COP26 - peacebuilders tackling the climate crisis

COP26 – peacebuilders tackling the climate crisis

Li-An Lim via Unsplash

This summer, the UN issued  a ‘code red for humanity’ in a report on climate change. At the end of this week, the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) takes place in Glasgow, a global event to accelerate action to tackle climate change.

Thousands of miles away from where global leaders will gather, local activists, youth leaders and community builders are already creating their own practical solutions. Climate change and conflict are two of the biggest challenges faced by our world. Yet, the environmental work conducted around the world by communities experiencing conflict is rarely talked about.

We’re determined to change this. 

Conflict can make it difficult for countries to adapt to the impact of climate change and environmental disasters. At the same time, climate change and misuse of natural resources could jeopardise peace around the world, by aggravating existing tensions and creating competition over scarce resources.

Global warming threatens life as we know it as never before. But around the world, peacebuilders are developing the tools and the power to meet the challenge. Here are two examples of environmental peacebuilding projects taking place in DR Congo.

Planting trees and planting peace

From the outset of our Youth Action for Peace programme, our partners identified climate as one of the root causes of conflict within their communities, especially where young people are concerned. In response, several of the organisations we work with have supported youth initiatives to promote climate restoration and agricultural sustainability. In DR Congo, our partners NPCYP have helped two youth organisations to set up their own agricultural nurseries and reforestation initiatives in two locations. They’re planting trees to regenerate the landscape, and to prevent conflicts over resources.

Mining “Peace Gold” 

We are continuing to work closely with our partners in Eastern DRC to mine conflict free and environmentally friendly gold.

Gold mining degrades the environment and compromises the health of hundreds of thousands in DRC alone. We support our partner Centre Résolution Conflits (CRC) who are working to produce ethical and environmentally friendly gold in two cooperatives. CRC hosted a consultation with 200 women to discuss the harmful effects of mercury in the mining process, and to discuss how to remove it. 

 

CRC’s cooperatives are situated in the volatile territory of Djugu. Yet since their project has been bringing communities together with a common aim to improve their environment, the levels of violence have reduced, and peaceful cooperation has increased.

 Our partners are supporting initiatives aiming to mitigate the impact of climate change and its adverse effects on youth, to generate economic opportunities, and to stop conflict.

 

 

 


 

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