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Policy and Advocacy
Posted by: Jon Thompson at 10:55AM EST on October 16, 2009
By Adotei AkweiThinking of Climate Change is not easy it sounds so big, so insurmountable, and it seems so far away. Here in the United States the idea that we are connected and impacted by global forces to that woman in the poor developing country who is already on the edge and for whom Climate Change spells a potential death knell- is a challenge. The historical bounty of this country has shaped our culture, expectations and sense of being part of the global community.
But Climate change is real, it will impact us here in the United States, droughts will most likely become more severe as will flooding and weather patterns will become less predictable. There is not much disagreement on that just as there is not much argument that the places that will be most impacted are the places that have the least ability to adapt and handle the negative consequences linked to food and health. There is also consensus that these same communities did not contribute to the problem.
The only disagreement is on mustering the political will to act and to act now.
The recent talks in Bangkok did not leave many people feeling confident about success in Copenhagen dues to unwillingness by all of the key players to make the necessary sacrifices now in order to avoid major negative consequences later.
There is a saying here in the United States “handsome is as handsome does” in other words what you do is more important than what you say or look like. We claim to be sophisticated beings that have the ability to work together to, plan for the future and support each other. This claim is now facing a critical test, one which failure may mean a world few of us can or want to imagine.
“Handsome is as handsome does” cutting our emissions, helping poor people survive and adapt what is already coming and protecting forests and the communities that depend on them. Helping ourselves.
Surely this cannot be beyond us
Posted by: Tonya Rawe at 7:18PM EST on October 15, 2009
There’s a photo of me on my office door: I’m standing in Muir Woods north of San Francisco hugging an enormous redwood tree. At the bottom, I’ve written, “Have you hugged a tree lately?” That’s a bit of a tongue in cheek question. You see, when I started working on climate change over a year ago, I wondered, why am I working on an environmental issue? Climate change is about the environment. It’s about trees and air and water. Then I started digging deeper and connecting the dots. And that’s when I realized that climate change isn’t just about the environment. It’s about people: you, me, our families, our children. It’s about the one billion plus people around the world who eke out an existence on less than a dollar a day.
Climate change for them isn’t about a slightly warmer summer or a rainy month of October. For people living in extreme poverty, climate change is about having enough food to eat in the face of increasing droughts. It’s about having fewer instances of diarrhea in the face of more frequent flooding. It’s about not losing your home and livelihood repeatedly in the face of more severe cyclones. Put frankly, it’s about survival. This is the human face of climate change because climate change is a people issue. And we can’t afford to ignore it – for our own wellbeing and for the sake of poverty alleviation. We can’t succeed if we ignore climate change.
So in the final fifty days before global negotiations conclude in Copenhagen, the real question to ask isn’t “have you hugged a tree lately?” but “have you hugged a person lately?”
Posted by: Jon Thompson at 1:57PM EST on October 15, 2009
My first day in Ghana
Blog by Sarah Blizzard, CARE
After several days of traveling to and within Ghana, I finally reached the community of Yaroyiri in the Northern Region of the country. To get to this community, I took three flights and a several-hour drive. The community of Yaroyiri is extremely rural and most people make their livelihood through subsistence farming.
At first, this community seems very typical of a rural African village – women with beautiful children carried on their backs, strong men, older children running around with bare feet, grandparents, friends, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers – but after talking to the members of the Climate Adaptation Committee for just a few minutes, I realized what makes this community different: CARE.
As the population in this region of Ghana has increased, crop production, which is the main source of income for the people living here, has not increased to keep up with the population. As the leader of the Climate Adaption Committee, Clement Kofichira explained to me, “Before CARE, we used to not worry about the consequences of farming actions or cultural agriculture practices and we did not work together as a community.”
Today, the members of the committee have gained education and resources to help change things around. The committee’s seven women and six men have learned about the process of conservation agriculture and are supporting each other and their community to increase crop yields. Conservation agriculture practices include minimum soil tillage, ending the process of field burning, rotating crops and planting trees, which all help decrease erosion and increase natural fertilizers in the soil that results in healthier plants and larger crop yields. Changing long-held farming practices has not been easy, but is paying off! The group is creating economic opportunities for themselves and their community, and they are able to better feed their families and afford to send their children to school.
The Climate Adaptation Committee is not only proud of improving their agriculture techniques, but also of their achievements working together as a committee. Women have long been excluded from farming decisions, but groups like this one are empowering women and men to work together to make good decisions for the entire families and communities. As Clement explained to me, “Now my wife does not hide issues, she openly discusses problems and we solve them as a team.” It was really wonderful to see first-hand how CARE’s conservation agriculture work is really making a difference.
In Yaroyiri, I also had the privilege of meetings members of two village savings and loan groups, of which several members are also involved in the Climate Adaption Committee. The first group has 16 women and 2 men as members, while the second group is made up for 21 women. When CARE staff approached the women about joining the group, they were excited to learn, share and support each other.
Each woman contributes one Ghana Cedi per week (about 65 cents). This may not sound like a lot of money, but the women only make around 2 Cedis per week during the harvest season and have no income during the dry or “hungry” season that lasts about four months out of the year.
Talking with these women, I experienced their strength and willingness to improve their livelihoods and prospects for their children. The village savings and loan group lets women take out loans so that they can improve their income during the “hungry season.” The loans are used to start small businesses growing and processing shea butter and local spices, which the women sell in the market. At the end of my visit, the women performed an energetic song and dance to show their thankfulness for CARE’s work. They also expressed their willingness to continue to diversify their livelihoods, especially for those members who do not own land. The women asked me to pass along a message to CARE’s supporters: “We are very happy and grateful for CARE and hope that you will continue your efforts to support our village savings and loan group.”
Posted by: Jon Thompson at 1:14PM EST on October 15, 2009
Look at the places around the world where people are adapting to climate change and you're bound to see the same group bearing the heaviest burden: poor women. That's pretty much the definition of unfair, given that they're least responsible for the problem. And in so many countries, barriers stand between them and the assets they need build up their resilience -- things like land, credit, new technologies and places in decision-making bodies.
Yet, somehow, poor women are finding power in one thing: each other.
That was as clear as the Ugandan sky on a recent sun-drenched day in the village of Mubuku. Two leaders of the Bakyara Tweyimukye village savings & loan association sat down to explain how they are being affected by climate change - and adapting to it. Annette Agaba, a mother of five, lead the associated that has made loans for handicraft businesses, tree plantings, "kitchen gardens," and income-generating activities such as goat and poultry rearing. She chose to rear rabbits. Maria Gorretti Kasawuli has taught other mothers how to grow "kitchen gardens." Hers bursts with herbs like dodo, sukuma and eggplants.
Though they have not a keyboard or an email address, we at CARE wanted them to be part of Blog Action Day. Here are their voices, as captured by CARE's Tracy Kajumba, in a home in western Uganda.
AGABA: "This community depends on agriculture and used to get high yields from maize, beans, ground nuts and many other crops. However from the 90s, the situation has changed. We used to predict rain and prepare our gardens and plant but now days we cannot predict anything. When you are expecting rain, you get scorching heat that destroys all the crops. When you expect sunshine, you get heavy torrential rains that wash away all the crops and sweep away the house tops!"
KASAWULI: "We started with promoting hygiene and sanitation in our homes due to the high prevalence of cholera in our area. Every time we came to save, some one talked about sanitation issues and we visited each other to assess compliance. After that we were hit by floods and after affected by drought which made it difficult for us to get money, and as a group we decided to do a reflection and take action to survive. We realized that we can no longer survive on agriculture alone and agreed to diversify and buy goats using the money from the group . . . I bought a goat but had no where to keep it, and had to share my house with it. My husband later supported me and constructed a room outside. The goat produced two kids initially, I bought two more and they have now multiplied to seventeen."
AGABA: "I have also ventured into keeping rabbits which are delicious for meat and are very marketable. Diversification is the only way to go to manage the weather changes."
KASAWULI: "We have agreed in our group that every homestead should have a kitchen garden. It does not need a lot of land. You can use old basins, jerry cans, or sacks to plant your greens and vegetables. It is also easy to water the garden since it is near, small and therefore needs little water. Ten households so far have established the kitchen gardens and this has supplemented on sauce in the face of hunger and increased food prices, and we also sell the surplus to the neighbors."
Posted by: Jon Thompson at 11:18AM EST on October 15, 2009
In the same week that I joined CARE’s advocacy team in Bangkok for the UN climate change talks, CARE’s emergency teams were responding to the consequences of typhoons, droughts and floods in the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Guatemala – some of the poorest communities in the world.
Whilst I was in Bangkok I was trying to influence government delegations negotiating a global deal to follow on from the first phase of the UN’s Kyoto Protocol. It seemed surreal that there I was, worrying about how to get a good global climate deal, while so many of my CARE colleagues were on the ground helping people respond to and recover from a seemingly endless series of disasters. Whilst the world’s governments are arguing about it, those people most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are already feeling its effects, and these effects often fall disproportionately hard on women. These very same people are being forgotten in the fog of politics.
These negotiations in the lead up to the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December this year are not just about parties agreeing on a nice form of words, by taking a middle path. Those most vulnerable to climate change need three things for good deal in Copenhagen: scientifically sound reduction in emissions, a massive scale up of funds in line with needs, and commitments in the agreement that those people and groups most vulnerable will be prioritised and meaningfully engaged.
However, the parts of the draft treaty text that give priority to the most vulnerable people and groups are under dispute. Some countries want that text eliminated but, to their credit, some others, such Australia, want it kept in. The negative effects of climate change are being felt already, today, by people. And if vulnerable people and groups are not given a place in the text that will hopefully be agreed in Copenhagen then the deal will fail one vital test: being good for people.
Take the case of Vietnam where rising sea levels and more frequent storm surges are a real threat to the coastline. Data already shows these storms are arriving more frequently and this looks likely to continue. Adaptation money (funds that allow communities to adjust to the affects of climate change) could be spent on building a concrete sea wall, which it has been shown cannot hold back the ocean. Or it could be spent on working with communities to replant and maintain mangroves that protect the coastline, harbour marine life and provide a sustainable source of income. CARE’s experience tells us that these more creative solutions, and not the most obvious technical fixes, are the ones that work best, last longest, and benefit the most people.
A good deal in Copenhagen needs to first and foremost be about people, groups and communities. If the agreement does not reflect that then we will have failed those people that need us most and who have contributed the least to climate change.
Posted by: Jon Thompson at 11:12AM EST on October 15, 2009
Today is Blog Action Day, and the topic - climate change. As we take the time to blog - and exchange views - I hope each of one us also takes the time to call or write our Senators and urge them to take strong and immediate action to address climate change. Nothing we do could be more important right now. Our Senators need to hear from us. They need to hear that we care about the people in extreme poverty, who are least responsible for but are most vulnerable to climate change. More than one billion people already struggle on less than $1.25 a day and live on a razor's edge of crisis. Climate change threatens to push them over that edge.
This morning, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's subcomittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection held a hearing on drought, flooding, and refugees and addressing the impacts of climate change in the world's most vulnerable nations. This hearing could not be more timely. Over recent weeks, CARE has been responding with humanitarian aid and supplies to an unusual number of simultaneous, mostly weather-related emergencies around the world. These emergencies include those in the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Guatemala related to typhoons, severe droughts, floods and landslides. These significant emergencies illustrate the potential threat that experts have described of the increasing frequency and numbers of natural disasters, and they highlight the challenges we may face in the coming decades.
Senators John Kerry and Barbara Boxer introduced the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, S. 1733 on September 30. This legislation is a critical step toward US leadership in tackling climate change. The bill that passed the House of Representatives in June was a great start; now it's up to the Senate. The Senate can show that the United States is ready and willing to tackle the threat of climate change by agreeing to stronger cuts in our own greenhouse gas emissions and by increasing support to help people in extreme poverty adapt to new climate conditions.
On December 7, representatives from 192 nations meet in Copenhagen and are expected to reach a global deal on climate change. There is no time to lose. Effectively addressing climate change requires a global response based on a shared sense of community. The US cannot do it alone but we can lead global efforts in this lifesaving movement. Please, let's call our Senators and ask for their support for strong US action to address climate change and provide robust resources to help the world's poorest adapt. This would show the world that the US is committed to leading efforts to address climate change and to creating a better future for all.
Posted by: Dil Khanal at 12:18PM EST on October 13, 2009
Dil Raj Khanal
Scientifically, all people are agreed that the impact of climate change is wider and it has affected the livelihood system of vulnerable communities of particularly in LDCs. Actually, if we sincerely investigate the impact of climate change at community level of LDCs, we can find strong evidence of this reality. Last week of Sep., 2009 the Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN) has organized a workshop on Climate change and REDD in the context of Nepal in western part of the country. All participants of this workshop were representatives of Community Forestry User Groups (CFUGs). After brief discussions on the concept of climate change and REDD, the workshop organizer has provided opportunity them to express their experience on the impact of climate change on the forest-based livelihood and cultural system Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC). In a plenary discussion participants have focused the discussion on the impact of climate change in following wild fruits, in which their cultures and livelihood is depending from last immemorial period:
Wild Fruit-based Culture of Nepal
2. Change in collection time of wild fruits
Participants have expressed that from last few years the collection time of many wild fruits (including above mentioned) is changing and generally the wild fruits collection time is shifted earlier, which is not naturally. According to them, the above mentioned wild fruits collection times are also changing as following:
1. Bayer (Zizyphus jujube): Bayer is an important fruit to use for the worship of Goad Shiva in a Shivaratree which is a cultural festival of Hindus in Nepal and India. According to Hindu calendar, this festival generally celebrates in April. Hindus were using fresh (not stored in any place or cold store) Bayer from immemorial period for the worship of Goad Shiva, however from last few years the collection time of this fruit is changing, therefore, due to lacking of this fresh Bayer, Hindus are feeling uneasy. In this situation, there may be requiring to change the psychology or technology for the adaptation.
2. Bel (Aegle marmelos): The Bel is also an important wild fruit for production of juice and herbal tea. Generally, poor people of Local Communities have collecting this fruit in May by utilizing their remaining time, because in this month generally farmers take rest from the farming activities. However, from last few years, the collection time of Bel is shifting earlier (generally in April), in which time farmers may be not allocate enough time for the collection of Bel from natural forests. Participants of the WS expressed that, therefore poor farmers (who work as agricultural labor) are losing income of this wild fruit.
3. Mahuwa (Bassia latifoli): Mahuwa is an important wild fruit to produce domestic alcohol by the IPs (Particularly Tharu) of Terai-Madesh (low land of the country). This fruit is highly nutrient for all age of peoples. Therefore, generally, people also eat fresh Mahuwa in the hot weather condition (day time). According to participants of the workshop, due to the shifting of collection time earlier, local people are wondering and trying to adopt the changing situation.
4. Jamun (Eugenia jambolana): Jamun is a famous nutrient wild fruit for particularly school children of rural community in Nepal. After closing the school, generally all most school children of rural communities goes to collect the Jamun in the nearby natural forest areas. The collection time of this wild fruit was generally July; however, participants of the WS said that the collection time of this fruit is also shifting earlier or in June. Therefore, sometime regular routine of students is also disturbing, because students may express their interest to go to collect the Jamun even in class time. In this situation, the school teachers are trying to adopt the changing situation. In the workshop, even they expressed that, due to the changing of wild fruits collection time, the mobility time of birds are also changing.
4. IPLC response and community voice
The local people of indigenous and local communities have no ideas about the scientific matters of climate change; however they have experience of climate change and its impact on vulnerable communities, forest and biodiversity as well as cultural/livelihood systems of forest-dependent peoples. To adopt this situation, there is necessary to invest and change in long cultural and livelihood practice of local people which may be more expensive and painful to the local peoples. Further study is necessary to identify the real impact of climate change in forest, biodiversity and forest-based/dependent cultural and livelihood systems of LDC’s peoples. The IPs and members of local communities are expecting that the new regime on climate change will justifiably response to the impact of climate change particularly in developing countries.
Posted by: suvas chandra devkota at 10:57PM EST on October 12, 2009
1. About context
Nepal is under low carbon economy country with per capita carbon emission less than 0.11, which implies one US citizen’s emission is equivalent to about 182 Nepali citizens emission. About 31 % of the population of the country is below poverty line (government information) where 70 % is estimated to be forest dependent. Forested area covers 29% surface area. National forest policy focuses on meeting peoples basic needs of forest products through engagement of local community in overall management of forest resources. More than 15000 local Community Forest Users Groups (CFUGs) including indigenous people are managing about 1.3 million hectors forests across the country. The harmony among different ethnic groups, indigenous peoples and other forest dependent communities during the process and functions of the community forest management is enthusiastic and impressive. The FECOFUN an umbrella organizations of the CFUGs has emerged a strong civil society organization in the natural resource management sectors of Nepal also contributing significant roles in poverty reduction, achieving million development goals (MDGs) and encouraging and lobbying to government in policy making process with respect to the obligations of UNCBD, UNFCC and UNCCD .
There are provisions of community rights in forest resources in Forest Act, 1993 and Regulation 1995. Under this legal provisions about 1.3 Million ha forests have already been handed over to local communities as community forests (CFs). Nepal ratified UNCBD (1992) in September 1993. Article 8 (j) requires the parties to “encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of indigenous knowledge, innovation and practices. As a signatory party, Nepal is committed to comply this legal provision. Nepal has also ratified ILO (1989) declaration 169 in 2005 that also ensures rights of IP’s on natural resources. There is also a signed agreement between GON and IP’s federated bodies to implement ILO 169 in the country. Nepal also agrees on UNDRIP (2007), which also secures IP’s rights on natural resources.
2. Drivers of D2 in Nepal
Degradation of forest is much more serious concern compared to the deforestation problem in Nepal. Five major drivers of deforestation and degradation are identifying in Nepal. They are: a) Lack of clarity in the tenure system, b) Conversion of forest & Agriculture expansion c) Government resettlement program and d) Illegal harvesting
Forestry sector FECOFUN is very much concerned about quick assessment of deforestation drivers and efforts taken by state with collaboration of CSOs to address them. FECOFUN is willing to work together with Government of Nepal to address these serious issues. By the results of coordination and collaborations between FECOFUN and government line agencies few initiatives have taken in this regards. However it is not sufficient in-terms of intensity of deforestation and degradation occur in Nepal. Development and implementation of forest fire control policy is one of the good examples that initiated by the Nepal Government. Likewise, Community based forest management is our mainstream forest policy. Community managed forests are the best examples sustainable management of forest and biodiversity conservation. Therefore, we are strongly recommendation to Nepal Government, to developed effective and efficient safe guarding mechanisms, economic incentives, legal instruments and functional institutions in considering rights to free, prior and informed consent of local community and indigenous peoples regarding to the policy of the climate change.
3. Issues consider on REDD
Though, REDD is an emerging market, but countries like Nepal where forest inventory data are inadequate, technical capacity is weak at community and professional level and where forests are difficult to access due to difficult geographic features; market based approach may not be sufficient to reduce deforestation and degradation problems. Would definitely focus more on maximizing co-benefits of REDD like- enhancing ecosystem resilience, livelihoods improvement, good governance practices, biodiversity conservation. Good conservation practices in mid-hills and mountain watersheds are contributing in reducing vulnerability to downstream population living in India and Bangladesh. The compensatory payments for up-stream community would be an economic incentive for effective conservation of these forests.
Posted by: CARE at 2:27AM EST on October 6, 2009
Now we are in the Bangkok in the process of U.N. climate change TALK (28 Sept.–9 October 2009). However, the process of the negotiation is still uncertain and unpredictable.
Most of the people of the developing country specially indigenous people, vulnerable and poor and marginalized populations are depend upon the natural resources for their livelihood, cultural and traditional integrity and dignity. It is well accepted and well known that, those forest depended people both in indigenous people (IPs) and community have suffered very worst impacts of climate change without having any significant contributions to emission greenhouse gasses and to misbalanced the environment and climate change.
The 13th U.N. Conferences of the parties of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that was held in Dec. 2007, in Bali, formally included negotiation on REDD((Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) in the UNFCCC content . Now REDD has become the major integrant of UNFCCC talking/discussions in U.N. negotiation table in Bangkok. The developing countries like Nepal, Tanzania etc. are looking toward the REDD and its scope.
Approximately 40 representatives of civil society organizations/indigenous peoples' networks of almost 30 countries of Asia Pacific, South America and Africa including international alliances and networks that have worked for REDD and climate justices have been working together since August 2008 as the name of Accra Caucus group on the issues of the REDD intensively and effectively. Accra Caucus is functioning as the loose forum and playing crucial roles to bring the agenda of community/IPs on the negotiation table of climate change. It has also helped to make common understanding on the issues of REDD among the right holders/stakeholders and make a consolidate voice to influences climate change negotiation talk through delegators of the parties.
Negotiation of the REDD on climate change is a crucial and complex process. Vary of the interests, different graphical areas and context including limited knowledge's on subjects matters, technology/advocacy experiences in international forum are sometimes observed complicated to safeguard of the IP rights (UNDRIP), and communities rights. Increasing recognition that REDD policies might have importance impacts on the rights and governance structures of IP and other forest-dependant peoples Due to the hard and continue works of the representatives of CSOs, and other networks/ alliances has developed common messages that has called Accra Caucus Messages and disseminated to wide range of audiences to influence in the climate change negotiation specially in restructuring text of REDD .The key message are considering 1. Overall objectives are to halt deforestations and degradations 2. Safeguard to UNDRIP of indigenous people and local community regarding to other international instruments and agreements human Rights 3. Measurement, reporting and verifications (MRV) applies to more than carbon 3.REDD financing must be additional to and not substitute.
Advocacy is complicated and continues process to safe guard of rights of IPs and forest-dependent people. It is needed joint efforts of rights holders and other networks/alliances to raise voices strongly to influences the UNFCCC negotiations especially REDD texts.
Posted by: CARE at 6:11PM EST on October 5, 2009
Blog Action Day is coming up soon on October 15 and thousands of bloggers will unite to raise awareness of a timely and critical issue: climate change. CARE is encouraging all the bloggers in our network to participate in this event by writing about CARE's climate change work.
Last year, more than 12,000 bloggers participated in Blog Action Day by writing about global poverty, collectively reaching an audience of more than 13 million readers.
We hope to achieve similar success in spreading the message about climate change; in particular, CARE would like your help to raise awareness of the human face of climate change – the fact that our changing climate disproportionately affects the world’s poorest communities (especially women).
Global climate change isn’t *just* about melting ice caps. The world is experiencing floods, droughts and cyclones with intensity and frequency never before recorded in human history.
What does this mean for the world’s 1.4 billion people who subsist on a little more than a dollar a day? They are likely hungrier, sicker and poorer because of climate change. Families are losing their crops, homes and livelihoods.
We hope you’ll jump on this unparalleled opportunity to join together to produce a groundswell of awareness about one of the most important issues of our time.
And the timing couldn’t be better. Blog Action Day 2009 falls just a little over a week before the International Day of Climate Change, and not long before the critical Copenhagen negotiations in December. Your participation will make a huge difference!
In thinking about how climate change affects the world’s poor, and especially women, please consider the following:
:: In some of the poorest African countries, climate change may reduce harvests by as much as 50 percent by 2020. Women’s groups formed with CARE’s support are learning to farm more efficiently. CARE also helps women diversify their incomes so they can earn a living despite our changing climate. As a blogger, you can encourage your readers to support CARE’s economic development programs to help communities become more self-sufficient.
:: More women are injured or killed during hurricanes, floods and cyclones. They are less likely to hear official warnings and to be able to swim or to escape quickly, especially if carrying young children.
:: Climate change is expected to make weather crises, such as droughts, floods and storms, more common and more severe. People in extreme poverty, especially in Africa, Central and South Asia, and Southeast Asia, will face even greater risk of disaster as the frequency, intensity and duration of weather-related hazards increase. Encourage your friends and family to visit http://www.care.org/climate to learn more about how climate change is causing large scale flooding in developing regions and even impacting large-scale migration patterns.
:: In countries where climate change is causing a decline in rainfall and glacier loss, it is increasingly difficult to meet basic water needs. Your blog can encourage readers to make a donation to help CARE assist communities develop dependable water sources and make better use of scarce water resources.
:: Climate change will increase health risks. Projected trends include increased malnutrition, increased morbidity and mortality in heat waves and weather-related disasters, and changes in the geographic range of some infectious disease vectors like malaria. Let your readers know that a $10 donation could provide a family with mosquito nets to prevent malaria.
:: CARE’s comprehensive approach to fighting poverty helps women and their families withstand shocks to their livelihoods. Quality education, proper health care and economic opportunity all strengthen families against the threats posed by climate change.
:: We have an opportunity right now to impact the global response to this growing threat. On December 7, representatives from 192 nations will meet in Copenhagen to reach an international deal on climate change and the U.S. Congress is deliberating legislation that could include increased support to help poor communities adapt to extreme changes in weather patterns. In your blog post, you could urge your readers to go to http://www.care.org/climate and urge their senators to take decisive action.
The injustice of climate change is that the people often least responsible for the problem are suffering tremendously from its deadly consequences. Help CARE address this injustice by spreading the word about the human face of climate change.
To learn more about CARE’s climate change work, why it matters and what we’re asking legislators to do, please visit http://www.care.org/climate. There you’ll find stories, data and multimedia resources you can use to develop your blog posts.
To learn more about participating in Blog Action Day, visit http://blogactionday.org/
Posted by: CARE at 7:09AM EST on October 5, 2009
It is quite exciting to have my first of many blogs to come on climate change and climate governance issues go up on the CARE website. I am currently in Bangkok, Thailand for the 2009 Bangkok Climate Change Talks which commenced on the 28th September and is scheduled to close on the 9th October.
I am a Ghanaian citizen working with climate change and part of CARE’s Southern Voices Project which aims to ensure a stronger voice of developing countries in the international climate change negotiations.
I have therefore been attending UNFCCC climate talks since June 2009 in Bonn, Germany. I have met, shared and still sharing experiences with other colleagues on the Southern Voices Project from Tanzania, Nepal, Indonesia and Vietnam. It has been quite fulfilling to lobby various government delegates urging them to take positions and negotiate on a sound climate deal that allows for real reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to a scientifically accepted level and adaptation measures to the climate crisis that will safeguard the lives and livelihoods of people especially the poor.
I have been keenly following the ‘negotiations’ on the new mechanism of including forests in climate change mitigation known as “Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation” (now most often referred to as REDDplus). Following from last week’s consolidation of the text document, the process of negotiation can finally move forward and hopefully at a speed and focus that portrays an urgency in the global climate governance to strike not just any deal but a good climate deal; as 350.org puts it, “it is not the future that we need to secure but the present we need to take hold of”.
As much as I am hoping delegates develop an agreement on REDDplus that considers the rights and role of local communities in the associated scope, principles and safeguards of REDDplus, I also do hope that under the Kyoto Protocol negotiations on mitigation actions by developed countries, the low emission reduction ambitions placed on the table will be replaced by higher emission reduction ambitions by the time COP 15 is held in Denmark.
Coming from a developing country such as Ghana, I am in tune with how the climate crisis affects poor local communities and therefore appreciative of what effective and deeper cuts in current greenhouse gas emissions and necessary adaptation measures will have for our local societies. Back home, floods have occurred in areas and during times that there never used to be rain, the rainy seasons have altered and affected the agricultural performance of farmers. These climate crisis and more are not limited to Ghana alone, they have been expressed in other areas that I have travelled to. It is interesting to wonder if such news ever beckons to my government and other developing governments to have second thoughts of the need to act promptly for an effective regime that introduces mitigation options that will actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also adaptation options to effectively deal with the present climate crisis.
I have during the negotiations witnessed a certain passion that developed countries have for their countries, which I find lacking with most developing country delegates especially from Africa. There have been instances where delegates have stayed away from negotiation rooms and peacefully ‘dozed’ off on couches in the meeting corridors whilst the future of their countries are determined by countries that hide in the background of their political and economic power play.
Developing countries should wake up and be passionate for their countries and citizens; they should put pressure on developed countries and achieve a sound climate deal that does not in turn further threaten the lives and livelihoods of their local communities. I was highly impressed on Friday the 2nd October at the stock-taking for the Ad-hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action when the Venezuelan delegate on behalf of other countries stated beautifully the need to develop a proper long term cooperation that did not seek to “re-enact olden day land grabs with modern day sky-grabs”.
The ‘bus’ that set off in 2007 from Bali is now at the Bangkok ‘bus stop’ and there are only 4 days left for the ‘bus’ to move to the final destination in Copenhagen in December only after making another brief stop at the Barcelona ‘bus stop’ for a week. I hope our leaders wake up and smell the coffee….
Posted by: CARE at 4:00PM EST on October 2, 2009
I got a shot of much needed energy this afternoon. Around lunch time, Liv, Poul Erik and I participated in a tcktcktck.org campaign rally. More than 100 women from Asia and around the world stood before the UN building in Bangkok, where delegates are negotiating a global climate deal, to demand "No Climate Justice without Gender Justice!"
Poor women are among the most vulnerable to climate change, and they are the least responsible for the problem and also the least capable of adapting to new conditions. Today, they stood up for themselves. They called for their voices to be heard in the negotiations.
I was also thrilled to see the headliner for the front page of the ECO newsletter (published by the NGO community at these UN talks): "Agents of Real Change" which highlights how women are the real agents of change. http://www.climatenetwork.org/eco/bangkok-2009-ecos/Eco4.pdf