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Getting the voices of those impacted by climate change heard in Bali.

          Sahba Chauhan has been busy for the past two weeks liaising with partner organizations  in developing countries that Oxfam works with. Karina caught up with Sahba, at the conference on its second last day, to find out more about what she and our partners have been doing here in Bali.

Karina – Why is it important to have organisations from Least Developed and Developing countries here at this conference?

Sahba – Climate Change is a real issue in the lives and livelihoods of people struggling to fight poverty. For them, climate negotiations are not just front-page news, they are the decisions that will decide if they win or lose the fight against poverty. Therefore, it is important to have them here as an integral part of the process. Their experience and thoughts need to be heard loud and clear!

What activities where our partners involved at the Conference?

Our partners came here from China, India, Philippines, Vietnam and East Timor. While they were here, some worked with their country delegations to highlight the concerns of their communities who they work with back home. All of them were involved in various campaign activity and forums with other organisations from the across the world to ensure the conference heard directly form people already having to deal with the impacts of climate change.

In particular our partners represented and participated in global discussions on adaptation financing and used the opportunity to learn a lot about international negotiations on climate change, and how they can work with other of organisations across the world to find solutions to climate change.

What was the main message that stood out for you and our partners during the week?

I think the world has got a clear message over the past two weeks and that is – we live in a hugely unequal world! Over the past two weeks while most countries stood united to make serious commitments to fight climate change, a handful of rich countries, responsible for this problem in the first place, blocked the negotiation process in every way they could. In an equal world, majority wins. Today the majority is saying – fight climate change now!

How does being at a conference like this, help our partner organizations when they go back to their home countries?

I see it the other way round. The conference and post conference work (which is huge!) will benefit a lot with from the input and engagement of organisations that are at the front line of dealing with climate change. Their involvement at this conference will help represent many concerns about climate change impacts and the adaptation needs from their countries onto a global platform.

Once back home, they will inform local communities about the conference and continue to work with their governments on climate change.The conference was important not only in our partners being able to share information from their countries but it provide vital learn from other organisations and countries that are experience similar problems such as techniques, research and understanding on key political processes.

*Note* The original message was posted on December 13, 2007 at http://oxfaminternational.wordpress.com/2007/12/13/getting-the-voices-of-those-impacted-by-climate-change-heard-in-bali/

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