Stories from the Grassroots: The Greengrants Blog

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    To the Green Climate Fund: “Grassroots women need more resources”

    Oct 17, 2014 | No Comments

    Dear Board of Directors and Alternates to the Green Climate Fund:

    Global Greengrants Fund, the International Network of Women’s Funds, and the Alliance of Funds extend our warm greetings and encouragement as you enter your 8th meeting of the Board of the Green Climate Fund this week.

    Honduras

    We write to briefly inform you of a recent Summit on Women and Climate, held on August 2-7, 2014, in Bali, Indonesia, in which grassroots women climate leaders and grantmaking organizations that work in more than 170 countries convened to examine the landscape, strategies, and opportunities for increasing funding to women and women-led organizations around the world working to advance solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

    As you already know, women in the global south are more adversely affected than men by the impacts of climate change. And along with other groups, including indigenous peoples and youth, women are underrepresented in the decision-making spaces that establish the priorities for where and how climate finance is allocated. Furthermore, the contributions of women in the Global South as leaders in strategies of climate resilience, food security, low carbon agriculture, forest protection, and sustainable energy alternatives are largely not visible to typical funders and finance programs, resulting in a crucial investment opportunity being overlooked. This has been well documented, including in a recent article in the Asia Times entitled, “Carbon funds bypass Asian Indigenous Peoples.”

    This problem is one that an already existing infrastructure of independent grantmaking organizations, based in 42 countries, can help address. These funds have been designed to deliver accessible funding to local environmental and women’s rights solutions in an effective manner and at a low transaction cost. The Alliance of Funds consists of seven environmental funds with capacity to support grassroots environmental work in more than 100 countries through direct grantmaking and capacity building.

    The International Network of Women’s Funds unites 42 funds that work in 170 countries to advance women’s rights and empowerment by mobilizing funding and capacity building for grassroots women’s organizations. Together, our funds channel tens of millions of dollars a year to local, women-led organizations around the world in an effective manner with minimal transaction costs and we have the capacity to mobilize much more. In August, we committed to working together to channel more financial resources to local women-led climate initiatives around the world.

    In your work this week, we ask that you consider the tremendous need for climate finance resources to directly reach the community and village level, and to make further efforts to support initiatives that are led by women, indigenous peoples, and youth.

    In particular, we urge the Green Climate Fund to:

    1. Establish appropriate mechanisms and measurable goals to ensure that a significant percentage of Green Climate Fund resources directly reaches organizations led by women, indigenous peoples, and youth to implement their strategies and solutions for adaptation and mitigation.
    2. Strengthen the important work already done in the Gender Policy and Action Plan by actively encouraging the involvement of grassroots women leaders in the design and governance structures of Sub-National, National, Regional, and International Implementing Agencies and other distribution mechanisms for the Green Climate Fund.
    3. Consider, in discussions of modalities that further enhance direct access through funding entities, how the Green Climate Fund could partner with and leverage the existing global infrastructure of grassroots grantmaking organizations to cost-effectively channel resources to small, local, non-governmental organizations that otherwise would find it difficult to access financial support from the Green Climate Fund for their important work.
    4. Consider, in operationalizing the Fit-for-Purpose Accreditation approach, how intermediaries funding community-led projects with small grants could be more easily accredited to work with Green Climate Fund resources.

    We believe that the Green Climate Fund is obligated to directly support the crucial work that women around the world are leading at the local level to address the causes and impacts of climate change. Our own experience, directly funding thousands of such initiatives in more than 170 countries, demonstrates that this is possible to do on a large scale. We look forward to engaging in further dialogue with the Green Climate Fund about strategies to partner with and leverage existing philanthropic infrastructure around the world that is already providing direct financial support to those who are addressing the most pressing climate change challenges of our time.

    Sincerely,

    Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of the Board of Directors, Global Greengrants Fund
    Artemisa Castro, Executive Director, Fondo Acción Solidária; Chair, Alliance of Funds, Mexico
    Ibis Colindres, Executive Director, Fondo Vinculos Comunitarios, Honduras
    Emilienne de León Aulina, Executive Director, International Network of Women’s Funds, Mexico
    Anouk Frank, Programme Officer for Policy Development, BothENDS, The Netherlands
    Carla Lopez, Executive Director, Fondo Centroamericano de Mujeres; Co-Chair, International Network of Women’s Funds, Nicaragua
    Aisling Nolan, Operations Manager, Small Change Fund, Canada
    Teresa Odendahl, PhD, Executive Director, Global Greengrants Fund, United States
    Nonette Royo, The Samdhana Institute, Indonesia
    Maria Amalia Souza, Founding Executive Director, Socio-Environmental Fund CASA, Brazil
    Tulika Srivastava, Executive Director, South Asia Women’s Fund; Co-Chair, International Network of Women’s Funds, India

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      A climate defense that actually works

      Sep 23, 2014 | No Comments

      I am writing this note from New York. I wish you could be here to feel the charge of energy. An estimated 400,000 people flooded the streets on Sunday morning to demand bold action on the climate crisis. Here’s how I believe we should deal with climate change.

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        3 Awakenings From the 2014 Summit on Women & Climate

        Aug 20, 2014 | No Comments

        What happens when 100 people from 37 countries gather to talk about women-led solutions to climate change? An unexpected rethinking of what it means to be resilient. Maxine Burkett, Global Greengrants board member and climate change policy and law expert, shares three impressions from the Summit on Women & Climate.

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          Voices from Nepal: Promoting Women’s Climate Leadership

          Aug 3, 2014 | One Comment

          When nature is out of balance, everything Nepali women need to survive is at risk. Sadhana Shrestha, executive director of Tewa in Nepal, tells how this women’s fund is addressing this issue and supporting women in the face of climate change.

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            Inside Chile’s “Patagonia Sin Represas” movement

            Jul 28, 2014 | No Comments

            Chilean environmentalists celebrate the country’s biggest environmental victory: “We always tried to maintain a positive ethical campaign that really showed alternatives. We didn’t say ‘no to dams.’ We said, ‘We want a Patagonia without dams.’ Read our Q&A with grantee in Chile, Peter Hartmann.

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              Defeating HidroAysén – Chile’s biggest environmental victory ever

              Jul 28, 2014 | No Comments

              This is the story of how a grassroots movement defeated the $8 billion HidroAysén dam project, and led to Chile’s biggest ever environmental win. Terry Odendahl writes about this incredible victory and Global Greengrants role.

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                Meet Marina Rikhvanova, Global Greengrants’ Russia coordinator and founder of Baikal Environmental Wave

                Jul 23, 2014 | No Comments

                Marina Rikhvanova grew up visiting the shores of Lake Baikal in Siberia, the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake. Reaching a depth of nearly 5,400 feet, the lake holds more water than all of the United States’ Great Lakes combined.… Read more

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                  4 Takeaways On How Women Are Using Grassroots Environmental Grants

                  Jul 22, 2014 | One Comment

                  In preparing for this Summit, Allison Davis, Global Greengrants’ Deputy Director of Programs, has learned a great deal about how our grants support women’s groups and interests all over the world. Here are four themes that have risen to the top.

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                    Women & Climate: 9 Great Articles & Resources

                    Jul 21, 2014 | No Comments

                    Use these articles and resources to understand the link between gender equality and climate change, and the importance of supporting grassroots women’s voices and leadership.

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                      Mama Aleta: one woman’s struggle to save Indonesia’s forests from mining

                      Jul 20, 2014 | One Comment

                      The riches hidden within Timor Island’s lush rainforests are extraordinary and problematic. Timor’s indigenous people consider the soil, water, stone, and trees their own bodies. But these fertile mountains are also rich in oil, gas, gold, and marble. This is the story of one woman leading a fight to save her people’s sacred lands.

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