My aim is to travel from the UK to Brisbane for one of my best friends' wedding. Plane travel is so environmentally damaging so I am looking for another way. I also think that by travelling over land and sea I will be able to understand our world better as I will connect with the people and landscapes and not just look at the departure board in the airport. Any tips gratefully received!! Departure date 1st September.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

World Refugee Day - June 17th

Out in the wilds of west Wales, where we have actually been suffering a drought of our very own (no water coming out of the taps at our off-grid hilltop farm), it is sometimes hard to remember there are millions of people worldwide whose lives are acutely threatened by drought on a daily basis.

ABC News reported on a day of events that aimed to draw attention to the issues of water resources in Africa, which some argue is directly increasing the number of refugees worldwide.

The former Portuguese prime minister, Antonio Guterres, is now the UN's High Commissioner for refugees.

He says climate change is an ever-growing problem, fueling conflict and thus indirectly fueling the growth in refugee numbers, as in the case of Darfur.

"There is an increased competition for water resources. We need a political solution for Darfur, but that solution will not be stable, if at the same time we don't solve the underlying problems of dwindling water resources.

"What climate change is doing is in many circumstances reducing resources, increasing the competition for resources and because of that, triggering or amplifying conflicts."

UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency set up a refugee camp in Trafalgar Square yesterday to draw attention to the scale of this humanitarian issue, which is happening now, people are suffering now because of climate change.

For now I can collect water from elsewhere, but for others there is nowhere else to go for this life-giving liquid. In the greedy 'West' our actions are already severely affecting the lives of our fellow humans. When are we going to stop being selfish and cut our emissions?

Thanks to cayusa on flickr for photo of water drop


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