The Climate Justice Resilience Fund seeks to help those most at risk voice their needs and priorities, identify effective solutions, and take part in important decisions. In doing so, we aim to make climate change adaptation and resilience more balanced and representative of the concerns of all those impacted by climate shocks and events. To that end our funding targets three constituencies: women, youth, and indigenous peoples.
Climate change places an increased burden on the world's women. Women represent the majority of the world's impoverished, which means they often have fewer resources with which to weather shocks, rebuild, or adapt. Additionally, women in poverty, especially those in rural areas, rely heavily for their livelihoods on crops, forests, and other natural resources. Climate shocks typically hit these sectors harder than industrial or service-based sources of income. Moreover, women's traditional care-giving roles often inhibit their capacity to adapt to climate change, given the time constraints that come with childrearing and taking care of the sick. At the same time, women's caregiving activities and unique roles in natural resource management make them important agents of change for effective climate action. Unfortunately, social and cultural structures often keep women out of public decision-making processes, so they often lack a voice in shaping responses to climate change. CJRF seeks to amplify women's voices in climate decision-making, build women's leadership, and foster local climate initiatives that address women's needs and concerns.
Today’s youth, as well as future generations, will inherit climate change problems that they did not cause. If the world continues on its current emissions trajectory, a 16-year-old in 2017 will witness between 3.3 and 3.9 ℃ of global warming and as much as 1.2 meters of sea level rise by the age of 70. This compares to a 70-year-old today, who has seen about .7℃ of warming over her lifetime, with sea level rise still small enough that it’s difficult to measure. In this context, youth have a great deal at stake: they will live for decades with the repercussions of decisions made today, contending with climate change threats to their livelihoods and overall life prospects. They also have a great deal to offer when it comes to climate solutions: creativity, energy, time, and in many developing countries, large-scale action. Young people in Africa, especially, represent a large and still-growing population segment that, with the right skills and opportunities, could shape a powerful set of resilience solutions. Youth are therefore an essential voice in climate change decision-making, but frequently are underrepresented. CJRF seeks to help raise youth voices and support youth-led resilience solutions as a critical element of transforming public perception of climate change and ensuring climate resilience grows up alongside this generation.
Indigenous peoples’ identity and culture typically are tightly inter-woven with the natural environment, so changes in their climate immediately impact them. Their knowledge systems, rituals, livelihoods and overall well-being depend on the continuing control, management and access to their lands, waters and other resources. This makes adaptation to climate change a high priority. Traditional indigenous knowledge systems, developed through generations, are an important resource in the adaptation process, and increasingly are being combined with new technologies and livelihoods to produce innovative climate solutions. However, indigenous peoples' resilience is frequently challenged by histories of poverty, repression and marginalization, which continue today in many places. CJRF seeks to help ensure that climate decision-making addresses indigenous people’s resilience needs and priorities, and that indigenous-driven solution sets are well resourced and appropriately scaled.