15 October 2009

care to make a difference: blog action day 09

This post is part of Blog Action Day '09

Floods, droughts, super storms - these are not the things of fantasy, of Hollywood blockbuster disaster films. They are real. And real people who live off the land are the most affected by these climate-change–induced or -exacerbated events.

Yet the wealthiest nations, especially those with large standing militaries, are burning fossil fuels like there's no tomorrow. And there very well might not be if they keep it up.

While climate change and its effects are being seen today, most of us are still thinking like it's some futuristic event. It is here, and people are suffering because of it. The time to act is not when things start to really get ugly for all of us, the time to act is now.

Luckily, there are organizations doing the work now to prevent catastrophe for those who could not recover from it. Organizations like CARE are examining the impact of climate change on coastal and rural communities in economically poor places, and mitigating the negative.

See how people are impacted, then do something about it.

This is what CARE has to say about the current state of climate change action...

Poor people are especially vulnerable to climate change due to the sensitivity of their livelihoods and the extensive constraints - such as low levels of formal schooling and political marginalisation - that frame their adaptive capacity. Therefore, the world's response to climate change has to challenge entrenched inequities and discriminatory power structures if we are to ensure that everyone can access the information, resources and support necessary for adaptation. But this hasn't happened. Instead, the international community has focused on building capacity within poor countries to integrate climate change in national policy frameworks.

Though helpful, this is wholly insufficient because vulnerability to climate change varies within countries, communities and even households. National-level efforts must be complemented by action at the grassroots that understands, targets and reduces the poorest people's vulnerability to climate change. In recognition of this principle, community-based adaptation is finally emerging as a critical part of the global response to climate change.

And this is how CARE responds to the situation...

CARE's approach to community-based adaptation is people-centred. It fosters more resilient livelihoods, strengthens local capacity through training and the promotion of appropriate traditional knowledge, supports social change and engages in advocacy to address the underlying causes of poverty and differential vulnerability.

CARE's community-based approach to adaptation is composed of the following four inter-related action areas:

  • Reducing the Risk of Disasters
  • Making Livelihoods More Resilient
  • Strengthening Local Capacity
  • Supporting Social Mobilisation and Policy Engagement
Read more about CARE's actions in the face of climate change

Get involved with CARE