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In Photos: 7 Predictions That Will Smash The Notion That Climate Change Isn’t Real

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NFI logoEditor’s Note: With #GoalPeBol, Youth Ki Awaaz has joined hands with the National Foundation for India to start a conversation around the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals that the Indian government has undertaken to accomplish by 2030. Let’s collectively advocate for successful and timely fulfilment of the SDGs to ensure a brighter future for our nation.

In the hard-hitting 2016 documentary “Before The Flood”, Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio made a global case against ignoring climate change, highlighting the devastating effect it can have on the planet.

You don’t have to be a climate scientist, however, to know just how bad the situation is. Carbon dioxide emissions have been on a continuous rise, having increased by nearly 50 percent since 1990. Oceans are warming. The average sea level has already risen by 19 centimetres between 1901 and 2010. Of the 8,300 known animal species, 8 percent are extinct with another 22 percent at the risk of extinction.

Needless to say, we need to act and fast. Else, things will get worse. Don’t believe us? Have a look at these very ‘real predictions’ scientists have made for 2030. Unless countries work collectively towards mitigating the effects of climate change, scientists say many of these chilling predictions are likely to come true:

1. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Set To Disappear Within Two Decades

Exposed coral, Great Barrier Reef. Image Source: Queensland State Archives/Wikimedia Commons

It is considered one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth but, if CO2 emissions continue unchecked, we stand to lose this invaluable part of our planet forever. Says Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a researcher at The University of Queensland, who has studied the effect of climate change on the reef in detail, “If we don’t increase our commitment to solve the burgeoning stress from local and global sources, the reef will disappear.” The state of the reef shows just how devastating ignoring climate change can be. To save the Great Reef, we need to not only reduce reliance on carbon-based fuels, but also develop mechanisms to prevent further losses. Else, there will be no Great Barrier Reef by 2030.

Fighting climate change needs to be a top priority for world leaders. If you agree, tweet your support!
The Great Barrier Reef will die in 20 years. We must act now to stop #ClimateChange. #GoalPeBol

2. 40 Percent Of The World Will Have To Live Without Water

For representation. Image Source: Vincepal/ Flickr

Wasting water and polluting it is not new to human beings. The time to stop doing it, however, is getting close at hand. If we don’t, 40 percent of the world’s water needs won’t get met soon. With underground water reserves running low and the world population rising, the United Nations had predicted in 2015 that if current trends of water usage don’t change, the world could be headed towards severe water shortage by 2030. Better save than be sorry, right?

Fighting climate change needs to be a top priority for world leaders. If you agree, tweet your support!
40% of the world will have no water by 2030. We must act now to stop water pollution. #GoalPeBol

3. World Will Lose 2/3rd of Wild Animals By 2020

Madagascar dry deciduous deforestation. Image Source: Wikipedia

Even high school textbooks warn against destruction of wildlife habitats but it clearly hasn’t had any effect on humans. As a result, the population of animals reduced by 58 percent between 1970 and 2012, as per a 2016 report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Zoological Society. From tigers and elephants to parrots and seals, a vast range of wildlife is already endangered or extinct. The good news, though, is that there is a way to save precious wildlife. If we ask our governments to put an end to the demand and supply of illegal wildlife products, it can pre-empt poaching and trafficking of protected species. Reforestation, sustainable use of forest produce, restoring degraded land and soil can also go a long way in protecting wildlife habitats. If the losses remain unchecked, scientists predict we could lose 67 percent of animal species by 2020.

Fighting climate change needs to be a top priority for world leaders. If you agree, tweet your support!
Two-thirds of our wildlife will be lost by 2030. We must act now to stop #ClimateChange #GoalPeBol

4. More Than 100 Million People Will Die Due To Climate Change by 2030

Alder Fire in Yellowstone National Park. Image Source: Mark Lewlling/Flickr

In 2012, a report commissioned by Climate Vulnerable Forum, a group of 20 developing countries threatened by climate change, revealed some shocking facts. The report estimated that 5 million deaths occur every year on account of air pollution, hunger, and disease as a direct result of climate change. It further estimated that over 100 million people will die by 2030 if urgent action is not taken. 90 percent of these deaths are likely to occur in developing countries, making it imperative for the global community, especially developed nations, to come forward and help these countries by not only providing them with aid, but also by advising them on effective policy making.

Fighting climate change needs to be a top priority for world leaders. If you agree, tweet your support!
Over 100 million people will die by 2030. We need to act now to stop #ClimateChange. #GoalPeBol

5. Hoi An, A Heritage Town in Vietnam, To Drown Under Rising Sea-Levels

Flooding Season, Hoi An, Vietnam. Image Source: Flickr

You know things are truly desperate when you start losing entire towns to flood. Hoi An in Vietnam is one such town. A major tourist attraction, the town remains prone to flooding as it is barely 2 metres above the sea level. With climate change, An Dinh, the area in the ancient city with most number of heritage houses, is likely to suffer more. A UN-Habitat vulnerability assessment report published in 2014 predicts that the all of An Dinh could be flooded by 2020. If we want to save Hoi An, and cities like Hoi An, countries need to work together to develop technology and mechanisms to tackle the effects of climate change and hazards associated with it.

Fighting climate change needs to be a top priority for world leaders. If you agree, tweet your support!
The town of Hoi An will drown due to flooding. We must act now to stop #ClimateChange. #GoalPeBol

6. World Heritage Site Cartagena, Colombia To Also Face Floods

Plaza del Ayuntamiento in Cartagena, during the floods in the city. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Cartagena in Colombia is yet another city we may lose to climate change. Founded in 1533, this historic centre is home to many museums and historical sites, and also boasts of having World Heritage Site status. However, owing to its low-lying coastal location, it is also one of the most vulnerable Caribbean coastal cities. From 1993 to 2010, sea-level in the Caribbean basin has risen by 2.5 mm every year. Scientists say that if things don’t change, the sea-level at Cartagena could rise by as much as 60 centimetres by 2040, affecting more than 25 percent of the population.

Fighting climate change needs to be a top priority for world leaders. If you agree, tweet your support!
The city of Cartagena will drown due to floods. We must act now to stop #ClimateChange. #GoalPeBol

7. Climate Change To Push 100 Million More Into Poverty

For Representation. Image Source: Max Pixel

In a 2015 report, the World Bank said that climate change hits the poor the hardest since they depend heavily on agricultural produce not just for food, but also for their source of income. The report also made a prediction on the economic implications of climate change. It said that if policies aren’t made keeping climate change and its effects- such as rising seas and extreme weather- in mind a 100 million more could be pushed into poverty by 2030. Add this number to the estimated 900 million who will be driven into extreme poverty by slow development, and the picture gets truly dismal.

Fighting climate change needs to be a top priority for world leaders. If you agree, tweet your support!
100 million people will be in poverty by 2030. We must act now to stop #ClimateChange. #GoalPeBol

Even today, one in five people are living without electricity. Three billion people still rely on wood, coal, charcoal, or animal waste for cooking and heating. For the world to become more energy efficient and consequently environment-friendly, it is necessary to not only make energy resources more affordable for the poor, but also encourage everyone to use renewable sources of energy.

Climate change is a real threat, one that scientists have been warning us about for a long time. It is time now to take these predictions seriously. The estimates, in themselves, can make one wonder if tackling climate change is even possible. The answer to the question is – YES. If the global community comes together to act, things can definitely change. In fact, keeping these things in mind leaders from across the world have committed to attaining 17 global goals for sustainable development by 2030. Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impact, is in fact, an important goal under the SDGs and one that all countries need to work towards to not only address the threat of climate change, but also deliver on the opportunity of combating it. By holding our governments accountable to act on the goals, we too can play an active role in saving the planet.

If, however, we don’t do anything knowing all that we do, we will only have ourselves to blame. After all, if human beings have caused all this damage, isn’t it our responsibility to fix it as well?

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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