We're no longer going to refer to "climate change". Instead, we're going to use the more realistic term "climate crisis": eleven years to prevent irreversible damage, according to a recent report from the UN General Assembly. And some scientists fear we may have exceeded that threshold for many ecosystems and regions, as we catapult our way through the sixth wave of extinction.
For six years, we (Janis and Brooks) have been working with partners in Vanuatu, helping build capacity for adaptation and greater social and environmental resilience. But it is increasingly clear that communities' local efforts are struggling to keep up with the rate and the nature of the changes occurring.
The world simply must make every effort to keep further CO2 out of the atmosphere.
While all of us will be impacted by the crisis, countries in the global south are much more vulnerable. Therefore, we believe we must do more to make these stories heard!
We believe that the efforts and stories of our partners in Vanuatu must reach further and, in turn, they need to know that others are listening, and hopefully acting. So in 2019, we two have set off on an expedition of a different kind, traveling to countries impacted by the climate crisis to gather stories for a new video. The message is that people like our partners in Vanuatu are working hard to adapt and to protect biodiversity that is not only essential to their way of life, but is of global value, that is, of value to each and everyone of us on this planet. They need those in other countries to make our voices heard, to rise up and bring about change. We're not only seeking stories from least developed countries like Vanuatu, where governments and people don't have the money to respond, but also from countries where people risk their safety if they raise their voices in protest.
Frankly, we're not very optimistic. Nor do we presume that our small efforts will have much effect; nor are we sure that these actions are the most effective ones we can take! Nevertheless this is our contribution.
First stop, Vietnam! Although a country with a fast growing economy and cityscapes of towering modern spires, the country's 95+ million people are highly vulnerable to climate change. In fact, the country is ranked 6th in the world on the Climate Risk Index.
We'll be posting regular updates about this expedition, so please follow along. In the meantime, here are just a few photos from the Mekong Delta (Population 21.5 million, elevation 0 ft/cm) a vast region of rivers and swamps and the location of most of Vietnam's rice production. Large scale internal migration is already underway due to the collapse of farming.