Posted by Peace Direct on
Image credit: Casey Horner via Unsplash
Climate change and conflict are two of the biggest challenges faced by our world. Yet, environmental work and peacebuilding efforts are rarely coordinated. By supporting local peacebuilders to reduce violence while caring for the environment, we’re determined to change this.
This Earth Day, we share three examples of what peacebuilders are doing around the world to protect their communities, and the environment.
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.
Working with our partners in Eastern DRC to mine conflict free and environmentally friendly gold, we’re synchronising efforts to create a world that is peaceful and healthy.
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’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.
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In Mali, periods of drought have exacerbated poverty and violence for years. We support a number of youth and peacebuilding projects through our Youth Action for Peace Program (YAPP).
Our local partner, AJCAD, provide grants to support young people to develop a variety of peacebuilding activities. In 2021 alone, they have set up theatre healing workshops, developed a community garden, and set up a ‘Peace Brigade’ to keep the community safe.
The community garden was set up to respond to water shortages in the community, which often lead to conflict over this precious resource.
One of the women involved in the project shared her thoughts:
“There wasn’t any water, we were worried about it, but thank goodness now things are okay. Since the winter we have planted a lot. We sell our harvest, some use the profits for daily costs, and others put it in their savings. We are really benefiting from the garden, since it’s creation we haven’t needed to buy veg at the market”
UN figures estimate that 80 percent of people displaced by climate change are women. There is an urgent need to provide women and girls the vital support they need to respond to crises, and support their livelihoods.
In Nigeria, our partner LEGASI support women whose lives have been affected by conflict. In many of these communities, farming is the major source of income. Climate change and COVID-19 has made it harder to earn a living this way, leading to increased hardship among many young women. Menstrual poverty has spiked, causing many girls to skip school when they had their periods.
LEGASI is currently running a women’s empowerment project in the state of Kaduna. They educate women and girls on menstrual hygiene management, and run workshops to sew reusable sanitary pads. One of the major objectives of this work is to promote biodegradable products that are environmentally friendly.
“In our efforts to reduce period poverty among women and girls in grassroots communities, we have purchased ten sewing machines, sewing kits with 20 bundles of cotton materials, towels and napkins to teach women and girls how to make reusable sanitary pads.”
The theme for Earth Day this year is ‘Invest in Our Planet’. So we’re asking supporters like you to chip in what you can to help us build a safer, greener future for us all. Will you support our sustainable peacebuilding work with a donation today?