Sunday, November 23, 2008

Climate protests and travels

I've a unique opportunity to travel around large parts of Bangladesh right now to see communities involved in rallies and hold meetings about how climatic changes are affecting their lives. Today, I was in Mymensingh, northern Bangladesh. A lovely city with lots of old buildings and mainly trishaws, rather than cars or motorbikes.

The event was very interesting, attracting around 3,000 - most of the group members of indigenous communities

Living in forested areas - which are being affected by changing weather patterns - indigenous groups are among the first to feel the impact of climate change on their natural environment.

Another problem these groups face is land-grabbing by influential, politically connected groups and individuals. One of their demands is the protection of their customary lands.

The day before, I was in Khulna, in the south-west, which is often affected by floods - often as a result of water-logging.

These activists staged a drama highlighting environmental problems in the area, particularly in the Sunderbans - the worlds large'st mangrove forests, including the loss of biodiversity.

Protest in Khulna

Bangladesh is affected by numerous floods and cyclones. But there is a drought-prone area too.
Two hundred women from indigenous (or adivashi) communities in Rajshahi, north-western Bangladesh, carried empty clay water pots to symbolically highlight the problem.

The area, which is located in the Barind Tract of the country, has experienced serious water shortages which has been exacerbated by climate change. Communities say they dont have enough water for drinking, irrigation and agriculture.

A lack of rainfall meant farmers had poor crop yields, especially winter crops, including potato. But the greatest burden falls on women villagers who are forced to travel further from their homes to collect water.


Portnoy said...

Thanks for sharing this pictures and events. Climate change has been getting more and more serious. There are also a lot of preserved mountain area being expoited for farming and mining in Taiwan.

Anonymous said...

When I read the polar bears have no food and starve to eat each other, I am thinking just like human being doing now.We overdemand the resource and the result is we all lost more than we got.Thanks for your sharing and it reminds us of being kind to the earth .
Looking forward to your news.