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This guide is focused on climate communications in developing countries because a large amount has already been written and debated on how best to communicate climate issues in industrialised countries. A large, body of literature centres on convincing a sceptical or apathetic public in North America, Europe or Australasia of the reality of climate change.

This guide is written by CDKN’s Knowledge Management and Communications staff, who have been working, by contrast, in dozens of low-and middle-income countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean since 2010. Our communications have aimed to raise awareness of:

  • the physical science of climate change;
  • the impacts of climate change on poverty and development;
  • the potential for building resilience to climate change; and
  • the opportunities of embracing a low-emission economy.

Audiences in developing countries generally do not need to be convinced that climate change is happening. They see the evidence before their eyes: in searing heatwaves and increasing numbers of heat-related illnesses and deaths; in failing and flooded food crops, and inundated coastal zones.

What these audiences need is to ‘make sense’ of what they are seeing: to understand their lived experience in a scientific context, to know what the future climate might hold, and to decide what they should do about it. This guide, therefore, looks at opportunities to make connections between the big picture and people’s local experience; between scientific and local knowledge.

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