COP26 Special: Community adaptation and resilience

Posted: 20 September 2021, in News

In the lead up to the COP26 event in Glasgow and Climate Fringe we’re featuring green social enterprises to promote their inspiring work in tackling the climate emergency. This week we hear from Arkbound Foundation – take part in the conversation on social media with the hashtags #GreenSocEnt and #COP26.

In the run up to the 2021 COP26 climate summit, which was originally scheduled for November 2020, the Arkbound Foundation in Glasgow has been collating diverse accounts from people around the world on themes that cover climate adaptation, alternative economic models, and case studies from a range of different communities.

Our aim with this project is to showcase alternatives to the current socio-economic model, which is based on extraction and exploitation of people and the environment. As part of this, we believe that it’s important for those who have traditionally been denied a voice to be given a platform – whether they are indigenous communities or those who for centuries have faced oppression and now face disproportionate consequences from climate change.

Importantly, the book will not only take a realistic stance to the existential threat before us, but set out ways in which ordinary people and communities can deal with it. We do not shy from the mounting challenges and likely impacts ahead, but tackle the issue of structural and systematic change – often skimmed over or dealt with in a purely academic manner by other texts. In this way the book is both exploratory and practical. Authors include:-

  • Dr Ashish Kothari, who presents ‘a pluriverse of radical alternatives’, with a focus on India and the Global South.
  • Professor Rupert Read, who explores the concept of ‘Transformative Adaptation’ for structural change.
  • Dr Morgan Phillips, who looks at ways in which Himalayan communities have already faced the impacts of climate change and how they have adapted to it.
  • Dr Ester Barringa, who reviews different local currencies developed for and by vulnerable communities.
  • Fazeela Mubarak, who presents the devastating details of the 2017 Lima drought and how similar drought events can be dealt with.
  • Dr Janis Steele, who takes a look at the important role of women’s leadership in the context of climate actions in the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.
  • Sylvie Lodie, whose analysis of the Congo drought has implications for other African nations and food security.

Case studies from ecological communities are included throughout, presenting a ‘blueprint’ of adaptation for near future events. At the same time, readers will discover the importance of Earth’s interconnected ecosystem – from the ocean to the soil – with much of this knowledge already grasped by indigenous communities centuries before Western society. In the words of Pablo Solon: ‘we have to learn from the past, from those who lived in harmony with nature’. For the first time, we are bringing such knowledge alongside that of the latest science and setting out ways in which people can use it to prepare, adapt and empower themselves.

To celebrate the culmination of this two year project and release of the book, a special event is being held at the Mitchell Library on 30 October between 2-4pm. Tickets are free and can be booked here

The event will feature speakers in the book, as well as other work around climate adaptation and building community resilience, highlighting the need for socio-economic systems change. 

Steve Mcnaught, Arkbound Foundation