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Climate Change Report 2009: Green Belt Movement

Climate Change Report 2009: Green Belt Movement

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Published by: Greater Charlotte Harbor Sierra Club on Jul 18, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Responding to ClimateChange rom the Grassroots:
The Green Belt Movement Approach
“I cannot live without the  green trees, and nor can you” 
 Wangari Maathai
Foreword by Wangari Maathai
 Trees provide many things: ood, shade, wood-energy, building and encing materials. They regulate micro-climates and rainall patterns, hold soil to the ground, serve as habitats or otherlie orms and help to harvest and retain rainwater. They sequester carbon and thereby clean the air.Among the lessons learnt in the last three decades o Green Belt Movement’s work is that treeplanting continues to bring communities together, build a common purpose, more sustainablelivelihoods, and over time, build resilience. Successul tree planting also requires capacity,commitment, proper nancing, political will and good governance. It demands ownership by communities involved, respect or rights and, most importantly, that local people remain unitedbehind a common vision.Preventing deorestation and increasing tree cover is challenging but the rewards to communitiesand country are maniold and provide benets ar beyond simply absorbing carbon. Trees and Forests have a signicant role to play in a global climate deal when the right trees areplanted in the right places and their survival is ensured. They must also simultaneously improve thelivelihoods o local communities. The Green Belt Movement’s integrated and holistic approach toclimate change addresses livelihoods o communities, adaptation, mitigation and sustainabledevelopment.As we continue, we thank our partners or joining us on the journey to reduce vulnerability o communities to climate change by not only continuing to plant trees, but by also reducingdeorestation and orest degradation.Proessor Wangari MaathaiFounder, the Green Belt MovementNobel Peace Laureate, 2004 With over 30 years o experience in engaging communitiesat the grassroots to address issues o environmentaldegradation, gender and human rights, GBM is uniquely positioned to oer an integrated response to climatechange based on a number o actors:
GBM has a tested model or community-led reorestation which takes into account the value o threatenedecosystems as well as community livelihoods.
The GBM model addresses adaptation, mitigation andsustainable development strategies.
GBM’s approach provides multiple benets across anumber o developmental areas.
GBM Founder, Wangari Maathai, is a global advocateor Arica, women, climate justice and integrated climatechange solutions.GBM supports communities to plant and nurture trees, whichimproves their livelihoods and helps them become activeparticipants in environmental regeneration. GBM’s longterm vision is to substantially increase orest cover in Kenya whilst helping to create sustainable livelihoods or all.
 The Green Belt Movement (GBM) has an existing network o over4,000 community groups in Kenya mobilized to plant trees andprotect their natural environment. These community groups actively engage with climate change in three ways:
, carbon sequestration through tree planting andecosystem conservation and management.
, promoting tree planting and sustainableagricultural techniques including growing o indigenous ood cropsto enhance ood security, harvesting rain water and curbing soilerosion to build resilience.
Promotion of Sustainable development:
, livelihooddiversication and education to become more economically resilientand make progress towards the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs). This report shares the experience o the Green Belt Movement as itseeks to address the challenges o climate change. GBM’s holistic,grassroots approach to environmental management responds tomultiple problems aced by communities including the negative impacto climate change. The ollowing document will examine how thisapproach reduces environmental deterioration and provides sustainablelivelihoods to local communities. As a non-governmental organization(NGO), GBM does not have all the answers. However, ater 30 yearso work at the grassroots level and particularly with women, there havebeen lessons learnt that provide a tried and tested model that couldeectively respond to the current environmental crisis precipitated by climate change.
“Climate change is the greatest humanitarian challenge acing mankind today. And it is a challenge that has a grave injustice at its heart.” 
Kof Annan
Climate Change: an issue o Justiceand Security 
 Temperatures are rising because o an increase o green house gases(GHG) in the atmosphere and much o the GHG emissions havebeen made by developed countries which powered their economies with the burning o ossil uels. The Intergovernmental Panel onClimate Change (IPCC) has now explicitly stated that climatechange will seriously aect rst and oremost the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet, i.e. the people in less developedcountries and especially in Arica. It is unair that those who bearlittle responsibility to the crisis should pay the highest prices. Climatechange is an issue o climate or carbon injustice.Arica and tropical regions where agricultural yields fuctuatesignicantly with climatic variation will be especially hard hit by climate change. Scientically modelled trends clearly show that i anthropogenic global warming continues at the current rate there willbe catastrophe in Arica.As Wangari Maathai says,
“First o all there will be a ast spread o the Sahara desert. It is spreading now. So crises like what is happening inKenya and Darur will get much worse. There will be violent competitionover shrinking arable land, grazing land and water points as the desert spreads and dries up the land, rivers and lakes. Second, there will be crop ailure because o changing rainall patterns, and we will get massive starvation and migrations. As we all know, people don’t sit down and wait to die. They migrate and do whatever they can to overcome political and economic barriers. Climate change is thereore also an issue o security.” 
An eective and air response to climate change requires not justemission reductions, but also a signicant scale-up o support romthe developed world to the less developed world to nance adaptationand mitigation. This needs to include nance or reorestation andprevention o ongoing deorestation and orest degradation, alsoknown as REDD+. There is also need or technology transer and nances to acilitatethe process. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)estimated that the amount o additional unds to address the impacto adaptation alone would require $86 billion per year.
Besides thecollective and common responsibility, climate change also calls orthe principle o ‘polluter pays’ or the harm pollution is causing. Whether the world leadership is ready to commit substantial nancialresources to deal with the crisis o climate change will only becomeclear in the days ahead.
IPCC (2007b). Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.Contribution o Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report o theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press,New York 

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