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Tamil Nadu Women's Forum Holds Training on BEA and Climate Change PDF Print
Written by PAN-AP   
Monday, 03 August 2009 15:12
An introduction to YORA and the food crisis was made by Ms. Vimala, Coordinator of the Tamil Nadu Women’s Forum. Mr. Hayato Nakamura from the UN Centre for Regional Development and Disaster Management briefly introduced climate change and its impacts, speaking of issues such as over precipitation, heat waves and the trend of climate change becoming a ‘business.’

Following Mr. Nakamura, Mr. Ajay from the Society for Rural Education and development (SRED) Youth Committee spoke in detail about climate change, including issues such as greenhouse gases (GHG), the use of public transportation, melting ice caps, forest fires, ground water evaporation, deforestation and the spread of epidemic diseases. In the discussion that followed, Neala Sampath, an organic farmer, quoted the Forest Act by saying that three plants should be planted for every tree that is being cut; unfortunately this does not seem to be put in practice.

Ms. Asha Ramesh, Director of the Centre for World Solidarity in Bangalore, spoke next about the effects of climate change on women. She said climate change is a “change for the worse” and that even though world leaders speak of climate change, they completely ignore women’s issues. One problem specifically affecting women is access to water; even if it is available it is often not sufficient to meet their needs. Women are also prone to urinary tract infections and epidemics, as well as sexual violations while looking for toilet facilities. She demanded that when we speak of climate change, women and their wisdom must be recognized as protectors of the environment. She also quoted examples of the dalit women in Andhra Pradesh who have been organized as organic farmers under the Deccan Development Society.

Dr. Sultan Ismail of the Eco-Science Research Foundation and Head of the Biotechnology Department at New College in Chennai made an animated power point presentation on ecology, biodiversity, the food chain, seeds, birds and animals that are becoming extinct in India, and organic farming. The importance of trees, ponds and domestic farms was emphasized. He identified the companies which are creating environmental disasters as well as the GM rice varieties, from which farming materials should not be purchased. He emphasized that our fight includes diseases such as anemia, bronchitis, cancer and diabetes as well as pesticide companies. Many handy and simple tips for farmers were proposed.

Mr. Nirmal, Chairman and Founder of ExNoRa International, shared information about the effects of climate change on the atmosphere, soil and sea. Simple adaptation solutions were proposed to the participants, including tree plantations, segregation of waste, and making kitchen gardens in flats. Employment in these fields was also discussed.

Ms. Burnad Fathima of SRED summarized the training and identified the European countries, huge factories, and greedy rich as the core causes of climate change. She said they should be much more responsible in supporting adaptations. She also invited the participants to work towards social change and transformation.

The participants were enthused by the songs, games and documentary film and vowed to make the shift to organic farming. Since climate change has direct effects on agriculture and the food crisis, women and farmers have to take the lead in promoting indigenous crops, fighting for the landless and sustaining the existing lands.

Ms. Magimai from the Tamil Nadu Dalit Women’s Movement thanked the participants and the speakers and wished them success in their struggle to cope with climate change and to bring about changes for better living conditions.

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