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NEWS: Gorakhpur film in high demand at India launch

“For a safer future: Insights on climate resilience from India” – the new film charting the experiences of Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group (GEAG) to integrate climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction in their flood-prone district – received a rousing reception at its launch in India last week. The film is a product of CDKN’s and ICLEI’s learning programme on climate compatible development at local and subnational level.

The film tells the story of increasingly frequent and severe flooding – and communities’ successful efforts to build flood resilience – in Gorakhpur district, eastern Uttar Pradesh State. The approaches to improved planning and resilient practices described in the film were co-developed with ISET and the National Institute for Disaster Management and the film was produced by TERI, India.

GEAG has been tackling flooding and climate-related issues for decades. It has worked closely with local people and officials to develop and apply measures – such as early warning systems and actions to save crops and lives. It has been necessary to evolve new approaches, explains Dr Shiraz Wajih, Director of GEAG, as the “pre-disaster, disaster and post-disaster recovery periods merge together” between one extreme weather event and the next. CDKN has co-funded the work in recent years; and the Group recently received a prestigious UNFCCC Lighthouse Award (Warsaw, 2013) in recognition of its achievements.

A film screening on 8 September in Delhi, for national policy-makers, led to “a very enriching panel discussion followed by general discussion on integrating climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction in India and beyond,” said Dr Wajih.

On the same day, the film was screened – twice – in a  high profile Government meeting in Lucknow, the state capital of Uttar Pradesh, on the advice of the state’s Relief Commissioner. Around 400 government officers were present at the meeting, which was opened by the Minister.

Now, the dissemination of the film to all of India’s 600+ districts is in process, with a covering letter from NIDM. The film is in English and a Hindi version is also being distributed in Hindi-speaking areas. It’s “next stop, Paris,” for representatives of GEAG, who have been accepted for an official side event at the conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in France in December. In partnership with CDKN and others, GEAG hope to bring lessons learned from their successful experiences in climate compatible development to a broader, worldwide audience.

View the film “For a safer future: Insights on climate resilience from India” on youtube, below.

Read the associated papers by GEAG:

INSIDE STORY: Integrating climate change concerns into disaster management planning: The case of Gorakhpur, India

BACKGROUND PAPER: Integrating climate change concerns in disaster management planning: The case of Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India


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