Pakistan is currently enduring the worst flooding in the country’s history, and is expected to take months or even years to fully recover. Meanwhile, there’s a terrible drought in Niger, forest fires across Russia, food riots in Mozambique and the rains across Africa have become unpredictable, sometimes not appearing at all. Sahena, in this Oxfam video, talks about the unpredictability of the seasons in Bangladesh, and how this is upsetting their crop planting.
This unpredictability has enormous consequences for millions of people, and climate change has been blamed for causing such extreme weather.
As we see from the video in Bangladesh, people in poor communities can and are learning to cope with the changes in climate, and doing so with admirable determination and effort. A wonderful aspect of this project, is that it and other projects like it are not only helping communities cope with flooding, but by working with and educating women, they are improving their status in societies where they are not nearly so valued as men. The video shows how women involved in these projects are being empowered to stand up for their rights in their society by gaining confidence in their knowledge and usefulness.
Despite such wonderful projects we must not neglect our responsibilities. If those of us in the developed world do nothing to change, the situation is only going to worsen and force communities like Sahena’s to work even harder to protect their homes, or face losing them. Because of its abundant affecting factors and it’s equally numerous consequences, climate change is the biggest environmental challenge that we face. The UN MDG monitor reports that “action on climate change is within our grasp”, and there are major campaigns from NGOs that we can support to show our concern for people like Sahena.
These campaigns tend to approach the issue of climate change from a number of different directions. Charities are targeting politicians in an effort to persuade them to adopt binding emission targets and fair aid deals targeted specifically at helping developing countries adapt to the changing climate. At the same time they are investing in these small scale local projects that are nevertheless making huge differences to both individuals and communities. Our support is crucial to their success, and due to the many ways that we can quickly and easily take part in campaign actions online, there is ample opportunity for us to show how we feel.