Development justice for vulnerable communities in the context of climate change

"The poor in my village usually live in shabby houses. Whenever a storm or flood strikes, their house sare often in the danger of collapsing or being damaged. They cannot afford to repair the houses because they are very poor.  So, due to these disasters, the poor are getting poorer. Natural disasters now occur more frequently and don’t follow a predictable pattern as in the past. Therefore, the poor need technical assistance in order to manage their livelihood more sustainably", said Ms.Tran Thi Cuong. She is a farmer in Khanh Loc commune, Can Loc district, Ha Tinh province, at the meeting titled “Development Justice in the context of Climate Change. It was organized by the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) in collaboration with the local authorities of Khanh Loc commune on July 21, 2014.

The event was held in support of the Days of Action for Development Justice, on July 21 organized by the Campaign for People's Goals for Sustainable Development[i]. It aimed at provide a platform for local farmers, who belong to the poor and vulnerable groups bearing the brunt of climate change, to voice their concerns and put forward their demands for support in order to better cope with climate change.

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The meeting was attended by nearly 200 people, who are representatives of the local authorities and media agencies; as well as ,the residents of Khanh Loc, Vuong Loc and Vinh Loc commune. One of the highlights of the meeting was the participation of children living in the 3 communes who brought their own art work to the event - 30 drawings with themes related to environmental protection and climate change.

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Can Loc district, in Ha Tinh province is located in an area prone to extreme weather events. In summer, this place is called “a hot pan” because of its scorching hot andexpirences dry weather. The temperature sometimes reaches as high as 40°C. Droughts severely affect local agricultural production. By contrast to the hot weather in summer, in rainy season, due to its low-lying terrain, the district is likely inundated with by big storms.The locals living in Can Loc district, therefore, can see the impacts of climate change on their daily lives and agricultural production more clearly than anyone else.

Women are also farmers, workers, and immigrants. Yet, they have the added level of marginalization and oppression due to male Patriarchy. Along with farmers, workers, immigrants, and other marginalized groups, in 14 countries joining the Days of Action for Development Justice, the locals in Can Loc district represented communities vulnerable to climate change, shared their experiences of how climate change has affected their lives, disseminated messages relating to environmental protection, and called for support to better adapt to the changing environment. As for the children taking part in the event, they had chance to show their own understanding of the causes and effects of climate change ;as well as, to present their solutions to address environmental issues through their lovely drawings.

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The concerns, needs and demands of the local people in Can Loc district will be broadly shared with governmental bodies, unions, and organizations at different levels in Vietnam as well as other grassroots and regional organizations participating in the campaign. Their messages coupled with those of other disadvantaged communities all over the world are exptected to create a strong and united move calling for DEVELOPMENT JUSTICE." 

- SRD -

[i]The campaign is an initiative of 25 leaders representing various grassroots organizations and social movements participated in the “Global Civil Society Workshop on Rio+20 outcomes and the Post-2015 sustainable development agenda” held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2012. It calls for a truly transformative development agenda that will address address the demands of the poor and marginalized under ten major thematic concerns (Source:http://peoplesgoals.org/about-us/)

 

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