Many poor people in developing countries are struggling to survive in a rapidly changing world. The aggressive drive to develop land, build mega-dams, mine for minerals and log the earth’s remaining forests is unjustly pushing millions of indigenous people and small farmers off the land they have lived on for generations. In many cases, this land holds spiritual and cultural significance and is central to the identities of its inhabitants. In their quest for power and profit, many corporations and governments are ignoring the voices of local communities to whom these lands and resources often belong.
Furthermore, our global dependence on carbon-emitting fossil fuels, large-scale industrial agriculture and unbridled economic development is hastening climate change. And sadly, people in poor rural communities who are dependent on the land for survival are bearing the brunt of global warming, as powerful storms, floods, droughts and heatwaves ravage their homes and small farms.
To counter these grave challenges, AJWS supports communities working to slow climate change, stop harmful development projects, and protect the land, water and natural resources that they depend on for survival. We support a constellation of grassroots organizations and determined advocates, as they shape powerful social movements to ensure that land, water and natural resources are used equitably and sustainably.
- A world in which the rights to land, water and other natural resources are guaranteed for all people, especially indigenous people, the rural poor, women and oppressed castes
- A world in which people and the planet are living in mutually caring interdependence, with a just distribution of resources to support life
- A future in which those who did the least to contribute to climate change, yet bear its biggest burden, have a voice in addressing the problem
In communities around the world, our grantees’ efforts are resulting in critical progress for vulnerable rural people. Communities are fending off illegal land grabs and winning legal battles confirming that their land can’t be used for development without their consent. They are preserving access to clean water, stopping the destruction of forests, and implementing innovative solutions to ward off threats posed by climate change.