Cyber dialogues summary for 28 November 2011 – Climate change

Date: November 30, 2011
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Date: 28 November 2011
Theme: Climate Change À“ My contribution
Panelists: Saeanna Chingamuka (GMDC Manager anchoring discussion from COP 17 Conference Durban; Daud Kayisi (GMDC Officer) participating from COP 17 Official conference; Colleen Lowe Morna (GL CEO); Kubi Rama (GL COO).

Dialogue Statistics









Quotes for the day:
“Climate change is really a big issue for all of us. We are all different people, we have different beliefs. But us, the living can do more to curb climate chagne and its effects.À Wakhile

“It is very scary that we talk about climate change and do very little in our own spaces.À Saeanna Chingamuka

“It is very important for us to take action at the local level. Sometimes when we think of global problems we get disempowered. But when we take action at the local level, we are empowered.À Saeanna Chingamuka

“There is a link between climate change and women’s economic empowerment.À Kubi Rama

1.What has happened so far at the COP17 Conference in and around Durban?

  • Climate Justice Rally Concert held on Sunday 27 November to mark beginning of COP 17.
  • Coordinated by “We have faithÀ Coalition À“ a group that works with faith based organisations. Archbishop Desmond Tutu was there; very supportive. Significant presence of other South African high profile individuals.
  • Raising awareness through the use of international stars commendable but what is the cost to the environment and impact on climate when considering carbon footprint of these individuals.
  • Religious groups in Durban taking the issue of climate justice seriously.
  • Religious coalition presented petitionon climate justice to head of the UNFCCC who promised to take the matters presented in the document seriously.
  • Sixteen Days of activism coincides with global climate conference, but unsure the extent to which connecitons being made at COP 17.
  • Main message at start of Climate Conference is that there is a need for opptimism that COP17 will yield positive results for all.
  • Many community based organisations have an awareness of COP 17 taking place but access to information technology to participate and be part of broader discussions is a hindrance.
  • In rural communities in Kwa Zulu Natal there is little to no knowledge of what COP 17 is let alone the issues under discussion.

2.What can you as an individual do to care for the environment?

  • Communities in the rural areas rely on information from leaders. If leaders tell them there is no problem with changes in climate this is what they will believe and live their lives accordingly.
  • Individual responsibilty to reduce carbon footprint.
  • Some of the ways to reduce carbon footprint include: riding bicycles;   using bio-degradable cups and products; planting veggie gardens at home; seperating garbage for recycling; planting trees; having paper-less offices; reducing energy consumption in homes; doing away with bottled water and talking about climate change in our personal spaces.
  • Unfortunately some alternatives have consequences for women’s safety, e.g riding a bicycle in South African context would significantly compromise a woman’s safety and security.
  • Need to introduce going green campaign À“ especially at local level.
  • In some places it is a must that communities and individuals seperate garbage, e.g in Zambia. This is linked to the creation of economic opportunities for women. In Zambia there is a project where women make bags from recycled plastic. In Zimbabwe many CBOs recycling plastic juice bottles.
  • In Durban a group of youths creating employmentby recycling tyres and old shoes. In 4 months of 2011 they created 100 jobs.
  • Linking women’s safety and climate change/ environmental issues À“ possibility of initiating a recycling project in an area that can be made safe for women and children.
  • People confuse climate change and weather changes À“ some initiatives to assist with this are theatre outreach programmes to educate people and raise awareness on climate change issues.
  • Other initiatives that need to be undertaken include popularising COP 17 alongside the SADC Protocol so that local   people can get to know more.
  • Some local councils are leading the way À“ e.g Beitbridge town council in Zimbabwe have a good example on waste management. This is a best practise that could be shared with other localities.
  • At COP17 the food packaging is 100% bio-degradable.

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