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From the forward:
Climate change is a recent environmental problem that affects all living beings and natural systems across the globe. No one on the earth is able to escape from this reality. This is caused mainly due to the increase of Carbon Dioxide released by burning fossil fuel. Rich nations are mostly responsible for this man-made disaster. Unfortunately, poor are more vulnerable for its impacts.
This unequal distribution of the negative impacts has led the people to fight for climate justice.
The environmental space is intertwined and interconnected.
Water and air connected across borders. Melting of glaciers in the Arctic or in Himalayas has impacts on us. Burning of coal in India, China or in the United States has severe impacts on us too. As a developing island nation Sri Lanka is more susceptible to the climate impacts. Yet, researchers, academics, policy planners or politicians have taken minimum or no steps to bring this to a major dialogue in the scientific and political arenas.
Only few are aware of the impacts and the reasons. For some reason they try to keep this out of the public domain.
The survey conducted by the Centre for Environmental Justice is an attempt to bring this issue to the public notice and initiate a discussion in the society on the issues, impacts, solutions and actions. We expect this outcome will generate and accelerate a dialogue in all levels. With this report, we expect policy makers to bring the public to the climate change discussions and make themselves involve in decisions and actions. Such democratization of the climate change decisions is vital to respond to this man-
Hemantha Withanage Executive Director, Centre for Environmental Justice
4th February 2009