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Climate Change News

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  • A study in 2007 of 141 countries over the period 1981 to 2002 shows that in societies where the socioeconomic status of women is low, natural disasters kill more women than men, both directly and indirectly via related post-disaster events.
  • A Berkley study in the Philippines found that while officials report roughly 740 deaths on average every year due to typhoon exposure in the Philippines, post-typhoon mortality among baby girls is approximately 15 times higher than that.

Disasters are regularly in the news — from hurricanes to earthquakes to, droughts to chemical explosions — and they are as diverse as their impacts, which can disrupt the economy, the environment, infrastructure, people and livelihoods. No person, country or sector is immune, but the type and degree of impacts are variable. Women and girls are among the most negatively impacted by disasters: not due to any inherent vulnerability but as a result of social construction of gender norms and the related power imbalance in which women often have limited access to and control over resources.

In most societies, women are responsible for the majority of unpaid domestic and care work. And in many cases, women work a triple shift: productive work in the formal or informal sector; reproductive work associated to the household (cooking, cleaning, providing water and fuel, caring for children, the elderly and the sick); and community management roles (volunteer work in community management). This workload can impede enough time for sleep, and can impact a woman’s health and resilience to shocks and stressors. But add to that other inequalities that women face in terms of access to their human rights in the form of decent paid work, land tenure, health care including sexual and reproductive health, education, water and sanitation, freedom from sexual and other violence, a healthy environment, etc., and the shock of a disaster can be a major setback.

A body of research shows the impacts of disaster are differentiated, with particular issues for women that include increased domestic violence and sexual assault in emergency shelters. But gender-disaggregated data is still not collected regularly enough to give a full picture of the impacts of disasters on women and girls, not to mention on LGBTIAQ+, indigenous, disabled or older persons, or migrants/refugees.

The hard economic data that is collected in the short-term to measure progress on the expansive commitments of the Sendai and SDG frameworks does not capture many of the risks and impacts that are complex and secondary to the disaster in question, such as job and livelihood loss, displacement, migration, health, infant mortality and food security, and which highly impact women as a result of systemic discrimination. Women’s rights and feminist advocates, activists, and researchers have advocated for decades for better data as well as resources to meet gender commitments.

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Read more: Climate-Induced Disasters Affect Women & Girls First

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Many people are already facing the impacts of a changing climate and need help adjusting now, world leaders assert.

Read more: Bill Gates launches effort to help the world adapt to climate change

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In a landmark report released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), experts have warned that urgent actions are needed if we are to keep global warming below 1.5°C to prevent catastrophic environmental collapse that would impact on the health, livelihoods, food security and economic growth of vulnerable communities around the world.

Read more: One key to change is on our plates

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It is imperative that we breed new varieties of plants to make agriculture more sustainable, given increasing food demand and a warming climate. Until recently, mutations and classical breeding techniques were sufficient to breed new varieties. At the end of the 20th century, tissue culture, gene transfer, and other molecular biologic developments entered the picture. In the past decade, a variation on mutation has emerged. We now see thousands of new plant varieties that were bread using artificial mutation with X or gamma rays or colchicine application. A mutation is a spontaneous or purposeful change in one of the genes of a living organism.

Read more: Countering the impact of climate change through new breeding techniques

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Stephanie Dickson, founder of Green Is The New Black Asia

When Stephanie Dickson landed her dream job straight out of college, she thought she had it made.

She had fantasized her whole life about working in fashion and, suddenly, she had a job that allowed her to do that, organizing some of the industry's biggest events across Asia.

But then one day the veil fell, and Dickson realized the job she had dreamed of was not what it seemed.

"I got my dream job," Dickson told CNBC Make It. "But about three and a half years in, I just became really disconnected with the work I was doing."

It was then 2015, and climate change was gaining increasing attention on the international stage. To Dickson's surprise, she found there was one industry lurking at the center of the issue: Her own. 

In fact, alongside commonly cited culprits like the energy, transport and agriculture sectors, the fashion industry is today considered one of the world's largest polluters.

"I felt completely blindsided," said Dickson, whose disillusionment led her to start watching documentaries and reading up on the issue. "I'd been working in this industry and I had no idea what actually was going on."

Read more: Meet the 30-year-old who quit her 'dream job' to help boost sustainability across Asia

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Mangroves like this could have a significant role in the future by mitigating the carbon emissions of certain nations. Credit: Pierre Taillardat

Geographers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have found that coastal vegetation such as mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes may be the most effective habitats to mitigate carbon emissions.

Read more: Mangroves can help countries mitigate their carbon emissions

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Undersea forests, bleached and killed by rising ocean temperature, might disappear in a few decades, experts warn.

 Bleached coral in Guam in 2017. Photograph: David Burdick/AP

Children born today may be the last generation to see coral reefs in all their glory, according to a marine biologist who is coordinating efforts to monitor the decline of the world’s most colorful ecosystem.

Read more: Next generation ‘may never see the glory of coral reefs’

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Give and take: Students playing at the grounds of Coconut School decorated with elephant figures made from aluminum cans at Kirirom national park in Kampong Speu province. — AFP Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/regional/2018/10/13/rubbish-man-schools-children-initiative-gives-street-kids-an-education-while-they-clean-up-cambodia/#TKpqH73VpCM4if2m.99

KIRIROM: Sitting in a building made from used tires, plastic bottles and old sneakers, Cambodian student Roeun Bunthon jots down notes during an English lesson at the “Rubbish School” where tuition is paid for with trash instead of cash.

Read more: Rubbish Man schools children

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A 10-year old girl helps her parents by carrying fired bricks out of the kiln Photograph: Thomas Cristofoletti/Ruom/2018 Royal Holloway/University of London

Heatwaves and drought have devastated crops in rural Cambodia, forcing many farmers to abandon the fields and take work in the country’s burgeoning brick industry, where they become trapped in debt bondage. Photographer Thomas Cristofoletti visited Cambodia to explore the reality behind research done at Royal Holloway, University of London, that shows farmers struggling with debt are putting their families’ lives at risk to make ‘blood bricks’

Read more: How climate change forces farmers into slavery in Cambodia's brick kilns – in pictures

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Climate-sensitive region the only in the world where rate of undernourishment has risen over the past 12 years.

Vanuatu’s capital Port Villa after Cyclone Pam in 2015. Pacific islands’ food production is heavily susceptible to climate extremes. Photograph: Tom Perry/AFP/Getty Images

Climate change is making people hungry – with nearly 100 million people across the world needing humanitarian food aid because of climate shocks last year – and a growing number of people are malnourished across the Pacific, a new United Nations report says.

Last week, the Pacific Islands Forum stated formally that climate change represented the “single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security, and well-being of the peoples of the Pacific” – a declaration Australia ultimately signed but had spent much of the forum attempting to undermine.

Worldwide, the number of undernourished people has been rising since 2014, reaching 821 million last year – or one in nine people across the globe – the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report found.

The number of hungry people globally has returned to levels of nearly a decade ago, and nearly one in four (22.2%) children aged under five are stunted through malnutrition.

Low- and middle-income countries were especially acutely affected by more frequent climate extremes and natural disasters. Africa remains the region where malnourishment is most common at 20.4% of the population. But “Oceania” – broadly synonymous with the Pacific region but excluding Australia and New Zealand – is the only region in the world where the rate of undernourishment has increased over the past 12 years, to 7%.

Read more: Climate change driving up malnutrition rates in Pacific, UN warns

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