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National Partnerships

IKEA Japan supports climate symposium, hears witnesses
WWF’s Climate Witness connects with people around the world and provides them with an opportunity to share stories about how climate change impacts their lives here and now. For example, the witness from Kenya described how climate change impacts on agriculture, and that malaria disease is on the increase, while the witness from Nepal reported that the recent high temperatures in the Himalayas have created a glacier lake which could destroy the lives of the people in the region.

“I was able to portray how remote communities like ours live with the impacts of climate change on a day-to-day basis and how we need help to adapt,” says Mr Sherpa, a hotelier and farmer from a remote village in Kanchenjunga, Nepal.

The witness from Mongolia reported how climate change has changed seasonal cycles, forcing nomads to change the way they live. It rains less and less, rivers are drying out, and harsher winters are followed by long periods of drought – the Gobi desert is expanding and the nomads’ herds are dying due the lack of grasslands. As a result, thousands of Mongolian shepherds are forced to move to makeshift tent areas surrounding the capital city Ulan-Bator.

The Japanese symposium was held in time for the Mainichi newspaper to feature the witness stories just before the UN climate conference COP17. Also, climate change and energy strategy is high on the agenda in Japan following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, and the symposium was an opportunity to focus on how to move forward with renewable energy.

To read more Climate Witness stories, click here