On 8 October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the final version of its ‘Special Report on 1.5 Degrees’.
The report shows that there are grave impacts at 1.5 degrees of global warming and already at the present 1 degree: anything beyond 1.5-degrees will lead to cataclysmic climate change posing an existential threat to billions of people, many of them in the poorest regions of the world: from island nations to big developed countries. The impact this will have on countries like Sri Lanka cannot be overstated.
Vulnerable populations will have to adapt to the changing climate patterns. In a country where the Dry Zone covers 70% of the island’s land area, the effects of climate change can be extreme. This is further exacerbated as this is the country’s agricultural heartland where the staple rice is grown.
FACES OF CLIMATE CHANGE
When crops fail due to climate variability, farmers, especially women, are dragged deeper into poverty. The ever-changing climate patterns coupled with the shortage of food and lack of access to quality water drive these communities even further into a state of vulnerability. Having grown up relying on the natural eco-system around them, farmers are particularly now feeling the effects of climate change when they are no longer able to survive on their simple way of life.