Leonardo Rosario (beneath banner in photo) of the Philippines was a winner at DM2009 with his Trowel Development Foundation's project to protect subsistence fishing communities from climate change, while also improving their production and marketing and restoring mangrove forests. Here's his message for leaders at the international climate talks in Copenhagen.
How I wish the finalists of DM 2009 could have presented their “100 Ideas to Save the Planet” to international leaders gathered at the U.N. Climate Conference in Copenhagen.
What those leaders would have seen would have been not only passion and commitment but also solutions that were innovative, pragmatic, and cost-efficient.
It’s too late to go to Copenhagen. But Copenhagen is only the beginning of the search by world leaders for climate adaptation solutions that are worthy of their support.
The DM2009 finalists’ projects meet all the objectives of that search. They enhance and strengthen people’s capacity to manage climate risks and adapt to changing climate patterns, and even to build community resiliency among the most vulnerable – Indigenous Peoples, women and children, marginalized farmers, and small-scale fishers.
Building disaster-resilient communities may seem far-fetched to skeptics, but it is do-able. With innovative, community-based management of natural resources as well as the synergy of ancient and traditional knowledge systems combined with modern technology, a quarter of the DM finalists showed how it can be done. The main objective of the projects was to show how food, which is most important in times of disaster, can be secured. The techniques included climate-adapted production systems, participatory plant breeding, introduction of “Family EarthBox,” bioculture systems, cultivation of drought-resistant rainforest tree food, and merging traditional indigenous production practices with environment-friendly modern farming technologies.
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