Protein cited as Climate Change driver

Image: Hendrix Genetics

Africa needs to digress from animal to nature-friendly plant proteins, one of the factors fueling the escalation of the climate change crisis afflicting communities, food and the ecosystems, researchers say.

Since the early 1960s, Africa has promoted the reliance on eggs, milk, pork, chicken, and beef, among others as the source of nutrients and the continued production and consumption of the same proteins over the years has had devastating effects on both human, Environmental health and animals and unless there is a paradigm shift to plant nurtured supplements.

Tennyson Williams, the regional director for Africa at World Animal Protection calls for limiting the consumption of eggs, beef and pork among other minerals to help strengthen the continent’s quest to adapt and remain resilient against the devastations of climate change which has changed the fate of global food systems.

Mr. Williams warned during a virtual forum in Nairobi, Kenya organized by World Animal Protection, an international animal welfare group against overly reliance on animal proteins because of its effects on the rapidly urbanized Africa, prone to climate change and other disasters, according to local state broadcaster-Kenya Broadcasting Corp.

The practice, contended in his research to have over the years, impacted negatively-to greater length on animal welfare. Increasing livestock production spurred by demand for the nutrients has heightened the triple ecological crisis of climate change, habitat loss, and pollution on the continent.

Williams warned against ignoring the climatic change pointers as added from the sustained consumption of such animal-produced proteins. The sustained consumption threatens Africa which has become prone to greenhouse emissions.

He envisions the inaugural protein summit underway will be a driver to a shift and a call for fresh strategic action plans which if implemented will ensure food systems in the continent are able to sustain planetary and human health, he is cited further as saying.

“Over-reliance on animal proteins has proved untenable in the light of climate change, deforestation, and spread of superbugs hence the need for African countries to explore alternatives that are friendly to nature,”

Victor Yamo, the Farming Campaigns Manager at World Animal Protection echoes earlier concerns noting that the rise in consumption of the animal proteins needs a mindset change to avert the spike in the emission of greenhouse gases including methane.

Mass production of animal proteins, he cited as saying, its toughs Africa’s resilience of vital ecosystems including fresh water sources, forests, and wildlife sanctuaries besides fueling the spread of drug-resistant pathogens.

Per capita meat consumption in Africa, Mr. Yamo argues, may rise from the current 14 kg to 26 kg annually and further accelerate deforestation, water contamination and anti-microbial resistance.

There is a need for a shift to organic farming practices, and speedy implementation of policies that strengthen the nexus between animal welfare and planetary health to realize a climate-resilient future for Africa.

The researchers, senior policymakers, campaigners, attending the Nairobi conference propose an urgent shift to conservation farming and reverse the losses that threaten the continent.

Senior policymakers, campaigners, and researchers attending the two-day Africa Protein Summit are expected to among other aspects discussing dietary habits that can be adopted to boost climate resilience in the continent.

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