Berlin, 20 May (OurVoice): An advocacy workshop on “empowering women to adapt climate change effects for sustainable growth” was held in Berlin, the capital city of Germany on Saturday. The workshop was orgnanised as a part of the on-going project of BASUG in collaboration with its local partner, SOLVE Nepal and with the support of the German International Development Cooperation GIZ and CIM.
The Ambassador of Nepal to Germany Ramesh Prasad Khanal inaugurated the workshop as chief guest, while Chairman of BASUG Bikash Chowdhury Barua was in the chair. Commercial Counselor of Bangladesh Embassy in Berlin Dr Syed Masum Ahmed Choudhury addressed the session as special guest. The opening session was also addressed by Marius Jedlitschka, Junior Project Manager at CIM’s Program Migration for Development and Executive Director of BASUG’s partner organization, SOLVE-Nepal Rajendra Bahadur Pradhan. Project Consultant of BASUG Germany Marina Joarder moderated the inauguration session.
In the Panel discussion the key note paper was presented by Dr. Prajal Pradhan, Postdam Institute for Climate Research (PIK), Postdam, Germamny, BASUG Germany Project Coordinator, Editor of Asian Department of Deutsche Welle Manasi Gopalakrishnan and PhD Researcher AHM Abdul Hai. The panel discussion was moderated by BASUG UK Country coordinator Ansar Ahmed Ullah.
The Chief Guest H. E. Ambassador Khanal said, women are in the front line for the climate change related impacts as men, either migrated to find their employment or stay within the community. These women communities are not able to exit from the vicious cycle of poverty. The only visible solution for this problem is the bottom-up approach, which is empowering people at the bottom of the pyramid, who are mostly women. To empower the women through adaptation to the climate change impact, we need to invest for their capacity building and small and medium entrepreneurship, so that they can learn to adapt to the climate change. They also need to be exposed to new technologies to reduce carbon emissions. Women empowerment is not only a social and moral issue, but it also increases economic and sustainable opportunities, he added.
In his speech Commercial Counsellor Dr. Masum Ahmed Choudhury said, the results of global climate scenario analysis show that the impacts of climate change may be intense at high elevations and in regions with complex topography, as is the case in Nepal’s mid-hills. More than a decade ago it was found in a preliminary survey that climate change in the Ganges and Brahmaputra basins is likely to change river flows, which in turn will affect low flows, drought, flood and sedimentation processes. It is now seen that the temperatures are increasing in Nepal and that rainfall is becoming more variable. So, it is high time to focus on the issue of mitigation and adaptation to climate change to keep the vulnerable countries like Nepal and Bangladesh and the world in the long run safe for the future generation, he added.
Executive Director of SOLVE Nepal Rajendra Bahadur Pradhan said, Nepal contributes very little and negligible percentage of (0.027%) green house gas emission, but comes in fourth most vulnerable countries in the world from climate change. The immediate impact has shown in water resources and rains, which has negatively impacted on agricultural production. This directly affects the livelihood of women and children living in the rural areas and dependent in agriculture. That is why under this project it has been attempted to offer training for this vulnerable communities in the rural area in Nepal.
BASUG chairman Bikash Chowdhury Barua said, Experience shows that women offer valuable insights and solutions into better managing the climate and its risks. Through their agricultural experiences, and being the first responders in crises, they can easily adapt to climate change and contribute to finding a sustainable growth. In order to empower rural Nepalese women, it is necessary to give the knowledge and skills. With these aims in view, the on-going project of BASUG and SOLVE provides the perfect solution”, he claimed.
In the panel discussion Dr. Prajal Pradhan of Potsdam Institute for Climate Research (PIK) presented the key note paper on “Inter-linkages between Climate change, food security and sustainable development goals”. Others who spoke on the panel discussion were: Editor of Asian Department of Deutsche Welle Manasi Gopalakrishnan presented paper on Diaspora Engagement and Role of Media while Project Coordinator of BASUG Germany and PhD Researcher in the University of Bonn AHM Abdul Hai on ‘Diaspora Engagement for Environment and Development with the Perspectives of Nepal’. A documentary film made by SOLVE-Nepal and BASUG under the project on the climate change issues was also screened.
The advocacy workshop was participated by the Nepalese and Bangladeshi diaspora living in Germany. The objective of the workshop was to create awareness among the women and youth groups, policy makers, climate activists and development activists on the issue of adaptation to the climate change hazards for the sustainable growth and food security in Nepal. The project also aimed at promoting diaspora initiatives for the community development in the country of origin.