Climate change is already a daily reality for some of the world’s poorest communities.
Unpredictable rainfall and drought patterns are leading to reduced yields for farmers who depend on agriculture to feed their families and provide an income. When harvests fail and food prices soar many, especially the poorest, become extremely vulnerable to poverty and hunger.
Livelihoods and climate change work in developing countries
Trócaire works with farmers to become more food secure and better able to cope with the impacts of climate change. By increasing their crop yields and diversifying the crops they grow, farmers are in a better position to deal with the effects of a drought, flood or tropical storm.
Gaining access to water for irrigation and using techniques that conserve soil and water are part of how farmers are adapting their farming practices for long-term resilience in a changing climate.
In 2012-13 Trócaire supported 19 livelihoods and environmental justice programmes in Africa, Latin America and Asia. These reached an estimated 565,000 people directly and up to a further two million people indirectly.
Campaigning on climate change
Trócaire works to address the injustice at the heart of the climate change problem.
Developed countries are the lead contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and therefore to climate change. In Ireland, for example, we produce an average of 10 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per person per year making us one of the highest emitters globally. In Africa an average person will produce less than 0.1 tons.
Climate change-related shifts in rainfall and drought patterns can have a devastating on small farmers in the world’s poorest regions. And it is predicted that rain-fed agriculture will drop by 50% by 2020 – deepening the food and water crises we face.
Internationally, we work with other organisations to call on world leaders to agree to a new global deal to tackle climate change.
In Kenya for example, Trócaire works with a national coalition called the Kenya Climate Change Working Group (KCCWG) to ensure policies related to climate change have a positive impact on those most affected. In Autumn 2013, KCCWG expect to see their parliament pass a climate law which they have campaigned for - making Kenya one of the first African countries to pass climate legislation.
Here at home, we have been campaigning for Ireland to bring in a climate law since 2008, something the current minister, Phil Hogan, has promised to do by the end of 2013. This law should that ensure Ireland reduces its carbon footprint and becomes part of the solution to the climate crisis.
What you can do
- Visit the Up to Us section of our website to find out what you can do to live more sustainably
- Join Trócaire’s call for a strong climate law for Ireland
- Demand Food Not Fuel – support our campaign to end land grabs in developing countries to grow biofuels
Educators can use Trócaire’s climate change education resources in your classroom to bring the issue to students.
- Climate Change: A call for stewardship and global solidarity This interactive educational resource is for post-primary CSPE students in the Republic of Ireland and Local and Global Citizenship in Northern Ireland. Each activity has an accompanying slide or slides to support educators as you carry out the lesson.
- Maji: pack on water and climate change This resource introduces young children to the issue of water in the context of climate change and in particular its importance to families in Kenya.
Trócaire is also proud to partner with Green Schools. This programme looks at challenges such as sustainable consumption, climate justice and sustainable development.
Photo: Kim Haughton. Children trying to make it home through the flood waters, El Presidio Liberado village, El Salvador.