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December 5, 2018

French researcher raises concern over climate change


December 5, 2018

Islamabad : Amidst the growing alarm over global climate change and how fast it is turning from bad to worse, the French embassy in Islamabad screened a documentary ‘Demain’ at the residence of the French Ambassador Monday evening.

‘Demain’, the documentary was first released back in November 2015 at the opening of Conference of Parties 21 (COP21), held Rio de Janeiro, in which the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted.

The screening of the documentary was part of the fourth edition of the Human Rights Film Festival organized by the United Nations and the Delegation of the European Union in Pakistan.

The three producers of the documentary, Melanie Laurent, Cyril Dion and Bruno Levy, have rushed the viewers through to different cities in the US, the UK and Europe, letting them listen and watch the opinions of experts and people and the impact on societies.

The best thing about the documentary is that while on one side the experts were forecasting a bleak, almost frightening scenario not much ahead in future, saying if the degradation continued at the present pace, over the next couple of decades the human will be the most endangered specie on the planet earth.

While on the other hand there were people and communities showing resilience and courage to fight back to stem the damage and recover what has already been lost. The steps may seem small but at least these people, individuals and communities, were shown making efforts to recover with the help of ‘Mother Nature’.

The film screening was followed by a comment/lecture by Mrs Alice Baillat, a ‘Research Fellow’ at the IRIS and is a specialist of the geopolitics of climate change.

“Her research mostly deals with migratory and security consequences of climate change and international climate negotiations. She takes a closer look at the specific situation and needs of the most vulnerable developing countries and their negotiation strategies,” said a brief issued by the French Embassy in Islamabad while introducing her.

Mrs Baillat, who has spent quite some time in Bangladesh in connection with her Ph.D., spoke at length about the possibilities of motivating and encouraging small communities to take initiatives that, once put together, may create an admirable impact towards the efforts to prevent global climate change.

The title of her thesis was ‘The weak power in action: The Bangladesh’s climate diplomacy’. During her research work in Bangladesh Mrs Baillat worked with the smaller communities scattered in vulnerable areas, where they were exposed to threats of natural disasters like floods, or flash floods and how they coordinated to cope with such situations, especially to protect the women, children, elderly people and physically handicapped persons.

She was of the opinion that the developing countries can play a big role to bolster efforts to grapple with the issues, which the planet earth is confronting because of global warming and climate change.

Before screening of the documentary, the Ambassador of France to Islamabad, Dr Marc Barety, introduced Mrs Alice Baillat and her work as well as reflected on the documentary and the objectives behind making the film.

A question-answer session followed in the end in which Mrs Baillat responded to a few questions put to her from the audience.

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