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Climate Conversations – Can cultural connections boost adaptation to climate change?

October 10th, 2011

In this 2005 file photo, a Kenyan farmer sends a text message from her maize fields in Thigio.

An article published on AlertNet by Angelica Valeria Ospina on the importance of Technology to adapt to climate change

Information and communities technologies (ICTs) are crucial to access information and knowledge in order to cope with climate change and the growing use of them, such as Facebook, has established new ways of creating, strengthening and challenging cultural identities.

“The underlying sense of ‘belonging’ and ‘connectedness’ to a social group can play a key role in the ability of vulnerable communities to cope with and recover from the impacts of climate change”, stresses Ospina.

These are five ways in which ICTs can contribute to climate change adaptation:

1) ICTs used to archive and disseminate collective memory, which is fundamental for a cultural identity.

2) ICTs used to produce, access and apply relevant knowledge, which can help people respond to local priorities.

3) ICTs used to foster diversity: these tools can be used to ‘give a voice’ to local diversity by sharing the adaptation needs and experiences of diverse members of the community.

4)  ICTs used to strengthen social networks and self-organisation: The use of mobile phones, emails and radios can strengthen social networks and and can help maintain the cultural links with migrant or geographically dispersed community members. Furthermore, tools like the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) canhelp monitor resources.

5) ICTs used to empower youth: ICT applications can increase confidence in young people to adapt to climate change.


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