Women 'are the foot soldiers of climate change adaptation'

“Kusum Athukorala, one of the country’s leading experts on water management, agrees that women are key to adapting effective measures to deal with water challenges and changing climate patterns.

“Women are the foot soldiers of climate change adaptation,” said Athukorala who heads the Network of Women Water Professionals, Sri Lanka (NetWwater) and the Women for Water Partnership…

However, despite their importance, women are still being largely left out of the decision making, according to a new report by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). The report - The Challenges of Securing Women’s Tenure and Leadership for Forest Management: The Asian Experience - found that gender discrimination is still rampant.

Arvind Khare, RRI’s senior director of country and regional programmes, said that women’s roles should not only be recognized but should also be enforced. He took the case of land rights in rural China, where women often find themselves losing land, due to cultural and social norms, despite laws that are gender neutral on paper.

“How can we look at climate adaptation and food security when those who do most of the work at ground level have no say?” he asked.

Via AlterNet/climateadaptation

The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world.
— Charles Malik, Lebanese philosopher and diplomat (via halftheskymovement)

Southern African countries collaborate on plans for climate research centre

Five countries in southern Africa have joined forces to launch a research centre that will work on combating climate change in the regionSouth AfricaAngolaBotswanaZambia and Namibia signed a declaration on Wednesday to base the initiative in the Namibian capital Windhoek.

The Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (Sasscal) is intended to support cross-border research and land management.


New government report: Rising Seas Threaten Hundreds of U.S. Energy Facilities. There was a senate hearing April 20, 2012 on sea level rise. Only one republican senator showed up. Interactive map, above. Excellent wrap-up from Climate Central: 

New Report: Sea Level Rise Threatens Hundreds of U.S. Energy Facilities (PDF)
Interactive Map: Surging Seas, Sea Level Rise Analysis
News: Senate Hearing Focuses on Threat of Sea Level Rise
Watch: Archived webcast of Senate hearing
Read: Ben Strauss’ Senate testimony
Read: Senate testimony of five witnesses 

More at Climate Central

Climate change throws nature’s timing out of whack

From migratory patterns to water rights, the shifts in the schedules of the seasons affects everyone on Earth.

(via mothernaturenetwork)

Rapid Climate Change Threatens World’s Rice Bowl

As Asia’s monsoon season begins, leading climate specialists and agricultural scientists warn that rapid climate change and intensified droughts and floods could devastate Southeast Asia’s global dominance in rice production, posing a significant threat to millions of people across the region and affecting global food security.

Last year’s record flooding in Thailand and Southeast Asia was preceded by a record drought in 2010. These and many other extreme weather events have hammered global food prices, stretching their impact beyond the immediate personal and ecological tragedies. Climate change in South and Southeast Asia is expected to reduce agriculture productivity by as much as 50 percent in the next three decades, with a dramatic impact on stability and livelihoods.

South and Southeast Asia is home to more than one-third of the world’s population and half of the world’s poor and malnourished. Agriculture is the backbone of most economies in the region, and such plunging yields would shake countries to the core.

Read more.

Last week, the USAID focused its attention on resilience from an international perspective and specifically exploring ways to do business to avoid crises in the future. Of particular interest to the USAID is the horn of Africa where we held PopTech’s Climate Resilience Lab this past February. USAID explains:

While we can’t stop catastrophes from occurring, we can do more to help people withstand them so that they don’t shatter development gains or give rise to violence that can set countries back decades. USAID is committed to strengthening food security so that droughts no longer lead to food crises. We are committed to expanding our focus from relief to resilience-from responding after emergencies strike to preparing communities in advance.

For more, check out the conference and related conference papers and read the Communique for the Joint IGAD Ministerial and High Level Development Partners on Drought Resilience in the Horn of Africa (pdf).

Image: USAID.Africa

I do not mind that you are a girl, but the main thing is that you yourself do not mind. There is no reason for it.

Carbon map infographic: a new way to see the Earth move

How can you map the world to show global data in an immediately clear way? How can you show two datasets at once to see how they compare? Kiln, a partnership of Guardian writer Duncan Clark and developer Robin Houston has come up with this beautiful new take on the globe. Watch the animated intro or click on the topics and see the map move before your eyes. Adding shading lets you compare two datasets to see how they relate – so you can see clearly how poorest countries have the fastest growing populations but the lowest emissions

A Climate Conference that Ends in Real Action

One of the more frustrating aspects of our engagement with global climate change is that the crisis is manifesting itself in various ways right now, whereas the proposed solutions always seem to be gradual and incremental “works in progress.” Take the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, which has been assembling for 15 years, with — let’s be honest — precious little to show for it. The ramifications of a warmer world are already upon us; but it’s not always easy to find agencies, programs or projects that are meeting the urgent problems with practical, shovel-ready solutions.

Which is why it’s so refreshing to hear of something like the Climate Resilience Lab, organized by PopTech, a “community of innovators” best known for their unorthodox, “disruptive” approach to problem-solving and their annual conferences up in Maine. For three days in late February, the Lab brought together a diverse group of experts in Nairobi, Kenya, where they all collaborated on new ways of helping vulnerable communities deal with the impacts of climate change.

One of climate change’s cruelest ironies is that its impact is felt most by those who are least responsible for it — namely, the rural poor in the developing world. With that in mind, the Lab focused its energies on agrarian communities, and paid particular attention, as PopTech president Leetha Filderman explained to me, “on the role that adolescent girls and women might play in building community-based climate resilience strategies.”

A great piece by Ben Jervey on our recent Climate Resilience Lab in OnEarth Magazine.