Climate change is an emergency affecting the lives of people across the globe. Just like any other crisis, vulnerable communities are at the greatest risk from climate disasters - the unprecedented floods across various states of India are a testament to the same. However, the conversation on climate change is still confined to urban and privileged classes. There is an urgent need to flip this narrative and work towards developing community-centric modules and tools on climate literacy that build an understanding and vocabulary among communities for collective action. The programme, Climate Countdown, aims at raising awareness and building the capacities of communities to adapt, reduce and mitigate the adverse impact of climate change.
We aim to promote climate literacy in a scientific yet simple, easy-to-understand and engaging manner through Community Radios (CRs), along with other innovative tools that enhance community engagement like games. That ways, SMART will undertake a multi-pronged strategy involving 25 Climate Literacy Consultants (CLCs) across 16 districts of Tamil Nadu to build an understanding of the language needed for evoking collective action on climate change. The use of community media and hyper-local development-oriented platforms for awareness-raising to communicate local issues to local people in a local language will be operationalised and will be hosted in consultation with the local authorities. The concerned government officials will adopt a multi-stakeholder approach for maximum involvement and participation. The importance and value of hyper-local tools for communication on climate literacy cannot be underestimated as they can amplify the various environmental policies and measures being taken by the government and other multilateral bodies, and aid in their implementation on ground.