Climate change poses a serious threat to the lives, livelihoods and human rights of marginalized and excluded populations in the Global South.
This threat comes not just from the impacts of a warming and changing climate, but also from climate action itself. The societal transformation required to address the climate crisis will impact nearly every level of governance and development. It is therefore crucial that climate policies be developed in an inclusive, participatory and rights-compliant manner.
Democratic decline and shrinking civic spaces worldwide are limiting people’s ability to claim their rights and participate in decision-making processes that affect them. At the same time, activists working to defend the environment face increasingly higher levels of violence, harassment and threats.
Global Witness has documented the killing of 1,910 environmental defenders over the past decade. For every one defender killed, many more have reported harassment, unlawful detainment or arrest, defamation suits, surveillance and other actions that silence their voices and undermine their activism.
IDRC-supported research will generate a better understanding of the nature and drivers of the threats faced by climate and environmental defenders by focusing on their lived experience and identifying effective response strategies. The research is also expected to generate broader lessons on effective ways to counter the closing of civic spaces.
Using a competitive process, IDRC has identified the following research projects to address the climate emergency and closing civic space.