From Mexico to Malaysia, incredible people are protecting our planet. Meet a few leaders from the Climate Action Fund.
From devastating disasters to punishing temperatures that just keep climbing, it’s clear that the climate crisis is the challenge of the era—but there is still hope for the future.
Across the globe, teachers, farmers, and Indigenous environmentalists have risen to the challenge of becoming climate leaders in their communities. The GlobalGiving Climate Action Fund provides yearlong support to five of these innovative climate champions, elevating local efforts to create more sustainable communities across the globe.
Each cohort member was selected by GlobalGiving staff for their impact, thought leadership, and commitment to working with local families to protect our planet.
1. Protecting tropical ecosystems through community partnerships
A multinational organization based in Central America, EcoLogic partners with rural and Indigenous communities to build economic stability, increase access to nutrition, and, ultimately, protect our planet. Their holistic approach includes offering training programs on sustainable agriculture practices, providing fuel-efficient stoves, training forest stewards, and more.
“Communities bearing the brunt of climate change, who often have the least financial means, are also often the guardians and stewards of forests and natural resources that are a key part of the climate solution,” Barbara Vallarino, Executive Director at EcoLogic, said.
“Over 28 years, we have created relationships built on trust, respect for local knowledge, and an understanding of local culture to create nature-based solutions that support local livelihoods,” Barbara added. To date, EcoLogic has helped over 700 communities in Latin America. Learn more.
2. Protecting coral reefs by reducing pollution
For communities across Malaysia, coral reefs are a vital source of food and employment. Reef Check Malaysia is working to protect these natural wonders for people and the planet by reducing pollution in the area, rehabilitating recently damaged reefs, and promoting environmentally-friendly tourism practices.
Program Manager Theresa Ng shared that one of the most exciting aspects of Reef Check Malaysia’s work is engaging with the local community. In the short three years that Theresa has been working on marine conservation projects, she said local islanders have become more involved in managing their environment and natural resources. Learn more.
3. Restoring the Oaxaca watershed through environmental education
In the Oaxaca watershed, unsustainable agricultural practices exploitation of local resourceshave caused severe erosion, habitat loss, and flooding. Instituto de la Naturaleza y la Sociedad de Oaxaca is working to restore natural resources in the region by educating community members on sustainable practices ranging from soil conservation to water storage to eco-construction.
When asked what gives him hope in the face of the climate crisis, Director Juan José Consejo shared: “More and more, I have found that small everyday victories such as a sudden resurgence of a dead spring in a creek or a beautiful family vegetable crop are what counts.”
4. Creating forests of food-producing trees
A three-time Climate Action Fund champion, Sadhana Forest elevates sustainable solutions to deforestation, water scarcity, and biodiversity loss.Their project in Samburu, Kenya is creating forests of Indigenous, food-producing trees that will provide long-term food security for the entire community while simultaneously mitigating climate change.
“The goal is so big that any obstacle looks like a speck of dust. It can disturb us, but it cannot steer us away from our path,” Executive Director Aviram Rozin said when asked what gives him hope for the future of our planet.
“After over 7 years in Samburu,” Aviram said, “some of the trees we planted are very large and productive which gives huge credibility to our program and fills us with optimism that these programs will be possible in many other locations in Kenya and across the world.” Learn more.
5. Building environmental and economic stability through Indigenous knowledge
In the words of Sophia Rohklin, a nonprofit leader at Instituto Chaikuni, their innovative approach to conservation “bridges traditional, Indigenous land-management techniques and modern permaculture methods to develop sustainable, integrated alternatives to land-use.” This seamless combination gives committed, local farmers in the Indigenous and mestizo communities of the Peruvian Amazon the opportunity to both increase food security and curb the impacts of deforestation and climate change. With support from the Climate Action Fund for the third year running, Instituto Chaikuni will continue fostering an intercultural learning environment while protecting one of our planet’s most breathtaking natural wonders. Learn more.