For its initial grantmaking, the CJRF will focus on three regions where climate change is already affecting landscapes and livelihoods: East Africa, the Bay of Bengal, and the Arctic. Resilience-building activities already underway in these regions give a foundation for replication and scaling of CJRF's work and create the possibility of measuring our impact in the medium term (i.e. 3-5 years). We have included locations in the "Global South" and a marginalized region of the "Global North" to explore the relevance of climate justice across cultures and contexts.

east africa

According to recent projections, temperatures in Africa are expected to rise faster than the rest of the world, potentially exceeding 2℃ by the mid-21st century and 4℃ by the end of the 21st century. In Tanzania and Kenya, CJRF’s initial African focal countries, climate change has already begun to alter the landscape and people’s livelihoods through prolonged dry periods, intense rain events, and increasingly unpredictable seasons. These changes play out in a region undergoing significant social and economic change, including a range of security risks, governance changes, industrialization, and a rapidly growing population.  In this dynamic context, CJRF seeks to help women, youth, and indigenous groups identify and advocate for equitable, locally-driven, climate-resilient development solutions.  Desired outcomes include new funding mechanisms for local climate action; youth-led initiatives that influence national policies; and maintenance of pastoralism as a livelihood option in the arid north of Kenya.

The bay of Bengal

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The Bay of Bengal is one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable regions. Cyclones, monsoon downpours, and heat waves are all projected to become more frequent, unpredictable, and intense.  Moreover, sea level rise, ocean warming, and the melting of the Himalayan glaciers all will have significant impacts in the region, including exacerbation of storm surge and flooding. CJRF focuses its Bay of Bengal investments in India and Bangladesh, where long coastlines, low-lying areas, dense populations, and the low socio-economic and political status of fishing communities combine to make rising seas  of particular concern. It is predicted that a rise of only 1 meter will be enough to submerge all districts within 50-60 kilometers of the coast, leaving 30-40 million people homeless.[1] Moreover, salinization is affecting both soil and water quality, with serious implications for food and water security.  In this context CJRF seeks to support advocacy by women and youth, and research to provide an evidence base for effective, inclusive resilience planning.  Intended outcomes include locally responsive climate change plans and improved links among policies addressing climate change, disaster risk reduction, and migration.  

[1] Kapoor, Aditi. “Actors and Entry Points on Adaptation and Resilience – Bay of Bengal Region: Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka.” Oak Foundation report. August 2015.

The Arctic

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world -- an astounding 5℃ in the past 100 years. Since the 1970s, 14% of Arctic sea ice has been lost, and at current rates, Arctic summer sea ice is likely to have completely disappeared by 2080. This extreme warming pattern has dangerous consequences for the millions of people who live in the Arctic, including risky travel across melting ice and tundra, and severe coastal erosion that is forcing whole communities to relocate. Indigenous populations are especially vulnerable, due to the fact that their culture, identity, language, traditional foods, and ways of life all rely heavily on Arctic land and waters. As warming proceeds, indigenous communities also must contend with growing in-migration and the expansion of the cash economy that comes from increased industrial and commercial activity.  CJRF seeks to help indigenous communities in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland strengthen their resilience by building leadership and decision-making capacity; maintaining, updating and augmenting traditional knowledge; and establishing political advocacy processes.  Intended outcomes include maintenance of indigenous peoples’ access to and co-management of traditional foods; and effective indigenous engagement in decision-making around relocation and industrialization.