Predictions for our changing climate paint an alarming picture—rising sea levels, changing weather patterns, and increased incidences of natural disaster all threaten to greatly impact human life. While climate change impacts everyone, degrading resources and increasing instability will most greatly affect the millions of rural poor, the majority of whom are women, who depend upon natural resources for their livelihoods.
In communities that rely on their environments to provide basic food, water, and energy resources, the impacts of climate change can be devastating. Too much or too little water can decimate crops and force migration. As vital resources become scarce, more time is devoted to resource collection, less healthy options are exploited, and less sustainable practices are employed. For those who survive off natural resources, climate change presents a challenge that most communities are simply not prepared to face.
Despite the grim predictions, there is hope. Those communities that most rely on natural resources can be equipped to adapt to changes while also serving as a powerful force to mitigate future climate impacts. At New Course we recognize the powerful role that women, as the primary users of their communities’ natural resources, can play in bolstering their communities resiliency while also reducing future climate impacts. To ensure resilient, sustainable communities, we enable women to responsibly manage their resources and renew their environments. When women are empowered as stewards of their environments the result is communities that are better able to adapt to changes. Additionally, as resource degradation is both a result and a cause of climate change, women who are enabled to restore degraded ecosystems and resource bases are also able to help cut future climate impacts.