Lake Macquarie Residents tell Greg Combet what TO DO in South Africa

Food & climate change article written on the 23 Nov 2011

Land is Life – that is the name of Oxfam’s art exhibition that has been travelling around the country to a number of events – but it is also the reality for small scale producers around the globe. While Australia has taken the first steps to reducing our carbon emissions with the introduction of the Carbon tax it is going to take global action to really assist those on the front line of climate change impacts.

In Tuvalu and Kiribati the people have been undertaking projects like mangrove plantations at the end of the island to prevent further erosion and are installing water tanks to ensure a fresh water supply now the lagoon has become brackish with salt water inundation. The resilience and determination of the local people to adapt to the climate change is truly inspirational but these projects take not only the energy and time but money as well. Small scale producers in developing countries are not responsible for climate change but yet they are being asked to pay for the damage it causes.

Later this week Environment Minister Greg Combet will be in Durban South Africa to attend international climate change negotiations and we have prepared a TO DO list for him that includes ensuring the Global Climate fund has enough money to help small scale producers undertake these and other vital projects.

This weekend Oxfam campaigners and volunteers took the Land is Life exhibition to the Lake Macquarie Sustainability Festival (right in the heart of Greg Combet’s electorate). To show people the impacts that climate change is having on the food and water security around the globe. The response from people who stopped to look at the exhibition was overwhelming – time and again the sentiment that as Australians, as one of the worlds developed countries that has travelled the polluting path of industrialisation, we have a responsibility to assist those suffering the consequences of our actions.

Hundreds of people signed up to the GROW campaign and readily told us what they thought it was most important for Greg Combet TO DO while he is in South Africa .