In December 2019, Natural Justice and its partners launched the African Environmental Defenders Fund. Initially, this fund targeted African members of the International Land Coalition (ILC) who faced threats and harassment due to their work as environmental defenders. In 2021, Natural Justice and its partners expanded the initial fund, with the result that we can now provide emergency funding to a wider array of environmental defenders. This includes any land and environmental defenders across Africa who are facing an emergency due to their activism.
Partners to the fund include the International Land Coalition, ICCA Consortium, Pan-African Climate Justice Activists (PACJA), Oxfam Novib, FEMNET, and African Youth Commission.
What has changed?
- The fund is now open to non-ILC members.
- The fund can, in certain circumstances, fund security infrastructure measures.
The latest eligibility criteria now reads:
Any person is eligible to apply for an emergency grant if they meet all of the following criteria:
- Is a citizen of any African country or a person legally residing or working in any African country;
- Is an active frontline land and environmental rights defender working on issues related to land rights, environmental and climate justice, including but not limited to rights over natural resources, land or environmental conflicts, land grabbing and land reform;
- Is facing an imminent threat or harm due to the nature of his/her work as a land and environmental defender; AND
- Has not secured any other kind of support from another entity, organization or person to support him/her through the emergency situation.
What the fund can cover includes:
Expenses related to the installation of security infrastructure in exceptional circumstances: The Fund can cover an application to procure security infrastructure such as CCTV cameras provided that adequate justification is given on how this will help overcome the emergency situation. This may include reference from a tech specialist on the effectiveness of such infrastructure.