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Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] BUILDING RESILIENCE TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN RURAL AREAS

by Prakriti Dhakal | 20-08-2019 06:27 Comments 6 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations



 BUILDING RESILIENCE TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN RURAL AREAS

Its my immense pleasure that i am  co-chairing Rotaract Global Model United Nations 2019 UNDP happening from August 21- 24. And we so have 2 agenda and i really felt blessed sharing the second agenda and the study material we prepared for the delegates on this eco-gegeration platform.


Climate change, by definition, is “a change in global or regional climate patterns, inparticular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels”.
While this definition encompasses the essence of climate change, it does not highlight theeffects, which range from wildfires & droughts to complete extinction of some species and melting of the ice caps in the arctic regions. Because of the increase in greenhouse gases as well as carbon dioxide emissions, the effects of climate change are prominent and global warming has become an international concern.
While it may seem that, albeit arguably, there may be some time left to fix the problem at hand, people and communities in rural areas are most vulnerable and suffer the most because of the effects of climate change. Rural areas have the weakest ability to mitigate or adapt to change, making them susceptible to damage at a faster rate, and at constant, imminent risk.
This is primarily because fundamental rural activities are directly tied to nature, such as agriculture, forestry and recreation. One of the most prominent issues tied to climate change is that it forces people to relocate, and this can be an intense challenge for communities in rural areas which are already stressed by limited access and remoteness.
One of the most pressing issues for local governments is ensuring that action plans are in place in case of an environmental disaster that affects rural communities. In such cases, the key point in question is adaptation. Rural communities have to be adapted with regards to emergency response plans, infrastructure and livelihood. In addition to that, in such afast paced world it is important to note that demographics are constantly changing, and economic activites play a significant role in determining the action plans that should be developed. As such, it is notable that there is no one response plan or solution for all rural communities.
Rather, local governments have to cater to the different rural communities and areas in different ways, noting that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Factors that play into this are the population, economic activities, remoteness, & social resources. Even more so, governments need to ensure that they are equipped to handle the populations in rural areas in terms of access to basic hospice care and nutrition.
A critical aspect of rural communities and building resilience is timing. Many rural areas do not have the financial capabilities to build resilience on their own, and as such, need to be engaged early in any decisions local governments make regarding infrastructure, particularly if it will affect their livelihood. Additionally, due to the fact that most of these areas already have weak infrastructure, with climatic deterioration occurring at speeds unseen and unheard of before, local governments will have to take action quickly to ensure that resilience is built and set in time.


. MIGRATION

One of the issues that governments are already dealing with and expect to be dealing with in the future is mass migration of rural communities in the event that disaster strikes a rural area. While building resilience in a rural area is specifically to ensure that mass migration does not occur, it is also important to build resilience in the face of migration. This is because in most areas, people often migrate from one rural area to another rural area, requiring the strengthening of the area in question.
In order to understand why this occurs and to find solutions for it, the reasons for migration have to closely studied and understood. The most important issue is that the decline of productive agricultural land forces migrants to seek work and shelter elsewhere. However, in some households the wives and children stay home while the men leave to find work and send their salary. This puts two rural areas at risk, where an affected rural area would be susceptible to even more disasters (i.e. flooding, hurricane, drought) while another rural area is subjected to economic stress.
Another example is the documentation of migration between areas during rainfall seasons. In Burkina Faso, for example, residents migrate during dry seasons - making this a short distance long-term response.


BUILDING RESILIENCE
While it may not seem so, residents of rural areas are already building their own form of resilience and its implications can be seen when studied closely. Many residents have taken up survival strategies, building their own food reserves and abandoning their primary source of livelihood such as farming in favor of non-farm work. Many have sold their belongings and machine snad have migrated to metropolitan areas, where they struggle to adapt. In some cases, households are in debt and are resorting to borrowing food and money to get by. It is critical to note that most countries with prominent rural areas have weak industries and factories, yet suffer the most from the effects of climate change. Local policies have to be set in place in order to build resilience, and these policies do not necessarily have to deal with the climate directly.
Policies regarding access to healthcare, nutrition, education and jobs need to be set in place in order to build resilience. Enhancing the infrastructure should also be an important goal for many countries, as it can prevent disasters from occurring completely. Studying the resource-base for these communities and protecting it is very important in the face of strengthening resilience as protecting the development of the communities is arguable one of the best ways to build resilience properly.
Some adaptation efforts put forth have helped alleviate the situation, such as Kenyan farmers receiving updates of the weather forecast by text message. And while adaptive efforts are encouraged, in
agriculture based communities they may not be sustainable, as a flood would completely wipe out the results of these efforts. Local governments have to look at dimensions away from climate change, such as nutrition, medicine and water, to make sure that resilience is built properly.

ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE UN
The United Nations has long been working towards combating the effects of climate change, and in September 2019, the Secretary-General will convene a Climate Action Summit. Additionally, through the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN is working to ensure that the targets are attained to ensure well-being for all. Most of the SDGs deal with climate change and/or combating the effects, ad rural communities are recognized through these SDGs and are a primary target audience for the end goals that are to be achieved. Even more so, the UNDP has launched multiple projects, such as the “Building Climate Resilient Rural Communities in Zimbabwe” project, and the UN volunteers constantly work on strengthening the rural communities in collaboration with local Ministry of Water and Health. Another example of a project is the UNDP project on “Strategic Planning and Action to Strengthen Climate Resilience of Communities in Nusa Tenggara Timor province (SPARC)”.
Overall, the United Nations has taken a multitude of actions towards the problem at hand, but with climate change being a fast and imminent threat, more has to be done.

CONCLUSION
Building resilience in rural communities has long been the concern of the UN and many local governments. However, the previous approach of adaptation no longer seems to be efficient, and more sustainable and innovative solutions need to be implemented. While climate change is the primary focus at hand, policies and solutions do not have to be tied or directly related to the climate, as the dimensions of resilience are expansive and range from healthcare to food. The issue of migration between rural areas also has to be looked into, and it is important to note that there is no one encompassing solution. Rather, governments need to be aware of their own capacity and capability and adopt and design action plans alongside solutions that cater to their own rural
communities.

Questions to Consider
1. Does your government have any local policies in place to protect rural
communities?
2. Does your country have any migration policies?
3. What is the cause of vulnerability of local rural communities?
4. What is the status of infrastructure in these communities?
5. What can the UNDP do to build resilience?
6. In what capacity can local governments build resilience?
7. How can developed countries provide aid to these rural communities?
8. What type of assistance is required?
9. What actions should rural community members take to build resilience?
10. How much time do rural communities have to take action?
11. How can rural communities be protected in the event of a climate change
disaster?

Bibliography
I. Climate Change, Rural Vulnerabilities, and Migration.” Population
Reference Bureau, www.prb.org/climatechangeinruralareas/.
II. Dehnert, Elspeth. “Global Warming Hurts Rural Communities Most.”
Scientific American, 28 Mar. 2014, www.scientificamerican.com/article/globalwarming-
hurts-rural-communities-most/.
III. “Rural Communities.” National Climate Assessment,
nca2014.globalchange.gov/highlights/regions/rural-communities.
IV. “Strategic Planning and Action to Strengthen Climate Resilience of
Communities in Nusa Tenggara Timor Province (SPARC) | UNDP Climate Change
Adaptation.” Home, www.adaptation-undp.org/projects/sccf-strategic-planningand-
action-strengthen-climate-resilience-communities-nusa-tenggara.
V. “The Effects of Climate Change.” NASA, NASA, 23 Apr. 2019,
climate.nasa.gov/effects/.


6 Comments

Louis Mentor

  • Louis Mentor says :
    Hello Prakriti,

    I hope all is going well for you and thank you for writing about climate change. Indeed climate change is one of world's critical issues and I am glad that you are paying attention to this issue. Please keep writing great reports like this one! :)

    Louis Mentor
    Posted 01-09-2019 22:37

Wonhee Mentor

  • Wonhee Mentor says :
    Hello Prakriti didi

    Thank you for sharing this insightful and creative report with us. In these days, due to increasing number of migration and negative impacts of climate change, resilience in rural areas has been diminished. While people living in those areas have been looking for a change for their survivals, more systematic approaches are needed. In this regard, you've made a very clear point, Keep up the good work!

    Wonhee Mentor
    Posted 21-08-2019 16:24

Elizaveta Zaretskaya

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Hello Prakriti dd
    I hope you are fine.
    Keep inspiring with your good works.
    Thank you so much for your great report dd!
    Yours
    Asmita sis
    Posted 21-08-2019 00:29

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello prakriti didi

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about BUILDING RESILIENCE TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN RURAL AREAS. Wishing you all the best for the Rotaract Global Model United Nations. Thanks for this amazing written report.

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Regards,
    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 20-08-2019 21:43

Ngolle  Aquila kingsman

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