‘The Climate and Us’: A series to challenge our understanding of the environment and human health
‘The Climate and Us’ was launched by BBC StoryWorks and the Global Climate & Health Alliance in October 2023, sharing case studies from across the world that underscore how the natural environment and human health are interdependent. The series includes four short episodes produced for CGIAR, including one about an Alliance project in Sri Lanka, restoring ancient water management 'tank cascades’ for improved water security and thriving ecosystems for local communities.
Divided into ‘Protecting Resources’, ‘Extreme Events’ and ‘Resilient Health’, the series showcases often surprising efforts on behalf of individuals, civil society and researchers to mitigate and adapt to climate change, ultimately benefitting both nature and humans.
The Alliance’s collaboration: ‘The ancient invention critical to daily life’
Many rural areas of Sri Lanka are at increasing risk of extreme weather events due to climate change. To address the challenge of ensuring year-round water access, Alliance researchers and partners within the Healthy Landscapes Project* are collaborating with local communities to restore the ancient village tank cascade systems – networks of reservoirs, each with a distinct use – which have been used by villagers in dry areas to store water for thousands of years, with the additional benefit of supporting biodiversity through the reservoirs’ ecosystem services. The second episode of the series’ ‘Protecting Resources’ section demonstrates the impact of this project through conversations with local farmers and researchers from the Healthy Landscapes Project as well as the CGIAR’s International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
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*The Healthy Landscapes Project is implemented with support from the Global Environment Facility, the UN Environment Programme.