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Rajasthan women farmers successfully battle climate change

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As the United Nations Climate Change Conference ― 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21), is underway in France, women farmers in Rajasthan drylands are implementing their own methods to battle climate change.

The impact of climate change can be felt most strongly in the drylands ecosystem. Rajasthan’s women farmers are adopting methods which would help overcome this obstacle and keep them out of poverty.

Sixty per cent of Rajasthan is covered by the Thar Desert, which spreads over 320,000 sq km. The region sees around two droughts in five years and faces an acute water shortage for 9 to 11 months in a year.

Mani and Rameshwari are women community leaders from Rajasthan’s Derasar village who have brought in improvements in farming and related issues which effectively combat the adversities of climate change.

Embankments have been constructed to prevent runoff soil and erosion, and also to capture rain water. To provide cattle fodder, grasses and fodder tress are planted, while crop varieties which are suited to the region are being concentrated upon. More fruit trees are planted which provide income as well as nutrition, and improved crop varieties such as pearl millet have been introduced.

In a move towards better management of common community resources such as the grazing lands, new institutional agreements have been employed. These agreements will also help the women easily form self-help groups which would allow them to weigh and market livestock in a proper manner, for higher income.

The CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems, which has brought in most of these changes, is working in Rajasthan, Karnataka and, Andhra Pradesh to assist the local institutions and farmers to build farming systems which can prevail against climate change. The program aims to lives of the billions living in rural areas and diminish the degradation of land and other resources in the dryland areas in the world.

The different initiatives are turning out to be quite successful, mainly due to the different organisations who have come together to lend a hand to the cause. The local community received ample assistance from the NGO, Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS), and the scientific expertise lent by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). Donations from all around the world have also been coming in from donors under the CGIAR program.

ICRISAT scientist Dr Shalander Kumar said, “The strategy takes women’s needs into account by working directly with them. Women are empowered to take charge of their lives and reduce the vulnerability of the communities living in these harsh environments.”

 

 

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World could see 140mn climate migrants by 2050: Report

World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva said the new research provides a wake-up call to countries and development institutions

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climate change is happening at a quickened pace and thus leading to melting of huge ice bergs
climate change is happening at a quickened pace and thus leading to melting of huge ice bergs
  • Three regions can witness migration due to climate change
  • The regions also include South Asia
  • It is important to take measures to control climate change

Three densely populated regions of the world, including South Asia, could see internal climate migrants of over 140 million people in the next three decades if climate change impacts continue, a new World Bank Group report finds.

The report, “Groundswell — Preparing for Internal Climate Migration”, released on Monday, finds that unless urgent climate and development action is taken globally and nationally, the three regions — Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America — together could be dealing with tens of millions of internal climate migrants by 2050.

World can witness migration of many due to climate change. VOA
World can witness migration of many due to climate change. VOA

These people will be forced to move from increasingly non-viable areas of their countries due to growing problems like water scarcity, crop failure, sea-level rise and storm surges.

The “climate migrants” would be an addition to the millions of people already moving within their countries for economic, social, political or other reasons, the report warns. The exodus could create a looming humanitarian crisis and will threaten the development process.

Also Read: Climate change driving dramatic rise in sea levels: NASA

However, with concerted actions — including global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and robust development planning at the country level — this scenario could be dramatically reduced by up to 80 per cent or more than 100 million people.

The report is the first and most comprehensive study of its kind to focus on the nexus between slow-onset climate change impacts, internal migration patterns and, development in these three developing regions of the world.

World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva said the new research provides a wake-up call to countries and development institutions. “We have a small window now, before the effects of climate change deepen, to prepare the ground for this new reality,” Georgieva said.

It is important to control climate change now.

“Steps cities take to cope with the upward trend of arrivals from rural areas and to improve opportunities for education, training and jobs will pay long-term dividends. It’s also important to help people make good decisions about whether to stay where they are or move to new locations where they are less vulnerable.”

The research team, led by World Bank Lead Environmental Specialist Kanta Kumari Rigaud, include researchers and modellers from CIESIN Columbia University, CUNY Institute of Demographic Research, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Also Read: Maharashtra’s climate action plan yielded disappointments

They applied a multi-dimensional modelling approach to estimate the potential scale of internal climate migration across the three regions. They looked at three potential climate change and development scenarios, comparing the most “pessimistic” (high greenhouse gas emissions and unequal development paths), to “climate-friendly” and “more inclusive development” scenarios in which climate and national development action increases in line with the challenge. Across each scenario, they applied demographic, socio-economic and climate impact data at a 14 sq.km grid-cell level to model likely shifts in population within countries.

This approach identified major “hotspots” of climate in- and out-migration – areas from which people are expected to move and urban, peri-urban and rural areas to which people will try to move to build new lives and livelihoods. “Without the right planning and support, people migrating from rural areas into cities could be facing new and even more dangerous risks,” the report added. IANS