Damning climate change reports, South Sudan and Tsunami response

Posted on 09 October 2018

+ 'Last chance' report on Global Warming 

World leaders have been told they have a moral obligation to ramp up their action on the climate crisis in the wake of a new UN report that shows even half a degree of extra warming will affect hundreds of millions of people, decimate corals and intensify heat extremes, reports Jonathan Watts and Matthew Taylor in the the UK Guardian.

Set up by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change.

The muted response by Britain, Australia, and other key governments highlights the immense political challenges facing adoption of pathways to the relatively safe limit of 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The report says that urgent changes are needed within the next 10 years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree could significantly worsen the risk of floods, extreme heat, and worsening poverty as a result.

The findings are irrefutable. IPCC assessments are written and peer-reviewed by hundreds of leading international scientists who volunteer their time and expertise. As such, IPCC reports undergo multiple rounds of drafting and review to ensure they are comprehensive and objective and produced in an open and transparent way. 91 authors and peer-reviewers from over 40 countries were involved.

The assessments undertaken by IPCC present projections of future climate change, but do not necessarily prescribe policy recommendations for governments. 

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, Caritas Aotearoa launched their annual State of the Environment report. 

It tracks five key environmental issues affecting the lives of Oceania’s peoples; coastal erosion/sea level rise; food and water; extreme weather; offshore mining and drilling; and climate finance.

“People have already died in the struggle against climate change,” says Caritas Director, Julianne  Hickey.

Caritas is calling for an integrated approach to tackling climate change that prioritises the needs of the poor, especially those on coastal edges, or reliant on subsistence supplies.

"For us in Oceania, the 1.5 target is imperative for survival.”

“We also need to face the reality that displacement is happening; often unplanned, uncoordinated; and unsupported by local and national governments and other relevant agencies. Relocation is always a last resort, as the spirituality, identity and wellbeing of many Oceania people’s is tied up with the land and oceans of their ancestors.”

Find out more about the Caritas report here.

+ New Zealand Responds to Sulawesi Earthquake & Tsunami

It's just under 2 weeks since a 7.5 earthquake struck Central Sulawesi, Indonesia and triggered a tsunami, major liquefaction, and landslides, all of which has made humanitarian access very challenging.  The latest report from AHA – the ASEAN centre for coordinating humanitarian assistance  - states that there have been 1,948 confirmed fatalities, 10,679 injuries and over 70,000 people displaced. With over 5,000 people still missing, there is concern that the number of fatalities could raise significantly. The full report is available on the AHA website here, and daily reports are uploaded at 5:30am (NZ local time) each morning.

The New Zealand government had made a total contribution of nearly $5 million to the Sulawesi response. This includes a recent announcement of $1.5 million for New Zealand NGOs working on the ground through their partners delivering practical and life-saving assistance. The latest press release from the MFAT is here. There are a number of New Zealand NGOs with appeals currently; CaritasTear FundChild FundWorld VisionChristian World ServiceSave the ChildrenChristian Blind MissionUNICEF, and ADRA.  CID would like to encourage readers to donate to these appeals, so much needed support can be provided to partners on the ground in Central Sulawesi.
+ CID Website reshuffle

We have had a reshuffle of the CID Website and we hope now it is easier to navigate and use. This is an interim solution until we upgrade the CID website to offer interactive online hubs and activities, including access to policy templates and more.

To support members as much as possible in the meantime, we have made access to policy templates open (rather than behind the 'members only' login).

Any questions get in touch.
+ Sunday inside Cox's Bazar

Miriama Kamo, from Sunday, went inside the world's largest refugee camp.

"They've been called the most persecuted people on the planet. Myanmar Rohingya Muslims tell horrific stories of rape and murder at the hands of the nation's military. Now, what the UN calls textbook ethnic cleansing in Myanmar has become a humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh.

Close to a million Rohingya who fled their homes are now crammed into makeshift camps just outside the small resort town of Cox's Bazar. Miriama Kamo meets two kiwi aid workers (from New Zealand Red Cross) who've travelled there - determined to make a difference."
+ David Shearer back from South Sudan - for a break

David Shearer was interviewed on Sunday on TVNZ's Q&A programme, talking about his work running the United Nations mission in South Sudan. He referenced the incredible work that New Zealand agencies do on the ground, and the importance of keeping a New Zealand presence in some of the toughest places in the world.

Josie Pagani, CID's Executive Director was also on the show and talked about the fact that 80% of all humanitarian need is located in countries with conflict. Since 1991 its been roughly the same ten intractable conflicts. 

But we do make a difference, and the work of David Shearer is one shining example of the impact we can have as New Zealanders.

Last month, warring parties in South Sudan signed the long-awaited Revitalized Peace Agreement, a milestone on the path toward a permanent ceasefire in the world’s youngest nation, writes Devex Christin Roby in Devex.

"But humanitarians say they remain vigilant, with South Sudan recently named the most dangerous place for aid workers for the third consecutive year by research group Humanitarian Outcomes, citing shootings, assaults, and kidnappings of humanitarian staff.

+ Have your say about the Australian Government Aid Program

The 2018 Australian Aid Stakeholder Survey is currently underway. The survey is run by the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre and it is an attempt to learn as much as possible about the performance of the Australian Government Aid Program.

"The survey is open to anyone who has worked with or interacted with the Australian Aid Program, or who understands Australian aid well. We want diverse voices—people from the Pacific, people who work for the Australian and New Zealand governments (including their aid programmes), people who work in NGOs, people who work for aid contractors, people who work in academia. If you know Australian aid well we want to hear your perspectives."

We are independent from the aid program. Your identity will be kept secret and we will not share your responses in a manner that enables you to be identified. The survey is governed by an ANU university ethics protocol.  

The survey will be open until 19 October 2018. Our report on the survey will be released early next year.

You can fill out the survey here, and read more about it here. 

We want as many people as possible to fill out the survey. Please forward to any of your friends and colleagues who know Australian aid well.

+ The role of private sector in Australian aid delivery

Jonathan Pryke, with The Lowy Institute, will be in New Zealand later in November and CID is looking forward to hosting them.  We will be announcing an event soon.
Like here, over in Australia, the role of the private sector in development has been hotly contested since business became more actively engaged in development. 
+ Tourism, the SDGs and the Pacific

Our newest social enterprise member, GOOD Travel, has just returned from the Pacific Preparatory Meeting for the 6th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development, where they presented on sustainable tourism alongside the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, Save the Children Fiji, Uprising Beach Resort and the Palau Pledge. 

Tourism already plays an important role in Pacific Island economies and is one of the region's most economically viable sectors. Total tourism spending in Pacific Island countries for 2013 amounted to US$1.4 billion. In 2014 there were a record 1.37 million overnight visitor arrivals across eleven countries, with Fiji, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Palau, Samoa and Vanuatu making up the top five destinations. 

GOOD Travel was invited by UNDP to speak to delegates from across the region about the potential for tourism to contribute towards the sustainable development goals and how to harness tourism's power to provide long-lasting benefits to countries and their people. They'll be sharing an article about the event on their blog soon!
+ Stitching up Poverty

This podcast series tells the story of a project in Sindh, Pakistan. The women there face some of the toughest conditions in the world. Poverty is endemic, violence is commonplace and many of the women in the region aren't even allowed out of their homes unaccompanied.

Can this project make a difference and empower the women and put them in charge of their own destinies?

Y Care International's podcast series discusses the project and shares learnings. 

+ Fake News and Elections in Asia conference
This international conference is to be held 10-12 July 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Call for Papers and Partnerships for International Conference on Fake News and Elections in Asia, 10-12 July 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. 

The conference will examine the phenomenon of fake news and its use and abuse by governments, private entities and social media, the role of the citizen in the consumption of such 'news,' the responsibility of media outlets and the emerging legislation around it and its impact on human rights. 

They welcome submissions from individuals and institutions as panel partners. Abstract submission deadline is 31 December 2018. For inquiry, or visit and for more information.
+ Member of the Moment: Circuit International

Ruth and Stu Corlett started Circuit International in 2007 and were based in Thailand with their 3 children for 8 years, doing cross-border development work in Myanmar. Since 2015 they have been based in NZ, with a focus on starting up community businesses in Myanmar, to fund sustainable development programmes.

Their implementing partner in Myanmar – the Love Conquers All foundation, has five local staff and hundreds of community volunteers running the programmes. The local team is made up of a mix of ethnicities and religious affiliations which is a great model of unity to the communities.

Recently Circuit's annual Matching Funds month raised over $80,000 for the Seed Bank programme to purchase a mobile grain-drying machine, build a small factory, and hire three more local staff to oversee the programme.

This programme helps farming families living below the poverty line, who are in danger of becoming debt slaves to corrupt money-lenders, and losing their land or having no choice but to ‘sell’ their children to trafficking agents to be sent to China as brides, or to Thailand as prostitutes. One of the newly appointed staff is from the first community the Seed Bank programme was started in, in 2016, and because her family were able to stay out of debt, she (and a friend) have avoided being ‘sold’ to work in Thailand, and she can now engage in safe work to help her community.

The Seed Bank programme loans seed and fertiliser to farmers (many of whom are women) at a low interest rate. It works alongside the Grain Storage programme, which enables farmers to store their dry grain in special bags until the peak of the market, further helping farmers avoid debt. In recent months a Seed Bank project was started in a conflict zone where the community leader has asked Circuit to help farmers reach the point where they can replace their opium fields with speciality coffee bushes.

The Seed Bank project is the first step towards seeing this happen.

Circuit's mission is: Connecting People, Doing Business with Justice, Enabling Sustainable Development.


Environment Emergency Management SDGs Pacific Islands