In rural communities across the world, rural growers are suffering from the effects of climate change, even though many are unaware of the severity and global nature of the problem.
In Mexico's Mayan community of Tabi, for instance, the village of 400 people have relied on their farming traditions for 2,500 years, based on precisely predictable weather. However, in the past 15 years, crop yield loss of up to 60% has been noted due to the altered climate, which has presented itself through such extremes as record droughts alternated by unprecedented heavy downpours, as well as both oppressive temperatures and chilling colds.
To survive, Tabi residents are having to adapt by learning new farming practices as well sometimes as opting for different jobs, which often takes them away from their home and family.
In similar conditions across parts of Africa, the United Nations Habitat agency has reported that in the sub-Saharan region alone, some 14 million people each year are being forced away from once-productive farmlands, often finding themselves trying to subsist in disadvantaged urban areas instead.
N'goran Kouadio Désiré - Assistant Coordinator, Climate Change Bureau, Côte d'Ivoire Ministry of Environment (M): My country is an agricultural country, so climate change has a bad impact on our agriculture.
Abdoulkarim Traore - Director of Niger National Meteorological Department (M): One of the first consequences of climate change in our country is the increase in heat. The days have become very, very hot. There is a lot of heat in our country. Another important aspect is the frequency of drought. So there is a huge lack of water in certain places. The seasons are increasingly short. . The storms are more violent This year, for example, in Niger, there were floods in almost all parts of the country.
VOICE: With appreciation to the international researchers, United Nations Habitat and concerned governments, we pray that the people of Mexico, sub-Saharan Africa and rural communities everywhere may be protected through these difficult times. Let us strive now to eliminate humanity's suffering and restore our harmony with the Earth.
During a 2009 videoconference in Togo, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke once again with concern for humanity about the impact of climate change on lives and livelihoods.