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:
, livelihooddiversication 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, ater 30 yearso work at the grassroots level and particularly with women, there havebeen lessons learnt that provide a tried and tested model that couldeectively 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.”
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 aect rst and oremost the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet, i.e. the people in less developedcountries and especially in Arica. It is unair that those who bearlittle responsibility to the crisis should pay the highest prices. Climatechange is an issue o climate or carbon injustice.Arica and tropical regions where agricultural yields fuctuatesignicantly with climatic variation will be especially hard hit by climate change. Scientically modelled trends clearly show that i anthropogenic global warming continues at the current rate there willbe catastrophe in Arica.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 Darur 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 rainall 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 thereore also an issue o security.”
An eective and air response to climate change requires not justemission reductions, but also a signicant scale-up o support romthe developed world to the less developed world to nance adaptationand mitigation. This needs to include nance or reorestation andprevention o ongoing deorestation and orest degradation, alsoknown as REDD+. There is also need or technology transer 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