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Background: UN climate talks can often seem detached from the issues they’re actually addressing. With delegates often considering strategies and carefully guarded interests, it’s hard to see the real ways that climate change is impacting countries. I took some time to ask delegates about how climate change is changing their national landscapes, and why the Paris Agreement matters.

Here’s a sample of some of the interesting faces involved in the negotiations here in Bangkok.

Moving into the future, we’re slowly trying to gather ourselves, and prepare ourselves for the worst case scenario. But in light of that, we’re still fighting. There’s still hope in our country, there’s a government, there’s people. We’re going to try build resilience.”

Choi Being YeetingKiribati

“I am from a country that depends on agriculture, for about 80% of the country.  But because of floods, droughts, unpredictable rains, they have experienced crop failure. It has really impacted the economy of the people.”
Kanizio Fredrick Kahema Manyika, Tanzania
“Peru is working hard in climate change, bringing together the public and private sector together. We have a law in climate change, one of the first in South America, so we’re very proud of that.”
Elizabeth Alcarrez – Peru
 
“Aat the national level, people don’t understand very much [why] the projects in this area matter.”
Bianca-Georgiana Olaru, Romania
“We see droughts, floods, we are seeing the livestock being affected, we are losing green pasture, we are witnessing diseases, and we are losing exotic species. East African communities are one of the most vulnerable to climate change.”
Ladislaus Kyaruzi Kyaruzi – Tanzania
“I come from Central America, and hurricanes basically swipe, or cut across the whole region. And that’s only one of the ways that climate change is affecting my country.”
Irene Suarez Perez – Costa Rica 
“I’m from one of the most biodiverse countries in the world.  Weather events, whether they are floods or droughts, have become more frequent and more extreme. It’s become important in terms of the vulnerability of the country to address the main causes, but also to integrate adaptation into national planning processes. The way that cities grow and small towns are placed around particular ecosystems should respond to an adaptation plan and logic.”
Giannina Santiago Cabarcas – Colombia
Lily Jamaludin

About Lily Jamaludin

Lily Jamaludin is a Malaysian writer and researcher. Previously, she helped design education opportunities for stateless youth in Borneo, and assisted in eviction-prevention initiatives in the Bronx. She’s excited to mobilise more young writers from developing countries to influence national debate around climate change.