World Music Star Baaba Maal to Speak About Climate Justice at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen

Baaba Maal - Photo by Tyrone Le Bon
Baaba Maal – Photo by Tyrone Le Bon
In a special event to mark the closing stages of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen, Senegalese star Baaba Maal will be interviewed by BBC Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur on Thursday, December 17, at 8pm CET at the Pumpehuset, Copenhagen. The interview will later be broadcast on BBC World Service’s ”The Strand”.

“In Conversation with Baaba Maal” will hear the acclaimed singer talk about his life, discuss his concerns about climate change in the developing world and play a short acoustic set. Baaba Maal is attending COP15 as the climate change ambassador for Africa Talks Climate, a research and communication initiative from the BBC World Service Trust, the BBC’s international development charity.

The evidence gathered by Africa Talks Climate demonstrates that although millions of people are already being badly affected by climate change, they don’t know why it is happening, or what to do about it. What is needed is information and debate so that they can start to adapt their lives to survive”, says Baaba Maal.

The research compiled discussions with over 1,000 people across ten sub-Saharan countries, including Baaba Maal’s own Senegal. Findings show that, despite Africa’s status as a low polluter, many Africans attribute their changing climate to local factors such as tree cutting. There seems to be little awareness of the impact of the industrialized world. Baaba Maal says, “It is a terrible injustice that some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are only blaming themselves for problems that are not of their own making. They need information and they need to be heard: Africa Talks Climate is helping amplify the voices and concerns of those who are too often left in the dark.”

he issue of climate justice is raised by the research findings and echoed by Baaba Maal. “Whatever declarations are made in Copenhagen we need visible commitment to action for the developing world. What Africa needs is investment – not aid, investment. Those who largely caused climate change should now take responsibility for their action and support those who are most vulnerable and most affected. Africa needs technological solutions and knowledge sharing that will help people adapt their lives.”

The BBC’s international development charity uses the media to enable people to have access to life-changing information that can help them survive, shape their lives and thrive. Climate change is one of its key themes. Caroline Nursey, its executive director, says of the collaboration with Baaba Maal, “We are delighted that Baaba Maal is our climate change ambassador. So many of the things he feels passionately about we do too: information access, giving people a voice, promoting education, the role of technology and innovation, and the powerful transformative nature of culture and creativity in facilitating positive change.”

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Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

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