Borneo, an island in Asia shared by Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei, has experienced rapid deforestation in recent years. Driven by palm oil plantations, rubber plantations, and logging, many species are at risk of losing their habitats. This series of satellite images taken over the Central Kalamantan region of Indonesia, depict the rapid growth and movement of settlements from 2015 to 2019 and the increasing road network between what is likely a rubber plantation. Deforestation, a leading cause of human CO2 emissions, can lead to an increase in floods, forest fires, droughts and could have negative impacts on fresh water reservoirs and human health in this area. Mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and marine wildlife are all threatened by the increase in deforestation. In this series of photos, natural regeneration can be identified where large areas of deforestation had once occurred. Allowing deforested areas to regrow provides hope that deforestation on the island will slow and larger areas of forests will be protected. USAID plays a large role in helping Central Kalamantan protect their endangered species, especially the Orangutan, through the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF). This initiative has seen the rehabilitation of over 100 orangutans and their release back into this region, all with the support of USAID. USAID is also a partner of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) where climate challenges are tackled through the use of Earth observations and other techniques and informed decisions can be made through careful evaluation. These partnerships will allow for a more sustainable future on the island of Borneo.
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Typhoon Maysak crossed Chuuk and Yap States between March 29 and April 1, 2015, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. As USAID’s implementing partner under the Disaster preparedness for Effective Response project, the International Organization for Migration mobilized to implement USAID’s Typhoon Maysak Reconstruction Project (TMRP). The multi-sectoral initiative was designed to help Maysak-affected communities rebuild following the devastating storm, and to help restore critical public infrastructure and utilities. For both new homes and public infrastructure facilities, IOM worked to design buildings that would be able to withstand another storm and maintain traditional design elements whenever possible. IOM also trained local community members in sustainable construction techniques. In this photo, taken by Ms. Rachel Weinheimer on November 10, 2016 on an outer island of Chuuk, H.E. Robert A. Riley III, the current ambassador of the United States of America to FSM, presents a local beneficiary with a newly reconstructed home.
The USAID-NREL Partnership, in coordination with Clean Power Asia, partnered with the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) to conduct a vulnerability assessment of the Lao PDR power sector. The assessment included a review of climate change related risks as well as vulnerabilities related to technological and human-related threats. At the time of the assessment, the Lao PDR was experiencing severe flooding related to greater than normal rainfall and tropical storms. Impacts from these threats include potential fuel supply shortages for transportation and energy generation, physical infrastructure damage, shifts in energy demand, and disruption of electricity supply to the end user. These disruptions adversely affect critical services and facilities such as hospital services, water treatment, and communications networks. Despite significant infrastructure vulnerability to climate threats, the people of the Lao PDR display incredible resilience. Here, residents play and fish in the rising flood waters in Vientiane, Laos. Learn more about planning a resilient power sector at the Resilient Energy Platform website: http://bit.ly/30LeCqV. Learn more about the power sector vulnerability assessment in this webinar: http://bit.ly/2P3Triy. Photo taken by Sherry Stout, NREL, August 2018.
This picture was taken by Victor Mugarura September 9, 2019, in Ngoma District in Eastern Rwanda. It features one the beneficiaries of Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity, a five-year $32.6 million USAID-funded project (2017-2022) that aims to sustainably increase smallholder farmers’ income, improve the nutritional status of women and children, and increase the resilience of Rwanda’s agricultural and food systems to a changing climate. Hinga Weze works to empower over 530,000 smallholder farmers across 10 districts.
This woman is pictured near a water reservoir constructed as a partnership with Rwanda Agriculture and Livestock Board (RAB) to set up several solar-powered irrigation schemes to irrigate 300 Hectares in 4 districts. The solar scheme is made up of a water source, a solar plates and generator and a 500 cubic metre reservoir. Like all selected scheme points, the pictured reservoir is part of a complete solar-powered scheme located in Rukumberi Sector, a semi-arid area in Ngoma District in Eastern Rwanda where her cooperative will now be able to grow vegetables all-year-round mainly watermelon, tomatoes and green pepper.
Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic. September 11, 2018.
This image describes the educational activities for development of capacities in adaptation strategies and flood prevention in the Las Terrenas River by the Fundación REDDOM under the Climate Risk Reduction Program. With these actions we can support the reduction of flood risks in urban areas near the riverbank.
In Lamokula Village, South Konawe District, Southeast Sulawesi Province, Indonesia, USAID though Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience (Adaptasi Perubahan Iklim dan Ketangguhan – APIK) project brought the community to build their preparedness in facing flood risk. The community members agreed to have Abd Jalil as the leader of disaster preparedness group in the village. Among various capacity building activities that he received, he really likes the use of local wisdom for disaster risk reduction. The communities are already familiar with mosque speaker and cellphones during flood emergency and evacuation. However, electricity and phone signal often become challenges during extreme condition. Learning from this experience, the APIK project encouraged the community to take benefit of kentongan (bamboo slit drum) as a supporting early warning system tool. As manual as it is, kentongan with its loud noise becomes a very reliable communication tool for Jalil and his community. They have used the kentongan to alert people to evacuate during three flood events in 2019. People hit the kentongan from one household to another and created a chain of noises. “It’s simple yet has a huge benefit during an emergency situation,” said Jalil.
July 25, 2019.
Palabek Refugee Settlement, Northern Uganda. August 31, 2018.
Incorporating the Resilience Design and Permagarden methodologies of the USAID TOPS/SCALE program.
Learning principles from African Women Rising’s resilience design and permagarden program, South Sudanese refugees in Palabek refugee settlement deploy techniques that help mitigate destructive flooding and seasonal drought. Mulch, contour swales and berms, deep soil preparation, biomass planting, drought tolerant perennials and tree crops. The permagarden method helps meet the short-term food needs of the refugees as it builds their long-term resilience. Despite refugee camps being inherently degenerative, refugees learn to manage natural resources through the intentional design of their compound, harvesting water and capturing waste streams to enhance the fertility and productivity of their 30m x 30m plot of land. The management of existing trees and planting other multipurpose trees, living fence and other biomass plantings provide materials for building, pest remedies, dry season nutrition and medicine. This helps reduce pressures on the environment – such as the collection of fuelwood, gathering of wild foods, burning of charcoal - that will continue to worsen as time goes on, exacerbating tensions between host communities and refugees. Strengthening the ecological base of food systems also reduces vulnerability across time by shoring up resilience in the face of climate instability and extreme weather events.
For more information: https://www.africanwomenrising.org/about-us/agriculture/
Palabek Refugee Settlement, Northern Uganda. Incorporating the Resilience Design and Permagarden methodologies of the USAID TOPS/SCALE program. July 24, 2019.
Working with refugees to map the flow of water and nutrients across the landscape in Palabek refugee settlement. This participatory exercise is part of African Women Rising’s permagarden program that proactively trains refugees to mitigate flooding and drought by understanding the way heavy rainfall, sunshine, and the slope of the land all can negatively affect the landscape. Focusing on the basic principles of water and soil biology and using a design framework to help farmers capture rainwater and enrich the soil using local materials such as manure, wood ash, tree leaves and charcoal dust. It’s a process of learning and using guiding principles to design the best set of interventions possible.
For more information: https://www.africanwomenrising.org/about-us/agriculture/
Encouraged by leaders of a new, farmer-focused enterprise called Sesame Farmers Development Association in Magway Township in Myanmar's Central Dry Zone, producers in July and August 2019 began experimenting with new methods of dealing with erratic and extreme weather aimed at preventing crop losses. The Association teamed up with USAID's Value Chains for Rural Development project and the local Land Use Department to brainstorm ways they could better conserve water and control erosion in their sesame fields. By using small, easy-to-build, earthen "check dams" in shallow trenches around their fields, farmers developed new ability to prevent their fields from being inundated during periods of torrential rain. They also began planting wild almond saplings as windbreaks around their sesame fields to stem erosion and provide a second source of income (the trees produce sterculia gum that can be exported to Korea.) The new practices are working, farmers say, and sesame plants are healthier than in previous seasons, with "extra" stems flowering beautifully in advance of the coming harvest.
Bataraza, Palawan, Philippines, June 18, 2019.
By Jessie Cereno, Talakatha Creatives.
A woman farmer in Bataraza, southern Palawan walks through a slash-and-burn area of an agricultural section of Mount Mantaligahan, 140 kms south of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, Phiippines.
The Mount Mantalingahan Protected Landscape encompasses five municipalities, within these municipalities and bordering the protected area are 140,184 hectares of forestlands. The largely forested protected area and the forestlands around it provide various ecosystem services that benefit the local and indigenous communities. These ecosystem services include supplying water, food, medicine, scenic places, fertile soils, and wildlife habitats. The forest cover also prevents the occurrence of destructive forces like flash floods. Thus, it is in the best interest of the communities to have their forests and forestlands placed under an effective management system.
The USAID Protect Wildlife Project builds farmer capacities to use sustainable farming methods. The Project promotes planting a diversity of food crops, creating buffer zones of native trees around existing forest, and the reclamation of degraded land through reforestation and other practices.
Forests are still being cut down and burned to clear land for farming, ranching, and road building. Slash-and-burn contributes to climate change by releasing all the carbon that the forest trees have absorbed over their lifetimes.
Southwest Bangladesh is a watery world. Houses perch on steep riverbanks. Storms pummel fragile coastlines. It’s hard not to see this starkly beautiful place as engaged in a battle between water and land, with the water winning. But the land has a new ally, a living hem of mangrove forests made possible by Winrock International’s Climate Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihoods (CREL) project, funded by USAID. “If we don’t have trees, we are flooded,” says Bharati Rani Bishwash, who was left homeless after a typhoon in 2009. It’s a view that many Bangladeshis share. “I’m taking care of the trees now,” says Bishwash, “and in time the trees will take care of me." Subject: Bharati Rani Bishwash Location: Koyra, Bangladesh August 17, 2017
IOM staff member Maylia Rudolph facilitates a workshop on climate change awareness and disaster preparedness for school students attending Marshall Islands Christian School, Rongrong, Republic of the Marshall Islands in early 2017.
As part of the USAID-funded CADRE + program, IOM regularly conducts workshops and information sessions assisting Marshallese school students to better understand the ways in which climate change can produce hazards in their communities. In these workshops, IOM staff are able to educate students about climate change adaptation and disaster risk management strategies to enhance the resilience of Marshallese youth and their wider communities.
Through the CADRE + program, IOM has distributed educational materials such as storybooks, involved school students in public awareness campaigns and conducted focus group discussions in which Marshallese youth are able to share their attitudes towards climate change and what it means for their homeland. (Photo credit: Muse Mohhamed, IOM 2017).
The U.S. Forest Service International Programs, through USAID’s Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment, is working in Central Africa to train communities on improved fire management. Uncontrolled fires pose a huge threat to Central African forests and can cause large releases of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere when burned, further exacerbating the effects of climate change. However, fire within forest-savannah mosaic landscapes in the Congo Basin can be both a management tool as well as a threat. If used in a sustainable manner, fire can help maintain pastureland and protect forests, farms, plantations, and villages. If used haphazardly, intentional and accidental fires can burn out of control, impacting large areas and threatening villages, farms, and forests. Here, during a trailing in May 2017, a local “fire brigade” is trained in how to control and suppress fire so that they can better deal with uncontrolled fires in their communities.
Mrs. Noun Muoyheang fundraising to support her community’s fish conservation efforts in Aren, Pursat province, Cambodia. Noun and other community members have used these funds to plant trees and to make lasting improvements to key local fish habitats. With support from the USAID-funded Feed the Future Cambodia Rice Field Fisheries II project, 140 Cambodian communities like Noun’s have raised over US$150,000 to support and sustain their fish conservation efforts. Over 100 communities have expanded local dry season fish refuges, including in partnership with local government and the private sector. These expanded refuges provide wild fish with sustained protection from climate shocks such as seasonal and unseasonable dry periods, thus protecting a valuable resource that many local families rely on. Photo credit: Nin Mao, ANKO
This young woman was one of many who supported the planting of mangroves in the coastal area of Las Terrenas. This area has been supported under the Climate Risk Reduction Program of the USAID Dominican Republic Mission executed by the Fundación REDDOM.
In Southeast Sulawesi Province, Indonesia, USAID through its Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience (Adaptasi Perubahan Iklim dan Ketangguhan - APIK) project, along with the Local Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) and the Education Agency conducted an initial vulnerability assessment on schools. After a field survey, two elementary schools in West Kendari, Elementary School 6 and 8, were identified as being prone to flooding. In response, USAID APIK conducted a series of training activities from April to early May 2017 on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, held workshops on participatory disaster risk assessment, and established Disaster Preparedness Units for the schools. USAID APIK helped formulate standard operating procedures, established evacuation routes, disseminated maps, and installed evacuation route signs, which ensure that all students know what to do before, during, and after disaster strikes. Evacuation drills that included local stakeholders such as the Transportation Agency and the Community Health Center were also conducted at both schools on May 18, 2017. Almost 500 students participated in the evacuation drill.
May 18, 2017.