Climate change is a tough reality, but in spite of its devastating impacts on the natural environment, there are people who are drawing from their ingenuity to find alternative farming methods in the affected surroundings. Alezé Carrère, a National Geographic grantee, is on a journey to study the people and communities that are adapting to climate change, and she and a film crew are documenting cases into a video series called Adaptation.
[In 2012 Carrère] learned of a group of farmers in Madagascar who were figuring out how to farm in fields eroded by deforestation and heavy rains. Instead of depending on development aid to reforest washed-out areas, the farmers adapted. Soon they began to prefer farming in the eroded gullies, which became rich with water and nutrients.
That discovery was the impetus of her journey with her first top being Bangladesh, a low-lying, densely populated country where scientists expect rising water to displace 18 million people by 2050.
In the southern district of Gopalganj, Carrère watched people build floating gardens from water hyacinth, bamboo, and manure to help them fish, raise ducks, and grow produce. She saw how ingenuity can beget more of the same: A Bangladeshi architect took inspiration from the floating fields and engineered boats to serve as floating schools, hospitals, libraries, and playgrounds.
Since Bangladesh, Carrère has visited northern India to see how glacial melt is being repurposed to feed a desert ecosystem and will go next to Vanuatu, where grinding sea stars into fertilizer helps grow food.
Some of the best adaptation ideas come from kids, Carrère says. They’re creative, malleable, and excited to dream up new things. They also have the most at stake.
Current generations have already begun the dream of adaptable living, and surely the following generations will continue to do so in their own creative ways.
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