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60-Second Earth

How to Adapt to Climate Change

As the globe warms, communities across the world are providing examples of how to adapt. David Biello reports

For want of a mangrove, the village was lost. In fact, the loss of coastal mangroves made even a costly dyke along the Vietnamese seashore inadequate to cope with a recent typhoon. Plus, the absence of mangroves hit livelihoods—less seafood to catch.

But one village had painstakingly replanted mangroves, scraping barnacles off the seedlings to ensure they took root. In return, those mangroves protected the village from the typhoon that devastated the rest of the coast.

This is not a fable, it's a tale of how people are already adapting to climate change, as revealed at the International Institute for Environment and Development's sixth conference on community-based adaptation to climate change held in Vietnam in April.

Farmers are trying to adapt, too. Whether by growing ginger in the shade of banana fronds in Southeast Asia or planting millet beneath new trees in the Sahel region of Africa.

Those who can't adapt have to move, like Alaskans whose coastal towns have been undermined by severe winds or waves. Or whose water sources have been infiltrated by brine.

—David Biello

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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