Climate Change is About…Water
A Resource for Teachers, Learners and Activists
The Democracy Center has been based in Bolivia for nearly fifteen years. Over that time we have sought to communicate the impacts of global issues as they are experienced on the ground here, dating back to 2000 and the now-famous Cochabamba Water Revolt. Today no story from Bolivia is more urgent than how climate change is changing the country’s destiny by altering, in deep and powerful ways, its fragile relationship with water. Floods, droughts and glacier loss are taking their toll in terms of human lives, livestock, housing, infrastructure, health…We made this website to help spread this story, and aid understanding of what climate change looks and feels like at ground zero.
1. Original Research
The material you will find here on climate change impacts in Bolivia is based on fieldwork undertaken by the Democracy Center in 2010-11. Set within the context of the country’s vulnerability to climate change and the impacts of extreme weather, these case studies of drought, flooding and glacier loss in three Bolivian communities offer a window onto what climate change actually entails when it hits a vulnerable population.
2. Tools for Exploration
We have produced a Teaching and Activities Guide to be used alongside the website in educational settings – both formal and informal – in order to enable a deeper and more creative exploration of the material available here. The Guide has a lesson plan to accompany each chapter of the site, containing research and discussion questions, and a selection of activities which challenge learners to think about climate change in the context of their own circumstances and encourage active citizenship and solidarity to confront this crisis. You can download the Teaching Guide in the Climate Change Classroom section of the site.
We have designed this resource to be used in a range of settings. Individual researchers will hopefully find the case studies and accompanying analysis useful to complement their work. Teachers of Geography, Environment, Climate Change, Globalization Studies, Citizenship and related disciplines can make use of both the website and Teaching Guide to complement their curricula.It is also our great hope that environmental activists, wherever they are based, find this project useful for adding power to their campaigning activities. However you use this resource, we encourage you to share any work you or your students produce in response to the material and issues raised here in our Climate Classroom Gallery. From a simple comment to a full-blown video project or campaigning action, if the Bolivian story here has inspired you to think more about the impacts of climate change, then share that thinking with others via this site. And if you are interested in making connections with other groups exploring these issues, then you can use the Climate Change Classroom to do that too. Either way, we always love to hear from you, including any suggestions you have of how to make this resource better. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.
Using the Site
The material can be followed in a sequential order, and projected as a presentation if desired. It also has discrete thematic chapters – or single entries, essays, videos etc. – that can be studied as individual elements. To navigate the material chronologically use the ‘previous’ and ‘next’ links below each entry. To access the different chapters use the ‘Chapters’ dropdown menu or click on the images in the slider above. The ‘Jump to’ menu to the right displays all the entries for quick access. Links to more in-depth explanations are given at various points in the material (look for ‘extended analysis’), and all multimedia content has been categorized separately for easy access. Also don’t forget to check out the Links and Resources sections for lots of ideas about where to go for further information.
Visit democracyctr.org to find out more about the work of the Democracy Center