QUESTION
OF THE
MONTH

Each month CIP invites an expert to pose an important question dealing with some aspect of inclusive policies.


We then invite all of you to participate in an on-line written discussion. At the end of the month, our expert will summarize the main results of that discussion in a blog. If you would like to pose a “question of the month” please write to us on our contact page.

THIS MONTH’S QUESTION

What do climate-focus agencies need to be doing to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in their work, and what should disability organizations need to be doing to ensure a focus on climate in their work?

THIS MONTH’S CURATOR

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    • #5828 Reply
      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 Reply
      Asha Hans
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      0

      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 Reply
      Lucy Nkatha
      Up
      0

      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 Reply
      Up
      0

      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 Reply
      Up
      0

      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 Reply
      Maria Kett
      • Participant
      Up
      0

      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 Reply
      Vaishnavi Jayakumar
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      0
      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 Reply
      eEsma Gumberidze
      • Participant
      Up
      0

      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.

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