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    • #5828
      Maria Kett
      • Participant

      The most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) continues to paint a worrying picture of the impacts of climate change on our world, as well as drawing attention to the need for immediate action from policymakers, academics, non-government organisations and others besides. However, our research has shown that until recently, persons with disabilities were often overlooked in policies and programs to address the effects of climate change. Yet persons with disabilities can be at heightened risk of these impacts, in part due to marginalization and exclusion, socioeconomic circumstances, as well as environmental conditions. This is changing. Links are being made with activists and others working on climate change in their regions, as well as those working on disaster risk reduction (DRR). But there are still challenges around prioritization of issues. In November this year, the UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), and efforts are underway to ensure the representation of persons with disabilities at COP26. Our first question focuses on what needs to be prioritized and how?

    • #5839
      Asha Hans
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      IPCC’s sixth assessment report reflects the deteriorating global situation of climate change. In recent years it has been obvious that many people like me working on Disaster Risk Reduction, have been drawing attention to climate change also.

      I have done work on DiDRR including writing the Indian government guidelines. My recent years’ work on gender and climate change has highlighted the need for disability inclusion in climate change policy and practice.

      1. There is a need for effective interaction between disability organizations and policymakers, researchers/academics, and communities to facilities better opportunities for inclusion of ideas of persons with disabilities and their organizations.

      2. With the climate change Conference of State Parties on climate change only a month away, action is needed to ensure that a stakeholder group is formed as we had managed to do that before Sendai to interact with State Parties

      3. A disaggregated data collection process be initiated

      3. Ensure that a special report / or inclusion disability issues in IPCC thematic reports  focusing on disability be brought out

      4. A global meeting (virtual) be organized by UNFCCC on disability-inclusive Climate Change

      There are many ways to go forward as we believe climate change will impact severely  Disabled people and organizations and it is time to make our voices heard as it was done in the DRR process leading to Sendai.

      As a beginning, I have started with Maria Kett who was one of the first globally to highlight  this issue, an edited book on disability-inclusive climate change and look forward to all your ideas 

      Prof Asha Hans EVP SMRC which has Observor Status with UNFCCC

    • #5846
      Lucy Nkatha
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      People in the climate change field should design projects that are responsive to the needs of PWDs while PWDs and their organization take the front role of ensuring their needs are taken on board during the project design.

    • #5852
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      Asha, you mentioned the need for disaggregated data. What indicators do you think are feasible? For example, I have heard some people ask for the percentage of people who’ve died in disasters who had a disability, but that seems very hard to do.  What pre- and post- disaster indicators would you recommend in terms of outcomes.  Seems indicators for preparation are easier.  Whether plans are made inclusively, whether OPD’s are involved in planning, etc,

    • #5853
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      Asha, you mentioned the need for disaggregated data. What indicators do you think are feasible? For example, I have heard some people ask for the percentage of people who’ve died in disasters who had a disability, but that seems very hard to do.  What pre- and post- disaster indicators would you recommend in terms of outcomes.  Seems indicators for preparation are easier.  Whether plans are made inclusively, whether OPD’s are involved in planning, etc,

    • #5858
      Maria Kett
      • Participant
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      Hi everyone, thank you all for your contributions so far.

      Asha, you have set out a great agenda for action, and I see Dan has asked a question about what indicators would be  feasible. It depends what we are measuring of course, but certainly some indication that current and new initiatives to address climate impacts are inclusive of persons with disabilities at community level need to be in place.  We also need more examples of ‘good practice’ (as well as discussions of what we mean by good practice). On that note, please do share any thoughts here, as well as share examples of good practice around disability inclusion and climate resilience or sustainability here: https://www.disabilityinnovation.com/webinars/disability-innovation-live-an-inclusive-future-disability-inclusive-and-climate-resilient-cities

      Please keep your thoughts, comments and questions coming – there are only a few weeks to go now to COP26!

       

      ,

    • #5866
      Vaishnavi Jayakumar
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      Well, for one, the two need to meet and understand each others work beyond token, tick box representation.
      I’m having a little difficulty on taking the long view on climate change – there are enough crises (some perhaps climate change triggered) keeping us on our toes for the last few years – floods, cyclones, fire, oil spill, pandemic  etc. So we are moving from crisis to crisis with no time to breathe or advocate and force change.
      These are some of the issues being faced on the ground after disasters, in no particular order :
      – Replacement of mobility aids lost in floods is being hawked around for CSR rather than govt funding.
      Mind you, at least Kerala Govt was a pioneer in taking on this commitment, others have not bothered acknowledging this issue.
      – Inaccessibility of shelters
      TN doesn’t have specific shelters for disasters, instead schools and community halls are commandeered. To some extent because these are govt estabishments there will be basic access, but not the toilets which are built for children. Public toilets near these shelters are also not functional or inaccessible.
      – No diversity exposure; thinking is majoritarian.
      Eg, when there was an oxygen shortage during the 2nd wave, no allocations were made for o2 dependent people living at home – all attention was towards hospital supply alone. Ditto, no thinking of a ventilator dependent person who ran out of fuel for her generator after Cyclone Vardah resulted in days of power outage. Or those who cannot self evacuate during a disaster, and therefore are stranded with no access to food or rescue because the system is geared towards people in shelters alone. Here’s Prabhakar’s story for eg : https://www.youtube.com/watch?<wbr />v=XNWjlMcPers
      – No priority group focus
      Even after so many disasters – same old arrangements have to be forced from scratch for dialysis & transfusion dependent people and those on chemo or anti retroviral therapy. The whole ‘women and children first’ drill needs to be updated and followed – instead there’s mayhem, overloading and too many people die because of lack of discipline and protocol.
      – Crisis communication is the worst. Consumer education is not inclusive and people, especially disabled & middle class, need to learn disaster-prep and evacuation obedience.  For starters the social media communication has to be made accessible.  Eg : https://twitter.com/<wbr />DisabilityIndia/status/<wbr />1449444564633149441/retweets/<wbr />with_comments
      Stopping tirade prematurely here!
      Attachments area
    • #5878
      eEsma Gumberidze
      • Participant
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      Climate focused NGO-s and government organizations shall be proactively reaching out to OPD-s (Organizations of persons with disabilities) and asking about their needs in disaster risk reduction and preparedness planning. And on all other matters. It is important to try and hire persons with disabilities in climate related organizations. While OPD-s nd persons with disabilities shall be educating themselves more on climate issues, as people with disabilities are more likely to be adversly affected by climate change. Government agencies responsible for environmental protection, SDG implementation and DRR related agenda shall be including OPD-s on their consultative councils and other participation mechanisms. The facilities of climate focused organizations both physical and informational shall be made universally accessible.

    • #5894
      Maria Kett
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      Thank you for all your contributions so far. We are almost at the end of this months question, and its only a few days now until the start of COP26 in Glasgow – what messages should we be sharing?

      I also want to pick up the point about climate focused NGOs and government organizations proactively reaching out to organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) – are there any good examples out there where this is happening? Please share! Thank you!

      • #5896
        eEsma Gumberidze
        • Participant
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        In 2016-2017 ASB (a German based organization that works on humanitarian issues) had a grant to work on Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction in Georgia. They partnered with the Administration of the Prime-Minister, put them in contact with the OPD-s. Provided OPD-s with the draft strategy on security and disaster risk management to go through and submit comments. Funded a joint visit by the OPD-s and the government to the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in Mexsico on May 22-26 2017. However after the project was over and the strategy expired, the Prime-Minister’s Office has not reached out to the OPD-s on its own to try and consult with us on the new strategy. Frankly speaking, neither did the OPD-s reach out to the government with a request to participate. OPD-s are underresourced, lacking staff. They mostly rely on volunteer work and project specific grants by the international donors. However the project funding is strictly to be spent on the project objectives. Therefore it is a challenge for OPD-s to follow up on different policy processes in the country. There is 1 service-providing organization at the National SDG Council.

    • #5899
      Pradeep Bagival
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      I would like to request Maria Kett to recall my simple note that was sent  on the  impact of climate change on persons with disabilities living in coastal area of Nangroe Aceh Darussalam province, Indonesia in 2008 when I used to work for Leonard Cheshire in Banda Aceh on Post Tsunami reconstruction project.  In that note I remember having mentioned about my interaction with families of persons with disabilities  living in coastal areas who had informed me that the number of days of ‘high tide’ have been increasing over the years and this has impacted their livelihood as they were unable to go out fishing on those days. They had also mentioned that there was  increase in skin infections after floods among their family members with disabilities forcing them to spend more on medical treatment.  Back in 2008 , the disability dimension was not very much heard or spoken about in climate change events  and it is now that the narrative is taking a concrete shape.

      While serving as Asst. Commissioner for Disabilities with government of India , I had received  complaints under the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995  from persons with Multiple Sclerosis working for government/public undertakings who in their petition would request for  transfer to  places with a cool climatic conditions as they would experience muscle spasticity due to increase in weather temperature. I remember them mentioning in their petitions that their mobility was impacted due to increase in temperature gradually over the years.

      Since UN is in the forefront of leading the response to climate crisis, it has a predominant role to play in making the voices of persons with disabilities to be heard on national and international platforms. The UN Sec Gen  in his report ‘Disability Inclusion in the United Nations’ 2020 on the implementation of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy states that as of 2019, only 16% of the UN entities actually meet the requirements of indicators for disability inclusion within the UN system. UN entities need to  garner support for  disability -inclusive response to climate change.

      While some of the disability specific INGOs are advocating for an inclusive response , OPDs in the south where majority of persons with disabilities live are not proactively engaged in this dialogue with climate change stakeholders. Capacities of the OPDs need to be further enhanced to  make their participation meaningful in national and international climate change events.

       

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