Adaptation Futures opens with a message “from the ground”

Noel Oettlé introduces two community representatives at the plenary session of Adaptation Futures 2018

By Noel Oettlé

In the course of the opening session of the Adaptation Futures Conference in Cape Town on 19th June 2018 Yohan Santosa from Indonesia and Lena Kotze from the Northern Cape of South Africa addressed delegates and shared some of their insights and concerns.

Lena is Vice Chairperson of the Heiveld Cooperative, which produces organic and fair trade rooibos tea. She reminded delegates that “climate change will affect us all, with the worst impact on those who are most vulnerable.” She appealed to delegates to “work together with us on the basis of our knowledge and our vision in our efforts to use our resources sustainably and to create a better life for our communities”.

As I noted in my introduction to the speakers, all too often we forget that adaptation is primarily about people and society, and not technologies. If we persist in thinking and acting in silos, we might find ourselves sitting on the roofs of those very silos as the oceans envelop them.

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