Ways to Approach Climate Change in Developing Countries

By Raphael Nawrotzki and Omolara Oluwagbuyi.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Since Al Gore published his book “An Inconvenient Truth”, climate change has become an omnipresent issue. Droughts are increasing in Sub-Saharan Africa; glaciers melt away, and the number of flash floods and storms in South-East Asia is rising. However, these crises are not limited to some regions of the world but affect the whole globe. Research shows that people in developing and least developed countries are more vulnerable to these events than those in North America or Europe. In this paper the author summarizes the influences of climatic changes and the respective natural disasters on developing countries in South America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania from a human-centered point of view. The information about the impact of climate change in third world countries builds then the stage for a discussion of different ways to advance this global crisis categorized in top-down and bottom-up approaches. In relation to top-down approaches the role of intergovernmental, governmental, and non-governmental entities is discussed. Also, arising security issues as well as the necessity of technology transfer are described. With regard to bottom-up approaches water management, farming techniques, early warning systems, and the self organized insurance system Seguro Solidario are described. The paper concludes with a recommendation of combining top-down and bottom-up approaches in order to increase effectiveness. This could be accomplished by means of a Multi Stakeholder Platform on a local scale and an International Coordination Mechanism (ICM) and a new office of a UN High Commissioner for the Environment on a global scale. In this way the human efforts can be concentrated in a holistic approach combining the strength of governmental programs, NGO intervention, and self protective efforts of local people to address the problem of global climate change.

Keywords: Climate Change, Natural Disaster, Developing Countries, Bottom-up Approach, Top-down Approach

Global Studies Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.169-178. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 544.684KB).

Raphael Nawrotzki

Student, Department of Human Behavior, Andrews University, Berrine Springs, Michigan, USA

In 2003 I enrolled at the University of Applied Science Darmstadt (Germany) to study in the School of Biotechnology with a concentration in Environmental-biotechnology. I gained knowledge of regenerative energies; i.e. biogas and also studied different kinds of wastewater treatments as well as drinking water purification by membrane systems. In conjunction with the regenerative energies, I took part in a project, whose purpose was to help people in China use their waste in a regenerative way by means of lactic acid fermentation. In 2007 I wrote my Diploma thesis about developing a method for solid state fermentation of Trichoderma harzianum (a biological pesticide that can be used as an environmentally safe Biocontrol agent in developing countries to protect potato-plants against late blight) and improvement of suitable conidia formulations. In order to add a broader foundation to my specialized knowledge and to better serve in the development aid, I am currently studying in the MSA: Community and International Development program at Andrews University with a focus on “Disaster Preparedness”. In this program I can implement my pre-knowledge in drinking water purification to help people in need.

Omolara Oluwagbuyi

Andrews University, Michigan, USA


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