“Climate change is undeniable. Climate action is unstoppable. And climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable.”
-Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, 30 May 2017
Environmental concerns like climate change, deforestation, water scarcity, decreasing biodiversity and soil erosion are global problems. As declared by the United Nations, it is our global responsibility “to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.”
It’s no easy task. Although global support for climate action continues to expand, the planet still faces serious challenges.
According to the latest reports:
– Global greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, reaching 52.7 gigatons of carbon dioxide in 2014.
– In 2016, global sea ice fell to its second-lowest level on record.
– A new record was set in 2016 for global warming at 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial period.
– The number of deaths linked to natural hazards continues to rise. Between 1990 and 1995, more than 1.6 million people died in internationally reported natural hazards.
While we must all deal with the effects of these environmental concerns, people living in conditions of hunger and poverty are at the greatest risk. The vast majority of people in hunger and poverty live in rural regions, relying heavily on agriculture, with their well-being closely tied to the natural environment. They are extremely vulnerable to extreme weather events like droughts and flooding, which are often exacerbated by climate change.
The UN’s latest report on the food security and malnutrition notes that weather-related events – often linked to climate change—have affected food availability in many countries and contributed to the rise in food insecurity. Climate-related events can increase food insecurity, in terms of both availability and access, through a number of channels. Drought is a special case as it diminishes livestock and agricultural productivity, thus expanding the pool of potential combatants and giving rise to more broadly held grievances.
That is why building resilience to climate change is crucial and at the heart of our work across Africa, South Asia and Latin America.
What We Do
- Promoting sustainable farming practices. At our epicenters in Africa, partners create community farms, where villagers learn composting, intercropping and other methods, like drip irrigation, to improve crop yields, restore soil fertility and make the best use of scarce resources.
- Increasing access to sustainable agricultural technology. The Hunger Project provides training and credit, mobilizing people to adopt sustainable agricultural technology and practices, and encouraging them to demand agricultural extension services from their government. In 2016, 55,822 of our African partners were trained in food and agricultural practices.
- Raising awareness of and building capacity to adapt to climate change. In India and Peru, The Hunger Project and its partners hold workshops to build our partners’ capacity to exercise leadership, take steps to reduce their vulnerability and formulate strategies to mitigate climate change risks. At the regional and international level, we also advocate for the conservation of natural resources, the mitigation of the harmful effects of extractive industries, and the recovery and promotion of traditional knowledge and technology that is highly adaptable to changing climate conditions.
- Facilitating reforestation and tree planting campaigns. Throughout our Program Countries, trained Hunger Project village partners establish tree nurseries, which can reforest their communities, control soil erosion, and become entrepreneurial village businesses, supplying families with fruit trees that not only capture carbon, but also provide nutrition and income. In 2016, 13,544 people in Bangladesh participated in tree planting campaigns.
Header photo by Johannes Odé.