Turning COP26 goals into action for displaced people

For almost thirty years the United Nations has brought countries together for global “Conference of the Parties” (COP) climate summits. During COP26 last November, the world held its collective breath as leaders negotiated critical measures to alleviate the crisis caused by catastrophic climate change and protect communities from disaster in climate-vulnerable hotspots.

Our local partner, Church World Service Indonesia, works with communities to help families to adapt to climate change, prepare for future disasters, and stay safe. Shinara Armitage / CWS

70 per cent of people displaced within their home countries by conflict come from countries on the front lines of the climate emergency. Without united action from global leaders, the Institute for Economics and Peace estimates that a further 1.2 billion people could be displaced by catastrophic climate-related events by 2050.*

COP26 fell short of its climate financing pledge made under the Paris Climate Agreement to help poorer countries mitigate and adapt to climate change. However, wealthy countries collectively committed to double climate adaptation project funding by 2025. The Climate Adaptation Fund also secured a record US$356 million in new pledges offering great hope for rapid, locally-led climate adaptation initiatives.

Act for Peace has stood alongside local partners for years now, actively supporting displaced communities to adapt to increasingly inhospitable environments and escalating disasters. These communities are learning both to recover from recent disasters and to improve how they manage and rebuild from future climate catastrophes. As we continue to analyse the outcomes of COP26, we are more dedicated than ever to partnering with and supporting communities on the front line of the climate crisis, who are leading the way in terms of innovating to find successful solutions.

However, more international support, from governments and the private sector, is the only way we’ll mitigate this crisis together. With the outcomes of COP26 fresh in our minds, we shine a spotlight on proactive change already taking place in communities like Bulubete Village in Central Sulawesi.

Innovation leads the way to combat climate change

Faizah learned how to make her own fertiliser using food scraps from her kitchen bin, to feed and nurture the crops in her yard. CWS

Training women like Faizah how to make organic fertiliser and pesticides is a small yet powerful example of how our Disaster Resilience through Enhanced Adaptive Measures (DREAM) program is supporting communities in Indonesia as they build capacity to withstand the impact of climate change.

Through her women’s group, based in Central Sulawesi’s remote Bulubete Village, Faizah learnt how to make organic fertiliser and pesticides to feed and nurture the crops in her yard. Using food scraps from her kitchen, she has created a self-sufficient organic system that didn’t cost her family a thing. She now teaches others in her community to do the same.

“I aspire to share my spirit and to motivate other women in Bulubete Village also, to think creatively and innovatively using existing conditions, so they can help their husband or themselves to meet their family’s daily needs.”

Faizah, DREAM program participant

With your support and the support of the Australian NGO Cooperation Program, our local partner Church World Service Indonesia also helped villagers in the remote Tana Toraja District in South Sulawesi develop a disaster management plan so they can respond quickly and protect lives and infrastructure when disaster strikes.

They also established 25 farmers’ groups with more than 600 members, and 15 women’s saving groups with more than 300 members. I

In these remote villages, where unpredictable and dramatic climate change events are causing repeated cycles of drought and flood across the region, the DREAM program has helped farmers learn to adapt farming techniques to better withstand these increasingly devastating weather events.

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