Poor families worldwide are already feeling the impacts of climate change. They are seeing first-hand how unpredictable rainfall patterns cause water shortages, reduce harvests and exacerbate hunger. They are witnessing the effects of more extreme weather such as cyclones and hurricanes that destroy their homes, lives and incomes. And they have to cope with longer, more severe droughts which kill their livestock and threaten their crops. Women and children are 14 times more likely than men to suffer direct impacts of natural disasters and climate change. Not only are more women injured or killed during hurricanes and floods, women and girls are often responsible for farming their fields and collecting water, meaning that they are increasingly affected by more extreme droughts or floods.
By the year 2020, we will help 50 million poor and vulnerable people to increase their food and nutrition security and their resilience to climate change. Last year, we worked with over one million people to help them adapt their lifestyles and livelihoods to a changing climate, or reduce their risk or exposure to disasters.
Globally, CARE's work on climate change is to help ensure that the rights of the poorest and most vulnerable people are heard at the international climate change negotiations and to implement projects that help people adapt and become more resilient co climate shocks. his includes helping women and men learn new farming techniques and protect themselves from recurring disasters. It also means securing people’s rights and access to valuable natural resources. With the right knowledge and sufficient means, people are able to take the necessary steps to safeguard their own lives, incomes and futures. And by strengthening women’s voices, we ensure they have a stronger say in decisions that affect their lives.
In Vietnam, the coastal community of Da Loc was heavily damaged by typhoon Damarey in 2005. CARE helped the community extend the mangrove forest on the coast which will serve as a barrier to future typhoon floods. A community group was set up to look after the forest and local people were democratically selected to participate. The villagers had previously had no official rights to the mangrove forest area but, empowered by their experiences, the group negotiated with the authorities and now have a contract with the authorities to lease the land.
For more on CARE's work on climate change, click here.