Don't drown our future!

Greenpeace and SolarGeneration bear witness to a climate hotspot in Khun Samutchine

Feature story - May 1, 2007
On the first day of May, Greenpeace volunteers and SolarGeneration youth went to the coastal community at Khun Samutchine in Samut Prakan Province, Thailand to bear witness to the impacts of sea level rise, erosion and storm surges which threatens the fishing villages and mangrove ecosystem.

SolarGeneration youth hold a banner saying "don't drown our future" in front a Buddhist temple in the small coastal village of Khun Samutchine, the first community in Thailand to suffer the direct impacts of coastal erosion caused largely by storm surges brought about by climate change. The temple, now beside the eroded coastline, was once located several kilometers from the beach. SolarGenration youth are asking world governments to champion renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meets this week in Bangkok to discuss ways to mitigate global warming.

The small coastal village of Khun Samutchine, in Samut Prakan province, south of Bangkok is the first community in Thailand, to suffer the direct impacts of coastal erosion caused by climate change. Samut Prakan province has the highest rate of erosion, officially at about 65 metres a year.

The 200 households in the ancient settlement of Khun Samutchine has a profitable life living off the sea and enjoyed the bounty of a diverse natural habitat with wetlands, mangrove swamps, marshes, sloughs and estuaries that were home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Unfortunately due to coastal erosion and advancing sea, most of these areas are degraded, deforested and devastated by the saltwater intrusion.

Bearing witness confers a moral responsibility to take non-violent direct action according to one's conscience it can include documenting something to enable the wider public to witness events themselves.

95 families have already been forced to abandon their coastal homes altogether, according to Samorn Kengsamut, village chief of Khun Samutchine "as most people cannot afford to keep building new houses again and again just to see them washed out to sea a few years later.

SolarGenration youth are asking world governments to champion renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meets this week in Bangkok to discuss ways to mitigate global warming.

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