We are currently in a situation of rapidly worsening planetary emergency, with climate change deteriorating and ecological boundaries exceeding thresholds.
While the COP22 was being held last year the World Meteorological Organization reported that global average temperatures have risen to about 1.2°C above preindustrial levels, dangerously close to the initial 1.5°C boundary set by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, with 2016 the hottest year on record, surpassing 2015 and 2014, both of which were themselves record-breaking years.
Reports are showing that Arctic temperatures are increasing at rates twice the global average, with an average increase of 3.5°C since the beginning of the twentieth century.
Over the last two years, the projections for sea level rise during the course of this century have doubled. Already it has increased 8 inches, threatening island communities and low-lying coastal areas throughout the world. The ocean could rise by close to two meters by 2100, while, over a couple of centuries, the increase could reach six meters. By 2500, sea level rise could be as much as 15 meters.
Should the present trend persists, the world will hit the trillionth-metric-ton mark in total carbon emissions, that is, the amount of total carbon emissions thought to generate 450 ppm in global carbon concentration, and a 2°C increase in global temperatures in just over twenty years.
The International Geological Working Group has concluded that the ‘Great Acceleration’ in the second half of the 20th century marked the end of the Holocene and the beginning of a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene.
Indian Ocean and Coastal Southern Africa context
The Indian Ocean Islands populations are among the most vulnerable populations on earth in term of climate induced catastrophes.
Indian Ocean, considered one of the most productive seas, has seen warming greater than other oceans. The warming in Indian Ocean during the past century has been estimated up to 1.2 degree C, which is very large compared to a global surface warming of up to 0.8 degree C during the same period.. The productivity of its marine eco system is being serious affected. Scientific Projections show that this warming will be accompanied by an increase in heavy rainfall events and other temporal and spatial changes in precipitation patterns, and by more intense or frequent cyclones/hurricanes.
Mauritius is one of the small island states under direct threats of global warming in the coming years. The Southern African region includes many other Islands states also under threats of global warming. Despite objective and scientific facts, and some sections of social movements organising, and despite the already felt impact of ecological crises on our Southern African countries, the level of ecological consciousness and the necessary paradigm leap have not occurred in our countries.
All the scientific data are here to prove that measures taken within the Kyoto Protocol have not mitigated global warming and the deterioration of the Earth System. The Paris Agreement signed by 196 nations of the world in December 2015, offers no chance of containing global warming under the thresholds that science suggests must not be passed.
In addition, the world’s poorest countries, those with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions, will be the most severely affected by extreme temperatures brought on by global warming. Wealthy nations of the global North, historically responsible for most of the CO2 already in the atmosphere, are not financing the renewable energy revolution that the under-resourced countries of the global South required.
To add insult to injury the World Bank and neo-liberal institutions have designed Mauritius as the main platform to implement the Blue Carbon framework ( a REDD inspired mechanism) to deal with climate change in the Indian Ocean and coastal Africa.
Failed solutions, capitalist paradigm and critical times
The solutions derived from the COP processes have failed because they were designed within the market and capitalist logic. As as a growth depend economic system capitalism pursue endless accumulation and reproduces itself on an ever large scale. As a social system capitalism has progressively advances the commoditization of everything on planet earth.
We are living in alarming and critical time for humankind, organized human society and the planet. Just a few years of inaction in the immediate future could lock in dangerous climate change that would be irreversible for the next ten thousand years.
While humanity has to come to grips with the biggest existential crisis of our century, matters are worsening with the political rise of the extreme right forces and climate denials in different parts of the world.
The overall aim of the CARES Programme on Climate
CARES, in collaboration with the Peoples’ Dialogue (PD) wishes to address the systemic root causes of the failed climate policies and contribute, at a regional, Indian Ocean and Southern Africa level, to the building a larger effective global social movement that humanity needs to reverse the present suicidal tendencies and policies.
Through the programme, CARES aims to provide education, innovations, analytical tools, common understanding, and envisioning radically alternative paradigm and develop synergies amongst people led movement in the region to force government and corporations to take actions at local, regional and global level.
The aim is to build sufficient capacity and create conditions for the development movements into political power for policy and structural change in society, to address the looming ecological disasters.
The objective, in short term in 2017 will be to build an Indian Ocean and Southern African common voice at the COP23 to be held in Bonn, Germany, more so that the COP23 is for the first time being chaired by a small Island State, the Fidji.
The middle term objective of the Programme will be the development of a coherent network of social movements, academics and alternative politics movement in the region promoting system change as a response to climate and ecological crisis.
The aim of the SOE 2017
The aim of the School of Ecology is to provide technical as well as analytical tools and conceptual framework to participants, especially young activists, on the present ecological crises facing humanity. The specific aim of the third edition will be to focus on the social rift that capitalism have create between society and nature, leading to the present crisis.
The School aims at linking and articulating the multi dimensional crises – financial/economic, ecological and social – affecting human kind and its habitat.
The School will introduce the concept of Nature as a subject and not as an object, natural resources as commons and a source of sustainable livelihoods and bio-diversity to be nurtured, not a private or state property. The School intends to promote the laws of nature in opposition to the laws of capitalism and patriarchy.
The School aims at building capacity and generates knowledge for the development of political peoples’ power for policy and structural change in society to address the looming ecological disasters.
For more information on the 2017 School of Ecology, please contact Stefan Gua at email@example.com
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