Race to Resilience in action: 10 initiatives helping people and nature thrive in a world of increasing climate pressures

By Climate Champions | December 3, 2023

As the world grapples with the escalating challenges posed by climate change, numerous initiatives across the globe are making significant strides in building resilience for both people and nature. From the coral reefs of Fiji to the urban landscapes of Delhi, these efforts are not only addressing environmental concerns but also enhancing socio-economic stability for communities. Below are 10 solution stories, highlighted in the Race to Resilience’s Second Progress Report, launched today at COP28, showcasing diverse approaches and collaborative efforts aimed at creating a more resilient and regenerative world.

1. Marine conservation and sustainable finance in Fiji

  • Objective: Enhance coral reef health and sustainable marine resource utilisation.
  • Partners: GFCR, UNDP, Matanataki, Blue Finance, UNCDF.
  • Impact: Benefiting 30,000 fisher households, creating 300 tourism jobs, protecting 10,000 households from coastal erosion.
  • Approach: Catalyses private finance for reef-positive enterprizes, focusing on sustainable agricultural practices, waste management, and qoliqoli management.
  • Additional info: The initiative aimed at long-term outcomes including significant waste recycling, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, avoidance of mangrove forest loss, and enhanced fish stock, thereby achieving both environmental and socio-economic benefits.

Read more 

2. Support for small-scale fishing in Africa

  • Objective: Enhance financial management and resilience among coastal communities.
  • Partners: Ocean Risk Resilience Action Alliance, ABALOBI
  • Impact: Benefiting 72,986 small-scale fisheries
  • Approach: Implementing a smartphone application for financial tools, savings accounts, and cash advances.
  • Additional info: ABALOBI’s suite of tools contributes to the transition to fully reported fisheries, fisheries rebuilding, and conservation, demonstrating potential as a global catalyst for fisher-driven technology

3. Enhancing water resources and increasing resilience of local communities in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

  • Objective: Grow 1.5 million trees annually to restore river basins and combat climate change impacts
  • Partners: Initiative 20×20
  • Implementers: CELSIA, National Environmental Institutions.
  • Impact: Enhancing water resources and increasing resilience of local communities; 2 million trees already planted.
  • Approach: Planting native trees to restore watersheds, improving water availability, quality, and filtration; reconnecting forest corridors; protecting biodiversity.
  • Additional Info: ReverdeC, initiated in response to severe droughts caused by El Niño, involves local communities in the restoration process. The program, with its two nurseries in Valle del Cauca, focuses on sustainable, community-involved environmental rejuvenation, crucial for long-term success and sustainability.

Read more 

4. Shielding women workers from extreme heat in India

  • Objective: Protect and empower women in the informal sector against the health and income challenges posed by extreme heat.
  • Implementer: Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA).
  • Partners: Arsht-Rock, The Rockefeller Foundation, Howden Group.
  • Impact: Initially targeted 21,000 SEWA women in seven trades, with plans to expand to the broader 2.6 million member community across 18 states and other countries in Asia and Africa.
  • Approach: An integrated strategy combining risk transfer through Extreme Heat Income Microinsurance, risk reduction measures, heat early warning systems, and financial inclusion.
  • Additional Info: This initiative addresses the critical challenge of climate change’s impact on health and income, specifically for women in the informal sector. By providing essential tools, resources, and early warning systems, it aims to alleviate the difficult choice between earning a livelihood and ensuring personal safety.

Read more 

5. Empowering women and reforestation in Laos

  • Objective: Enhance ecological integrity through reforestation and agroforestry.
  • Partners: Global EverGreening Alliance, WWF Laos.
  • Impact: Benefiting 300 households, planting 30,000 trees in 185 hectares.
  • Approach: Integrating trees into agricultural lands for soil fertility and biodiversity.
  • Additional info: The project particularly emphasizes women’s participation, aligning with UN Sustainable Development Goals and promoting harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.

Read more 

6. Building coastal resilience in Portsmouth, England

  • Objective: Protect homes and balance defence with sustainability.
  • Implementer: City of Portsmouth.
  • Impact: Safeguarding 10,000 homes and 704 commercial properties.
  • Approach: Coastal defence projects like the Southsea Coastal and North Portsea Island schemes.
  • Additional info: These initiatives showcase how climate adaptation can coexist with biodiversity enhancement, particularly through features like textured seawalls.

Read more

7. Transforming weather information into urban resilience in East Africa

  • Objective: Provide accessible weather and climate information services.
  • Partners: DARAJA, Resurgence.
  • Impact: Benefiting 982,000 people.
  • Approach: Digital platform hosting tools, apps, and resources for weather information.
  • Additional info: Focused on empowering vulnerable urban residents by reducing climate-related losses and damages, enhancing community-based action.

Read more

8. Climate-resilient farming in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal

  • Objective: Implement sustainable riverine management.
  • Partners: Regions4, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs.
  • Impact: Employing 1,186 individuals, collecting 109 tonnes of waste, reclaiming 98 hectares.
  • Approach: Education and training in climate-adaptive river and environmental management.
  • Additional info: The project underscores the impact of integrating riverine management into municipal budgets and the role of community education and awareness.

Read more 

9. Resilience and restoration in Brazil’s Paraíba do Sul River Basin

  • Objective: Empower rural landowners through sustainable practices.
  • Partners: Global Environment Facility, Inter-American Development Bank, Brazilian government.
  • Impact: Benefiting 237 rural families, restoring 2,440 hectares.
  • Approach: Promoting Payments for Environmental Services (PES) and sustainable agriculture.
  • Additional info: The project aims to empower economically disadvantaged farming families, promoting food and nutritional security through sustainable agricultural practices.

Read more 

10. Delhi’s commitment to climate resilience

  • Objective: Enhance urban resilience through various initiatives.
  • Implementers: Delhi Government, various ministries.
  • Impact: Potentially benefiting 32 million residents.
  • Approach: Focus on clean and sustainable energy, air quality improvement, and effective waste management.
  • Additional info: The pledge includes efforts to increase access to clean and sustainable energy, reduce air pollution, and improve biodiversity through green cover and wetland restoration.

Read more 

Read the Report