NGOs rally to address climate change

By HOU LIQIANG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-09-28 07:51
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A road is flooded by heavy monsoon rains in Nasirabad, a district of Baluchistan province, Pakistan, on Aug 2. ZAHID HUSSAIN/AP

Key role played in helping public adapt to issue at grassroots level

As children, Tsenkyap Sangmo's grandparents played hide-and-seek in a lush meadow with grass that came up to an adult's waist.

But now, the 22-year-old woman from the Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Qinghai province, looks out on a starkly different scene, as the meadow has significantly less and much shorter grass, and is dotted with increasing areas of black, bare earth.

During the summer, Tsenkyap Sangmo, a college student who feels that conditions in the valley are partly due to climate change, took part in a program run by the NGO Shan Shui Conservation Center to tackle grassland degradation.

"I think that adapting to climate change is very necessary," she said.

This necessity has been underscored by drought in Yushu, which is situated on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the world's highest, which is also known as "the roof of the world".

As of 8 pm on Aug 9, six meteorological stations in the area reported record-breaking daily maximum temperatures this summer. The highest reading was 33.1 C, some 2.5 C above the previous record high in 2016.

The drought turned grass yellow, further aggravating a lack of food for livestock during the winter in an area where people traditionally rely on husbandry for a living, Tsenkyap Sangmo said.

However, Yushu is just one example of the looming adverse impacts from climate change — a reminder to people worldwide to take action to adapt to a worsening situation.

In the Horn of Africa, extreme droughts have resulted in a food crisis, while heat waves across Europe and recent devastating floods in Asia are just some of the latest examples of how climate change can wreak havoc.

People are well aware of the regions that have already borne the brunt of climate change, but they have no idea about which areas will be next. Scientific research, however, has explicitly concluded that if adequate measures for climate adaptation are introduced, losses from such havoc can be greatly reduced.

Against this backdrop, Chinese NGOs are playing a role in helping the public adapt to climate change at grassroots level.

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