Climate change lacks ‘the immediacy of now’ in conflict zones – experts

Barren barley and wheat fields stretch across the dry landscape of northern Afghanistan, the result of persistent drought and flash flooding that has left thousands of people facing food shortages and loss of work.

Climate change is a core culprit of such extreme weather, according to longtime humanitarian worker and biologist Jim Jarvie. He believes sustainable, less resource-intensive solutions are needed to help farmers adapt.

But he has not always had much luck conveying the message to some of his peers.

“I’ve found that in conflict areas, if you raise the visibility of climate change – which we did in Afghanistan – we can just see the eyes rolling up, saying, ‘Oh good Lord’, because it’s not the immediacy of now,” said Jarvie, who served as the first director of the climate, environment, and energy unit at MercyCorps, a humanitarian organisation that helps people bounce back after conflicts, natural disaster and other crises.

Read the interview by Rachel Stern here.

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