Before i begin expressing my thoughts on this topic, I would like to start by sharing an article last June 10, 2009. It was posted at CNN website.
A new kind of refugee is on the rise. And by 2050, there could be as many as 200 million of them. They are not fleeing despicable acts of violence or persecution but the very land and water on which their livelihoods depend. They are some of the world's poorest, forced from their homes by global climate change.
Alarmed by the predictions on climate refugees, humanitarian agencies warn that recent gains in the fight against poverty could vanish unless issues of forced migration become an integral part of the dialogue on global warming.
"What can we say? This is not a pretty picture," said Charles Ehrhart, climate change coordinator for CARE International.
Ehrhart helped author a report for CARE that was unveiled Wednesday at climate talks underway in Bonn, Germany. Attended by delegates from 184 countries, the Bonn conference is meant to serve as a precursor to a crucial United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change summit in December in Copenhagen, Denmark.
That summit is expected to produce agreement on how to tackle global warming after the Kyoto Protocol, which sets binding targets for industrialized nations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expires in in 2012.
"The consequences for almost all aspects of development and human security could be devastating," says the new study, cosponsored by the Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network and the U.N. University's Institute for Environment and Human Security.
Ehrhart said the breakdown of ecosystem-dependent livelihoods is likely to remain the main driver of forced migration during the next few decades. In the Mekong River Delta, for instance, the sea level rising by 2 meters (6.5 feet) could mean the loss of millions of acres of agricultural land, reducing it by half, Ehrhart said.
Climate change will exacerbate stressful conditions unless vulnerable populations, especially the poorest, are assisted in building climate-resilient livelihoods, Ehrhart said. It's morally imperative for developing nations to adopt policy that addresses these global change, he said.
Simple changes can help address potential catastrophe. In flood-prone Bangladesh, for instance, CARE is helping women who raise chickens switch to ducks. In other regions, it could mean something as simple as changing water-craving crops to more resilient foods.
"So if the rains don't come when needed, you don't lose an entire crop," Ehrhart said.
Ehrhart said climate migration could climb to staggering levels, its consequences reaching far and wide.
Without money or resources, climate refugees will likely stay within their own borders, accelerating movement from rural areas to urban centers and crowding into cities already bursting at the seams.
That could lead to government instability and further unrest.
Koko Warner, head of the U.N. University's Institute for Environment and Human Security and lead author of the report released Wednesday, said the challenge is to better understand the dynamics of climate-related migration and displacement.
"New thinking and practical approaches are needed to address the threats that climate-related migration poses to human security and well-being," Warner said.
What makes women vulnerable to climate change?
Women are vulnerable to climate change. In the developing countries, women take care of the household work. They also work in the farm to increase their financial resources. They also provide nurturing to their children.
If there are changes in the climate which can cause disaster at their area; if there will be limited natural resources due to erosion as an effect of climate change. Then, how can these women do their job?
Women will have a decreased source of food to provide the household. In some countries, if women will not be able to complete the housework, there are prone to physical and/or sexual abuse.
Women depend too much on their livelihood. If water in the river will rise as an effect of climate change, then women should not feed on chicken but should start raising ducks, instead.
Women are in-charge of water collection in their communities. If there will be increase water shortage, then it is a problem.
Women may face increase responsibilities within the household due to illnesses. Poor hygiene from water shortage can cause harm especially to children. Low production of food to provide the family, it will bring malnutrition to the family as well.
In this male-dominated world (do u agree?), how can women affect change in the face of this crisis?
Women can make a change by having equal representation at the decision-making body or committee. Also, women should develop skills related to mitigation and adaptation, technology and financing.
In the Philippines, majority in the legislation seats are male dominated. It would more impartial that the legislation body will have a rightful number of women for decision making. Also, women in the legislation body will easily identify the women’s needs in developing skills in relation to mitigation and adaptation.
Do you think women here in the Philippines are affected by climate change (pls consider if it is in the urban or rural area)?
I got this document and would like to share it before answering this question.
IPCC-TAR reported with high confidence that extreme climate events/ variability, such as, floods, droughts, forest fires, and tropical cyclones have increased in temperate and tropical Asia. The warm episodes of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena have been more frequent, persistent and intense since the mid-1970s,
compared with the previous 100 years. This IPCC finding has manifested itself in the Philippines through the more frequent occurrence of severe El Niño and La Niña events, as well as, deadly and damaging typhoons and other severe storms; floods, flash floods, landslides, drought, forest fires, etc (Greenpeace, 2005).
The perrsistent torrential rains which cause landslides and flash floods are eventually harming people and destroying their properties and the environment along its path.
There were 5 La Niña episodes and 7 El Niño episodes from 1970 to 2000 compared to only 3 La Niña episodes and 2 El Niño episodes from 1950 to 1970 (Greenpeace, 2005). The strong warm (El Niño) events were in 1972- 73, 1982-83,1997-98, while the strong cold (La Niña) events were in 1973-74,1988-89 and 1998-99 (CAB T.P. No. 2001-7).
The most common extreme climate events with significant economic and social impacts in the Philippines are tropical cyclone occurrences of which typhoons are the strongest and most destructive. Several typhoon extremes were observed from 1990 to 2004. The highest and lowest frequency of tropical cyclone occurrence, the strongest typhoon, the 2 most destructive typhoons, deadliest storm and the typhoon that registered the highest 24-hour record rainfall occurred during this period (Amadore, L.A., 2005). There were seven (7) extreme tropical cyclone/southwest monsooninduced extreme events from 1991 to late 2004, namely, the Ormoc Catastrophe, 1991; Cherry Hill Tragedy, 1999; Payatas Garbage-slide, 2000; Baguio-La Trinidad landslides, 2001; Camiguin flashfloods, 2001; Southern Leyte-Surigao disaster, 2003; and the Aurora floods, 2004.
Other extreme events were the great central Luzon floods of 1972, probably the worst damaging flood in Philippine history and a precursor to the recent spate of extreme events; the southern Mindanao drought of 1998, resulting in near starvation and the Indonesia forest fires, both associated with the1997-98 El Niño event; landslides and lahar flows caused by extreme precipitation (rainfall) events. The sector most affected by climate change, so far, is agriculture and food security. The sharpest fall in agricultural productions are experienced during strong El Niño events and after the occurrence of severe tropical cyclones. However, increases in rice and corn productions are attributed to favorable rainfall conditions during La Nina years. The highest typhoon damage was 1.17% of GDP and 4.21% of agriculture. In the health sector, many of the biological organisms linked to the spread of infectious diseases are especially influenced by the fluctuations in climate variables. Among other factors, dengue fever and malaria are sensitive to such climate parameters as temperature, relative humidity and rainfall. Other climate-related diseases like cholera have been associated with extremes of precipitation, droughts and floods (Relox, N.A., 1998). The climate change impacts on coastal zones and marine ecosystems observed in 1998 were massive coral bleaching in various reefs throughout the Philippines (Arceo, H.O. et al., 2001) caused by the elevated sea temperature during the severe 1997-98 ENSO episode. Fish kills and high mortality of cultured giant clams in ocean nurseries were also observed. Severe red tide outbreaks also occurred after the strong El Niño periods. The worst incidence of red tide in Manila Bay occurred in 1992, another El Niño period.
In conclusion, climate change in the Philippines is not focus only to the city or provincial area. We have to look at it at the macro setting in order to assume that, indeed climate change has taken its course in our country.
In the provincial area, people residing near the mountains are at risk for landslides or soil erosion during heavy rains as an effect of climate change. By this, women are burdened of physical activity like re-location to a safer place, while taking care of her children. It will cause insufficient food supply for the family because the source of living, which is mostly agricultural, is temporarily hampered.
Also, fishing industry and tourism is affected because of the changes in climate that caused prolonged El nino and El nina.
In the city area, those living near the river with garbage beside it, and family living near the bay area are at risk of ingesting dirty food which can cause illness. They are at risk for diseases such as malaria, dengue ad poor hygiene related diseases.
Women are affected because there would be increase responsibility on their part to take care of their children and family even though there is no sufficient food to take. Malnutrition among women can affect their parenting abilities to their children. Also, women who have lost their husbands on the catastrophes should work double to provide the basic needs of the family.What programs have been instituted to aid women in this crisis at the local and international level?
''New thinking and practical approaches are needed to address the threats that climate-related migration poses to human security and well-being,'' says Dr. Koko Warner, Head of Section of the UN University's Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and lead author of the report.
People have always relied on long- and short-term migration as ways of dealing with climatic changes. The challenge is to better understand the dynamics of climate-related migration and displacement and incorporate human mobility into international and national plans for adapting to climate change.
• Asia: Glacier melt and irrigated agricultural system
• Mexico and Central America: Migration in response to drought and disaster
• Sahel, West Africa: Pressure on agricultural livelihoods and creeping onwards migration
• Ganges Delta, Bangladesh: Temporary migration as a survival strategy
• Mekong Delta, Vietnam: Living with floods and resettlement
• Nile Delta, Egypt: Between desertification and sea level rise
• Tuvalu and Maldives: Sea level rise and small island developing
• First World Climate Conference of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1979.
• Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988
• Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Framework Convention on Climate Change (INC/FCCC), with the ultimate objective of: “Stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow eco-systems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.”
• Kyoto Protocol (1997)
• The Philippines, as a developing country, does not have any quantified
emission limitation reduction targets and its present GHG emission
is still low compared to other countries (Figure 4.2). However,
certain mitigation measures need to be put in place given the
country’s climate change vulnerabilities and the vast renewable resources
that the country possesses. Unfortunately, the latest energy
plan of the DOE shows that, excluding large hydro, geothermal (renewable
but mature technology) and conventional biomass, new and
renewable energy comprises less than 0.2 percent in the country’s
power mix. Under the same plan, the share of coal would increase
greatly (Greenpeace, 2005).
Greenpeace, November 2005
“CRISIS OR OPPORTUNITY: Climate change impacts and the Philippines”
Koko Warner, the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security;
Charles Ehrhart, CARE International; and Alex de Sherbinin,
Susana Adamo, and Tricia Chai-Onn, Center for International
Earth Science Information Network at the Earth Institute of Columbia University.
In Search of Shelter: Mapping The Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement
The World Bank: Climate Change and the World Bank Group, 2009-06-25
Dr. Jyoti Parikh, Director, IRADe, Is Climate Change a Gender Issue ?http://www.care.org