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Climate Change: A Real Danger

12 / 11 / 2007
Cuba is not insulated from the effects of climate change, which affects crops, food production and eats away part of its land mass every year.

Between 1961 and 2000, Cuba has recorded an average reduction in rainfall of between the 10 and 20 percent, while it is estimated than 70 percent of its soil non-productive.

These are just some of the obvious examples of how climate change is more than just an abstract concept and has a real impact at the local level.

This has been demonstrated in the documentary "Climate Change in Cuba," a collaborative effort by Mundo Latino Production House, the Weather Forecast Institute and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.

The shooting of the documentary included more than 200 hours of underwater filming, around 30 aerial shots and concrete examples of the receding coast along the south of the island. Interviews with personalities such as the "diva of free diving," Deborah Andollo, are also included to sensitize people to climate change, explained director Omelio Borroto to Juventud Rebelde newspaper.

The 52 minutes of the documentary shows some of the effects on global warming on beaches, rivers and forest in Cuba, as well as the impact on important ecosystems such as the Zapata Swamp, and problems caused to residents by drought and hurricanes.

A curious element shown on the documentary is the whitening and death of the coral barrier, which has recovered in the last few years in some places - demonstrating that nature still has the possibility of recovering, regardless the serious harm it has suffered.

Climate Change in Cuba is the result of consistent work by Mundo Latino on environmental topics, which has provided them with a huge image archive, some of their shots never before seen. Borroto said that the company is scheduled to make another documentary about the Cuban strategy of mitigation and adaptation to this world problem.

This week experts from all over the world discussed how to deal with this phenomenon at a global level. Likewise, the United Nations Development Programmes 2007 Report on Human Development recently acknowledged that warming of the climate system is unequivocal; the report noted that this is obvious today from the observations of the increases in median global temperatures of the oceans and air, the generalized fusion of ice and snow, and the rising sea level.

Experts urged governments such as the United States to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which aims to reduce greenhouse gases.

Cuba assumed its responsibilities on climate change early when it signed the United Nations framework convention at the Rio de Janeiro Summit in 1992, and then ratified it in January 1994. Cuba also signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1999 and ratified it in April 2002.

The report on Human Development also warns of the movement in the near future of around 332 million people from low-lying and coastal zones as a result of floods and tropical storms.

It also urges developed countries to reduce their gas emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050 and by 30 percent by 2020; both targets are in comparison to 1990 emission levels.

(Juventud Rebelde)



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