Is Climate Change a threat to humanity?
Climate change is a serious threat to humanity that requires immediate action to prevent future
endangerment. It is a multi-sectoral, cross-cutting and technical problem, whose solutions partly
lie in integrating internationally debated recommendations within state and local community
relations. My Research experience utilized a sustainable development-bricolage hybrid approach to investigate the socio-economic impacts of an afforestation/reforestation project in Mbarara, Uganda, that is being implemented under the auspice of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The study offers insight into how the global climate change policy project is being integrated within existing local institutional arrangements. The study further offers an analysis of state and local community relations and how this relationship is changing livelihoods.
The sustainable development-bricolage hybrid approach utilized a combination of both qualitative and quantitative research methods including primary data collection and analysis of
secondary data sources. Primary data sources included a household survey, interviews, the extended case method, photography and observation. Secondary data sources included analysis
of government publications and environmental and academic reports.
The study reveals that the integration of CDM policy into local (institutional) policies created new practices that were not previously 'tested' and therefore lacked an awareness of repercussions. The state’s tightened grip of forests through these new policies and practices has ‘legally' tagged the local informal users as 'illegal'. Some villagers are now being deprived of a large portion of their sustainable means of existence, resulting in many experiencing food insecurity and biting poverty.
The state - community contract agreement meant to bring the community on board to share benefits of the project is rather problematic. As 'organized cliques' managed to usurp the poor’s participation - through bureaucratic processes and exorbitant fees - and sign the contract, much of the community is robbed of their future income. Squeezed to the corner, the common villagers are creative enough to overcome the challenging situation, reopening previous forms of livelihoods in a new way and bringing forth opportunities for sustainable forest management. In
essence, the project seems to be sacrificing a local village to the burden of global responsibility,
but local necessity and innovation has instituted a new approach that remains to be recognized by state institutions.
The study reveals that sustainable development-institutional bricolage approach is an important model to guide successful implementation of climate change intervention projects. The model further re-conceptualizes sustainable development into definable and achievable goals.
The approach can further be extended into community. The approach can further be extended into community socio-economic assessments, monitoring and evaluation of climate change intervention projects.