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News / 11 January 2019

Former JWHI-grantee Clive receives Gender Just Climate Solutions Award

Clive Chibule from Zambia won the Gender Just Climate Solutions Award at the climate conference in Katowice, Poland. His project "Community strategies for climate-resilient livelihoods" aims at training rural women on leadership and climate resilience. A very important project, as Zambia is already feeling the effects of climate change, and rural women are affected most.

According to the Women and Gender Constituency, who handed out the award, Clive and his NGO Green Living Movement from Zambia have "trained 537 women on leadership in project management and climate resilience. In a region stricken by climate-shocks, it has become necessary to support women farmers in diversifying their income, and making them less dependent on rain-fed harvests. Women farmers, with the support of the award winner, reproduce their own seeds, have planted over 35,000 trees, and created 250 vegetable gardens."

Both ENDS knows Clive since he received a JWHI-grant in 2011 to study Advocacy in Canada. We asked him about his award-winnig project.

Why did you start the project "Community strategies for climate-resilient livelihoods"?

"Rural communities, especially the women and youths, whose livelihoods primarily depend on agriculture and natural resources are very vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as shortened rain season, extreme high and low temperatures as well as more frequent droughts and floods. Although many farmers have reported to have observed variations in the climate over the past years, they don't know how to cope with the changes. This project addresses these issues by supporting the development of strategies for climate change adaptation in four communities in Luanshya, Monze and Mumbwa districts. We aim to build community resilience to climate shocks through increased awareness and enhanced adaptive capacity in the project communities."

What were the main results so far?

"The main beneficiaries of this project are 250 households or over 1500 small scale farmers (mainly women, youths and people living with disability). The project is promoting sustainable innovations and climate-smart practices that are being identified in cooperation with the communities as the most appropriate in each context such as agroforestry, organic gardening, beekeeping and small livestock production. These activities have helped in diversification and increase of income and facilitate a community-driven response to climate change. The project has also strengthened the advocacy skills of the community members in order to promote and safeguard their right to food, land, rural employment and safe environment as well as climate justice. The aim is that the communities will be able to contribute to evidence-based advocacy on climate-related issues at the national and global level."

Why did you focus on gender aspects in your project?

"Climate change is not gender neutral; women are affected more. So we increased the adaptive capacities of women by introducing alternative food sources. This has resulted in increased resilience to climatic shocks, e.g diversification of income sources other than dependence on rain fed agriculture. Indiscriminate cutting of trees in the project areas has also reduced and as a result there is an improvement in the forest cover and improved yields. There is a substantial increase in household income levels, especially for women headed households.

Furthermore, women now have more time available to attend to household chores and personal needs. As a result of various capacities built, women have now developed the confidence to contest various leadership position in their respective communities including that of a Village head person, a position that previously was always held by men and also having access to land."

How do you feel after winning this international award?

"I really feel more energized and determined to empower women and youths in order to enhance their resilience to climate related shocks and continue to advocate for rights-based and gender responsive development that promotes food security while respecting local communities' rights and traditional knowledge.

My next focus is to upscale and replicate the project to all the provinces of the country by facilitating and supporting women-led climate adaptation activities. This will also help me to explore and incorporate women's indigenous knowledge in climate change adaptation and try to interface indigenous knowledge with science. This will in turn result in resilient livelihoods and improved food security in the face of climate change. Ultimately, this will enhance women's participation in development as stipulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Zambia's National Development Plans."

 

The Gender Just Climate Solutions Awards were handed out on Monday December 10th, the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by the Women and Gender Constituency at the climate negotiations in Katowice, Poland. The Awards celebrate gender-just solutions - aiming to support and scale up innovative initiatives that put equity and sustainability at heart.

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