Friday, 11 November 2016

Humanizing the realities of climate change

© Asha Sitati

When we humanize climate change through highlighting people's lived experiences, we start to appreciate the science behind different scenarios. In avast world where different communities are accustomed to their unique cultures and ways of living, you can imagine how much of the reading, watching or listening you would need to put up with in order to try and understand the rich diversity. Climate change, however, presents a story that would resonate well with different groups of people.

Although there is a likelihood of varying levels of vulnerabilities and exposure to climate risks, most similar vulnerable groups like farmers, women, disabled, and elderly, tend to find themselves in more or less similar circumstances. The variations among such groups are bound to occur relative to their varying socio-economic dimensions, access to climate information, literacy levels, among others. 

©  Zinta Zommers
In the video below, which I helped produce as part of UN Environment Climate Warning Project, I tell the story of Florida, a widow and farmer in Turkana County of Kenya whose only source of livelihood (farming) is under constant threat from floods and drought. She is extremely vulnerable but still hopes that reliable climate information would enable her to act on time and avert any potential disasters. Florida is one among the many women in marginalized areas of the world who worry about feeding their families in the midst of all the uncertainties. 

In my subsequent posts, I will delve more into some case studies from around the world that are a reflection of the changing environment and subsequent loss and damage. I will highlight the interlinked issues that catalyze vulnerabilities and risks of exposure to climate extreme events.

How has the changing environment and climate affected you or your community?