ICSU Dark Nature

Meetings

Aims, scope and workplan

IGCP 490

Declaration from the Dark Nature Workshop November 1 - 5, 2004 in Bobole, Mozambique:

MEGA-FLOODS: The impact of megafloods - How to identify mega-floods in palaeorecords

The mega-flood meeting in Bobole focused chiefly on floods in Equatorial East Africa and Southeast Africa. This declaration is mainly based on the African experience:

FLOODS:

During the history of humankind, the Earth's surface has experienced alternations between dry and wet periods. Floods and droughts along river floodplains and deltas have disrupted lives for the people living there. Catastrophic floods have recently occurred in almost all populated areas of the World. At the same time, many catchments are becoming drier, with reduced river flow. Climate models indicate that both floods and droughts may become more frequent and more severe during global warming. The mega-flood in Mozambique in 2000, as well as the recent catastrophic flooding along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, showed that societies everywhere are unprepared to meet the challenge of such events.

CATASTROPHIC FLOODS ARE NUMEROUS IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST AFRICA:

Examples from Equatorial East Africa, Lake Victoria Basin:

UNDERSTANDING OF POSSIBLE FUTURE MEGA-FLOODS:

The listed floods in Equatorial East Africa were all related to El Niño events. Some floods in Mozambique were related to El Niño events, while others were not. The mega-flood in 2000 was not related to any El Niño or La Niña event. Floods in South Africa during the past 50 years have not been related to El Niño events at all. Flood records dating back more than 50 years are almost non-existent in many African countries. This leads us to draw the following conclusions:

MANIPULATION OF RIVER SYSTEMS:

River systems are becoming more and more influenced by man:

ACTIONS NEEDED:

The Workshop in Bobole 2004 urges decision makers to:

WORKSHOP CONCLUSIONS:

Sponsors of the meeting:

About 40 participants attended the Workshop, 23 of them participated in the Workshop training course. The participants were from First Nations, Developing Countries: governmental institutions and universities, and included decision makers, geologists, meteorologists, geographers and ecologists.


This website is hosted by Memorial University with support from the Canadian Quaternary Association