Posts from a range of voices on fostering an effective environmental movement.
On 12 December, 2018, the second anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Agreement, French President Emmanuel Macron, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres convened world leaders for the One Planet Summit. It was an extraordinary event.
Keywords: climate change
One of the toughest challenges facing us in caring for the environment is that it is going to take all of us working together. The big systemic challenges like climate change or economically-driven degradation of the natural world need systemic responses. Responses are not hard to design, but how to do we achieve the ‘all of us working together’ part? The USA is way out ahead of us here, with funders partnering up with backbone organisations and giving unrestricted funding, in relationships of trust. It is time we in the UK caught up with this approach to whole-systems change.
We asked 92 chief executives of environmental organisations, “Which non-profit UK environmental organisations (not including your own) do you think accomplish the most, given the resources at their disposal?” Here's what they told us.
Unsustainable development, consumerism, the unequal role of women in society – all have negative impacts on our natural environment. Can environmental philanthropy successfully address the most pressing challenges if we do not acknowledge their interconnected nature? We believe that collaboration with funders from different fields – health, development, social justice – will mean a better-targeted and relevant response to environmental problems, and ultimately more impact. Collaboration across sectors is the future of environmental funding.
In a recent EFN survey of 92 chief executives of environmental organisations, nearly half of the respondents indicated that their organisations' funding, strategy or other activities are being constrained by the so-called ‘closing space’ for civil society, here in the UK and in countries spanning the globe. The solutions will likely require groups to work across issue areas. How can funders help?
Each year EFN hosts a two-day retreat for funders to discuss the most pressing issues concerning those involved in tackling the myriad of challenges facing the environment. ACF’s Emma Hutchins reports back.
We believe our current food system is broken, causing not just environmental damage, but epidemics in obesity and diabetes, poverty amongst food and farm workers, and the mistreatment of animals. Last year the Food Ethics Council was commissioned by a group of funders to conduct a census of CSOs in order to develop a picture of the voluntary sector on food, farming and fishing in the UK. The census indicates that the challenges faced by the food system are getting worse. And despite the best efforts of CSOs, the sector’s response is not commensurate with the scale and urgency of the challenges.
The big opportunity of the decade is Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – maritime areas, clearly delineated, and protected in one way or another from atop the foaming wave to Davy Jones’s locker. But for them to make a meaningful difference, they need meaningful management, effective compliance and enforcement, and routine and widespread monitoring of benefits. That’s hard work. Arduous toil costs cash. Trusts and foundations have an important role.
It troubles me when I hear grant-making colleagues comment that the worst applications they receive are from environmental NGOs. So I thought I’d suggest some tips – Raven’s Rules for Relevant Writing, if you will. I hope you find them useful.
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