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Policy and Advocacy
Posted by: Staci Dixon at 2:16PM EST on June 16, 2011
Blog from Climate Change Conference Bonn
Raja Jarrah, CARE’s Senior Advisor on REDD
The metaphor of forests being the lungs of the earth has been often used. Scientists hate that metaphor but it works for most of us. Among the many functions of forests, they recycle the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and emit oxygen. Yet tropical forests are disappearing at an alarming rate – not only emitting more greenhouse gases in the process (as trees burn or decompose), but also reducing their capacity to absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from other sources.
The scheme called REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) was invented to address this problem. It is fraught with technical and political challenges – how to measure forests properly, how to stop their loss, how to protect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities who depend on forests, and how to pay for it. These details have preoccupied negotiators and their advisers since REDD was agreed in Bali in 2007. And they are very important, because we have to make sure that saving forests is done in a way that respects the rights of the people who depend on them, particularly those whose voice is seldom heard, like women and indigenous peoples.
Yet while there has been some progress in working out these details, it seems that we have lost the sense of urgency. We are spending ages designing a complex system of rules that will end up only saving some of the world’s forests – those in countries that have the wherewithal to comply with those rules. Yet it is within our power to completely halt the loss of forests if we want to – arguably the quickest reduction in emissions that we can make. To make this happen, we must: make it a global goal that we all work towards; put the money behind this commitment; and curb the demand from our industrialized society for biofuels, animal feed, and beef, the three main reasons that tropical forests are converted to agricultural land.
Every day we are putting more carbon into the atmosphere. We turn the carbon that is locked underground in fossil fuels into carbon that is freely circulating in the atmosphere – forever. REDD alone will not stop runaway climate change, though it can achieve results fast, and give time for the transition to a low carbon culture to take place. So REDD only makes sense if urgent action is taken to reduce emissions as quickly as possible in all other sectors at the same time. Returning to the analogy of forests as lungs – what’s the point in treating lung disease if the patient will not promise to quit smoking?
So what is missing from the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) process? Two straightforward commitments to remind us why we are doing all this: a binding commitment to ambitious emissions reductions from all countries; and a vision to reduce deforestation to zero in ten years. The rest is just necessary detail.
Posted by: Malaika Wright at 4:23PM EST on October 14, 2010
At Akodokodoi village in Northern Uganda, the tree divides us. On one side, we the project staff from CARE and partner organizations sit on short wooden folding chairs, forming a loose circle with the men. On the other side of the tree the women settle themselves on the ground. I wonder if they prefer this shield of separateness, the better to breastfeed their children or shift them around on their laps. Some look off into the distance or tug distractedly at tufts of grass, their legs stretched out in front of them.
But to assume the women to be disinterested observers would be a mistake. After the men speak of how the community worked with us to get the borehole that is now their main water source, we ask the women what difference the borehole has made for them. They speak without hesitation and with the precision of those that know what they’re talking about. The first thing a women named Janet Adongo says is that that their husbands don’t beat them anymore. In the past, they would leave early in the morning to walk three kilometers to the nearest water point at a school. Once there, they stood in line for hours. They came home to find husbands irate with hunger because lunch hadn’t been prepared yet and suspicious of their wives’ whereabouts. Violence ensued.
“This facility is encouraging our husbands to love us more,” says one woman.
The fact that lack of water close by leads to domestic violence was no surprise to me, having seen in other countries how water scarcity affects practically every aspects of domestic life. Yet this situation seemed particularly egregious.
“Why,” I question with the boldness of the naïve, “do the men not believe their wives when they say it takes half a day to get water?”
At this point, the pace of the conversation picks up. There is some back and forth between the men and the women. The rest of us wait impatiently for the translation.
As I understand it, the men’s viewpoint boils down to this: collecting water is a woman’s burden to shoulder. One of the men goes as far as to say that he paid a bride price for his wife and the issue of going to verify how long it takes to get water is none of his business—she must work. A woman counters that she finds the issue of bride price insulting.
The situation in Akodokodoi village is by no means typical. But it’s far from unusual. It was proof to me that water is not a neutral issue but rather a deeply gendered and political one. Women get stuck with the burden of collecting it, a matter in which they have little choice. Women are usually left out of decisions about how water is used and accessed, particularly when it used for productive purposes like agriculture.
Access to safe water reduces death from diarrheal disease, helps keep children in school and frees up time that can be spent making a living. But this only temporarily ameliorates some of the unfairness to women and girls. If water scarcity increases once again, girls will be the first ones to be pulled out of school to search for water while their brothers remain undisturbed.
What are the implications of situations like this for the development organizations, donors, governments and other actors that promote, advocate and directly implement interventions that increase access to safe water and sanitation? If providing access to safe water and sanitation puts us at the nexus of power and prejudice it also gives us an open door into changing and challenging cultural and institutional norms that perpetuate inequity. Doing so not only improves the effectiveness of the programs, as we’ve seen from direct experience in projects that prioritize women’s involvement, but also has far-reaching repercussions, as these norms are also at the heart of many other poverty and social justice issues.
For development organizations, what if one of our criteria for selecting communities to assist with water access was whether they would be willing to challenge the status quo by having men and boys help with water collection responsibilities? What if policy makers prioritized women’s control and ownership of water and land as an important an issue as their right to an education? What if water councils and watershed management bodies actively sought the participation of women in decision-making, realizing that men and women think about and use water in very different ways? What if donors supported smarter policies towards the provision of water and sanitation?
After its heated turn, the conversation in Akodokodoi village flowed to other testimonies of what a critical difference the water point made for the community. But I was most moved by the early words of those women who were not afraid to speak the truth. Let’s act with the same boldness.
If you’re looking for a practical way to contribute to smarter investments in water and sanitation access, please support the Water for the World Act which strengthens the U.S. government’s ability to take a more strategic approach to water and sanitation.
Posted by: suvas chandra devkota at 6:47AM EST on October 5, 2010
Nepal is a small mountainous country surrounded by China to the north and India to the south, east and west with total land area of 147,181 km2. The forest and shrub land together cover about 5.83 million ha which is 39.6% of the total land of the country (GoV/N, 1999). The country is rich in biodiversity because of its altitudinal and climatic variations. The forest resource is one of the imperative sources of income that is directly correlated with livelihood systems of the locals. About 25.5% of the total population is below poverty line (government information, 2010) where 70% is estimated to be forest dependent.
Forest resources of Nepal are managed under different management model. Among them, Community forestry management is one of the renowned participatory schemes. About 15,000 Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs) are legally functioning and managing 1.3 million ha (22 % of the National Forest area) forest across the country. The harmony among different ethnic groups, indigenous people and other forest dependent communities during the process and functions of the community forest management are enthusiastic and impressive. Because of the effective and efficient management model, community forestry has become a popular model of community development not only in Nepal but also to the rest of the world. However, government is still reluctant to handover forest, in which the daily livelihood, to community. The data shows that more than 78% of the national forest area is still under government supervision that is severely affected by deforestation and degradation.
Nepal is under the political transition and rules and regulations of the forestry sector at the field level have seemed ineffective. Reports generated by media, parliamentary committee on natural resources and means and civil society organizations have indicated that the mismanagement and misguidance of Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFS) is the main cause of deforestation and forest degradation. Historical evidences show that Nepal's forest has always been suffered during the political transition. The current transitional state and the breakdown of the rule of law have allowed a nationwide network of timber mafia to be flourished.
Deforestation and illegal
harvesting of the timber is much more serious problem in Nepal.
. However, there is no available actual data of reducing the forest areas, it is clear fact that forest in Nepal is being disappeared at the alarming rate. It is estimated that more than 1200,000 ha of forest area with the 2% deforestation rate in government managed forests have disappeared during the period of last three years and millions of cubic feet of timber have been smuggled from the forest. The major causes of depletion and deforestation of forest are unethical governance system of the forestry sector and institutionalization of corruption. Result is that illegal logging and trading of the valuable timber of the plain area has occurred tremendously. These are the big challenges to the community to safeguarding of forest.
It shows that deforestation and forest disappearance have been occurring tremendously in government managed forests. Unfortunately, the MoFS and its allies are blaming community people for deforestation and depletion of forest ignoring the contributions of communities in restoring forest in the country.
Different studies, reports and media have indicated that ministry is one of the key players of deforestation and forest depletion in the country. People are saying that ministers and high level bureaucrats have good relation to timber mafias and poachers. He has been using this network to clear the forest and earn illegal money. The minister of Forest and soil conservation seems to think his job is not to save forest but raze them. Trees are being felled by logging groups that enjoy political patronage and protection from ministers. on the other hand, in some cases, CFUGs have been colluding with timber poachers and corrupted local officials to harvest trees.
It is well known that major cause of depletion and deforestation of forest is unethical government system of forestry sector, which has also institutionalized the corruption, has become a big challenge for minimizing and stopping the deforestation rate. Result is that illegal cutting and trading of the valuable timber of the plain area has occurred tremendously. To hide all these evidences, unfortunately the government is blaming communities for deforestation and depletion of forest area and trying to downsize the community power through amendment of existing forest policy and law.
Therefore, now it is very critical situation on the forestry sector. Every day forest area is being depleted and destroyed for smuggling valuable timbers. It is time to need to work together to protect our forest from smugglers and timber mafias. Therefore, come together and join hands with community people to save forest nationwide.
Posted by: Tonya Rawe at 2:54PM EST on September 20, 2010
From the Big Easy to the Big Apple: Local to Global Impacts of Climate Change
I just arrived in New York City for the Millennium Development Goals Summit – a chance for the nations of the world to recommit to meeting eight global development goals by 2015. This trip comes right on the heels of my trip last week to New Orleans for a climate change strategy retreat. As part of that meeting, we toured the wetlands and volunteered in the Lower 9th Ward, where the impacts of Hurricane Katrina are still very much evident.
The captain of our boat tour – also a local fisherman – shared at length the impacts he and his family have seen on the wetlands and the result of those impacts on their livelihoods as fishermen. He recounted how, as the wetlands have shrunk and the area of open water has increased, their coastal communities become more vulnerable to storm surge: the wetlands act as a speed bump for the rushing water. In the Lower 9th, we saw what was once a neighborhood with rows of houses that now features a scattering of dwellings and countless overgrown lots, some with porch stairs still leading to the house that was swept away.
The story of New Orleans is not unlike stories you might hear on the coasts of Mozambique, in the highlands of Peru, on the floodplains of Bangladesh, or in the farm fields of northern Ghana. Locally and globally, climate change is affecting people: their lives and their livelihoods. In developing countries, climate change disproportionately impacts people living in extreme poverty, particularly girls and women. These individuals are the least responsible for causing climate change but are the first – and worst – to be hit.
As world leaders gather this week in New York, the climate crisis looms overhead like a dark storm cloud. The impacts of climate change threaten to reverse decades of development progress and severely impair our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, particularly MDG1 to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. Part of MDG 1 is a target to halve the proportion of hungry people between 1990 and 2015.
Global hunger remains a challenge without climate change. Just last week, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program released the latest numbers of hungry and malnourished people: 925 million people. While the numbers represent a decrease over 2009, when numbers topped one billion, the numbers are still higher than before the food price and economic crises of 2007-2009 and higher than the number of hungry people in 1990-1992. The proportion of hungry people has decreased from 20% to 16%, but that is still a long way from the 10% that is the MDG goal. And let’s face it, 925 million hungry people is 925 million too many.
Climate change makes our job harder. It’s expected that climate change will reduce agricultural productivity in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa by as much as 50%, shorten the growing season, and contribute to decreased fisheries resources. The melting glaciers in the Andes will alter water availability, negatively impacting agricultural production. Extreme weather events, like the flooding in Pakistan, are expected to become more frequent, severe, and intense. As in those floods, natural hazards can adversely impact food security for longer than the immediate aftermath as a family’s assets are sold off, destroyed, or washed away.
Yet there’s no need to throw up our hands and give up. There are solutions to the climate crisis and to extreme poverty. These solutions require political will and a mobilized citizenry to call for and to take bold action: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions immediately and aggressively, to provide substantial assistance to help local communities adapt to climate impacts, and to improve the way we address short-term and long-term global hunger. The MDG Summit is just the time for that bold action.
Posted by: Laura Bellinger at 11:40AM EST on April 22, 2010
by Dr. Helene Gayle, CARE president and CEO
Climate change has the potential to wipe out the last 25 years of development gains in some parts of the world. As the number of natural disasters has doubled within the last 20 years, the world's poorest people are already experiencing the effects of climate change. More than 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty on less than $1 a day, and 70 percent of these people are girls and women.
Climate change acts as a multiplier of existing threats to food security, education, health, natural resources and the day-to-day struggle for survival. Greenhouse gas emissions create more extreme weather patterns, shift seasons and change the amount of rainfall and average temperatures, causing crops to fail and water supplies to dry up or run over.
CARE has worked on climate change for decades and is helping lead the charge with one of the largest adaptation programs in the world. We have a three part approach:
Unless action is taken now to help the most vulnerable people adapt to climate change impacts, it will not be possible to ensure the food security of a growing (and migrating) world population.
We must – and can – do more.
Here's what you can do to help:
Posted by: Deesha Dyer at 4:36PM EST on February 5, 2010
We’ve seen the images, heard the statistics and given what monetary donations we can. We’ve spent nights on our knees praying, days filled with thoughts, and minutes counting our blessings.
Posted by: Staci Dixon at 2:09PM EST on December 10, 2009
By Cynthia Brenda Awuor
My interactions with the community members that we work with at CARE Kenya are often quite fascinating. Their will and determination to improve their lives is evident. They are aware of their environment and circumstances, and possess a great wealth of knowledge. They identify solutions to their problems and, with support, some have been empowered to improve their conditions.
In our conversations, I always ask about their experience with weather conditions. There's little variation in the answers I've heard so far. "It is much warmer these days," some say. Others mention, "It is difficult to predict when the rains will fall, and when it does, sometimes it is so intense that it does more harm than good." And, "Droughts are occurring more frequently, intensely and over longer periods." All these things are affecting many people's livelihoods negatively to varying extents, and many people wonder why God is punishing them this severely.
I have carried out several climate change vulnerability exercises among different communities this year. To cope with the effects of climate change, some communities resort to detrimental activities such as cutting trees to produce charcoal, selling firewood or sharing relief food rations with livestock. They are well aware that these activities are not sustainable.
On the other hand, some communities are already adapting positively to the changes and I’m glad about that. They have come together — creating innovations, pooling resources and seizing opportunities. I have interacted with women's self-help groups and co-ops that have set up micro-credit schemes, that are producing and preserving fodder, banking agricultural seeds, planting trees and participating in the construction of water harvesting and storage infrastructure. Their hope, optimism and action reverberate to their families and communities. They show by example that it is possible to adapt and live with dignity and in security.
As world leaders meet in Copenhagen to discuss a post-Kyoto Protocol Deal, I would like to see a much stronger political will to support efforts to deal with climate change at regional, national and local levels. I would like to see firm commitments and consequent actions by the developed and rapidly industrializing countries to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions to scientifically recommended levels. I would also like to see greater technological, technical and financial support channeled towards adaptation programs and projects in developing countries. Where feasible, developing countries should also ensure that they will seek to limit their levels of greenhouse gas emissions in their quest for development. Developing countries should also ensure that resources for adaptation are channeled towards the most vulnerable communities and groups, and that appropriate adaptation actions are implemented. Lastly, there is need to build and foster stronger partnerships in dealing with climate change among governments, vulnerable communities, civil society, the corporate sector, and research institutions among others.
Posted by: Abdul-Razak Saeed at 12:18PM EST on December 7, 2009
The much awaited COP 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark is finally here and from today, Monday 7th December till Friday 18th December, the world will witness with full stare the commitment of our leaders…better still If I may borrow the words of Connie Hedegaard, whether our leaders are ready to “move the world from an era of talk to an era of change”.
Since the inter-sessional climate talks in Bangkok, I have seen increased interest by Africa and for that matter my country Ghana, in the governance of climate change. Ghana government and other NGOs in Ghana such as Friends of the Earth, Civic Response and SEND Ghana have expressed the need to pressure the developed countries to take on emission reduction commitments that are required to avoid dangerous anthropogenic climate change that threatens the survival of humans as a species.
Over the past couple of months, my government has undertaken what one may call necessary baby steps in the governance of climate change especially in the vein of having a participatory climate change governance system in-country. The genesis of this participatory process has involved information sharing on the issues of climate change and subsequent discussions to pick up from the Ghanaian citizenry their ideas on addressing climate change. Workshops and seminars have been held for variant citizenry groups such as NGOs, traditional authorities and media. The culmination of all these workshops was a national forum held on 2nd December that informed citizens the position that Ghana was taking to COP 15. Among other things, the main highlight from the national forum was that Ghana along with the other countries of the African Group was going to COP 15 to ask for the developed countries to take on emission reductions of at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.
Coming from a country that is experiencing impacts of climate change and may experience worse, I am hoping that developing countries can actually make the Annex 1 countries especially USA to feel the heat for the need to take action. It is a welcome thought that Presidents and Prime ministers of certain countries will be present at the COP 15 but let us hope that they do more good than harm; it is either they are instrumental in helping come out with a good legally binding deal or by their presence, rather draw attention to themselves and let focus be lost in the negotiations and thus they delay the process.
We all know how great an orator President Barack Obama is, and I for one am worried that USA may be playing the “Obama-mania” card with his Excellency’s presence at the COP. Serious negotiations under COP 15 may become arrested due to the presence of “Pollywood celebrities” such as his Excellency President Obama. For those of us from developing countries, the possibility of this stunt spells double doom as a USA is not prepared to take on serious commitments and may by this act delay what the negotiations could achieve.
I am not familiar with the USA system of governance but it is interesting to note that when it comes to Climate change negotiations, the President declares his inability to contribute anything concrete until a bill is passed through the senate; however, when about 30,000 soldiers had to be sent to Afghanistan, there was no waiting for the senate to decide, the President just announced it…this leaves me to wonder, how devastating does USA want Climate change and its impacts to become before they get serious?
As a working partner of the CARE “Southern Voices Project”, I am by this asking the developing country delegates and negotiators to pressure the developed countries to take on deep emission reduction commitments and also asking the Annex 1 countries especially USA to “STEP IT UP”…if greenhouse gas emissions continue, it is not Mother Earth who will die but rather the human race who will as Mother Earth adjusts other components in her system in accordance with the GHG concentration in the atmosphere to ensure a balance.
We owe it to the generation yet unborn to save our climate …we can, so we must!!!
Posted by: suvas chandra devkota at 1:20AM EST on November 23, 2009
Livelihood of Poor: A CENTRE AGENDA OF Climate Change Talk
Climate change is not only a debate among the sellers and buyers of CO2. It is the related to the livelihood of poor and marginalized people which are under the risk situation as the impacts of the climate change.d
The affects of the climate change can observed around the world, however the poor, marginalized people of the poor world are adversely suffering. The developed and industrialized countries those are liable and responsible for climate change should honest, accountable to address the impacts also.
The impacts of the climate change are observed elsewhere. Occurring of drought, flood and unpredictable rain fall patterns have adversely influenced on biodiversity, plants’ habitats and habits including agricultural activities in local level. Numbers of evidences are noted as the impacts of climate change in local level, such as: change in vegetation pattern, habitat expansion of crops and species, and loss of biodiversity (some valuable species). These have big implications to the livelihood system of the local communities especially poor and marginalized groups. Resulted is that women and children under poor, marginalized group are more vulnerable and in risk conditions. The situation is being worst and unpredictable. Every year hundreds of people are suffering, due to the exposure of vector-borne diseases like; as malaria, diarrhea, cholera and hunger. Likewise thousands of people are displaced as the flood and landslide victims in the country.
The negotiations process of the climate change is still uncertain and unpredictable. To address and response of current vulnerabilities therefore, has become an urgent need. I think livelihood of the poor vulnerable communities should be a center theme for making strategies and measures to cope the impacts of climate change as they are likely to become more prevalent.
Communities are trying to response to address the threats of climate change in local level based on practical experiences and knowledge. But these initiations are not adequate to address the magnitude of climate change threats. Therefore need base technology is an important to minimize the effects of the climate change and to develop the appropriate technology and capacity enhancement of the people are also crucial issues to address the results and impacts of the climate change.
On this context, the developed nations who are more responsible to debasing the climate should pay more attention and priority on livelihood of the poor people of the poor world during the of climate change talks.
Posted by: SAAW International at 9:27PM EST on November 5, 2009
In the run up to the Copenhagen climate change conference, it is vital the following information be disseminated to the public as well as to our political leaders.
A widely cited 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Livestock's Long Shadow, estimates that 18 percent of annual worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are attributable to livestock….however recent analysis by Goodland and Anhang co-authors of "Livestock and Climate Change" in the latest issue of World Watch magazine found that livestock and their byproducts actually account for at least 32.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions!
The main sources of GHGs from animal agriculture are: (1) Deforestation of the rainforests to grow feed for livestock. (2) Methane from manure waste. – Methane is 72 times more potent as a global warming gas than CO2 (3) Refrigeration and transport of meat around the world. (4) Raising, processing and slaughtering of the animal.
Meat production also uses a massive amount of water and other resources which would be better used to feed the world’s hungry and provide water to those in need.
Based on their research, Goodland and Anhang conclude that replacing livestock products with soy-based and other alternatives would be the best strategy for reversing climate change. They say "This approach would have far more rapid effects on GHG emissions and their atmospheric concentrations-and thus on the rate the climate is warming-than actions to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy."
The fact is that we are being informed of the dangerous path we are on by depending greatly on animal flesh for human consumption. We still have the opportunity to make the most effective steps in saving ourselves and this planet. By simply choosing a plant based diet we can reduce our carbon foot print by a huge amount.
We are gambling with our lives and with those of our future generations to come. It's madness to know we are fully aware of the possible consequences but yet are failing to act.
Promoting a plant based diet to the public is would be the most effective way to curb deforestation, we hope this will be adopted as a significant measure to save the rainforests and protect the delicate ecology.
Thank you for your consideration.
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: 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.