Understanding climate change through narratives

A photo display on the impact of climate change and audio stories were presented in Thimphu yesterday to understand the impacts of climate change.

The photo display and audio stories were created as a project, ‘Weaving strands of knowledge: connecting culture and science to climate change,’ by five students from Royal Thimphu College (RTC) and another five students from the University of Hampshire.

The project, which documents personal stories on the impact of climate change, was conducted in collaboration with Montshire Museum of Science, Folk Heritage Museum and Tarayana Foundation.

A participant, Suraj Sundar, said, that the main purpose of the project was to record stories of how climate change was affecting people at a personal level. “Farmers said that they were moving from mandarin cultivation to cardamom because of climate change. There were also issues of pests attack and increase in temperature.”

Senior Programme Officer at Tarayana Foundation, Roseleen Gurung, said that the project began in July last year and will complete next month. “Tarayana came in as a facilitator to ensure that students have an understanding of climate change issues that are happening especially in rural areas.”

She added that the project would help global community members merge scientific data with local narratives of climate change to bring communities together. This could help create programmes that enhance an understanding of environmental sustainability in the face of climate change.

Highlighting the significance of culture, president of RTC, Thakur Singh Powdyel, said that people in rural regions have the experience in dealing with issues of climate change.  “We might have the concepts but they have experience. They may not know the term but they have been dealing with the issues,” he said.

The project will be exhibited at the Folk heritage museum on August 28. The project was funded by American Alliance of Museums.

Rinchen Zangmo

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