After attending a conference on climate change and the food crisis in Penang, I was supposed to write an article and that left me wondering how I should write the introduction.
And then it struck me that even as the conference was taking place, the climate was wreaking havoc in the region. Among those worst affected are the farmers, who rely on disctinctive seasons for an optimal harvest. How are they coping?
PENANG, Malaysia, Oct 9 (IPS/IFEJ) – When organisers of an international conference on climate change and the food crisis first scheduled the event here for late September, little did they realise the event would be sandwiched by two typhoons buffeting the region. Ironically, the first typhoon, ‘Ketsana’, delayed the arrival of conference delegates from the Philippines.
A week after Ketsana struck the Philippines on Sep. 26 and then Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, it was the turn of Typhoon Parma to wreak havoc in the Philippines on Oct. 3. Now downgraded to a tropical storm, ‘Parma’ is still lingering over the region and initially entangled with another Pacific super typhoon, ‘Melor’, which then headed towards Japan.
Ketsana left a devastating trail after it dumped the equivalent of one month’s rainfall over Manila within six hours. Although Parma largely spared the country, it flooded large tracts of rice fields in northern Philippines and destroyed crops ready for harvest. Full article here.