Sharing knowledge to overcome an information drought

Last month WACC members re-elected Embert Charles (Saint Lucia) as WACC President for a second term 2023-27. In addition, the WACC Board appointed Juha Rajamäki (Finland) as WACC Treasurer in succession to Stephen Brown. WACC’s UK Board of Directors is meeting May 10-12, 2023 to review recent activities, future plans and directions, and various matters required under good governance.
Future work includes a particular emphasis on “Climate Change and Communication Rights”. WACC argues that a collective response to the threats and opportunities posed by climate change partly depends on the extent to which climate-related issues receive public attention, especially in terms of media content.
Furthermore, given that the effects of climate change have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable people and communities, it is critical to enable those communities to tell their stories, to organize for change, and to put forward their own solutions to the climate crisis.
Water shortages are one worrying dimension of climate change. The World Weather Attribution service (a collaboration between climate scientists around the world) has noted that northern hemisphere drought is at least 20 times more likely because of human-caused climate change. It warns that such extreme periods will become increasingly common with global warming.
In Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya, the last five rainy seasons since the end of 2020 have failed, triggering the worst drought in four decades. According to the UN, drought has plunged 12 million people into “acute food insecurity” in Ethiopia, where a deadly conflict has also ravaged the north of the country.
The drought that has parched California and the American West for much of the past two decades (only partially alleviated in places by snowfall in March) ranks as the driest 22-year period in at least 1,200 years, according to a recent study. Climate change is making the current dry period more severe than it otherwise would have been.
Further south, with the support of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) of the Anglican Church of Canada, WACC has been implementing an environmental conservation project of high-altitude ecosystems in Colombia. The project entails setting up and training a network of citizen reporters. It has been so successful it has been extended up to 2025.
A second project aims to set up a network of environmental reporters, this time focused on the Amazon rainforest, a critical ecosystem for the regulation of climate around the world. Project activities will take place in Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador.
Communicating good practices and solutions to the ravages of climate change can help people to adapt and survive. Sharing such knowledge helps to overcome the “information drought” – something WACC is trying to tackle.

Philip Lee, General Secretary.

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