Climate Justice Fund

Community empowerment for climate justice in Africa

Community empowerment for climate justice in Africa

Community empowerment for climate justice in Africa

Effective protection of rights and access to justice is still a significant challenge in many Sub-Saharan African jurisdictions. This is particularly prevalent in the climate change context because the entities responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions are based in other parts of the world and governments in many African countries have been slow to respond to mitigation and adaptation efforts. There is an ever-growing network of groups, campaigns and lawyers that climate-affected people in the Global North can turn to. Yet, in Sub-Saharan Africa where groups and communities are most impacted by the adverse effect of climate change – but have contributed the least to the problem – climate justice is out of reach for many people.

Grassroots legal empowerment is the first step to address this fundamental global injustice! That is why we are collaborating with Natural Justice in organising action learning workshops with indigenous and local communities. The workshops are a dynamic, creative frontline to develop community-driven legal responses to climate change threats and impacts. They have five dimensions:

 

  • Listening to community voices and story telling about climate change impacts and response measures;
  • Assessing local vulnerabilities and impacts of climate change;
  • Strengthening knowledge and understanding in relation to the relevant frameworks of laws, regulations and policies (substantive and procedural);
  • Encouraging community-driven actions to collate local information, undertake research and develop materials; and
  • Advancing and coordinating community-driven legal strategies to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacities.

Natural Justice, lawyers for communities and the environment, is a non-profit organisation specialising in environmental and human rights law in Africa. It provides direct support to communities’ struggles against harmful infrastructure and mining projects (such as the Lamu coal plant), the drafting and conclusion of bio-cultural community protocols, as well as providing support to human rights defenders all over Africa. They are based in South Africa, Senegal and Kenya, with offices in several other African countries.

Their legal work focuses on enabling people to understand, use and shape the law. It continues the South African tradition of legal empowerment, from at least the 1950s, when community paralegals began helping people to navigate and resist apartheid laws. In the climate change context, empowerment also means ensuring community-based sustainability and resilience, and the generation of  knowledge and research that can be  useful to lawyers and communities all over Africa for years to come.

The initiative will gradually produce a range of training tools and components taking into account national and local circumstances. They will be compiled in a virtual, open access “Climate change legal empowerment workbook” that includes e.g. information on science, international commitments, law, policies, climate change campaigns and cases from across the globe. The workbook will be written in easily accessible language, avoid technical jargon, use illustrations and be translated into local languages.

Natural Justice will engage with its own paralegals, partner organisations, Indigenous and local communities, community-based organisations and NGOs to ensure the materials are used effectively and as widely as possible. Building on the legal empowerment workshops, the stories told and further research, Natural Justice will then work with a range of other actors towards a coherent legal approach which may include strategic climate change litigation and other legal action.

Effective protection of rights and access to justice is still a significant challenge in many Sub-Saharan African jurisdictions. This is particularly prevalent in the climate change context because the entities responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions are based in other parts of the world and governments in many African countries have been slow to respond to mitigation and adaptation efforts. There is an ever-growing network of groups, campaigns and lawyers that climate-affected people in the Global North can turn to. Yet, in Sub-Saharan Africa where groups and communities are most impacted by the adverse effect of climate change – but have contributed the least to the problem – climate justice is out of reach for many people.

Grassroots legal empowerment is the first step to address this fundamental global injustice! That is why we are collaborating with Natural Justice in organising action learning workshops with indigenous and local communities. The workshops are a dynamic, creative frontline to develop community-driven legal responses to climate change threats and impacts. They have five dimensions:

 

  • Listening to community voices and story telling about climate change impacts and response measures;
  • Assessing local vulnerabilities and impacts of climate change;
  • Strengthening knowledge and understanding in relation to the relevant frameworks of laws, regulations and policies (substantive and procedural);
  • Encouraging community-driven actions to collate local information, undertake research and develop materials; and
  • Advancing and coordinating community-driven legal strategies to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacities.

Natural Justice, lawyers for communities and the environment, is a non-profit organisation specialising in environmental and human rights law in Africa. It provides direct support to communities’ struggles against harmful infrastructure and mining projects (such as the Lamu coal plant), the drafting and conclusion of bio-cultural community protocols, as well as providing support to human rights defenders all over Africa. They are based in South Africa, Senegal and Kenya, with offices in several other African countries.

Their legal work focuses on enabling people to understand, use and shape the law. It continues the South African tradition of legal empowerment, from at least the 1950s, when community paralegals began helping people to navigate and resist apartheid laws. In the climate change context, empowerment also means ensuring community-based sustainability and resilience, and the generation of  knowledge and research that can be  useful to lawyers and communities all over Africa for years to come.

The initiative will gradually produce a range of training tools and components taking into account national and local circumstances. They will be compiled in a virtual, open access “Climate change legal empowerment workbook” that includes e.g. information on science, international commitments, law, policies, climate change campaigns and cases from across the globe. The workbook will be written in easily accessible language, avoid technical jargon, use illustrations and be translated into local languages.

Natural Justice will engage with its own paralegals, partner organisations, Indigenous and local communities, community-based organisations and NGOs to ensure the materials are used effectively and as widely as possible. Building on the legal empowerment workshops, the stories told and further research, Natural Justice will then work with a range of other actors towards a coherent legal approach which may include strategic climate change litigation and other legal action.

Effective protection of rights and access to justice is still a significant challenge in many Sub-Saharan African jurisdictions. This is particularly prevalent in the climate change context because the entities responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions are based in other parts of the world and governments in many African countries have been slow to respond to mitigation and adaptation efforts. There is an ever-growing network of groups, campaigns and lawyers that climate-affected people in the Global North can turn to. Yet, in Sub-Saharan Africa where groups and communities are most impacted by the adverse effect of climate change – but have contributed the least to the problem – climate justice is out of reach for many people.

Grassroots legal empowerment is the first step to address this fundamental global injustice! That is why we are collaborating with Natural Justice in organising action learning workshops with indigenous and local communities. The workshops are a dynamic, creative frontline to develop community-driven legal responses to climate change threats and impacts. They have five dimensions:

 

  • Listening to community voices and story telling about climate change impacts and response measures;
  • Assessing local vulnerabilities and impacts of climate change;
  • Strengthening knowledge and understanding in relation to the relevant frameworks of laws, regulations and policies (substantive and procedural);
  • Encouraging community-driven actions to collate local information, undertake research and develop materials; and
  • Advancing and coordinating community-driven legal strategies to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacities.

Natural Justice, lawyers for communities and the environment, is a non-profit organisation specialising in environmental and human rights law in Africa. It provides direct support to communities’ struggles against harmful infrastructure and mining projects (such as the Lamu coal plant), the drafting and conclusion of bio-cultural community protocols, as well as providing support to human rights defenders all over Africa. They are based in South Africa, Senegal and Kenya, with offices in several other African countries.

Their legal work focuses on enabling people to understand, use and shape the law. It continues the South African tradition of legal empowerment, from at least the 1950s, when community paralegals began helping people to navigate and resist apartheid laws. In the climate change context, empowerment also means ensuring community-based sustainability and resilience, and the generation of  knowledge and research that can be  useful to lawyers and communities all over Africa for years to come.

The initiative will gradually produce a range of training tools and components taking into account national and local circumstances. They will be compiled in a virtual, open access “Climate change legal empowerment workbook” that includes e.g. information on science, international commitments, law, policies, climate change campaigns and cases from across the globe. The workbook will be written in easily accessible language, avoid technical jargon, use illustrations and be translated into local languages.

Natural Justice will engage with its own paralegals, partner organisations, Indigenous and local communities, community-based organisations and NGOs to ensure the materials are used effectively and as widely as possible. Building on the legal empowerment workshops, the stories told and further research, Natural Justice will then work with a range of other actors towards a coherent legal approach which may include strategic climate change litigation and other legal action.

A workshop can be organised and implemented for between USD 3,000 – 5,000 (around GBP 3,500 or EUR 4,000). This includes staff time to organise and facilitate the workshop, travel expenses, printing of materials and financial compensation for participants who take time off and also share their knowledge and ideas with the researchers.

A workshop can be organised and implemented for between USD 3,000 – 5,000 (around GBP 3,500 or EUR 4,000). This includes staff time to organise and facilitate the workshop, travel expenses, printing of materials and financial compensation for participants who take time off and also share their knowledge and ideas with the researchers.

A workshop can be organised and implemented for between USD 3,000 – 5,000 (around GBP 3,500 or EUR 4,000). This includes staff time to organise and facilitate the workshop, travel expenses, printing of materials and financial compensation for participants who take time off and also share their knowledge and ideas with the researchers.

To sponsor a workshop you can make a donation here

To sponsor a workshop you can make a donation here

To sponsor a workshop you can make a donation here