CAN South Asia Quarterly Newsletter July-Sept 2021

Hello Friends, 

We are delighted to bring back the newsletter after a one year hiatus. Despite the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and amid fears of an imminent third wave, the last quarter has been quite eventful.

The Covid-19 pandemic is still not completely behind us, and makes us take the necessary precautions to stay as safe as possible and continue our work.

We notice that most of our partners have been very busy during the pandemic helping those who need it the most. We have a story about this here, and also about activities of what some other partners have been doing during this period.

IPCC’s Assessment Report 6 of the working group 1 has some shockers for the region, which will get the governments and policy-makers to sit up and take heed, so we hope. Armed with the findings described as a “code red for humanity”, we all look forward to COP26 in Glasgow. CAN South Asia has applied for three side events, and is ready with its demands on behalf of the region. 

In this issue, we also have some new reports, and a section featuring CANSA in the news.

Do stay safe, stay healthy! And continue to keep us informed of your activities from time to time. We look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Reading!

Sanjay Vashist
Director, CAN South Asia

We hope you enjoy this edition. As always, thanks to all those who submitted their stories. If you weren’t able to submit your story so far, we look forward to hearing from you for our forthcoming issues. 
Submit your story

Deciphering the IPCC Assessment Report 6 and its Implications for South Asia

The IPCC Assessment Report 6 of the Working Group 1 on the physical science basis was released on 9 August 2021. The report runs to over 1300 pages with a summary for policymakers, an interactive atlas, regional factsheet, FAQs, etc., and could be difficult to decipher. The webinar “Deciphering the IPCC Report 2021 for South Asia” organised by CANSA, was held on 17 August 2021, to explain the new findings on climate science and what it means for South Asia.
The webinar had a panel of eminent scientists and experts in the field of climate change in South Asia. They were Dr Saleemul Huq (Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), Bangladesh), Dr Nambi Appadurai (Director, Climate Resilience Practice, WRI India), Dr Suruchi Bhadwal (Senior Fellow, Earth Science and Climate Change Division, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India) and Mr Manjeet Dhakal (Head, LDC Support Team at Climate Analytics, Kathmandu, Nepal).

Read a report on the webinar…

CAN South Asia at COP 26

With COP 26 scheduled from 30th October to 12th November 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland, there is feverish activity all around among the climate change communities worldwide.
CAN South Asia and its members hope to have a sizeable participation at COP26, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure that our three-point agenda is tabled and demands fulfilled.

CAN South Asia’s Three-point Agenda at COP
– Updation of the Paris Rule Book – Market Mechanisms and Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of GHG mitigation framework
– Secure Finance for Loss & Damage due to climate change
– Countries’ positions with respect to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in light of   IPCC.
Apart from the main events, there are several side events. CAN South Asia has applied for three side events: Climate-induced Migration, Climate Change & Urban Poor, and Fosevsil Fuel Treaty. They are subject to last minute approvals.

Demand for an equitable COP
With very few vaccinated against Covid-19 in deloping countries, CAN was keen on a postponement of COP to ensure maximum participation from CSOs, and also a waiver on quarantine costs from the UK government. With one country one vote, it is important for developing countries to have representation.

Meet our new members

In the past one year we have had several new members to the CAN South Asia family.  We wish them a very warm welcome on behalf of the entire CAN South Asia family. We list the new members below:

  • Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal
  • Chrysalis, Sri Lanka 
  • Complexity University, India
  • DOPS Foundation, Bangladesh
  • EcoHimal Nepal
  • EnvironmentGovernedIntegrated  Organisation(EnGIO), India
  • Green Organization, Nepal
  • KolkataOrganisation forSustainableInitiatives, India
  • Lung Care Foundation, India
  • Mary Anne Charity Trust, India
  • Mercy Corps, Nepal  
  • Nagenahiru Foundation, Sri Lanka
  • NawaiNaiWomen Association,Afghanistan
  • PakistanWaterPartnership,Pakistan
  • Partners in Prosperity, India
  • The Other Media, India
  • WaterAid, Bangladesh
  • Youth Front Pakistan

Very happy to have you as part of the CAN South Asia family!
Click here to check out the Member Directory

CAN South Asia in the News

‘Tiger on my farm’: Indian coal mining hub brings new dangers for villagers
Thomson Reuters Foundation | 9 September 2021 
India is the world’s second-largest coal producer and is ramping up mining to meet energy needs – but impacts are mostly negative for local communities, environmentalists say.
Read more…

Health Professionals Call For Phase Out Of Fossil Fuels To Avert the Twin Crisis Of Air Pollution And Climate Change
Planet Outlook | 7 September 2021
Doctors and medical practitioners representing some of the largest associations and networks of public health professionals today called upon South Asian Governments to phase out fossil fuels – oil, gas and coal – to avert the twin crisis of air pollution and climate change. They also endorsed the Fossil Fuel Treaty and called for a just and fair transition that puts people’s health first.
Read more…

Twin benefits of mangrove plantation in Sundarbans: building resilience to climate change and supporting rural livelihood
Gaon Connection | 27 August, 2021
A joint effort by rural women in the Sundarbans and a non-profit is helping restore mangrove cover. The initiative is expected to reduce the impact of cyclones while it is also an income source to the women who are both planting and guarding the mangrove saplings.

Coal ash: ‘White prawns turned into ash prawns; fishers pushed into poverty’
Gaon Connection |  19 July 2021
In a webinar themed on the adverse effects of fossil fuels on the indigenous communities living around power plants, participants from various regions of India shared how both human health and livelihoods are impacted. They underlined that the communities must be at the focus of planning and decision making.
Read more…

‘Cotton cultivation may shift to northern areas’
@Our Correspondent | 26 August 2021
On the question of what Pakistan is doing about the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-26), Special Assistant to PM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has said that Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is a rude awakening for the whole world.

Speakers call for climate action to avert disasters – The Express
@etribune | 24 August 2021.
Special Adviser to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said that climate change impacts were continuously creating global chaos and climate action has become imperative to avert various kinds of disasters including frequent floods, droughts, wildfires, and heatwaves in different parts of the world.

Pakistan Gets Global Attention For Right Climate Actions: Amin
@DailyUrduPoint |  23 August 2021
Special Adviser to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam on Monday said the climate change impacts were continuously creating global chaos and Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report had highlighted this reality quite elaborately.
Read more…

Recent Reports
Find them all here on the website 

Sustainable Lifestyles in Germany and India
The role sustainable lifestyles can play in achieving a paradigm shift towards sustainability is acknowledged in both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement of 2015. Sustainable lifestyles are emerging in entirely different socio-economic and cultural circumstances in India and Germany. Urban middle classes in both countries are exploring very different practices – while one has a smaller ecological footprint, the other is working towards alternative lifestyles and greener and healthier lives.
This report contains first findings from a joint project on sustainable lifestyles conducted by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) India.


Invisible women: A gender analysis of climate-induced migration in South Asia
Climate change is disrupting traditional livelihoods, forcing millions of people worldwide to consider alternative options. These disruptions do not affect women and men, boys and girls equally. The options available to people are also not equal. While circular migration — within countries and regions — has long been a practice of livelihood security, climate change impacts are forcing new kinds of human mobility, for which people and states are not prepared. We need an understanding of different “push factors” and “pull factors” through the lens of climate change impacts, because these impacts are well evidenced to have significant bearings on livelihood security across developing countries.


Report Card: Where is Gender Equality in National Climate Plans (NDCs)?
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change requires Parties to submit new or updated national climate action plans, the so-called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) every five years. Five years after its adoption, many countries are now in the process of revising or updating their NDCs which should have been delivered in 2020. While climate change threatens livelihoods and human security across the board, women and girls, particularly those who are living in poverty, often face higher risks and greater burdens from climate change. Women are agents of change, yet they are frequently viewed as passive victims that are ‘vulnerable’ to climate change.


No Future for Fossil Fuels
Addressing climate change requires a multifaceted and holistic approach. Thus, effective mitigation will not be achieved if individual agents advance their interests independently (IPCC 2014). In an attempt to bridge country analyses on the development and implementation of climate change policies that improved community-based responses for more efficient use of resources, one may explore what are the evidence-based alternative approaches to address anthropological climate change. In conclusion, the paper focuses on the four critical thrust areas for civil society to advocate policies on a) Energy security, b) Cost-competitiveness of renewables, c) Human health and well-being, and d) Just transition, and develops a case to move away from fossil-fuel proliferation.

Update from our Members

Appointment of Head WaterAid Pakistan
Mr Arif Jabbar Khan, joined WaterAid Pakistan as its new Country Director, on 1st September 2021. Mr Khan has served in Pakistan as the Country Director with Oxfam International and Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and was the Chief of Party of a USAID Project.
Electricity and Entrepreneurship in Nepal

Access to quality electricity and technology enhances productivity and growth of businesses

Durga Rayamajhi of Kavre, near Kathmandu, had a few domestic animals, but became an entrepreneur when she participated in the entrepreneurship skill training, a project by TA-9334 NEP*: Strengthening the Capacity of the Energy Sector to Deliver Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Results. The project had facilitated financial access to Durga without any need of collateral. She is one of many rural women whose livelihoods have been enhanced through this project. With right capacity building trainings electricity not only provides domestic lighting but also provides the economic benefit boosting rural entrepreneurship.

* TA 9334-NEP: Strengthening the Capacity of the Energy Sector to Deliver Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Results project is led by ENERGIA/Hivos and implemented by Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal (CRT/N), Practical Action Consulting (PAC) and National Association of Community Electricity Users Nepal (NACEUN). It is funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and co-funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

IRADe celebrates 20 years with a workshop

IRADe organised a workshop, “Climate change and assessment of Dengue geography in India”, held on 12 August 2021 to share the evidence-based knowledge on Dengue and build an effective policy-research interface for developing comprehensive strategies on Dengue in India. The workshop is part of the “Climate Change and Health” workshop series to celebrate IRADe’s 20-years and ongoing India’s Amrit Mahotsav. 
The workshop had 100 participants and brought together a wide range of stakeholders from the urban local body, research institutes, academic institutions, experts, practitioners.

The proceedings of the workshop are available for download here:
Global masterclasses were organised by South Asia Heat Health Information Network (SAHHIN) together with IRADe, on:
1.  First Global Master Class on ‘Heat Stress Thresholds for Indian Cities’ (Watch Webinar Recording)
2. Climate Adaptive Heat Action Plans (Watch Webinar Recording)
3. Early Warning Systems for Heat Stress Management (Watch Webinar Recording

IDSE Bangladesh Covid 19 pandemic response

Right from the onset of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government of Bangladesh took safety measures and several preparatory activities to prevent its spread. But these measures were not enough given the capacity of health services and camps to respond to an outbreak. There were also very limited testing kits. This has made surveillance and early detection in the camps, under current practices, impossible.
As a local humanitarian organization, ISDE rose to support the community in the time of crisis. ISDE was involved in distribution of hand sanitizer, hygiene kits, soap and face masks to the jobless families from its own limited resources. With organizations such as WJR UK, Wish Foundation Australia and Fahim Khaza Foundation USA extending their support, ISDE arranged the following intervention during the crucial time of the pandemic. ISDE also supported the government health department in awareness raising sessions, distribution of IEC material apart from distribution of hygiene kits, face masks, sanitizers, etc.

Sharing experiences at Women-led Sustainable and Decentralised WOTR Resource Management

Dr Marcella D’Souza, Director, WOTR-Centre for Resilience Studies (W-CReS), shared her experiences of working with WOTR at a three-day online certificate training programme on “Women-led Sustainable and Decentralised Water Resource Management – A Multi-Stakeholders Perspective”. The programme was hosted by the National Institute of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, and IMPRI Center for Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development.  The recording is available here

WOTR’s Aquifer Management: Making the unseen visible. Some references

Water Stewardship training at Sarole Pathar, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra

– A handbook – CoDriVE – Visual Integrator for Climate Change Adaptation: Guiding Principles, Steps and Potential for Use – here

– Making the Invisible, Visible: Manual for Preparing CoDriVE – Visual Integrator to overlay surface and sub-surface characteristics for Sustainable Groundwater Management  here

– Lilabai Sonune, Jalna (Maharashtra) Woman Water Champion here

Complexity University Bengaluru team working on local solutions to the climate crisis

Since coming together to join the Gigatonne Challenge in December 2020, the Bangalore team has been diverting coconut shell waste from the city landfills and sending them to a farm instead.At the farm, the coconut shells are being used for mulch – which helps to keep moisture in the ground and provide nutrients for the plants.
To learn more about the team and their work, check out this local news report on their activities…
The Gigatonne Challenge trains, supports and funds teams around the world to reduce CO2e emissions at pace and at scale, while benefiting the most vulnerable in your community.
So far, the Bangalore team has repurposed 13,730 kg of coconut shells and abated 34 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in the process.
They have collected coconut shells from four to five coconut sellers from only one neighbourhood in a city with more than 8.4 million inhabitants.
Read more…

SLYCAN Trust launches research newsletter with a focus on climate resilience

SLYCAN Trust released a research newsletter in September 2021 with a focus on climate resilience, containing research articles and brief technical papers submitted by subject experts. Climate resilience encompasses a multitude of dimensions, perspectives, and insights. Resilient people and livelihoods, resilient economies, and resilient natural systems are vital pieces of a larger puzzle that must be solved if humanity is to move toward a brighter future. While climate change mitigation remains a primary need of focus to avoid further acceleration of climate change and remain within the warming limits formulated by the Paris Agreement, adaptation and resilience-building are also crucial aspects that will determine the lives, livelihoods, and well-being of billions of people across the globe.

Fossil Fuels, Climate Change and Health Webinars

Healthcare Professionals join the fight against Fossil Fuels

Healthy Energy Initiative India, Health Care without Harm, Climate Trends and Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) recently released a guidebook titled “No Vaccine for Climate Change – A Communication Guide on Climate and Health for the Healthcare Professionals in India”, to prepare healthcare workers for conversations on climate change and its effects on health among various communities like patients, media and policymakers.
At the launch of the guidebook authored by Shailendra Yashwant of CANSA, a panel discussion Role of Healthcare Professionals on Action and Advocacy around Climate Change”, on 15 June 2021, had eminent doctors working in public health among the panellists and participants from healthcare industry and civil society organizations working in public health and welfare.
Read a report about the webinar here…

On 7th September, the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, an important webinar titled ‘Fossil Fuels, Air Pollution, Climate Change & Health: Resolving South Asia’s Air Pollution & Climate Crisis through a Health Lens’ was organized by CANSA together with partners Health Care Without Harm, Doctors For Clean Air & Climate Action, Air Quality Life Index, and Lung Care Foundation.
Among the speakers at the webinar were Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network, South Asia, Dr Ken Lee, Director of Air Quality Life Index (AQLI), and public health and medical experts from the South Asian region. 
Read a report about the webinar here…

We hope you enjoy this edition. As always, thanks to all those who submitted their stories. If you weren’t able to submit your story so far, we look forward to hearing from you for our forthcoming issues. 
Submit your story

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