NCA supports faith actors to develop climate change actions that address the needs and vulnerabilities among their communities and constituencies. NCA links the actions of these faith groups and faith leaders at the community level to national and international political processes and advocacy.
People that live in poverty are disproportionally impacted by extreme and unpredictable weather patterns, which means that those who have contributed the least to climate change are the ones that suffer the most from its effects. As women are over-represented in vulnerable population groups, climate change also has a gender dimension. Environmental degradation and the effects of climate change are already being felt in many vulnerable communities. Climate change has implications across sectors - it affects migration patterns, livelihood strategies, health, infrastructure and people’s access to services.
The imperative to care for creation is strong across all faiths and worldviews. Climate change is a threat to lives, livelihoods and the entire creation. It exacerbates poverty and inequality and undermines the ability of communities, particularly in developing countries, to enjoy a life with dignity. NCA has a role to play in enabling faith actors to respond meaningfully to this common danger the world faces, and to link faith actors to other key stakeholders to work together for stronger impact.
The goal of NCA’s FBCA strategic initiative is to ensure that faith actors act on climate change. To achieve this, NCA and partners will:
NCA supports faith actors to develop climate change actions that address the needs and vulnerabilities in their communities and among their constituencies. As climate change impacts communities in a range of different ways, intervention strategies will vary in emphasis and scope. This programme therefore has several linkages and synergies with other NCA programmes, primarily Climate Resilient WASH, Peacebuilding, and Climate Smart Economic Empowerment.
Faith actors are moral authorities and social mobilisers in their communities, and they can have a strong influence on attitudes and actions towards climate change. NCA mobilises its faith-based partners to work in their communities and towards their external environment, supporting them in awareness raising and dissemination of knowledge about climate change and environmental degradation. NCA also strengthens these partners’ ability to organise community groups, address local vulnerabilities and build initiatives for climate resilience, while identifying and supporting local solutions and actions. Faith-based Community-based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) and NCA’s Church Forest Methodology are both integral to the programme, and the latter can adapted to suit other faith groups and contexts.
National and local governments have the overall responsibility for responding to climate change, mitigating impacts and implementing climate resilience initiatives. With a deficit in knowledge and resources necessary to fulfil this duty, NCA encourages constructive dialogue between faith-leaders and faith-based organisations and local authorities to ensure adequate responses and community participation in decisions that affect them. In some contexts, broader campaigns mobilising rights holders and religious leaders may be an effective way to influence government authorities to ensure the development and implementation of climate change plans and strategies.
To achieve this, NCA builds faith actors’ knowledge and capacity on both advocacy and climate change policy. NCA supports its faith-based partners to develop spiritual and theological frameworks or platforms for climate change action and climate justice, building on NCA’s cooperation within the ACT Alliance and other global networks. NCA strengthens faith actors’ capacity to engage with national governments and the private sector to ensure that they can positively impact national plans, policies and strategies.
NCA also strengthens faith-based climate networks and platforms to raise awareness about climate change at all levels. At the same time, it supports its faith-based partners to establish or join existing inter-faith climate change platforms and climate action networks, to strengthen their advocacy interventions. NCA also secures faith actors’ involvement in regional and international advocacy processes and creates linkages and spill-over effects to national climate justice advocacy agendas (linking national to regional and international levels). There is a strong focus on youth involvement in these international advocacy processes, linking their local work to wider national and international climate justice advocacy agendas.
NCA works in close collaboration with local faith-based organisations and NGOs, local private sector stakeholders in value chains (input suppliers, processors, buyers, etc.) as well as international companies that can, for example, contribute with technologies, innovation and knowledge. NCA also works closely with academia and research institutions. The aim is to guide, support and inspire our civil society and faith-based partners to become strong mobilising actors for climate resilience and climate justice. Where possible, NCA seeks private sector collaboration.