A UN report on climate change, released in February of this
year, provided the scientific confirmation of what people
had been noticing for some time: global warming is real and
changing the planet's climate. It also made clear that while
global warming is to some extent a natural event, the level
of warming in the past decade is exceptional and without a
doubt attributable to the release of man-made pollutants resulting
in the "greenhouse effect".
What does all this mean for us? Coping with the consequences
of global warming is not new to the International Red Cross
and Red Crescent Movement. Every day we are helping people
recover and rebuild their lives after natural and man-made
disasters. And we too have noticed that the world's weather
is becoming more volatile and severe, causing increased hardship
for the vulnerable populations seeking our assistance. Yet
until recently the Movement has only had limited discussion
about the issue. That is why we decided to focus in this issue
on global warming and the Red Cross and Red Crescent's role
in helping communities to learn to adapt to the altered climate.
Our hope is that the magazine can be part of the larger effort
to promote a Movement-wide strategy to assist the most vulnerable
to better cope with the effects of global warming.
This issue of Red Cross Red Crescent magazine is dedicated
to the six ICRC staff members assassinated on 26 April in
the Democratic Republic of the Congo - Aduwe Boboli, Julio
Delgado, Rita Fox-Stuecki, Jean Molokabonge, Véronique
Saro, Unen Ufoirworth - to Ole Friis Eriksen, ICRC co-pilot
killed on 9 May in southern Sudan, to Rugnesh Uttakumar Geewala,
Anand Shukla and Kalpesh Patel, three volunteers with the
Indian Red Cross killed while travelling to the earthquake
affected region of Gujarat and to Raul Ariza Sanchez and Johan
Umana Guevara, two Colombian Red Cross staff killed in an
auto accident after visiting the region of Casanare.