A new report launched on November 26 provides nine testimonies from community members around the globe who have dramatic first-hand experience of the devastating impacts of climate change.

LONDON (UK), NOVEMBER 26, 2007- A new report launched on November 26 provides nine testimonies from community members around the globe who have dramatic first-hand experience of the devastating impacts of climate change.

The report is available for journalists preview here.

Ahead of the UN climate talks, 3-14 December in Bali, Friends of the Earth International is today launching a new report “Voices from Communities Affected by ClimateChange”. The report includes nine stories from different countries around the world – chronicling specific impacts, and providing testimonies from local community members who have dramatic first-hand experience of devastating climatic events.

Director of CENSAT Agua Viva/ Friends of the Earth Colombia Tatiana Roa Avendaño said:
“We are on the brink of a global climatic catastrophe and poor, vulnerable communities – who are the least responsible for climate change – are already being hit by its impacts including displacement, disease, the destruction of livelihoods and ecosystems.”

Despite having to confront environmental disasters such as sea level rises in the Pacific, melting glaciers in the Andean region and drought in Africa, these communities are showing remarkable resilience.

Yet, nowhere near enough is being done to stop the roots causes of climate change. Over-consumption – particularly in industrialised countries – continues unabated and automobile, mining, oil and now biofuel corporations are raking in the profits.

This drives home the need for a global, diverse movement to tackle climate change and demand climate justice. This can only be achieved by halting unsustainable consumption and production while promoting genuine solutions including clean renewable energy, energy-efficiency, the funding of adaptation, mitigation and forest conservation that protects land rights.”

Indigenous peoples, women, local authorities, farmers, small business owners and small-scale fisherfolk speak out from Honduras, Peru, Brazil, Mali, Swaziland, the UK, Australia, Malaysia and Tuvalu. The voices of these community members highlight strategies that they have developed to attempt to adapt to the radical transformations that climate change has imposed on their territories, lifestyles and ecosystems.

Friends of the Earth International Climate Campaigner Stephanie Long said:
“Adaptation should be pro-poor, and protect ecosystems, livelihoods and human security. Community-based adaptation provides the best opportunity to ensure that adaptation projects are culturally, technically and socially appropriate, and that they increase resilience to the impacts of climate change.”

Friends of the Earth International will be demanding this in our lobbying efforts for a post-2012 Kyoto agreement in UN climate talks in Bali this December. Industrialised countries must accept responsibility for deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions within the coming fifteen years. The fate of these brave community members must recognised by the international community.

The costs of climate adaptation in developing countries will amount to many billions of dollars per year. [1] Industrialised countries should assess the costs of climate adaptation and develop a detailed analysis of how new financing schemes, through tax and state funding, can be implemented to raise the billions necessary. Under the UNFCCC, rich countries are obliged to finance developing country adaptation. [2]

Tatiana Roa Avendaño, CENSAT Agua Viva/ Friends of the Earth Colombia director:
+ 57 1 2442465 or + 57 1 2440581 or + 57 1 3377709

Joe Zacune, Friends of the Earth International climate campaigner: UK mobile number +44-7967 877 593 or Friends of the Earth press office in London +44-20 7566 1649

Stephanie Long, Friends of the Earth International climate coordinator: Australian mobile number + 61-414 136 461

[1] According to Kermal Dervis, head of UNDP, donors will need to provide 50 to 100 per cent more finance over and above current aid – equivalent to $50–100bn annually – to cover the impacts of climate change.^ See http://www.ft.com/cms/s/43af1a4a-c817-11db-b0dc-000b5df10621.html

[2] Article 4.3 of the UNFCCC commits Annex II countries to ‘provide new and additional resources to meet the agreed full incremental cost of implementing measures…’ including ‘preparing for the adaptation to climate change’. In addition Article 4.4 states that Annex II countries ‘shall also assist the developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in meeting costs of adaptation to those adverse effects.’

[3] Friends of the Earth International is the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 69 diverse national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups on every continent. With over 2 million members and supporters around the world, we campaign on today’s most urgent environmental and social issues. Our vision is of a peaceful and sustainable world based on societies living in harmony with nature.