December 8, 2015

Drought Emergency in Gadaisu

The 40,000 delegates in Paris are telling us that COP21 is our last chance to prevent climate change. That boat sailed a decade ago and the idea that climate change is a future threat is absurd. It’s already destroying communities, families and lives. We just don’t hear about it because it happens on the other side of the world to people we don’t know.

That’s changed for us at Cool Earth.

In September we launched a new partnership with the Gadaisu village in Papua New Guinea.

We have already told you about the three villages halting the destruction of 140,000 acres. What we haven’t said is this has been achieved during the worst drought in living memory.

El Niño caused the usual rainfall to fail this year. Vegetable gardens are by now dried out and crops failed across our three partner villages. Access to drinking water became difficult, with water wells drying up or becoming saline and the rainwater storage tanks are now empty. Our partners are having to travel by dinghy to a neighbouring village to fill tanks with drinking water.

The severity of the drought across the entire country has intensified forest fires, one of which was close to the western edge of the partnership forest boundary. The air across the country became grey with smoke, much of which was blown over from the extensive fires in Indonesia. The record breaking burning of so much forest across the region only highlights the urgent need to protect the community forest that still stands.

The drought couldn’t come at a worse time for Gadaisu. The village is still recovering from Cyclone Nathan that hit at the beginning of the year. Earlier on in the year several houses were washed away by huge waves and winds. The entire village is still in danger of being lost to the encroaching sea and ten houses need to be moved back from the receding coastline.

Your donations strengthen the community’s ability to deal with these erratic and increasingly intense climatic impacts. In the short term we need help to make sure the community has enough food to cover the lost crops and each household has the water storage facilities to ensure that if the rains fail again they don’t run out. In the long term, healthy forests protect the climate locally and globally.

Your support is keeping trees standing and families safe.

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happy boy on tree in papua new guinea
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