zuma told the delegates at the meeting.

As this Conference of the Parties is taking place in Africa, adaptation is a key priority, particularly for small island states, least developed countries and Africa.

"We also feel strongly that as an African Conference of the Parties, the COP 17 outcome must recognize that solving the climate problem cannot be separated from the struggle to eradicate poverty," said Zuma.

The COP17/CMP7 will last held till Dec. 9.

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