BBC Media Action is the BBC’s international charity, working in more than 20 countries around the world. Last year, we reached more than 130 million people, by supporting independent media and sharing trusted information that protects health, bridges divides, challenges prejudice, and saves and changes lives.
The world’s poorest people feel the impact of climate change and extreme weather most, and often find it hardest to adapt and recover.
BBC Media Action’s work helps people to prepare for and cope with extreme weather events and other climate-related challenges, by sharing knowledge and ideas about practical steps they can take.
We believe building resilience and tackling climate change requires action at all levels of society, and our work uses the power of media to bring people together to discuss options that benefit everyone.
We follow the editorial standards and values of the BBC, but we rely on donor funding to carry out our work. To find out more, please see bbcmediaaction.org.
Amrai Pari (Together We Can Do It)
In Bangladesh, BBC Media Action produced Amrai Pari (Together We Can Do It) – a reality show that brought communities together to address climate- and environment-related challenges. The project – including this series and other community activities reached 22.5 million people. Audience research demonstrated audiences were better able to understand, prepare for and adapt to natural hazards, especially when they felt their livelihoods were under threat and had support from local government, and felt that the programme reinforced communities’ commitment to work together. Nearly 80% of viewers felt they had a better understanding of how to prepare for extreme weather, while nearly half said they took action after watching the programmes.
The series was funded by UK Aid, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and World Vision.
The Journey of Amari Pari
An overview of the Amari Pari series
Cage Fishing and Water Filters
In Rangpur in northwestern Bangladesh, the rivers that make the land fertile are also responsible for regular flooding, washing crops away and driving many families to crowded cities. Cage fish farming provides an alternative way of earning an income, while homemade filters help remove iron from water to make it safer for household use.
Developing Integrated Farming in Salty Areas
A special episode featuring the Bangladesh cricket team. Southwest Bangladesh is waterlogged for much of the year, flooding homes and fields and spreading disease. But the use of reinforced ponds are creating areas for fish farming and raised platforms for growing vegetables, providing some relief.
Sandbar Cropping and High-Rise Latrines
On the Partibur sandbar in southern Bangladesh, flooding and river bank erosion threatens the lives and livelihoods of the people living in this unique setting. A method of farming known as sandbar cropping allows vegetables to be grown amid sandy and uncultivated land, while high-rise, sanitary latrines will help stop the spread of disease during flooding.
Tower Garden and Dry Fish
In Satkhira in southwest Bangladesh, rising salinity is killing vegetable gardens and trees. Building tower gardens can help protect vegetables from saline water, while drying the excess from the shrimp harvest helps provide extra income.
Don't Wait For Rain
In Cambodia, audience research showed that 81% of people surveyed felt changes in weather and the environment had affected their ability to earn a living, and 85% said they were having a negative impact on their health.
In response, BBC Media Action produced Don’t Wait For Rain, a factual television show that examined weather- and climate-related problems and connected people with experts and others in their field to find simple, practical solutions. From early-warning systems for flooding, to planting vegetables in raised beds to help keep them safe during heavy rains and floods, the programme’s solutions helped save lives and livelihoods.
The series was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
The story of three communities affected by drought, and how they learn from each other to develop new ways to store water.
Early Warning System
In the highlands of Ratanakiri, some villages have lost everything because of flooding. They learn from others how to build an early warning system to help prevent future losses.
In the fishing villages of Kampot, fresh water is increasingly scarce. Families share knowledge of how to build filtration systems to increase the supply.
In Steung Treng province in northern Cambodia, farmers are struggling to make a living because of changing weather patterns and increased numbers of insects and pests. They learn about how grafting plants can help them improve their garden yields.
Plastic pollution is an increasing problem in Cambodia. Volunteers get together to clear plastic from waterways and city streets, while the value of small-scale recyclers is demonstrated in how they keep rubbish out of the environment.
This lake at the heart of Cambodia is an important economic centre as well as a source of fresh water. But much of its precious flooded forest – essential for fish habitat and as a wind barrier for people who live nearby – was lost in a fire. The families who live on and around the lake gather to learn how to restore the lost sections of flooded forest with tree planting.
In East Africa, accurate weather and climate information is essential as risks of extreme weather increase. But this information is not always easy to convey in simple, practical terms. BBC Media Action connected journalists and climate scientists to help them better understand each other and the needs of their audiences. In the first phase of the project, we worked with 10 radio stations to produce quality programming to help people take action to improve their lives and livelihoods in the face of extreme weather. These four short films show the impact of this work.
Weather Wise was funded by the UK Met Office, through UK Aid.
Cerita Kita (Our Story)
This Indonesian romantic soap opera has stories of sustainability and environmental protection at its heart. It follows the story of Bodo, who is forced to return to his home village when his home in Jakarta floods. There he reconnects with old school friends; along with tackling complicated love lives and interfering parents, they take on common environmental issues, from plastic waste to fast fashion and from new agricultural practices to forest fires.
Each episode is followed by an excerpt from our live online discussion programme. Ngobrolin Cerita Kita (Cerita Kita Social) features popular influencers, policy makers, experts and role models, who take their young urban audience deeper into the issues raised and give them a chance to ask questions and share their own actions.
Cerita Kita was funded by the Norwegian Development Cooperation Agency (Norad).
Bodo returns to his home village of Sukamiskin, where he begins to tackle environmental issues including plastic pollution, while dealing with family pressures and rivalry in love.
Bodo is set up on a date he doesn’t want with Asih, while his rival Salah tries to worm his way into Tuji’s affection with the latest clothes – opening the door to conversations about fast fashion.
Sukamiskin village is experiencing a drought and clean water crisis, but instead of helping the residents deal with this, the village head has negotiated the sale of all the village’s green land to a developer.
Extreme weather and unseasonably heavy rains flood Sukamiskin village, causing havoc. But for Bodo and his friends, it is provides the opportunity for new ideas to replace outdated ones.
Living Climate Change
Kenya – The long walk to water
Pregnant Kenyan mother Esther Elaar walks over two hours a day to get to a water source, then carries a heavy, 20-litre jerrycan all the way home again. Prolonged droughts and changing weather patterns driven by climate change have made everyday life an increasing struggle for people in northern Kenya. Women in the region have noticed an increase in miscarriages and stillbirths which they attribute to the extreme conditions.
Kenya – The flood that took everything
The consequences of extreme and unpredictable weather conditions can take a severe toll on mental health, as well as physical health. Herder Lomilio Ewoi lost his livelihood when his herd of hundreds of goats was swept away in a flood; he speaks of his struggles with mental health after becoming unable to provide for his family.
Bangladesh – Salt in the water
In Bangladesh, rising sea levels are inundating low-lying coastal areas with undrinkable salt water. Shabjan, a resident of the affected village of Choto Angtihara, spoke of how accessing fresh water is a daily challenge, and how living and washing in salt water is contributing to miscarriages, high blood pressure and other health problems.
Bangladesh – Feeling the heat
Increasing temperatures, particularly in big cities like Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, have profound effects on human health. Nazma Begum, who lives in a slum in Dhaka, described the impact of working 14 hours a day in an overheated garment factory, while others suffer from skin conditions and heatstroke.
Nepal – When snow turns to rain
Climate change is destabilising food production in many parts of the world. Angyel Jung Bista, an apple farmer in the village of Kabgeni in Nepal, struggles to grow apples as warmer weather, heavy rainfall and floods pollute the water, prevent apples from growing, and contribute to the spread of waterborne diseases.
Nepal – Mosquitoes in the mountains
All films courtesy of BBC Media Action. All rights reserved.