News and blogs A word from our Chairman Waiting for the dust to settle Published in November 2021 It will be a while before we know what’s really in store for our planet following COP26. Scientists from all over the world will be carefully sifting through the promises made in Glasgow, running the numbers and making predictions of whether the world’s leaders have done enough to ‘keep 1.5°C alive’. No doubt the models will give us some widely differing projections for the future, but at this stage it is to be seen if the collective offer from heads of government will be enough to avert widespread global climate-related disruption. Along with many others, I watched the comings and goings in Glasgow from afar. I was struck by a couple of emerging themes. First was the growing awareness and mobilisation of the climate change youth movement. These young people are understandably anxious about the perils that await them if carbon emissions are not severely reduced. In our work across arid parts of East Africa we already see women and children (predominantly) carrying the burden of a changing climate. Many of those children are missing out on going to school and accessing a good and consistent level of education as water scarcity becomes more extreme, and thus much of their time devoted to finding, fetching and carrying water for their families. Second, many delegates pointed out the link between climate change and nature. Making this connection is well overdue. We know that ecosystems trap carbon, not just in the vegetation but in the soil, and we know that without nature our world will be a very sterile place. Finally, there is growing recognition of the need to invest in climate change adaptation. The average global temperature is already over 1 degree higher than pre industrialization levels. Global observers report the impact of this nearly every day. Record breaking temperatures, droughts and freak weather all feature in our own news cycles. Investment is needed to help vulnerable communities adapt to these new shifting and erratic weather patterns. "As the dust settles on COP26, we will continue to do what we can to help people build sand dams, adopt climate-smart agriculture and adapt to climate change; our focus being ‘less talk’, and much more about taking urgent action to help those in need." Giving vulnerable communities a chance to thrive, conserving wildlife and climate change adaptation all come together in Excellent Development’s Big Give Christmas Challenge this year. With your help we hope to raise £50,000 in online donations to build four more sand dams in southeast Kenya (with each donation to be doubled by our generous partners helping us to reach our overall target of £100,000!). Two of the dams will help to relieve local community members and children in Ukambani from the drudgery of fetching water and give them a chance to improve their own lives and land. And two of the dams will support local wildlife populations by expanding and stabilising the water catchment in Tsavo National Park. Find out more about our Big Give campaign here. As the dust settles on COP26, we will continue to do what we can to help people build sand dams, adopt climate-smart agriculture and adapt to climate change; our focus being ‘less talk’, and much more about taking urgent action to help those in need. Want to have your donation towards sand dams for dryland communities and wildlife in Kenya DOUBLED by our generous partners? Click here to find out more about our Big Give Christmas Challenge!