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Climate Change and Communication for Development

Today, for the Blog Action Day ’09, the topic is the connection between Communication for Development, the discipline managed by the Team I’m part of at FAO, and Climate Change, the topic all of us are dealing with these days and in the near future.

Writing this post is not an easy job due to the vastness of the argument. Climate Change influence our actual and, more then anything else, future life. In this perspective, we think communication can be a valid tool if not to solve at least to afford and manage the change. The objective is to avoid that this phenomenon that we provoked could damage our future existence in an unsolvable way.

Communication helps people to manage their life in a better way. The exchange of thoughts from one person to the other and vice-versa can help all of us to reflect and find new opportunities, solutions and ideas to afford and solve our problems. Communication for Development is a discipline which takes care that communication is embedded in development activities. This is because where the future is created, as in such activities, then interaction is fundamental to prepare a better approach to that future. Exchange is a key word for ComDev. Parity is another one. Dialogue, and not monologue, is the forth keyword.

Those are the reasons why we consider Communication fundamental also in facing Climate Change. Adaptation to CC, that’s to say the option to adapt human behaviors and attitudes to the Change of Climate, is the way to prepare ourselves for the future way of living when, probably: temperature will change around the globe, plants and animals will move from equator to poles, agriculture and nutrition will change as a consequence, wearing, eating and working habits will modify, etc etc. We really believe communication can offer a great opportunity to sustain Climate Change Adaptation and that’s the reason why we dedicate our job to encourage, stimulate and support people, organizations and projects which adopt communication when involved in adaptation to CC.

Just to mention one concrete activity in this direction, the Communication for Sustainable Development Initiative – CSDI is one of them. CSDI aims at implementing communication programs and services in selected countries, and to make available suitable ComDev methods and tools at the international level through knowledge networks and partnerships.

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FAO HLC and the attitude to share

Ban Ki-moon talking to the assemblyFAO is doing a huge effort to produce and distribute a long list of content about the actual High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy.

The website is a good channel to be virtually and ideally in touch with the event: the video, the pictures, the speeches and other material are available live on the dedicated website. Information is overall seriously taken in consideration. Not the same I can say for communication. My consideration is that, still, this material is not “web 2.0 oriented”. FAO talks but what is the attention for those who are listening to? Where is the intention to share?

What do I mean? there is a lot of good stuff but all this content, as is, cannot be incorporated and shared by other sites, bloggers, social networking people. So, the maximum I can do to talk to you about what’s happening in Rome is to link to their site, their images, their video…

Well, I actually have the habit to do something more than that to blog about something. What about your habits? Do you feel this up-to-date or a bit old-styled?