Resilience and Climate Change Resilience and Climate Change

Helping communities adapt to climate change

Climate change is set to push an additional 132 million people into poverty by 2030. People who have contributed least to global warming are already feeling the effects the most and being left to deal with the consequences.

It’s not fair. But with your support, women and other marginalised people living in poverty don’t have to pay the price for human-caused global warming.

The Issue

A farmer who has finally earned enough money to send her child to school suddenly loses all her crops in a flash flood. A family who has lived in their village for generations is forced to flee their home due to conflict over scarce natural resources. A community who has only just finished rebuilding their homes after a disaster are once again devastated by a cyclone. 

What does tackling climate change have to do with defeating poverty? Everything. 

Because any advances that people living in poverty have made in their lives can be instantly wiped out by the impacts of climate change. And unlike most of us in Australia, these people don’t have insurance or savings or government safety nets to fall back on when disaster strikes. 

Women and girls are especially at risk. As the ones often tasked with growing the food and collecting the water for their households, they bear the biggest burden when those resources become scarce. They are also more likely to die during a humanitarian crisis than men, and those who do survive face an increased risk of sexual and physical assault.

Fast Facts

A 2 degree increase in temperatures is anticipated to cause significant and irreversible changes to human and natural systems.

The World Bank has predicted climate change will push an additional 132 million people into poverty by 2030.

In 2019, we recorded more climate-related disasters than ever before.

 

The world’s richest 1% are responsible for more than double the CO2 emissions of the poorest 50% of the global population. 

 

The Solution

Even if the world’s biggest polluters significantly reduce their emissions within this decade, we will still be living with the consequences of climate change for years to come. That’s why we must support communities to adapt to the changing climate. 

This means diversifying food production and income, so they always have a backup. It means introducing drought-resistant seeds, climate-resilient livestock and water-saving technologies. It means investing in community-based early warning systems and supporting governments to improve their disaster forecasting and climate policies. And it means elevating women into leadership roles, so they can advocate for women’s needs before, during and after a disaster.

By working collaboratively with women-led organisations and drawing upon local and Indigenous knowledge of the land, we can prevent climate change from pushing more people even deeper into poverty.  

© Arlene Bax/CARE

Listen up to those in the know

Kien from Vietnam is a human weather app! She forecasts the weather and provides advice for farmers on what, when and how to plant. Her aim is to better prepare her community for extreme weather events. Kien knows hunger, in 2008, she experienced a total crop failure and had to live on only manioc and maize for several months. In cooperation with meteorologists, local authorities and farmers, she wants to avoid crop failures in the future. “I trust that our village leader acknowledges the importance of our forecasting and the information exchange amongst people. The government also needs to listen to those who are most affected by climate change and take advantage of our knowledge.”

Over 70% of populations of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos live in rural areas faced with harsh climatic conditions. CARE is working with women and ethnic minority farmers in South-East Asia to provide agricultural and climate-related information so they can better anticipate and respond to risks and opportunities from changes in the weather. In Vietnam, the program helped over 5,000 people to build resilience to climate change.

© laif core/Christian Berg