Climate Change Hearings II

Climate change and its impacts are being identified and documented at the global level. However, in poorer countries, such as Tanzania, there has yet to be substantive documentation of the impacts that  climate change is having and will continue to have, especially to those who are most affected—the poor in rural areas. Climate change and its impacts are very real in Tanzania and serves to reinforce and influence the cycle of poverty if not properly identified and addressed. With the majority of people living in rural areas, the immediate effects of climate change are already being felt by Tanzanians. Specifically, research points out that in Tanzania, climate change will adversely affect food production, energy and water supplies, which are preconditions for the physical well-being if not survival of rural households, which are the clear majority of the country’s population.
Purpose of the Hearings:
Hearing the voices and stories of those most affected by climate change is essential for effective development and implementation of national climate change policies and adaptation and mitigation strategies.  Such strategies need to be informed by the voices of those that are bearing the results of a changing climate.  Yet, these individuals are arguably, far removed from the national and global debates on climate change and their voices remain relatively unheard. Additionally, stories that might be shared by those affected might be the actual effects of governance issues (such as less access to land and user rights to land); increasing population (decreased access to land and resources); or forest degradation and changing land uses (deforestation, logging/illegal logging, charcoal making, expanding agriculture).  What’s important is that these stories and experiences are viewed through a climate lens, with the on going question being asked -  how is (and will) our changing climate exacerbating such issues?