Saturday, October 8, 2011

On The Road To The COP17

We are on the road to the Climate Change Conference in Durban at the end of November.  This is a bit of a circular trip that will take our team from Johannesburg South Africa, down to the Baviaanskloof mountains near Port Elizabeth, then up to Namibia's deserts and through Botswana's  Okavango Delta to northern Zambia and back down again.  Ultimately we end up in Durban with a film, photographic and written group of reports about how southern Africa is mitigating and adapting to Climate Change.

This project is supported through a fellowship with the Open Society Foundation of South Africa.  The 26 minute film will be shown during the talks at the Conference of the Parties (COP) where the world will meet to discuss how to deal with the threats associated with climate change.  There will also be a screening of the film and an exhibition of the photographs that have been created during this project at The Corner Cafe, a highly reviewed food eatery in Durban known for its innovative approach to locally produced food chosen carefully.  As our project partners in the media broadcast or print the material from the project we will make sure the blog links to that, and also upload material onto a YouTube account.

This blog will carry updates of the project as journal logs, photographs, short films and a map.  Please feel free to ask questions and make comments on this blog, and I will try to reply as quickly as possible.  This is a special project that follows how Africans are responding to climate change with innovative approaches that the rest of the world can learn from.  By taking this project to the COP17 and getting broadcast and print partners to assist in the dissemination of the material we will be doing our part to make sure that African projects that offer real solutions to the problems of Climate Change will get a voice. 

Creating A Climate For Change:
 This multimedia project graphically illustrates how Africa is already showing the world how to respond to Climate Change, especially how to adapt to it.  Climate Change is a broad and far reaching problem facing Africa.  So much of the continent’s future as a hand-to-mouth agrarian society is dependent upon a stable climate.  Climate change on the continent has seen growing seasons drastically altered and current systems of agriculture break down.  Globally, the rising unpredictability of world food markets make it hard for the international community to make up this shortfall.  The ability of the African farmer to grow his own food during times of drought or flood, the health of families, access to quality medical care, access to energy,  the ability to study at night for school children, the ability for parents to pay for a child’s education, these all basic needs that are mutable given the uncertainty of the climate today.  When people do not have enough to eat, every other basic right is subjugated.  The project offers a glimpse of an alternative future emerging in Africa: how to adapt to the coming changes,  driven by Africans themselves. That the climate is changing is clear in Africa, the long-term effects and the ability of Africans to respond to these challenges is the core of this dynamic television, print and web-based report. 

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