2021 - Topping film screen

The need for resilience underlined by hard-hitting documentaries

Mon, 08 Nov 2021 07:23:00 GMT
UN High Level Champion Nigel Topping at GCU.
UN High Level Champion Nigel Topping at GCU.

The importance of climate resilience was underlined as two powerful documentaries received an exclusive screening at Glasgow Caledonian University last night.

Broadcaster Sky and multi-funded collaborative group Sustainable Summits showed the films to an audience of high-profile guests on Sunday, November 7, as part of the Resilience Film Gala.

The Gala was opened by GCU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, and featured addresses from UN High Level Champions Nigel Topping from the UK and Gonzalo Munoz from Chile on the UN Race to Resilience - which aims to create a step-change in global ambition for climate resilience.

Nigel Topping said: “These films give life to the voices of people who feel climate change on a daily basis and are trying their best to find their way around it. The evidence is clear that the climate is already changing. We can build a safer, more resilient world for all people by uniting actors in radical collaboration.”

The first film, Life on the Frontline, produced by Sky News, was introduced by presenter Anna Jones. It  showed the devastating effects of extreme rainfall, rising sea levels and intense cyclones on the land and people of Bangladesh and the East of India.

Professor Tahseen Jafry, Director of GCU's Centre for Climate Justice, took part in a panel discussion following the screening.

She said: “Climate change is damaging people on the front line of the climate crisis. Building resilience and supporting communities to adapt to, and cope with, their changing environment is vitally important. We are delighted to be working alongside the Resilience Hub to guide and direct what that looks like through a climate justice lens.”

The film was followed by the premier of Sustainable Summits: Climate Solutions from the Top of the World, a documentary which vividly captures first-hand how highland residents and mountain lovers are finding innovative solutions and regional responses to tackle the climate crisis in the Hindu Kush Himalayas.

Featuring powerful messages from inspirational leaders, the film brought together a unique range of community, mountaineering and spiritual voices from the region and around the world in an urgent call for action to save the future mountain environment by decision-makers at COP26.

Nims Purja, ex-Gurkha and UK Special Forces, is one of the film's contributors. He is currently climbing Ama Dablam in the Everest region. He said: “The mountains are my life – so it breaks my heart to see them being destroyed by climate change. So many people depend on them for water, for spiritual guidance, for income – climate change is taking this away from all of us.”

Lisa Choegyal, a tourism specialist who produced the Sustainable Summits film, said: “This film brings together the inspirational voices of our Sustainable Summits global mountain community, highlighting some proven solutions to combat the climate crisis that threatens to engulf us all. We send this powerful message from the highland people of the Hindu Kush Himalaya, the pulse of the planet. In our immediate action to avert this catastrophe rests the future of our world and all humanity. If we work together now, sharing their local and regional responses, there is still time to pull back from the brink.”

To find out more and watch the session visit https://www.gcu.ac.uk/cop26.