Why looking at climate change?

Climate change is predicted to have a significant impact on people’s livelihoods in the Gangetic Plains, and, in particular in  Bihar state of India Nepal and Bangladesh, where water resources will be highly affected by changing precipitation, and where the levels of poverty and entrenched inequality in the local populations is high.

Adaptation and resilience to climate change will potentially be an important issue for rural communities in this region over coming generations and has attracted increasing attention from international  organisations, activists and policy-makers in recent past decades.

 

Why is gender important to climate change?

Equity in water management increases the impact of improved water management on agricultural productivity and overall streamlines poverty reduction. According to IWMI’s 2007 report A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, “Inequality, particularly gender-based inequality, tempers the effectiveness of poverty reduction efforts. Women produce an estimated two-thirds of the food in most developing countries, yet they often have inadequate access to land, water, labor, capital, technologies, and other inputs and services.” The situation is exacerbated in Nepal as men leave their households to seek work in other countries, leaving women to manage the home and farm, while in Bihar and Bangladesh long term and seasonal migration to urban centers within each respective country is also transforming gender relations.

 

What are the products of this project?

The project will yield results in the form of literature reviews, local testimonies and observations from the field, as well as a series of participatory films produced by men and women farmers of the Dhanusha district. These films have been made into a 6-month TV series that will run from July to December 2013 on Nepali national television, Image Channel.

 

What are the expected impacts?

It is anticipated that this research will improve understandings of climate change adaptation, and the different options which are available to men and women from different socio-economic groups. The participatory video project will give women and men the opportunity to voice their experiences in their own terms. The findings will be of critical relevance for government and non-government initiatives as they seek to identify appropriate paths to climate change adaptation for the most marginalized socio-economic groups.