Timeline

Human Impacts of Climate Change

QUNO views climate change as an environmental, political and economic challenge that interconnects with its work on peace and justice issues. We seek to highlight the human impacts of climate change at a time when communities worldwide are experiencing its consequences, yet man made greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) continue to rise at dangerous rates.
August 2015

Policy Brief: Realizing the right to food in an era of climate change

Agriculture is a major contributor to anthropogenic climate change, and in turn climate change threatens the viability of food production around the world. The spread of capital- and technology-intensive 'industrial' agriculture in the modern era has been accompanied by an erosion of on-farm genetic diversity, a loss of local knowledge, and the abandonment of traditional farming practices. This undermines our capacity to
adapt to already-changing climatic conditions.

This report highlights the role of small-scale farmers as innovators and custodians of food system diversity, a critical resource in ensuring the realization of the right to food in an era of climate change. Taking an innovation systems perspective, it proposes a new framework for the design of collaborative agricultural research projects and agendas, and notes the need for pro-active policy measures in creating an enabling environment for such partnerships.

The report is available for download in English and Chinese, by clicking on the link below.

Related Files

Related Areas of Work

June 2015

QUNO and Living Witness hold side-event at UNFCCC climate change conference

QUNO, together with Living Witness hosted a side event at the UNFCCC Bonn Climate Change Conference, entitled "Moving beyond conflict to build shared purpose.” The workshop was moderated by Laurie Michaelis, Founder of Living Witness. QUNO’s Climate Change Representative, Lindsey Fielder Cook, welcomed participants, encouraging them to explore their own conflicts with other participants in the room in order to understand how to best work through them.

Michaelis gave a brief history of his life leading up to the founding of his organization, noting his work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s second assessment report, and his research at Oxford University's Commission on Sustainable Consumption. He highlighted cases of conflict that brought about the need for research into human behavior, and explained that this lead him to full-time work with the Quaker community in the UK, which committed to low carbon sustainable living in 2011. He listed two main causes of human conflict as: how we look at ourselves in relationships, and our willingness to change; and how we relate to others, including our ability to consider their highest aspirations. He noted three elements to move beyond conflict: understanding each other, which includes learning to listen; mutual compassion, which involves being sensitive to each others’ feelings; and being willing to empower other people, even if this goes against our own aspirations.

Introducing quiet diplomacy, which seeks to create a safe space for delegates from different backgrounds to brainstorm ideas to address climate change, Lindsey Cook highlighted her conflict-resolution background within the UN, and QUNO’s role in offering a space for humanity to work together to solve differences in approaches to address climate change through quiet diplomacy. Participants then engaged with each other in a workshop on building shared purpose.

Related Links

Related Files

Related Areas of Work

March 2015

QUNO co-hosts Climate Change side event at the Human Rights Council

The Geneva Climate Change Concertation Group (GeCCco), the Geneva Interfaith Forum on Climate Change and Human Rights (GIF), QUNO and other NGOs concerned about the impact of climate change on human rights, co-hosted CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN RIGHTS: THE WAY FORWARD IN THE HRC, a side event to the 28th session of the Human Rights Council. The side event was held on Friday, 6 March, from 1-3pm in Room XXVII at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. 

Related Files

Related Areas of Work

December 2014

QUNO launches FCNL Report on Natural Resources in the Central African Republic

In early December, QUNO hosted the Friends Committee on National Legislation launch of a policy brief titled: "Central African Republic Crisis: Managing Natural Resources for Peace." Engaging with a range of stakeholders, a series of Quaker House meetings in New York emphasized the importance of fostering transparent and accountable systems of management for the wealth of natural resources across the Central African Republic.  Key messages highlighted the role of sustainable and shared decision-making processes on issues of natural resource management at a local, national, and international level, as central to building a lasting peace. 

Related Areas of Work

December 2014

QUNO co-hosted a side event on human rights and climate change in Lima

QUNO, together with the World Council of Churches and Religions for Peace, co-hosted a side event on the human rights impacts of anthropogenic climate change on 10 December 2014, during the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Lima, Peru. 

The increasing impacts of anthropogenic climate change are a grave danger to humankind and nature, severely jeopardizing human rights and life on Earth. Drawing from a joint letter by the UN Human Rights Special Procedures mandate-holders to the UNFCCC, the event aimed to galvanize debate around actions necessary to strengthen respect and promotion of human rights in climate negotiations.

Joining the panel were Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food; the Rev Henrik Grape, from the Church of Sweden; John Knox, UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment; and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The discussion was moderated by Yves Lador, of EarthJustice.

Photo: A Quechua priest gives a ceremonial sip of chicha, a fermented maize drink, to a young girl during the Global March for the Climate on Dec 10th. More than 15,000 people took part in the Climate March in Lima while the UN climate talks were taking place. Credit: Lutheran World Federation/Sean Hawkey

Related Links

Related Files

Related Areas of Work

September 2014

QUNO and FCNL co-host lunch in New York bringing together climate scientists and faith community representatives

On 22 September, QUNO and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) co-hosted a lunch with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and faith community representatives from the New York region.  Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, alongside Dr. Chris Field, Co-Chair of the recent 5th Assessment Report Working Group II, and Dr. Renata Christ, Secretary of the IPCC, spoke with 30 representatives from the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Baha’í​ and Brahma Kumaris communities. 

Dr. Pachauri focused on the most recent climate science findings, the human impact of increasing temperatures, the root causes of anthropogenic climate change, and ways in which we can effectively decrease greenhouse gas emissions.  Following these discussions, guests explored the spiritual and moral challenge of anthropogenic climate change.  The lunch was an opportunity for grassroots faith communities to connect with international efforts and resources  in their work to ensure the most vulnerable communities now, and all our future generations, do not suffer as a consequence of our actions.  

Related Links

Related Areas of Work

September 2014

QUNO Walks With People's Climate March in New York

On Sunday, September 21, QUNO staff from New York and Geneva joined in the People's Climate March, which brought an estimated 400,000 people to the streets of New York to voice their concerns and walk in solidarity with the communities who are most affected by climate change, in advance of the UN Climate Summit.  QUNO and other Quaker organizations are actively working on the margins of the Climate Summit, calling "on our leaders to make the radical decisions needed to create a fair, sufficient and effective international climate change agreement."

Related Links

Related Files

Related Areas of Work

September 2014

QUNO hosted events and released two new publications during the UN Climate Summit and the People's Climate March in New York

On 23 September, world leaders met in New York for the UN Climate Summit to highlight the urgency of acting on anthropogenic climate change. Civil society also played a vital role in this process, as demonstrated by the momentous People’s Climate March.

In addition to joining the march and hosting two intimate "quiet conversation" lunches with local faith communities, civil society actors and policymakers, the QUNO Human Impacts of Climate Change programme  released two publications during this critical time.

A Call to Conscience: Quaker experiences facing the challenge of Climate Change” profiles interviews with Quakers worldwide on why they care about climate change, and what they are doing to address the challenge locally, nationally and internationally.

QUNO has also drafted a “Quaker Statement on Climate Change,” which was signed by Quaker organizations and distributed to all Yearly Meetings worldwide. The Statement recognizes the moral duty of Quakers worldwide to respond to the challenge of climate change and calls for meaningful international action on anthropogenic climate change.

Related Links

Related Files

Related Areas of Work

September 2014

Read QUNO Geneva's latest Geneva Reporter newsletter

QUNO Geneva is pleased to share the most recent issue of our Geneva Reporter newsletter and accompanying briefing paper on The Aarhus Convention. Other featured articles include updates on our A New Framework for Trade and Investment in Agriculture work, the Human Rights Council, UN Climate Summit, and Peace and Disarmament.

Related Links

Related Files

Related Areas of Work

July 2014

QUNO hosts side event at the Aarhus Convention's Meeting of the Parties on "Building peace through environmental access rights"

QUNO  organized a side event on "Building peace through environmental access rights: preventing conflict around water, land and food" (download the briefing paper below) on Tuesday, July 1, at the Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention.

Aarhus is a UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention linking environmental rights and human rights, focusing on the interactions between the public and public authorities. With the help of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), QUNO was able to bring Khin Thida Tin, from the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry in Myanmar and Hou Jiaru from the China University of Political Science and Law, to join Harry Jonas of Natural Justice and Lynn Finnegan of QUNO to discuss the preconditions for effective public participation around natural resource management, as a means of preventing destructive conflict and promoting equitable and peaceful natural resource management.

 

Related Files

Related Areas of Work

March 2014

QUNO organizes a side event at Human Rights Council on “Procedural Rights and the Environment: Preventing conflict around water, land and food"

In March, QUNO organized a side event at the Human Rights Council on “Procedural Rights and the Environment: Preventing conflict around water, land and food". Procedural rights include the right to information, public participation in decision-making and right to remedy and complement substantive rights such as the right to life or the right to food. Jonathan Woolley of QUNO chaired the event and the Permanent Representatives of Ethiopia and Chile to the UN in Geneva spoke on existing and planned legal frameworks relating to the environment in Africa and Latin America, respectively. Diane Hendrick for QUNO spoke on the role of peacebuilding approaches in preparing for the effective exercise of procedural rights and the importance of the latter in preventing destructive conflict. Andrea Iff of swisspeace discussed the relevance of these rights for conflict sensitive engagement by businesses.  

Further background on the side event is available in the "Concept note" PDF available below.

Related Files

Related Areas of Work

February 2014

QUNO makes a Statement at the 17th working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention

QUNO attended the 17th Working Group of the Parties of the Aarhus Convention as part of our work on Natural Resources, Conflict and Cooperation. This is a UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention linking environmental rights and human rights, focusing on the interactions between the public and public authorities.

An important focus for QUNOs work on Natural Resources is the preconditions for effective public participation around natural resource management , as a means of preventing destructive conflict and promoting equitable and peaceful natural resource management. We see the Aarhus Convention as a valuable contribution to managing environmental matters in a constructive way.

Rhiannon Redpath delivered an oral statement introducing both the work of QUNO and highlighting the role peacebuilding approaches can play in creating the preconditions for effective public participation around natural resource management as a means of preventing destructive conflict. The statement was well received, and QUNO plans further engagement in this area.

Related Areas of Work

January 2014

QUNO's Diane Hendrick co-moderated e-discussion on Mainstreaming Food Security into Peacebuilding Processes

Photo Credit: UN Photo by Paulo Filgueiras

Diane Hendrick of QUNO Geneva and Alexandra Trzeciak-Duval, former Head of the Policy Division in OECD’s Directorate for Development Co-operation, co-moderated an e-discussion on Mainstreaming Food Security into Peacebuilding Processes. You can read contributions to the e-discussion at http://www.fao.org/fsnforum/protracted-crises.

Related Areas of Work

December 2013

Lindsey Fielder Cook appointed new QUNO Representative on Climate Change

Following an international selection process, we are pleased to announce that Lindsey Fielder Cook has been appointed as the new QUNO Representative on Climate Change. Lindsey has a background in peacebuilding and climate change, and has worked on humanitarian and donor coordination efforts with the United Nations in the West Bank and Gaza, the Former Yugoslavia, Somalia, and on communications for the United Nations Volunteers in Bonn. Lindsey will take forward this work from the newly established QUNO meeting space in Bonn.

Related Areas of Work

December 2013

New QUNO Meeting Space in Bonn

QUNO has established a new meeting space in Bonn, from which the new Climate Change Representative, Lindsey Fielder Cook, will work.  This new location enables QUNO staff to work closely with Bonn-based organisations focused on climate change and environmental issues.  The space is set between the woods and the UN Offices in Bonn and is heated by a variety of green energy sources.  

Related Areas of Work

December 2013

QUNO holds side event on “Business, Human Rights and Conflict” at 2013 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

Photo Credit: Claire Rodgerson

QUNO - together with the UN Global Compact, the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and the Constructive Engagement Group - held a side event on Business, Human Rights and Conflict at the 2013 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights. Diane Hendrick of QUNO moderated the discussion. During this event, Lynn Finnegan from QUNO spoke about the impact that business activities can have on local communities’ access to natural resources such as water, land and food. QUNO also outlined good practices for effective company-community engagement.​

Related Links

Related Areas of Work

November 2013

QUNO attends the Warsaw climate change conference under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Photo Credit: Jan Golinksi, UN Photo

QUNO attended the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 9th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), held from 11 – 22 November in Warsaw, Poland. QUNO’s support of the UNFCCC multilateral process includes offering off-the-record spaces for delegates to meet, exchange ideas, and build bridges and trust. To find out more about the conference and the UNFCCC, visit http://unfccc.int/meetings/warsaw_nov_2013/meeting/7649.php.

Related Links

Related Areas of Work

October 2013

QUNO holds public lecture on “Building peace around land, food and water” at Earlham College, Indiana

 Diane Hendrick spoke to QUNO Geneva's work on natural resources, conflict and cooperation. She was also at Earlham College consulting on the issues of environment, natural resources and climate change in the review of the Oxford University Press International Encyclopedia of Peace.

Related Areas of Work

October 2013

QUNO attends UNFCCC Joint Workshop, Bonn, Germany

QUNO attended the UNFCCC Joint Workshop on the Framework for Various Approaches, Non-Market-Based Approaches and the New Market Mechanism in Bonn, Germany.

Lindsey Cook, representing QUNO, highlighted that current global emission rates are at "top end of ... emissions scenarios", likely leading to increased temperatures of 4.2 to 5 centigrade by 2100. She encouraged negotiators to act on the "small window to keep rising global temperatures below 2.6 degrees Centigrade", and spoke of negotiators’ "extraordinarily privileged position to act positively".

Related Links

Related Areas of Work