A new grantmaking body is being established to provide funding and support to community-based organisations working for environmental and climate justice in South Africa.
The new Environmental Justice Fund is a joint initiative of environmental justice groups groundWork, Earthlife Africa, the Centre for Environmental Rights, Womin, the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance, the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, Benchmarks Foundation, Women on Farms and the Mining & Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa.
The Fund will work to achieve a South Africa where environmental justice prevails, where all people enjoy an environment which is not harmful to their health and wellbeing, and the environment is protected for the benefit of present and future generations. “Through its establishment, the Fund acknowledges that supporting those most affected by environmental injustice to design and implement their own responses is our best chance of reversing the tide of environmental destruction and building a better, sustainable, and just world,” says Samson Mokoena, long-time environmental justice activist and coordinator of the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance.
The Fund will support community-based organisations that drive such environmental and climate justice campaigns to be sustainable, accountable, agile, resilient, creative, and networked into the broader environmental justice movement in South Africa.
The Environmental Justice Fund will receive grants from philanthropic foundations and other donors, and in turn provide grants to community-based organisations in a strategic, supportive, and inclusive way. The Fund’s grants committee will be made up of activists and people familiar with the environmental justice sector.
“The Environmental Justice Fund will be an activist fund for activists, by activists,” says groundWork director Bobby Peek, one of the leaders of the initiative.
The Fund is finalising its registration as a non-profit company, and will shortly issue a call for applications to its board of directors and its grants committee.
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