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Today the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), in collaboration with ByPost and with the support of Dame Vivienne Westwood and Gillian Anderson, is launching an innovative postcards campaign to achieve urgently needed recognition and protection for climate change refugees worldwide.
In 2012, 31.7 million people were forced from their homes due to weather related events, the equivalent of more than half the UK population displaced in one year. Although climate refugees are far greater in number than those fleeing conflict, they are not recognized by any international law. EJF is working to change this.
Postcards from the Frontlines takes the pictures and stories of climate witnesses and their supporters straight from their phones and desktops to the world’s only truly global organization, the United Nations (UN), the foremost forum to address issues that transcend national boundaries. The postcards reaching UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon are symbolic of a global call to recognize, protect and assist those on the frontlines of climate change.
Supporters are asked to send a picture of the home they would hate to be forced from with a short message about what it means to them, whilst climate witnesses are encouraged to share their experiences on the frontlines of climate change, whether they have lost their loved ones to the heaviest ever monsoon rains in Uttarakhand, their livelihoods to desertification in Somalia or homes to extreme flooding in Canada and Europe.
The postcards will be delivered as real paper postcards free of charge by supporting partner ByPost to the UN headquarters in New York, calling for the introduction of a UN Special Rapporteur on climate change and human rights.
EJF aims to inspire more than 100,000 people worldwide to send a postcard by Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, to demonstrate the range and scale of climate impacts globally and the urgent need for action.
“Postcards from the Frontlines personalizes climate change by showing the range and extent of the impacts that climate change is having on individuals around the world,” said Steve Trent, executive director of EJF. “EJF has been working to secure recognition and protection for climate refugees since 2009 and we are proud to have the support of a wide range of global and grassroots organizations as well as individuals such as Vivienne Westwood and Gillian Anderson, to make this a truly international project.”
We are grateful for the support of our 20 project partners: ByPost, Climate Revolution, Climate Week NYC, Concern Universal, Connect 4 Climate, Cool Earth, Hay Festival, Inter-Cultural Youth Exchange UK (ICYE UK), iMatter, National Poetry Day, Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition (NYCC), Photo Voice, Rural Environment and Development Organisation (REDO), Restless Development, Rural Education and Development Programme (REDEP), RYOT News, Shohratgarh Environmental Society (SES), Soil Association, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and World Council of Churches.
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.