Women and Climate Change:
Stories of EMPOWERMENT
The Santa Rosa Community is made up of around 30 families, including Rosario’s. They live about 50 km from Guayaramerín in the extreme North-east of Bolivia. Although the Amazon is their home, years ago they did not have legal documentation to show they owned land, and they had to cut down the forest in order to extract precious wood or open up cropping land for growing food to survive.
This has changed as the community now own their land and they are managing the forest under the agro forestry system – reforesting native species and sustainably exploiting wood and fruits. However, climate has changed too. Extreme and uncontrolled floods have hit the area with devastating results.
Rosario and her community frequently talk about climate change, how it is affecting them and what can be done. They are fully aware that the main issue in the forest is deforestation so they act reforesting and protecting the Amazon.
Rosario says: “Everybody should be getting involved in this issue – especially Governments. They have a lot to do and say, and we expect everybody, especially Governments, to discuss it a lot at summits and events, but at the moment we don’t see enough results. This is what is worrying.”
“Now more and more there is the extreme heat”
“We do talk a lot about the climate and how it is affecting us, and we have discussed in the community about what we could be doing. We, as people who live in the forest, see the main issue is deforestation – this is affecting us all and is impacting on the climate. Because we are all so concerned, we have implemented agro forestry systems, which is our way of trying to preserve the forest, and ensure we are not contributing to climate change.
To try and do something concrete we are implementing these agro forestry systems – so we are reforesting the land that was destroyed in the past, and we are trying to plant different species and create a balance – in my area there is a lot of fruit and extra wood that we are reforesting.
In the past it was cooler during the day – as a community can remember there was variations of weather – but now more and more there is the extreme heat and the sun is burning more and more strongly. For us as members of the community and for me in my personal experience, it is really hard – for everyone it is a challenge to find the right way of cropping because the weather has changed so much.”
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