- Infestation of desert locusts, which has plagued a vast swathe from eastern Africa to India in recent years, has been closely linked to climate change.
- In this context, the Global Landscapes Forum Climate Hybrid Conference has proposed that plans to mitigate climate change must include action against pests and diseases.
- The conference was recently held alongside the 26th Conference of Parties (CoP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
- The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) is a short-horned grasshopper.
- Harmless when solitary, locusts undergo a behavioural change when their population builds up rapidly.
- They enter the ‘gregarious phase’ by forming huge swarms that can travel up to 150 km per day, eating up every bit of greenery on their way.
- Locust infestations can harm livelihoods and be a threat to regional investments in ensuring food security.
- In East Africa and Yemen alone, damages and losses in 2020 due to locusts could amount to as much as $8.5 billion.
- The long-term response and recovery costs could top $1billion if swarm growth is not controlled.
- Early Warning System: Satellite and weather data, along with field observations, can be used for building powerful predictive models on breeding sites.
- True Cost Accounting: Counting the environmental and human costs through True Cost Accounting.
- True Cost Accounting is a new type of bookkeeping that does not just look at the usual financial values within a company, but also calculates the impacts on natural and social capital.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT