[About the author: Tony Mulvahil is a project manager who enjoys writing. He was a student on the City, University of London Writing for a Business short course in April-July 2019. Tony wrote this blog as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]
Feeling lost amongst the noise of climate disaster stories? These charities focus on making an extraordinary difference to local people.
Your social media feed pops up another horror story of a forest fire consuming a vast tract of pristine forest. Or a monstrous cyclone drowning an entire city. You feel a rising sense of fear and panic combined with despair that nothing you do will solve this man-made climate disaster.
Yet, hidden away from view are many organisations working with local people who are on the battlefront of the climate crisis. The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), not to be confused with the UN Environment organisation, focuses on addressing drought and soil degradation. The UNCCD supplies resources and action plans aiming to halt the loss of productive land.
On their website, the UNCCD provides extracts titled Actions Around the World. These tell the stories of the many small groups of people making a tremendous contribution to their local area. The UNCCD highlights how women are taking an increasingly significant role in setting up groups that tackle climate change by giving them the authority to decide their priorities. Tree Aid establishes enterprise groups in countries such as Burkina Faso and Mali, and this activity helps women improve their lives. Over in Kenya’s Mau Forest, Green Grants supports the Indigenous Information Network enabling local women to reclaim degraded land.
Separately, the Forest Peoples charity supports indigenous forest people to continue living in their traditional homes by working with them to tackle the political challenges these people face.