15 Grassroots Civil Society Case Studies Show Path Towards Climate Resilience

By SN Staff

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ClimateRISE Alliance, a collaborative platform dedicated to accelerating India’s journey towards climate resilience for its most vulnerable communities, launched its compendium, ‘Interwoven Futures: How Civil Society Organisations Can Accelerate India’s Journey towards Climate Resilience’, at the Dasra Philanthropy Forum in New York. This comprehensive collection of 15 case studies displays the efforts of civil society organizations (CSOs) across India, which are at the forefront of intersectional climate action at the grassroots level. 

The compendium provides a detailed exploration of the intertwined challenges of climate change and its impact on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It emphasizes the critical role of CSOs in driving transformative change, bridging the gap between climate challenges and sustainable development goals.

Avinash Krishnamurthy, Director of Biome Environmental Trust

Avinash Krishnamurthy, Director of Biome Environmental Trust, remarked, “It is important to understand what is happening locally and build the capacity of institutes up to the ward level to respond to climate change.” 

Organizations whose case studies were presented include Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS), Professional Assistance for Developmental Action (PRADAN), Pragati Abhiyan, Waste Warriors Society, Mahila Housing Trust, Buzz Women, Reap Benefit, Centre for Wildlife Studies, Swayam Shikshan Prayog, Technology for Wildlife, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Foundation for Ecological Society, Janaagraha, Biome Environmental Trust, SELCO Foundation.

The case studies showcase the following attributes:

  • Transitioning to more holistic approaches such as natural farming and agroecology that emphasize the integration of ecological principles into farming practices.  
  • Building effective policy-praxis interfaces and strengthening the resilience of India’s healthcare infrastructure to deal with the burgeoning health impacts of the climate crisis.
  • Determining frameworks for responsive city planning; and collaborative and integrated systems of urban governance which enable cities to respond to and withstand a wide range of climate shocks. 
  • Implementing Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) at scale in sectors like protecting existing natural ecosystems, ecological restoration, nature-based adaptation, nature-based city planning, and agroforestry with the aim to provide sustainable and effective alternatives to resource-intensive solutions. 
  • Equipping women with the knowledge to adapt to changing environmental conditions; mainstreaming gender-inclusive policies that recognize women’s roles as caregivers, farmers, and community leaders; scaling financial resources and technical support to women-led initiatives; and encouraging participation in decision-making processes are crucial strategies for enabling women to lead the charge on climate action. 
ClimateRise Alliance Compendium Launch
The names of the people (from left to right) – Yamini Mishra, McArthur Foundation | Neelam Chibbar, Industree | Vishal Kuma, Waste Warriors | Kuldeep Dantewadia, Reap Benefit | Harish Hande, Selco Foundation | Vishal Kapoor, Dasra | Akshay Shetty, Dasra

The Path Ahead 

  • The government should integrate the intersectionality of climate in policymaking, identify and collaborate proactively with CSOs to mainstream community needs and reassess public budget allocation and utilization towards climate action. 
  • CSOs should embed a climate lens across existing programs and intentionally collaborate with other organizations and stakeholders to scale best practices and cross-learning. 
  • Philanthropic organizations should invest in climate action with urgency while adopting an intersectional and intersectoral approach and moving away from project-based funding to long-term impact towards sustained climate action. 

This compendium, built upon Dasra and ORF’s extensive climate report, presents an opportunity for collective, transformative action, emphasizing the power of collaboration in addressing the multifaceted challenges of the climate crisis. 

For more information, visit https://climaterise.in/ 

You can access the full compendium here: https://www.dasra.org/resource/interwoven-futures-how-civil-society-organizations-can-accelerate-indias-journey-towards-climate-resilience

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