KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent
A new weapon in the arsenal against climate change is tapping local knowledge to bridge the policy gap and let communities make their own informed decisions about how to manage livelihoods, natural resources, culture and heritage.
Each of Cuba’s 168 municipalities faces the challenge of designing its own strategic development which, as well as economic and social progress, minimises the impact of extreme weather and other problems caused by global warming.
The government of this historic walled city, a bastion of tourism on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, is widening beaches and building dual carriageways on its north side to protect against the ever-worsening impacts of climate change.
Wild elephants are usually the primary attraction in the remote shrub jungles of Udawalawe, about 180 kilometres southeast of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo. But this Christmas season, the massive Udawalawe dam stole the limelight from the lumbering beasts.
Imagine Guyana and Dominica without forests and rivers, or Antigua, Barbados and St. Lucia without beaches.
Scientists predict that in the coming years, Bangladesh will be battered by even more climate disasters than it has already endured. Global warming has caused devastating damage in this lower Himalayan delta country of 150 million people, where seawater intrusion, increasingly intense cyclones, dried up rivers and extreme weather events have become the norm.
Local scientists are warning the tiny 62-square-mile island of Barbuda is becoming one of the most vulnerable spots on earth to the consequences of climate change.
The postcards portray sand, sea and sun. But key players in the Caribbean tourism industry are warning that it's time to shift gears away from the region's threatened coastlines and instead promote inland attractions like biodiversity.
Armed with chainsaws, machetes and shovels, local residents of El Salvador’s Lower Lempa River Basin, near the Pacific Ocean, are unblocking the flow of rivers and pruning the branches of trees on riverbanks to keep them from falling into the chocolate-colored water.
At the close of the ten-day World Conservation Congress that ran from Sept. 6-15 on the South Korean island of Jeju, members of the convening International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) agreed on an ambitious four-year action plan for protecting global natural resources.
The setting sun is still streaming in through the poplars along the shelter belts, but Horquin Lianjun is done with farm work for the day. The desert wind has turned bone chilling.
As government negotiators from the world’s poorest countries ended a round of United Nations climate change talks in the Thai capital, they sounded a grave note about what appears imminent when they assemble in November in Doha – the reading of the last rites of the Kyoto Protocol.
Eight years ago Kenbesh Mengesha earned an uncertain income collecting firewood from local government forests and selling them to her fellow slum-dwellers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She would earn on average about 50 cents a day, if she was lucky.
Far-flung South Asian communities, from the high Himalayan slopes to the Indian Ocean coasts, united in the face of extreme and uncertain weather, continue to hold on to the hope that the Rio+20 focus on disaster risk reduction (DRR) will positively influence national policies.
Tomson Chikowero was ashamed of his job. He did not want anyone finding out what he did to earn a living, so he used to wake up early every morning and leave his home in Hatfield, a residential suburb in Zimbabwe’s capital city Harare, under the cover of darkness.