|Title||Baka People: Facing changes in African forests|
|Date released (year)||2009|
|Keywords/tags||Climate change, deforestation, poverty, adaptation|
|Link to film||http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgerTDO4r6M
|Synopsis||Living in the Central African forests, the Baka hunter gatherers formed an organization called Okani (meaning “rise up” in Baka) to help train other communities in filming and story-telling techniques. This first film from the Baka People in Eastern Cameroon shows how they are coping with the impacts of climate change and the swift transformations of their habitat. This film is an Okani-Insight http://www.insightshare.org production, part of Conversations with Earth Initiative http://www.conversationsearth.org . It is one of several experiences around the world in which indigenous communities are using videos to voice their concerns. These projects were funded by UNDP’s human rights programmes through the Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme http://sgp.undp.org/|
Climate change impacts in Cameroon – what the IPCC 4th Assessment Report has found:
Possible direct impacts of sea-level rise in Cameroon, indicate that a 15 % increase in rainfall by the year 2100 would likely decrease the penetration of salt water in the Wouri estuary. Alternatively, with an 11% decrease in rainfall, the salt water could extend up to about 70 km upstream.
In the Gulf of Guinea, sea-level rise could induce overtopping and even destruction of the low barrier beaches that limit the coastal lagoons, while changes in precipitation could affect the discharges of rivers feeding them. These changes could also affect lagoonal fisheries and aquaculture [9.4.6]
Source: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/aboutcc/problems/rising_temperatures/hotspot_map/cameroon.cfm Climate change impacts in Cameroon
From Babatope Akinwande:
Climate Conversations – Forest communities in Cameroon cannot adapt to climate change alone | Thu., November 22
YAOUNDE, Cameroon (14 November, 2012)_Rural communities in Cameroon rely heavily on forests for everything from their nutritional and medicinal needs to fuel for cooking and will be unable to adapt to climate change without significant outside help, a new study has found.
That could include anything from setting up a meteorological observatory to help farmers during planting season, to the establishment of research and action programmes by governments to support communities in increasing the effectiveness of their adaptation strategies.
The Center for International Forestry Research’s (CIFOR’s) Congo Basin and Climate Change Adaptation (CoFCCA) project was developed in 2008 to increase public and policy awareness about the heavy reliance both rural and urban areas have on animal and plant products coming from the second largest continuous tropical rainforest in the world. It also looked at ways in which to protect communities – as well as the natural resources – as the world experiences dramatic shifts in precipitation and temperature.
A key lesson was that, no matter how pertinent, local knowledge was not enough, said Denis Sonwa, one of the authors of a paper resulting from the study, focusing specifically on Cameroon. Sonwa’s team looked at the most vulnerable sectors in Cameroon, including energy derived from fuel wood. They focused on charcoal production and consumption, interviewing everyone from the producers and transporters to sellers and consumers to find out how each stakeholder perceived climate change and how it affected their activities.
“They were all concerned about the unpredictable rainy and dry seasons which affect levels of production, consumption, and earnings,” said Patrice Metenou, a post-graduate researcher involved in the project, adding that all were vulnerable to climate change but at very different levels.
While producers, transporters and sellers of fuel wood could revert to other means of income or hike up the prices of their products and services during the rainy season, when things slowed down, for instance, consumers were all-but stuck.
Dependent on charcoal for cooking, they had no choice but to cope with shortages or inflated prices. Metenou noted, too, that each stakeholder often had to devise several different ways to adapt to the changes.
“During the prolonged dry season, when charcoal makers need large quantities of water to produce a better quality of charcoal, they move closer to sources of water,” he said, pointing to one example.
“During the rainy season, they buy large tarpaulins to cover their products while waiting for buyers.”
The Congo Basin is the second largest and most intact tropical forest region of the world after the Amazonian forests. Covering some 228 million hectares, it represents approximately 20 percent of the world’s remaining tropical forest. These forests cover about 60 percent of the total land area of six countries of the central African countries of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Forests are important to the indigenous people in the Congo Basin where more than 80% of people live exclusively on agriculture, fisheries, and livestock. Harvesting activities are highly dependent on climate in the region.
According to Sonwa, “Planning climate adaptation strategies with the forest communities in the Congo Basin is absolutely fundamental and urgent in order to cope with the projected inevitable climate impacts”.
This research was conducted under the CIFOR’s CoFCCA (Congo Basin Forest Climate Change Adaptation) project which is part of the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) Program supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)and the Department for International Development (DFID).
|Links to other resources||Also see: https://ejoltdocumentaries.wordpress.com/tag/climate-change-2/
Ernest L Molua & Cornelius M Lambi (2007) The Economic Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture in Cameroon. The World Bank
Development Research Group, Sustainable Rural and Urban Development Team, Policy Research Working Paper 4364.
|Title||A Thousand Suns – Global Oneness Project (Part 1)|
|Date released (year)||2009|
|Keywords/tags||Indigenous, climate change, agriculture, food security|
|Link to film||http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bNhTYxYfV4
|Synopsis||A Thousand Suns tells the story of the Gamo Highlands of the African Rift Valley and the unique worldview held by the people of the region. This isolated area has remained remarkably intact both biologically and culturally. It is one of the most densely populated rural regions of Africa yet its people have been farming sustainably for 10,000 years. Shot in Ethiopia, New York and Kenya, the film explores the modern world’s untenable sense of separation from and superiority over nature and how the interconnected worldview of the Gamo people is fundamental in achieving long-term sustainability, both in the region and beyond.|
|Reviews/discussion||The Global Oneness Project is a digital, ad-free, bi-monthly magazine. Through stories, we explore the threads that connect culture, ecology, and beauty. Our collection of films, photography, and essays feature diverse and dynamic voices from around the world.
A. Nyong, F. Adesina & B. Osman Elasha (2007) The value of indigenous knowledge in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in the African Sahel, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change
Past global efforts at dealing with the problem of global warming concentrated on mitigation, with the aim of reducing and possibly stabilizing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere. With the slow progress in achieving this, adaptation was viewed as a viable option to reduce the vulnerability to the anticipated negative impacts of global warming. It is increasingly realized that mitigation and adaptation should not be pursued independent of each other but as complements. This has resulted in the recent calls for the integration of adaptation into mitigation strategies. However, integrating mitigation and adaptation into climate change concerns is not a completely new idea in the African Sahel. The region is characterized by severe and frequent droughts with records dating back into centuries. The local populations in this region, through their indigenous knowledge systems, have developed and implemented extensive mitigation and adaptation strategies that have enabled them reduce their vulnerability to past climate variability and change, which exceed those predicted by models of future climate change. However, this knowledge is rarely taken into consideration in the design and implementation of modern mitigation and adaptation strategies. This paper highlights some indigenous mitigation and adaptation strategies that have been practiced in the Sahel, and the benefits of integrating indigenous knowledge into formal climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. Incorporating indigenous knowledge can add value to the development of sustainable climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies that are rich in local content, and planned in conjunction with local people.
|Links to other resources||Oxfam report on climate change in Ethiopia: http://www.oxfam.org/pressroom/pressrelease/2010-04-22/climate-change-increasing-poverty-and-vulnerability-ethiopia
Marius Keller, Climate Risks and Development Projects: Assessment Report for a Community-Level Project in Guduru, Oromiya, Ethiopia. Source: http://www.iisd.org/cristaltool/documents/BFA-Ethiopia-Assessment-Report-Eng.pdf
When The Water Ends: Africa’s Climate Conflicts
|Date released (year)||2010|
|Production company||Yale Environment 360|
|Keywords/tags||Civil war, climate change, desertification, food security, violence|
|Link to film||http://e360.yale.edu/feature/when_the_water_ends_africas_climate_conflicts/2331/|
|Synopsis||As temperatures rise and water supplies dry up, tribes in East Africa increasingly are coming into conflict. A Yale Environment 360 video reports on a phenomenon that could become more common: how worsening drought will pit groups — and nations — against one another.|
|Reviews/discussion||For thousands of years, nomadic herdsmen have roamed the harsh, semi-arid lowlands that stretch across 80 percent of Kenya and 60 percent of Ethiopia. Descendants of the oldest tribal societies in the world, they survive thanks to the animals they raise and the crops they grow, their travels determined by the search for water and grazing lands.
These herdsmen have long been accustomed to adapting to a changing environment. But in recent years, they have faced challenges unlike any in living memory: As temperatures in the region have risen and water supplies have dwindled, the pastoralists have had to range more widely in search of suitable water and land. That search has brought tribal groups in Ethiopia and Kenya in increasing conflict, as pastoral communities kill each other over water and grass.
“When the Water Ends,” a 16-minute video produced by Yale Environment 360 in collaboration with MediaStorm, tells the story of this conflict and of the increasingly dire drought conditions facing parts of East Africa. To report this video, Evan Abramson, a 32-year-old photographer and videographer, spent two months in the region early this year, living among the herding communities. He returned with a tale that many climate scientists say will be increasingly common in the 21st century and beyond — how worsening drought in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere will pit group against group, nation against nation. As one UN official told Abramson, the clashes between Kenyan and Ethiopian pastoralists represent “some of the world’s first climate-change conflicts.”
But the story recounted in “When the Water Ends” is not only about climate change. It’s also about how deforestation and land degradation — due in large part to population pressures — are exacting a toll on impoverished farmers and nomads as the earth grows ever more barren.
The video focuses on four groups of pastoralists — the Turkana of Kenya and the Dassanech, Nyangatom, and Mursi of Ethiopia — who are among the more than two dozen tribes whose lives and culture depend on the waters of the Omo River and the body of water into which it flows, Lake Turkana. For the past 40 years at least, Lake Turkana has steadily shrunk because of increased evaporation from higher temperatures and a steady reduction in the flow of the Omo due to less rainfall, increased diversion of water for irrigation, and upstream dam projects. As the lake has diminished, it has disappeared altogether from Ethiopian territory and retreated south into Kenya. The Dassanech people have followed the water, and in doing so have come into direct conflict with the Turkana of Kenya.
The result has been cross-border raids in which members of both groups kill each other, raid livestock, and torch huts. Many people in both tribes have been left without their traditional livelihoods and survive thanks to food aid from nonprofit organizations and the UN.
The future for the tribes of the Omo-Turkana basin looks bleak. Temperatures in the region have risen by about 2 degrees F since 1960. Droughts are occurring with a frequency and intensity not seen in recent memory. Areas once prone to drought every ten or eleven years are now experiencing a drought every two or three. Scientists say temperatures could well rise an additional 2 to 5 degrees F by 2060, which will almost certainly lead to even drier conditions in large parts of East Africa.
In addition, the Ethiopian government is building a dam on the upper Omo River — the largest hydropower project in sub-Saharan Africa — that will hold back water and prevent the river’s annual flood cycles, upon which more than 500,000 tribesmen in Ethiopia and 300,000 in Kenya depend for cultivation, grazing, and fishing.
The herdsmen who speak in this video are caught up in forces over which they have no real control. Although they have done almost nothing to generate the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, they may already be among its first casualties. “I am really beaten by hunger,” says one elderly, rail-thin Nyangatom tribesman. “There is famine — people are dying here. This happened since the Turkana and the Kenyans started fighting with us. We fight over grazing lands. There is no peace at all.”
26 Oct 2010
|Links to other resources||FAO: http://www.fao.org/docrep/X5318E/x5318e02.htm
See related discussions at: https://ejoltdocumentaries.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/east-africa-famine-appeal-the-need-in-drought-striken-areas/
Marius Keller, Climate Risks and Development Projects: Assessment Report for a Community-Level Project in Guduru, Oromiya, Ethiopia. Source: http://www.iisd.org/cristaltool/documents/BFA-Ethiopia-Assessment-Report-Eng.pdf
|Title||Converting Ethiopian Desert into Hyper-Productive Land|
|Date released (year)||2012|
|Keywords/tags||Climate change, agriculture, permaculture, food security|
|Link to film||http://youtu.be/mbEM6DCTK3Y|
|Synopsis||Once the scene of devastating droughts in 1984, a few visionaries in Ethiopia have used Agroecological Natural Technology Solutions and Permaculture Design principles to begin bringing areas of arid land back to productivity and ecological balance.
Restoring the huge vast degradaded landscape of Ethiopia… critical for the entire region to support life. The impact is regional, national, and international.
|Reviews/discussion||We can rehabilitate damaged ecosystems. We can transfer technology and capital to empower the local people to restore their own environment to ensure food security for people who are chronically hungry, while at the same time sequestering carbon, reducing biodiversity loss, mitigate against flooding, drought and famine. This can be done on a global scale.
We can do this with the simple application of Agricultural Natural Technology Solutions and Permaculture Design principles, such as earthworks, water harvesting, soil building, creating biodiversity.
Anybody can take a Permaculture Design Course and learn how to do this in their local area or internationally. There are over 1,000 such courses taught all over the world each year.
|Links to other resources||Dryland Permaculture with Bill Mollison: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmdCIqNG5BI
See Hope in a Changing Climate: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/ou-on-the-bbc-hope-changing-climate
|Title||Nigerian Activist Nnimmo Bassey Calls US Emissions Stance “A Death Sentence”|
|Date released (year)||2011|
|Keywords/tags||Climate change, global warming, protest, climate justice, Kyoto Protocol, COP17|
|Link to film||http://youtu.be/Me3lJPAqBxs
|Synopsis||Democracy Now! continues its week-long coverage from the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 17 in Durban, where negotiators from more than 190 nations are gathered. The future of the Kyoto Protocol is in doubt as is the formation of a new Green Climate Fund. With the talks taking place in South Africa, special interest is being paid to how the continent of Africa is already being heavily impacted by the climate crisis. Democracy Now! speaks to Nigerian environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria and Chair of Friends of the Earth International. He is author of the new book, “To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and Climate Crisis in Africa.”
“We are still in a situation where the negotiations are being carried out on a big platform of hypocrisy, a lack of seriousness, a lack of recognition of the fact that Africa is so heavily impacted,” Bassey says. “For every one degree Celsius change in temperature, Africa is impacted at a heightened level. This is very much to be condemned.”
|Reviews/discussion||On ‘To Cook a Climate’ by Nnimmo Bassey
There are some in Africa who argue that having a valuable resource is not necessarily a curse. They say that nature’s wealth is a blessing and that the curse happens only in relation to how resources are grabbed, owned, extracted and utilised. In other words, the curse is located firmly in the social structure of the world.
Let us start with a caveat about the word ‘resource’, which implies that nature’s wealth is a bounty, ready for corporate robbery. But we as humans frame this dilemma of extraction incorrectly if we don’t point out the intrinsic right of nature to survive on its own terms. Most importantly, we are part of Mother Earth, not apart from her. Her rights to exist and reproduce the conditions for all species’ existence are not to be violated.
That said, everyone acknowledges that Africa is resource rich. That the continent has been a net supplier of energy and raw materials to the North is not in doubt. That the climate crisis confronting the world today is mainly rooted in the wealthy economies’ abuse of fossil fuels, indigenous forests and global commercial agriculture is not in doubt. What has been obfuscated is how to respond to this reality. Indeed, the question peddled in policy circles is often what can be done about Africa. And, in moments of generosity, the question moves to what can be done for Africa.
This book looks at what has been done to Africa and how Africans and peoples of the world should respond for the collective good of all. The resource conflicts in Africa have been orchestrated by a history of greed and rapacious consumption. We ask the question: must these conflicts remain intractable? We will connect the drive for mindless extraction to the tightening noose of odious debt repayment and we will demand a fresh look at the accounting books, asking when environmental costs and other externalities are included: who really owes what to whom? Isn’t Africa the creditor of the world, if we take seriously the North’s ‘ecological debt’ to the South?
What makes possible the lack of regulation in Africa’s extractive sectors, the open robbery and the incredibly destructive extractive activities? Leading the multiplicity of factors are unjust power relations that follow from and amplify the baggage of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. From a Nigerian stand-point, but within the tradition of Pan-Africanist political economy and global political ecology, this book unpacks these issues and sets up bins for these needless and toxic loads.
Because of my own experiences, the pages that follow pay close attention to the oil industry in Africa, to the history of environmental justice struggles in the Niger Delta, to the discovery of oilfields in Uganda’s rift Valley, and to the big pull of the offshore finds in the Gulf of Guinea. As we examine the impacts of fossil fuel extraction on the continent, we also look at massive land grabs for the production of agrofuels and foods for export.
What can Africa do? And once our peoples decide, can the rest of the world act in solidarity? If not, will we continue on the path laid out by elites, a path that brings us ever closer to the brink? Must we live in denial even at a time of a rising tide of social and ecological disasters?
One of the worst gas flares in the Niger Delta is at a former Shell facility at Oben, on the border of Delta and Edo states. They have been roaring and crackling non-stop for over 30 years, since Shell first lit them. The flared gas comes from the crude oil extracted from the oil wells in the Oben field. As at more than 200 other flow stations across the Niger Delta, these gas flares belch toxic elements into the atmosphere, poisoning the environment and the people. Globally, gas flares pump about 400 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. Here in Nigeria, the climate is brazenly assaulted both in the short term by gas flaring and over the long term because of the CO2 emissions from this filthy practice. In the hierarchy of gas flares infamy, Nigeria is second only to Russia.
Gas flares and oil spills have attracted the attention of the world as the two most visible assaults on the Niger Delta. It was no surprise that when the Dutch parliament decided to hold a hearing on the activities of Shell in Nigeria, journalists and parliamentarians from the Netherlands decided to visit the region to see things for themselves.
I was at Oben on 18 December 2010 just after the United Nations’ climate negotiations disaster at Cancun, accompanied by Sharon Gesthuisen, a Socialist Party member of the Dutch parliament, along with a Dutch diplomat and Sunny Ofehe of the Hope for the Niger Delta Campaign. Our journey started in Benin City early in the evening after the parliamentarian had flown in from Lagos. escorted by a team of Oben community people, we set out on the hour-long ride along the highway from Benin City to Warri, a road noted for the high number of military check- points. They would make anyone think that Nigeria was at war. We meandered through the hazardous roadblocks made with trash hurled from nearby bushes and veered off the highway at Jesse, just before Sapele, from where we took a narrow winding road to Oben. Jesse is important in the tragic history of the Niger Delta: it was the community where a petrol pipeline fire killed about 1,000 poor villagers in 1998.
We got to Oben at about 7pm and were waved through a military checkpoint set up to guard the oil flow station and the belching dragons. Gaining entrance to the heavily guarded facility was easy; leaving was not. As soon as we arrived, a worker whom we happened across gave us a little talk about what went on there. People from the community complained about how they had had to put up with the flares for more than three decades while their dreams of jobs and development projects faded away.
The Dutch MP was amazed by what she saw. She was happy she had made this trip, otherwise she would have had to depend solely on the chaperoned visits arranged by the oil giant Shell in a bid to show how environmentally friendly they are. The flames leapt and roared relentlessly. We inched as close as we could before having to turn away because of the unbearable heat. As we turned to leave, the brightness of the village sky contrasted with the darkness of the homes that lacked electricity. But we could not leave.
Our cars were surrounded by soldiers of the Joint Task Force (JTF), a military force that became infamous when an armed unit was created specifically to punish the Ogoni people in the 1990s. The soldiers demanded to know by what authority we visited the gas flare site. They would not let us leave without producing an authorisation letter from the JTF headquarters. All our explanations that we were there at the invitation of the community fell on deaf ears. The presence of a Dutch parliamentarian as well as a diplomat meant nothing to these guys, who apparently knew their script. Hours went by. The darkness of the night struggled with the glow of the gas flares. The soldiers stuck to their guns.
The JTF men demanded our car keys and threatened to deflate the tyres. We would not leave the location that night, they insisted. Threats followed. Rifles were raised and then lowered. They would not call their superiors. They were the lords working at the behest of capital.
Eventually a Nigerian journalist who was on our team placed a call to the media relations officer of the JTF. After much foot dragging the soldiers wrote down the numbers of our cars and took our names, addresses and statements before letting us go at midnight. We rode back to Benin City in silence, each mulling over the hazards faced by communities living in the oilfields and the human rights abuses inflicted regularly on those who monitor or question the evils that go on in the land. To the Dutch parliamentarian, the events of the evening were a good introduction to the Niger Delta and the operations of the oil companies: exploit, degrade, abuse and punish the environment and the people. The scenario replays across the continent.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS
* This article forms the preface and beginning of chapter 1 from Nnimmo Bassey’s forthcoming book ‘To Cook a Continent – Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa’, published by Pambazuka Press (ISBN: 1-906387-53-2)
Durban COP17: failures in the making | by Patrick Bond:
The failure of Durban’s COP17 – a veritable “Conference of Polluters” – is certain, but the nuance and spin are also important. Binding emissions-cut commitments under the Kyoto Protocol are impossible given Washington’s push for an alternate architecture that is also built upon sand. The devils in the details over climate finance and technology include an extension of private-sector profit-making opportunities at public expense, plus bizarre new technologies that threaten planetary safety.
Politically, the overall orientation of global climate policy managers, especially from the US State Department and World Bank, eventually will be to displace the main process to the G20. This did not happen in Cannes because of the Greek and Italian economic crises, but is likely in future. It entails Washington’s rejection of any potential overall UN solution to the climate crisis – which in any case is a zero-possibility in the near future because of the terribly adverse power balance – and the UN’s dismissal of civil society’s varied critiques of market strategies. The COP negotiators will also reject climate justice movement’s strategies to keep fossil fuels in the ground and its demands for state-subsidised, community-controlled, transformative energy, transport, production, consumption and disposal systems.
The Cancun Summut
Nothing will be different in Durban, but in the meantime all the worst tendencies in world capitalism have conjoined to prevent progress on the two main areas of COP 17 decisions: financing and technology. The latter includes intellectual property rights barriers which must be overcome, reminiscent of how militant AIDS treatment activists liberated antiretroviral (ARV) medicines in 2003 at the Doha World Trade Organisation summit. Before that summit, Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights provisions allowed Big Pharma to charge $15 000 per person per year for life-saving ARVs, even though generic drugs cost a fraction of that sum. A similar push to decommodify vital climate technology is needed, but only a few activists have prioritised this struggle.
After all, technological processes that threaten the earth have intensified, such as geo-engineering, shale-gas fracking (endorsed by the SA National Planning Commission), tar sands extraction, and carbon capture and storage schemes aiming to bury greenhouse gases. The Johannesburg company SASOL continues to build up the world’s most CO2-intensive factory by converting coal and gas to liquid petroleum, for which it requests carbon credits from the UN.
And in spite of the Fukushima catastrophe, the US and South Africa continue a major nuclear energy expansion. The mad idea of seeding the oceans with iron filings to generate carbon-sequestrating algae blooms continues to get attention. In October 2010, the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan called for a halt to geo-engineering, but a year later British scientists began experimenting with stratospheric aerosol injections as a way to artificially cool the planet. As Canadian technology watchdog Diana Bronson put it, ‘This so-called Solar Radiation Management could have devastating consequences: altering precipitation patterns, threatening food supplies and public health, destroying ozone and diminishing the effectiveness of solar power.’
The financial mechanisms under debate since Cancun are just as dangerous because austerity-minded states in the US and European Union are backtracking on their $100 billion/year promise of a Green Climate Fund to promote carbon trading. That Fund appears set to re-subsidise carbon markets by ensuring they become the source of revenues, instead of larger flows of direct aid from rich countries, which activists suggest should become a down payment on the North’s ‘climate debt’. The markets have been foiled by their own internal corruption and contradictions, as well as by left critiques in key sites such as California and Australia, and rightwing climate change denialism in the US Congress.
But most importantly, the EU’s emissions trading scheme is still failing to generate even $10/ton carbon prices, whereas at least $50 would be required to start substantial shifts from fossil fuels to renewables. And world financial chaos means no one can trust the markets to self-correct.
Even with a rise of 2° C, scientists generally agree, small islands will sink, Andean and Himalayan glaciers will melt, coastal areas such as much of Bangladesh and many port cities will drown and Africa will dry out or in some places flood. With the trajectory going into Durban, the result will be a cataclysmic 4–5° C rise in temperature over this century, and if Copenhagen and Cancun promises are broken, as is reasonable to anticipate, 7° C is likely.
After 16 annual Conferences of Parties, the power balance within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change continues to degenerate. On the other hand, growing awareness of elite paralysis is rising here in Durban, even within a generally uncritical mass media.
That means the space occupied by activists will be crucial for highlighting anti-extraction campaigns including the Canadian tar sands, West Virginia mountains, Ecuadoran Amazon and Niger Delta – the hottest spots at present.
Expanding the Enviro Fightback
Patrick Bond directs the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society in Durban. His two most recent books are Politics of Climate Justice and Durban’s Climate
|Links to other resources||Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/democracynow
The African Climate Connection: www.african-climate-connection.org