The UN Secretary-General is calling for scaling-up the response to climate change in worstly affected areas
This summer has seen unseasonably cold spells and increased rainfall in several areas of Europe, whereas Pacific islands and Africa have been experiencing a severe drought induced by the El Niño* phenomenon.
Particulary Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi are currently in need of emergency food support which has led to the UN Secretary-General call for a fundamentally scaled-up, unprecedented response “that goes beyond humanitarian action”.
It is expected that El Niño’s effect will be felt in food security, livelihoods, health, nutrition, water and sanitation in the vulnerable areas throughout the year, even after El Niño has completed its cycle.
Mr. Ban appealed to the international community on Tuesday: “This unprecedented challenge requires unprecedented changes in the way we work. It is crucial that we learn the lessons of this El Niño. We must prevent, prepare for and mitigate the effects of climate change, which has the greatest impact on those who have least responsibility for causing it”
Gaia Education’s Project-Based Learning programmes are taking place in areas which are witnessing both severe drought and extreme rainfall, putting lives and livelihoods at risk in different parts of the world. Our programmes in Senegal, India and Bangladesh are equipping the local communities with climate change adaptation and mitigation skills, while encouraging grass-roots action for community resilience.
While Senegal has been challenged with drought, Bangladesh is preparing for typhoons; both projects in these countries are involving the locals in Permaculture design adapting the same principles to varying conditions. Additionally, the participants of the programmes are invited to pass on the skills and knowledge to their family and neighbours aiming to scale-up the efforts beyond the initial communities.
*El Niño is the term used to describe the warming of the central to eastern tropical Pacific that occurs on average every three to seven years. It raises the sea surface temperatures and impacts weather systems around the globe generating extreme weather phenomena such as drought and flooding.