Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change

Today is Blog Action Day 2009, and the purpose is to draw attention to the topic of "Climate Change". Controversy around the causes and consequences of "Climate Change" and "Global Warming" is kind of irrelevant. Fact is, here in Karatu District subsistence farmers have an extremely close relationship with their physical environment. We are presently waiting for the short rains, which should be occurring about now and which many fear will be late or not arrive at all. It is hot, dry and dusty, and water is in short supply. For those households with power, electricity cuts are frequent. But, rather than sitting around talking about climate change and what a downer it is, farmers are taking action to responsibly manage and improve their physical environment.

In anticipation of the upcoming rains, they are ready to plant thousands of seedlings. CPAR Tz’s nursery is ready to go with a variety of seedlings for agroforestory and planting around households. Many farmers are practicing Conservation Agriculture, leaving cover crops and crop residues in the field for mulching, adding nutrients and conserving moisture in the soil, thereby preventing erosion and using any and all rainfall to its greatest effect. They conserve and transport manure to the fields instead of burning it and relying on expensive chemical fertilizers. Simple energy saving stoves, which consume 1/3 the firewood of the traditional three-stone fire, are in growing use and there is considerable interest in alternative sources of power, for example solar, which is not yet an accessible and affordable technology to a rural household.

Learning from the example of subsistence farmers in rural Tanzania, CPAR Tanzania's message this Blog Action Day: "It doesn't matter who you are or where you are, you have a responsiblity to respect and care for the environment."

Click on the Blog Action Day logo to see what everybody else is saying and get ideas on what you can do.

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