Climate Response and Resilience

We help the most vulnerable deal with the effects of climate change through responses uniquely tailored to meet a community’s needs while protecting their environment.

Responding to Climate Extremes

Those least responsible for climate change — the poor and vulnerable — are those who feel its effects the most.

Our work to end extreme poverty is increasingly challenged by shifting climatic patterns and extreme weather. The impacts of climate change threaten all the basic essentials of survival — food, shelter, and water — for the world’s poorest, and deprive them of the ability to live full, productive lives. By addressing the inextricable link between people and their environment, we help the most vulnerable deal with the effects of climate change through responses that are uniquely tailored to meet the needs of both communities and their environment.

Climate-Smart Agriculture

In many areas where we work, communities rely on agriculture both for food and income. Faced with degraded land and extreme weather, farmers often contend with food insecurity and unreliable income.

To address these challenges, Concern promotes eco-friendly farming techniques that are tailored for local environments and designed to improve food security and nutrition. This includes growing a diversity of hardy, weather-tolerant crops and practicing conservation agriculture, an alternative to traditional, intensive farming methods that emphasizes not tilling the soil, using organic materials as natural fertilizers, and rotating crops, which improves soil fertility, retains moisture, and prevents erosion.

In addition to farming, we help communities sustainably manage water and other natural resources and promote rainwater harvesting, high-efficiency irrigation, and renewable energy sources, production, and technology such as fuel-efficient stoves, solar power, and biofuels. We also take into account the conditions of individual environments and how people use them to develop tailored and sustainable solutions that enable communities to support themselves while protecting the land.

Terrace Farming in Ethiopia

Concern has worked with the communities in Dessie-Zuria in the northern part of Ethiopia to introduce terracing to rehabilitate unproductive land and to protect their homes and land against flooding and erosion. Photo by Petterik Wiggers

Environmental Stabilization and Restoration

Natural disasters can be as devastating to vulnerable environments as they are to vulnerable people. To address environmental damage from storms and human pressures and to minimize damage from future weather crises, we work with communities to rehabilitate the land and ecosystems that sustain and protect them.

In countries like Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, community-maintained tree nurseries grow local trees that are replanted in degraded lands. In coastal areas like the Bay of Bengal, these reforestation efforts also help to strengthen the natural bio-shield that trees create against damaging winds and erosion from tidal surges. In farming, agroforestry techniques provide the same benefits when trees and shrubs are grown among crops both to rehabilitate degraded land and to provide crops with protection against severe weather.

Coral Reef Rehabilitation

After Hurricane Haiyan devastated the Philippines, Concern built floating coral nurseries in the waters off Concepcion to restore the area’s marine environment and protect fishing livelihoods. Photo by Steve De Neef

Eco-Friendly Entrepreneurship

To reduce pressures on fragile environments, we help people to develop alternative, sustainable, and entrepreneurial livelihoods that provide stable incomes. In Saut d’Eau, Haiti, for example, where a local waterfall is the site of an annual religious pilgrimage, we are working to create a community-based ecotourism enterprise with a focus on benefiting the most vulnerable and poor residents in addition to the wider town.

Saut d'Eau Waterfall

This waterfall in Saut d’Eau, Haiti is the site of an annual religious pilgrimage around which Concern is helping communities to create local, eco-friendly businesses. Photo by Hayes Roth

Learn More about Our Work in Climate Response and Resilience

How We Do It

Innovation

Finding solutions to poverty in weather-afflicted areas takes entrepreneurial ingenuity, environmental problem solving, and smart resource management.

Women & Children

Concern empowers women and educates children to be agents of change to transform entire communities into climate-safe places.

Community Empowerment

Building resilience against the effects of climate change takes a village — literally.