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HPP explore a new model of sustainable development for rural communities

Source:互满爱人与人国际运动联合会(瑞士)云南代表处Date:2024-02-29 17:48:53Click:341

Author: Yang Jiqing


Due to increasingly serious climate change – based on visits and research - we found that Qinggangya Village under Sanyuan Town, Fengdu County, Chongqing has had continuously high temperatures and drought in the past two years: especially in 2022, the local precipitation has decreased sharply to the lowest in the history of nearly 42 years; Temperatures have risen to near 42-year highs. Climate change has seriously affected the production and life of local villagers, but the knowledge and awareness of coping with climate change is very weak.


Climate change factors are closely related to human health, and outcomes include multiple systems and diseases. Both high and low temperatures affect human lifespan. Vulnerable groups include the elderly, patients with cardiovascular diseases, pregnant women and fetuses. According to the Lancet Population Health and Climate Change Countdown 2021 Report: Red Alert for a Healthy Future, the average number of heatwave exposure days per capita in China increased by 4.51 days in 2020 compared to the 1986-2005 average, resulting in an approximately 92% increase in heatwave-related deaths. In 2020, about 14,500 people in China died prematurely due to heat waves.

Combined with the current urgent climate crisis, HPP decided - based on our long-term local community development experience - to explore a new pilot program to improve the climate resilience of elderly people in rural areas. During the period from October 23, 2023 to May 22, 2024, the project will support the improvement of climate adaptation knowledge and ability of the rural elderly population in Fengdu County, Chongqing, through the implementation of climate adaptation training for the rural elderly population, pilot activities to improve the housing and living environment of the elderly, and a rural climate change research activity.


Since the launch of the project in October 2023, various project activities have been carried out. Among them, the project carried out team capacity building to support rural field workers to enhance their awareness and knowledge of climate issues; project staff visited villagers' homes regularly to observe the daily life and health status of the elderly, and improve their ability to cope with climate disasters (such as reducing the harm and impact of high temperature or cold wave on the elderly, etc). We invited medical workers to conduct health care training for the elderly to enhance the climate resilience knowledge and capacity of the elderly and their families; we remolded the village decompression pool, installed home-size water towers, provided emergency kits and other hardware to improve the living environment of the elderly in rural areas and reduce the impact of climate change on their health. Our project aims to enhance the ability of elderly people to cope with climate change, promote new development of rural communities, and innovate "new paths" to achieve rural revitalization.


Climate change is closely related to the sustainable development of rural communities. To explore this new project and innovate in community development is our attempt to bridge macro climate issues and micro community adaptation, starting with the climate adaptation situation of Qinggangya village, where the elderly are the majority, give full play to the role of older people in rural community development and adaptation to climate change, and accumulate actions and experience through the implementation of project activities.


Looking at the current climate change issue in the context of community development, it is indeed a complex and cross-cutting issue. But the power of different parts of the community cannot be underestimated, and when different communities try to deal with the climate change problem from different angles, no matter how small, the power can be gathered to drive the possibility of change.


Project introduction:

The pilot project for improving the climate change adaptability of elderly people in rural areas of Fengdu County, Chongqing is implemented by the Chongqing Representative Office of HPP. The project period is 2023.10.23-2024.05.22. The project aims to improve the housing and living environment of elderly people through climate change adaptation training for rural elderly groups. And a climate change research activity in rural areas to support the improvement of climate change adaptation knowledge and ability of the rural elderly population in Fengdu County, Chongqing.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and have nothing to do with the position of the funder.