Climate Asia Shows the Impact of Climate Change in Daily Life – Part 3
In 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a study that showed Asia to be most likely to be affected by global warming. The report warned that during the first half of the 21st century, low lying Asian countries (and specifically the ones with long costlines) would face multiple floods and land loss.
The concerns were recently confirmed by another investigation, available for consultation on the official website of Climate Asia. Its goal was to fully understand how people would deal with climate change, and it asks questions about how national governments, media organisations and enterprises will interpret and adapt to the problem.
The Conclusions from the Climate Asia Report – Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam
The Climate Asia initiative was started in 2012 and it interviewed a total of 33,500 people in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam. The cross section of people interviewed included farmers, fishermen, inhabitants of urban slums and migrants to urban settings.
Following were the results obtained:
Climate Change in Nepal
A majority of the country’s 19 million people find that climate change is an important and immediate issue. The Nepalese feel that it is affecting their health, and also reducing agricultural productivity. Addtionally, it has lead to increased floods and droughts and unpredictability in rainfall.
Interestingly, people polled in Nepal are much more concerned about climate change than people in the other six countries, and are also the most willing to adapt to the issue. However, when it comes to taking action, about half of them feel that they would benefit a lot more if they had access to government support, financial resources and relevant information.
The Climate Asia survey consequently recommends increased exposure to media updates on climate change (through television and radio), interpersonal dialogue and the building of expertise in taking comunty level decisions.
Climate Change in Pakistan
Out of the seven Climate Asia countries polled, the residents of Pakistan were the only group who felt that life in general had worsened. Those who knew of climate change (approximately 35% of those polled) also felt most strongly about the issue, including the fact that unpredictable rainfall, higher temperatures and increased instances of extreme weather was having a strong impact on their daily lives.
Most were also concerned about their health, and those living in the rural areas said that food shortage was their primary concern. Those living in urban areas were worried about the lack of electricity and fuel. Overall, as a nation, Pakistanis felt that the government was least equipped to handle the issue of climate change.
However, the situation has also driven Pakistanis to take action, and they are doing more than the people in any of the other Climate Asia countries. Focussed communication will therefore be of prime importance to support the initiative. Getting messages across through television and mobiles would have the most impact (as 74% and 72% used these media, respectively), as would messages delivered through community level interactions, as Pakistanis in the rural areas placed a lot of trust in their community members.
Climate Change in Vietnam
People across Vietnam reported an increase in their general quality of life, but also unerstand that the country now faces more extreme temperatures and erratic rainfall. In rural areas, these changes seen in daily lives, with farmers reporting difficulties in planting and harvesting crops.
The survey also revealed that the Vietnamese were very well aware of climate change, and that many were taking direct action – such as 83% of those polled adopting energy efficiency measures in their daily lives – to respond to the issue. However, this was true mostly for people with decent levels of income. The poor were struggling to act, and the survey revealed that they needed urgent support.
In addition, it was found that the country’s government, media and civil society organisations have been quite successful in communicating about climate change and developmental issues. Also, as opposed to the other Climate Asia countries surveyed, the Vietnamese placed a significant amount of trust in their government and in high-ranking officials to supply them with credible information.
To read more about the Climate Asia survey, click here.