Older people and climate change


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Older people and climate change

  1. 1. e Older people and climate change Asia Pacific Regional Conference Melbourne May 2nd 2010 Sylvia Beales Head of Strategic Alliances Strategic Development Department
  2. 2. Climate Change Environmental hazard Demographic transition Fastest in Asia Rising inequalities Within and between countries Overview – things we know
  3. 3. Predictions related to global warming? <ul><li>A minimum of 2˚C rise may result in </li></ul><ul><li>4 billion people without access to safe water </li></ul><ul><li>200 million people on the move </li></ul><ul><li>375 million people affected by climate-related disasters </li></ul><ul><li>28 per cent increased exposure to malaria in Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Collapse of inefficient and under resourced health systems </li></ul><ul><li>The Lancet has called climate change “the biggest health threat of the 21st century” </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Older people say: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The droughts have been intensifying over the last </li></ul><ul><li>20 years, and the climate is changing. When it </li></ul><ul><li>doesn’t rain our animals die, and we cannot grow </li></ul><ul><li>crops’ . (Walso Jaldeso, 96, Ethiopia) </li></ul><ul><li>Policy influencers say: </li></ul><ul><li>“ There is plenty of need out there for focus on the </li></ul><ul><li>elderly…..” ( Rachel Berger, Practical Action) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Coping with environmental disaster
  6. 6. Action on climate change in 2009 <ul><li>Review of CC in 12 HA programmes </li></ul><ul><li>Older person analysis of climate change in 9 countries </li></ul><ul><li>Global study of views and actions of 26 external agencies and range of policy makers </li></ul><ul><li>Older people define CC as key problem affecting health, food security, livelihoods, water supply, capacity to care for dependents, increasing vulnerability to migration and extreme weather </li></ul><ul><li>Experience and views of OP on building resilience not taken into account by policy makers </li></ul><ul><li>Some HA programmes already taking action though Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and environmental assessments </li></ul><ul><li>HA ‘Witness to climate change; listening to the voice of experience’ well received as first account of its kind </li></ul>
  7. 7. Summary of findings <ul><li>Older people are both aware of changing climate and are </li></ul><ul><li>bearing the brunt of its impact - livelihoods and health </li></ul><ul><li>Older people lack scientific knowledge and terminology </li></ul><ul><li>BUT </li></ul><ul><li>have traditional knowledge and coping skills </li></ul><ul><li>NEVERTHELESS </li></ul><ul><li>Older people are not mentioned in international negotiations </li></ul><ul><li>AND ARE OFTEN </li></ul><ul><li>Sidelined from debates and forums at national level </li></ul><ul><li>By-passed by interventions at community level </li></ul>
  8. 8. Direction of 2010 HA environment and climate change policy <ul><li>HA will </li></ul><ul><li>Help to build the resilience of older men and women and their dependents to the impacts of natural crises </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure our own environmental sustainability and resilience </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce our carbon footprint </li></ul>
  9. 9. Expected outcomes by 2015 <ul><li>We will be able to show how we better manage environmental and climate change risk with older people and their communities </li></ul><ul><li>We will have built our understanding of the nature of CC impact on and risk faced by older people and their families </li></ul><ul><li>We will ensure older people are supported to be more resilient and to contribute to sustainable change </li></ul>
  10. 10. How? Proposed actions in our programmes <ul><li>1. Ensure that all project design takes account of, manages and, if possible, reduces environmental and cc impact </li></ul><ul><li>2. Support older people to contribute knowledge and skills for resilience and adaptation </li></ul><ul><li>3. Support inclusion of older peoples concerns in national environmental risk and CC policy and programme responses </li></ul>
  11. 11. Older person focus Unpredictable weather patterns More frequent and severe floods More frequent and severe tropical storms Melting ice caps More frequent & prolongued droughts Melting glaciers Heat waves Landslides Decreasing crop yields Land degradation & desertification Water shortages & poor water quality Water supply shortages Rising sea levels Increased loss of lives and property & environmental damage as a result of disasters caused by climate hazards Increase in migration and ‘climate refugees’ Salinisation Coastal erosion Increase in insect-borne disease (malaria, dengue) OP displaced or left behind Decreasing livelihood options Worsening food security Traditional knowledge insufficient to boost resilience OP more vulnerable to extreme weather (heat & cold) Increased disease burden on OP More exposed to conflict over natural resources OLDER PERSON
  12. 12. Via <ul><li>Research and evidence gathering on climate change impact on OP and solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Programme development to build resilience eg DRR </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy, training and policy development </li></ul><ul><li>Alliances with others – we are not cc experts </li></ul><ul><li>Mainstreaming issue into existing thematic priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of ‘pilot’ countries including for funding </li></ul>
  13. 13. Potential recommendations <ul><li>Promote older people as climate change informants and ‘agents of change’ </li></ul><ul><li>Promote more investigation of the impact of climate change on older people’s livelihoods & health </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure older people and their representative groups can be active in national forums, financing bodies and decision-making processes on climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate that d ata for adaptation strategies and vulnerability assessments be broken down by age as well as by sex </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate age into vulnerability assessments for NAPAs </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate for financing to benefit older people through NAPAs and Adaptation Fund </li></ul><ul><li>Link global action on climate change to DRR, health for all and social protection </li></ul>