Article originally published by Oltremare
Text by Emanuele Bonpam
Environmental cooperation is the part of international collaboration that sees ecological conservation as a motor of cultural, social, and economic development. In recent years, projects that focus on environmental protection related to socio-economic development and rights protection have grown exponentially, especially those working on the sustainable use of natural resources.
“Non-governmental organizations such as AVSI have been working for decades on themes like urban development, decarbonization, environmental education, and climate resilience,” says Alessandro Galimberti, AVSI focal point on Climate Change. “Today, we are beginning to be more consistent in how we talk about these themes and giving them the right emphasis.”
It is essential to create a strong link between climate, the environment, and inequalities, and connecting them to humanitarian crisis and development. Many countries, like in Sub-Saharan Africa, that contribute a tiny percentage of global gas emissions, suffer heavily from the consequences of climate change.
The Humanitarian Development Nexus, a strategy promoted by the United Nations, brings together emergency, development, and resilience. With a team and specific policies to support this approach, Nexus is responding to the current environmental crisis by reducing risks and vulnerability, not only containing the damage.
Given the complexity of issues such as climate, resilience, and adaptation, it is necessary to have medium and long-term programs, rather than short-term projects, that require substantial and continuous investments. Government support is no longer enough but serves to widen the platform of donors, including private resources and institutions.
Creating awareness on environmental issues is fundamental; that’s why AVSI and other NGOs are experimenting with new communication platforms.
“Communicating properly helps highlight the projects,” says Galimberti. “Talking about a climate, environmental and development crisis not only brings people together but can also serve to reach donors and strengthen the position of a country in international conferences and its leverage in international negotiations, such as the Paris Agreement.”
It is equally important to inform citizens. If a project reaches a new level of complexity, it becomes more challenging to explain and translate its goals to the public and donors. Storytelling, collaborating with the world of journalism, and the use of new communications tools are among the many solutions undertaken by AVSI. Everyone must do their part in the great global challenge to ensure a future for the generations to come, in every corner of the planet.