Plenary 2 - Social Impacts of Global Climate Change


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Presentation of Prof. Natividad Lacdan,
College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Manila, during the UP Manila Conference on Global Climate Change, held October 22-23, 2009 at the Pearl Garden Hotel, Manila.

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Plenary 2 - Social Impacts of Global Climate Change

  1. 1. THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE Prof. Natividad F. Lacdan Department of Biology College of Arts and Sciences University of the Philippines Manila
  2. 2. Present – day scenario Climate Change Rapid Environmental Degradation Unabated, Irresponsible Resource Utilization and Depletion Intensifying Developmental Activities Increasing Population & Urbanization
  3. 5. Our complacency and lack of understanding of the delicate balance in nature invariably leads to major catastrophes - Decreasing Arable Lands Overgrazing loss of biodiversity due to habitat loss and extinction of species Floods Rising Sea Levels Groundwater depletion droughts Excessive Soil Erosion Waterlogging and Salt built up in soils Pollution
  4. 7. The survival of Mankind is at its highest risk, brought about by environmental havoc, he himself wrought on Mother Earth, with anthropomorphic climate change as its major challenge
  5. 8. <ul><li>Climate Change is a natural phenomenon, existing for several millenia involving alternating ice ages and sub tropical periods </li></ul><ul><li>With the onset of the industrial revolution, especially in the 1950s, there was a drastic increase in the consumption of coal, oil and natural gas </li></ul><ul><li>As a consequence, the global climate system has never been as haywire as before </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing levels of carbon dioxide is the pinpointed culprit </li></ul>
  6. 10. CO2 54% CFC’s 14% CH4 18% NO2 6%
  7. 11. <ul><li>Regardless, historical climatic patterns arising from natural and/or man-made causes result from intermittent but increasingly frequent, extreme impacts (e.g. storms and heat waves) and slow on-set, pervasive, cumulative effects (e.g. extinction of life forms, rising sea levels) </li></ul><ul><li>Involves interactions of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere, and human systems </li></ul>
  8. 12. <ul><li>The Typical perception on climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Burning summers </li></ul><ul><li>Stinging cold winds </li></ul><ul><li>Devastating droughts </li></ul><ul><li>Catastrophic typhoons </li></ul><ul><li>Rampaging Floods </li></ul><ul><li>But these are more than what meets the eye </li></ul>
  9. 13. Climate Change Effects <ul><li>Increase frequency of extreme weather events </li></ul><ul><li>Floods / Storms </li></ul><ul><li>Droughts </li></ul><ul><li>Famines </li></ul><ul><li>Desertification </li></ul><ul><li>Increase sea temperatures </li></ul><ul><li>Heat and cold waves </li></ul><ul><li>Melting of glaciers and permafrost </li></ul>
  10. 14. Climate Change Effects <ul><li>Sea level rise </li></ul><ul><li>Abrupt changes in sea currents posing grave threats to coastal areas, ecosystems and geophysical cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Significant ecological, social, economic and political impacts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Food production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water availability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intensified wild fires </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mudstreams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coral bleaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in epidemic vectors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extinction of pollinators </li></ul></ul>
  11. 16. Climate Change Effects <ul><li>threatens development and progress towards UN MDGs (to include MDG on gender equality and empowerment ) </li></ul><ul><li>both a technical (scientific) and a developmental policy & strategy concern </li></ul><ul><li>hinders human development and environmental conservation </li></ul><ul><li>a major threat to human security at the global, national and grassroot level </li></ul>
  12. 17. Vulnerability Approach <ul><li>Vulnerability – “the characteristics of a person or a group and their situation influencing their capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover form the impact of natural hazards” </li></ul><ul><li>Vulnerability approach to natural disasters must be considered as the “risks involved in disasters are connected with the vulnerability created under normal situations” </li></ul>
  13. 18. Climate Change as an Important Human Security Issue <ul><li>Sparks conflicts between and within nations (may lead to civil wars) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scarcity of resources (food, water, energy) and safe places </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Damaged livelihoods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased number of migrants and refugees </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To developing countries, </li></ul><ul><li>climate change </li></ul><ul><li>is a socio-economic </li></ul><ul><li>political issue… </li></ul><ul><li>… a human issue </li></ul>
  14. 19. Climate Change as a Human Issue <ul><li>Heavy impacts on developing nations </li></ul><ul><li>Magnifies existing inequalities </li></ul><ul><li>Increases chronic instability </li></ul><ul><li>Poor communities become more vulnerable, </li></ul><ul><li>especially in climate high risk areas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More limited adaptive capabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More dependent on climate sensitive resources like water and food supplies </li></ul></ul>
  15. 22. Climate Change – Philippine Setting <ul><li>Philippines lies along the western rim of the Pacific Ring of Fire (active volcanoes and major earthquake faults) and the Pacific typhoon belt </li></ul><ul><li>Archipelagic (longest coastline of 32,400 km) </li></ul><ul><li>Vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change </li></ul><ul><li>One of the world’s most disaster prone areas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High incidence of typhoons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Floods, landslides, droughts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* “ A Natural disaster hotspot” </li></ul></ul>
  16. 26. Climate Change Impacts <ul><li>Low GHG emitter </li></ul><ul><li>Greatly affected by climate variability thru changes in temperature, precipitation and sea level rise </li></ul><ul><li>Extreme weather disturbances </li></ul><ul><li>Typhoons and floods (socio-economic repercussions) </li></ul><ul><li>Rising sea levels ( affecting 70% coastal municipalities) </li></ul>
  17. 27. Impacts of Climate Change by Sector - Agriculture <ul><li>Increased temperature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in growing seasons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Heat stress in plants and animals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At 2 degrees, increased yields for some plants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but in grassland productivity decreases with high temperatures and low rainfall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased outbreaks of pests and diseases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in hydrological cycle </li></ul></ul>
  18. 28. Impacts of Climate Change by Sector - Agriculture <ul><li>Changes in rainfall regimes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in crops and crop areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More severe droughts and or floods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deterioration of land cover and land resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in water resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>+ change in hydrological regimes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>+ increased demand for irrigation water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>+ changes in groundwater quality (saltwater intrusion) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>+ changes in stream flow and groundwater recharge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>+ sedimentation of reservoir </li></ul></ul>
  19. 29. Impacts of Climate Change by Sector - Agriculture <ul><li>Changes in frequency / intensity in extreme climate events </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase damage to crops and livestocks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decreased productivity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased soil erosion </li></ul></ul>
  20. 34. Impacts of Climate Change by Sector – Forest and Watershed Bufo periglenes - the golden toad. This species' extinction has been attributed to climate change. © Charles Smith, US Fish and Wildlife Service
  21. 38. Impacts of Climate Change by Sector – Coastal and Marine
  22. 41. Impacts of Climate Change by Sector – Urban Poor <ul><li>Displacement due to water level rise / floods </li></ul><ul><li>Hunger and malnutrition </li></ul><ul><li>Access to clean and safe water </li></ul><ul><li>Livelihood and assets destroyed </li></ul><ul><li>Health impacts </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing levels of poverty </li></ul>
  23. 46. Women as a Vulnerable Group <ul><li>More vulnerable to disasters due to their socially constructed roles and responsibilities and their being poorer </li></ul><ul><li>Less access to resources essential in disaster preparedness, mitigation and rehabilitation </li></ul><ul><li>More women in agricultural and </li></ul><ul><li>informal sectors making them </li></ul><ul><li>more vulnerable to disasters </li></ul>
  24. 47. <ul><li>Responsible for reproductive tasks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Food collection and energy supply </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Care giving tasks rendering them less mobile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less decision making power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contributing to their lack of participation and lack of access to information re potential hazards and coping strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their own safety being jeopardized </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Water, sanitation and health as extra burden </li></ul>
  25. 48. Women and Climate Change <ul><li>Climate change is going to affect everyone, but not everyone is going to be affected equally” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Women and the poor will suffer most as the intensity of hurricanes, floods, and droughts increases “ </li></ul><ul><li>“ climate change magnifies the inequalities that exist now”. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ the inequalities magnify the effects of climate change” </li></ul><ul><li>-Lorena Aguilar </li></ul><ul><li>International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) </li></ul>
  26. 49. <ul><li>London School of Economics </li></ul><ul><li>analysis of 141 disasters worldwide </li></ul><ul><ul><li>proved that in countries where gender gaps were bigger or wider, women tend to die more than men. (In some countries for every five people that die, four are women) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>this may only be related to the condition of being a woman </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In one instance, women died because they were deprived to have access to information on what to do during a disaster incident </li></ul></ul>
  27. 50. Women and Climate Change <ul><li>Women as the majority of the world’s poor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More likely to be direct victims of climate change disasters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Being home based, they are less informed on life saving measures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lose their livelihoods pushing them further to poverty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase inequalities and marginalization they suffer </li></ul></ul>
  28. 51. <ul><li>Women tied up with family responsibilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vulnerable to environmental / climate changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple roles as food producers and providers, as guardians of health, caregivers, and economic actors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With limited access to resources (shelter, food, fertile land, water, fuel), women’s workload increases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drought, deforestation, erratic rainfall renders women to work harder to secure resources & livelihoods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deprives them of time to earn income, get an education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>or training, or participate in governing bodies </li></ul></ul>
  29. 52. Women’s overwhelming responsibility for the provision of fuel, water and food indicates a close relationship with and dependence upon these natural resources, hence they have a particular vulnerability to environmental change… Where the key components of the ecosystem – energy, land and water are degraded, It’s women’s lives that are most likely to be adversely and directly affected.
  30. 53. Analytical Framework: Gender, Climate Change and Human Security <ul><li>Climate Change </li></ul><ul><li>Impacts on Human Security Women Vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>*Crop Failure Household food provisions </li></ul><ul><li> increased agricultural work </li></ul><ul><li>*Fuel Shortage Household fuel provisions </li></ul><ul><li> food-fuel conflicts </li></ul>
  31. 54. <ul><li>Impacts on Human Women Vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><li>* Shortage of safe, Household water provisions </li></ul><ul><li>Clean Water exposure to contaminated </li></ul><ul><li> sources </li></ul><ul><li>* Resource Scarcity Economic drawbacks, </li></ul><ul><li> lack of land tenure </li></ul><ul><li> resource dependent livelihoods </li></ul><ul><li> school drop outs </li></ul><ul><li> early marriage </li></ul>
  32. 55. <ul><li>Impacts on Human Women Vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><li>* Natural Disasters Greater incidence of mortality </li></ul><ul><li> reduction of life expectancy </li></ul><ul><li>* Disease Lack of access to healthcare </li></ul><ul><li> increased burden of caring </li></ul><ul><li> for the young,sick & elderly </li></ul>
  33. 56. <ul><li>Impacts on Human Women Vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><li>*Displacement Loss of Livelihoods; </li></ul><ul><li> lack of adequate shelter </li></ul><ul><li>* Civil Wars & Conflicts Loss of livelihoods and lives; </li></ul><ul><li> sexual violence & trauma </li></ul><ul><li>-WEDO, 2008 </li></ul>
  34. 58. Summary <ul><li>Stability of forest, wetlands, mangroves, and coral reefs ecosystems are increasingly threatened </li></ul><ul><li>Seriously affects the aquaculture industry and infrastructures </li></ul><ul><li>Millions of people at risk from hunger, esp the marginalized groups like farmers, fisherfolks, urban poor, informal settlers, women and children </li></ul><ul><li>Human health also at high risk with the occurrence of death threatening diseases like diarrhoeal diseases, cholera, dengue, leptospirosis, amoebiasis etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of lives and damage to properties </li></ul>
  35. 59. SOME ADAPTATIONS / MITIGATIONS <ul><li>Adaptive capacities vary from country to country </li></ul><ul><li>Establish early warning system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Constraints: poor resource base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>inequalities in income </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>weak institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>limited technology </li></ul></ul>
  36. 60. Women’s Coping Strategies: Strengthening Securities <ul><li>Women as positive agents of change and </li></ul><ul><li>contributors to livelihood adaptive strategies </li></ul><ul><li>- unique opportunity to challenge and </li></ul><ul><li>change their gendered status </li></ul><ul><li>- willingness to take an active role in </li></ul><ul><li>formerly male dominated tasks on </li></ul><ul><li>responding to disasters </li></ul>
  37. 61. Women’s Coping Strategies in flooded areas <ul><li>Move to higher safer grounds </li></ul><ul><li>Make temporary shelters </li></ul><ul><li>Save their remaining assets like storing seeds and moving farm animals to safer areas </li></ul><ul><li>Dietary adaptations (skip meals or eat non traditional foods or preserve food) </li></ul><ul><li>Energy saving devices (solar, biogas,improved cooking stoves) </li></ul>
  38. 62. <ul><li>Adopting to agricultural practices (switching to drought or flood resistant crops, multiple / intercropping, alternative irrigation means, enriching the soil, cultural shifting, animal raising </li></ul><ul><li>Work as wage earners, borrow money from lenders at high interest rates, secretly saving part of their earnings </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative health care using traditional med </li></ul><ul><li>Set up com-based self help groups and networks or any collective action groups </li></ul>
  39. 63. Lessons Learned in Coping Strategies of Women <ul><li>Safety </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptation to sustainable agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>Better access to information </li></ul><ul><li>Access to services like doctors, pharmacists and agricultural extension </li></ul><ul><li>Development of their capabilities, thru training and information </li></ul><ul><li>Access to resources </li></ul><ul><li>Ecological restoration </li></ul>
  40. 64. Women should enjoy equal access to economic activities, market opportunities, land tenure and natural resources. Development and environmental policies, including those related to climate change should specifically address their impact on women. <ul><li>Klaus Toepfler </li></ul><ul><li>Director, UNEP (07 Mar. 2005) </li></ul>While women have considerable knowledge and experiences in managing natural resources, there are barriers that limit their assumption of the role in achieving Sustainable Development. These include: discrimination and lack of access to schooling, land and equal employment.
  41. 65. Strategies in achieving gender equality Full awareness and equal participation of women in formulating policies and decision – making Awareness – raising, capacity – building, education and training of women and men; and of all people in developing gender sensitivity trainings; guidelines for gender mainstreaming Institutional mechanisms for advancements of women
  42. 66. Issues providing the framework for achieving gender equality, environment protection, climate change adaptation, and sustainable development Women’s human rights and control of their lives Poverty Eradication Women’s access to resource and services Women’s control and management of resources Globalization Finance and development Health, including environmental health
  43. 67. A Matter of Policy <ul><li>business as usual is not the way to move forward. </li></ul><ul><li>Nobody should be left behind in this big movement of coping , adapting, mitigating climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Need to engender climate change </li></ul><ul><li>“Development if not engendered is endangered” </li></ul>
  44. 68. Acknowledgement / References <ul><li>Lorena Aguilar, IUCN </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s Environment and Development </li></ul><ul><li>Gender and Water Alliance </li></ul><ul><li>Esther Koopman </li></ul><ul><li>Yoli of STREAMS </li></ul><ul><li>* Garcia-Rincón , M. F., and F. K. Virtucio, Jr. (). Climate Change in the Philippines: A Contribution to the Country Environmental Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>*Le Treut, H., R. Somerville, U. Cubasch, Y. Ding, C. Mauritzen, A. Mokssit, T. Peterson and M. Prather, 2007: Historical Overview of Climate Change. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. </li></ul><ul><li>*United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (). Climate Change: Impacts, Vulnerabilities and Adaptation in Developing Countries </li></ul><ul><li>*World Health Organization (1999). El Nino and Health. World Health Organization Sustainable Development and Health Environments </li></ul>
  45. 69. Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.