Local-to-Regional-to-Global Climate Justice: Participatory Technology, Art-As-A-Solution and Other Urban Hybridizations

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5 April 2021, New York. – Over the years, climate change has been one of the most pressing global issues. The differing changes in climate has destroyed livelihoods, reduced food production and increased socioeconomic gaps especially for the urban poor and persons living in informal settlements. As a result, this has called for the need to build urban resilience more than ever before.

Despite the enactment of conventions and international laws such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the climate change situation hasn’t improved, rather, carbon emissions have increased especially in the Asia Pacific, which is the largest producer of plastics in the ASEAN region. This has directly led to the rise of sea levels and air pollution posing a risk to the environmental security in the region and globally.

On April 6th, Urban Catalyst Lab, UN-Habitat and CYI hosted the Local to Regional to Global Climate Justice side event, during the 10th ECOSOC Youth Forum, with an objective of highlighting best practices and success stories for knowledge building and fostering a better understanding of key components for contextualizing democratized alternative solutions for climate among the participants.

The panel consisted of representatives from organizations such as UN-Habitat which has embedded preparedness and risk-mitigation in key avenues such as: local economic development strategies, community early warning systems, better shelter options and participatory in-situ slum upgrading, relocation of urban populations to appropriate or improved locations (when in-situ upgrading is not feasible), improved public health interventions, urban and peri-urban agriculture that takes into consideration a changing climate.

Douglas Ragan, Programme Management Officer at UN-Habitat showcased the work that Youth in one of the largest informal settlements in Kenya, Mathare, have undertaken in fighting for climate justice through waste collection and recycling. This has consequently led to the empowerment of youth who lost their jobs due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the maintenance of a clean environment.

Michelle Wiseman, City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Resilience highlighted the work they are doing enhancing environmentally friendly mechanisms of waste disposal that are sustainable and not hazardous. In addition, Freya Murray of Google Art + Culture, Hanif Kureshi, Community Artist in India and Jessica Anderson, US Climate Justice Artist highlighted their work of art that they use in raising awareness to the public on climate change.

With the showcase of the best case studies, the event ended on a high note acknowledging the need for more sustainable and innovative solutions to be implemented to enhance climate justice not only at local levels but globally. 

To learn more about the event, please visit Atlanta Contemporary website.

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