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Climate Change News

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  • Indonesia will establish 1,000 “eco-mosques,” the country’s vice president announced at this month’s UN climate summit in Bonn.
  • The Southeast Asian nation is home to some 260 million people. Nearly 90 percent of them identify as Muslim, according to 2010 census data.
  • Indonesia also has some of the greatest expanses of rainforests, peatlands and mangroves — carbon-rich environments that are rapidly disappearing as industry expands.

Indonesia will establish 1,000 “eco-mosques,” the country’s vice president announced at this month’s UN climate summit in Bonn.

Read more: Indonesian mosques to take up the mantle of fighting climate change

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At a very young age, Blake Holiday saw the future and it was on two wheels.

“I’ve always loved bicycles,” he says. “When I was 6, my dad taught me how to ride a bike in our front yard. I remember quite clearly the feeling of riding across that yard after my dad let go and hearing the wind in my ears and experiencing that feeling of being free. Then I ran right into a thorny bush and got cut up pretty badly. But I was hooked. And here I am 40 years later, still in love with riding my bike.”

Except now he’s riding for a cause and helping thousands of others do the same. After working for five years as a guide at Backroads Bicycling — an adventure company where he led biking, hiking, and multi-sport trips in Utah, Hawaii, Italy, the Pacific Northwest, and the Napa Valley — two of his friends from Backroads, Caeli Quinn, and Geraldine Carter, had what Holiday, now 47, calls “a crazy idea.” They wanted to stage a multi-day bike ride from New York City to Washington, D.C., to raise money and awareness for climate change. In September 2008, the three organized what they thought would be a one-time event and had about 100 people sign up to ride and fundraise to benefit climate-related organizations — something that no one else was doing at the time.

Climate Ride participants pose in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., a repeat destination for riders. (Photo: Submitted)

Read more: Pedal power: Palm Springs cyclist rallies support to counter climate change with international rides

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The Asia-Pacific region is struggling with more frequent and intense hazards such that access to real-time, accurate information can help build resilience among vulnerable communities.
Czech aid group People in Need has installed two sensors on bridges on the Tonle Sap river in Cambodia, to trigger a system that sends text messages or calls to mobile phones warning of heavy rains. Image: Photo Dharma from Penang, Malaysia,CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Floods in Cambodia in 2011 and 2013 killed more than 400 people, displaced tens of thousands, and destroyed crops, livestock, and homes.

Read more: From Bhutan to Cambodia, early warning saves lives in floods

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BATTAMBANG, Cambodia – During an afternoon of sun between the rains in the village of Tuol TaAek, a group of children play outside. Nearby, the water line is evident on the villagers’ homes and fences where the floods reached a year ago.

Read more: Strengthening Resilience: Promise in a Time of Climate Change

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Asean faces common challenges as a result of climate change, including sea level rise, mass migration, humanitarian crises, and international conflict. Here’s how the region can work together to address these climate risks.
The flags of the 10-member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) - Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Image: Shutterstock

Nine out of ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have ratified the Paris Agreement, and Myanmar is expected to do so in the near future.

Read more: ASEAN countries must act together to confront climate change

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Members of the indigenous community in La Roya, Peru (Photo: Juan Carlos Huayllapuma/CIFOR).

REDD+ has potential to exacerbate conflicts over land and abuses of Indigenous Peoples' rights, unless it is reoriented to promote participation and to strengthen indigenous rights. In a new publication from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), scientists Juan Pablo Sarmiento Barletti and Anne Larson analyze multiple allegations of abuses of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the context of readiness and implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism, part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC).

Read more: REDD+ potential for abuses indicates need for indigenous rights-based approach

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* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

We know climate change will heavily impact communities’ access to clean drinking water and decent sanitation systems – but the inability of local, national and international institutions to coordinate means that available climate finance is not being matched with solid plans to help those in need. It’s time for a clear path of action.

The headline figure for helping developing countries cope with climate change -- $100bn pledged by wealthy countries in the lead-up to the Paris climate treaty – sounded impressive. However, getting that money released is only the first part of the struggle. Those governments with nations and communities already struggling with a changing climate are failing to get to grips with how to channel that money to where it is most needed: to assist the poorest and most vulnerable people. 

Read more: From climate change prevention to climate protection

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Sculptors put the finishing touches on one of seven paper mache elephant sculptures on display in exhibit ‘We Love Our Momos’ at Mahabandoola Park, Yangon. Nyan Zay Htet/ The Myanmar Times

COMMUTERS could be excused for thinking someone spiked their morning laphet yay with reports of a rather unusual site in downtown Yangon today; a herd of elephants out the front of city hall towering above the gridlock of cars and buses. 

But these aren’t hallucinations.  This very real sculpture exhibition marks the beginning of a six-month campaign to draw attention to elephant poaching and confront the crisis which has seen Myanmar’s wild elephant population reduced to alarming levels.

Read more: As Myanmar’s elephants vanish, artists bring them to life in downtown Yangon

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Climate change resilience in agriculture and livestock sectors is one of the focus areas of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to support Myanmar’s effort to attain food security in the next five years, the agency’s country representative said.

Read more: FAO aims to make Myanmar farming climate-change proof

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