Association Burkinabè de Fundraising

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Emergency fund for environmental defenders in Africa

African Climate Justice Activists (AACJ) invite you to be part of the solution! If you're passionate about making a difference and have a climate justice project in mind, they want to support you. Apply for their grants to create African solutions to African problems!

  • In the context of the challenges facing African environmental defenders and the shrinking civic spaces in most African countries, Natural Justice and its partners have expressed their commitment to protecting environmental and land defenders.To achieve this goal, the NGOs have created the "African Environmental Defenders Emergency Fund" to support environmental and land defenders who find themselves in emergency situations due to the nature of their work.

    Deadline: ongoing

    Name of donor : African activists for climate justice (AACJ)

    Grant size : not available

    Category: Grant

    Areas of interest


    Objective of the Emergency Fund
    • The aim of this fund is to promote respect for and improve the protection of African environmental defenders working on land and environmental issues, by providing urgent emergency support to defenders throughout Africa.
    Types of support the Emergency Fund can provide
    • The nature of the support provided by the Fund will take the form of a grant to oversee an emergency or at-risk situation related to a defender's activism or actions. This grant will cover any immediate and short-term transition costs arising from the emergency situation before the defender identifies a more stable source of support. Some of the costs that may be covered by this fund include:
      • Urgent and short-term legal assistance
        • For environmental and land defenders who are threatened with arrest, arbitrarily arrested, detained, maliciously prosecuted or summoned by government authorities, this fund can be used to cover the costs of legal representation in order to guarantee the defender's freedom during the entire trial. The aim is to prevent any imminent or ongoing violation of human rights throughout the trial. This could include: bail; the cost of legal representation when the defender is summoned by the authorities; temporary injunctions; the orders protective measures in the event of a threat of deportation or actual forced deportation; early release on bail for defenders who fear arrest or re-arrest. In such cases, it must be demonstrated that this is the most effective preventive measure against a clear, direct and imminent threat, among other alternatives.
      • Cost of security/surety in exceptional circumstances
        • Where a defender has obtained bail/guarantee but, for whatever reason, is unable to raise the required amounts, this Fund may cover the cost of bail/guarantee in certain circumstances to release the defender from custody during the trial period. Requests for this type of support will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the facts and evidence presented by the applicant.
      • Emergency medical aid
        • Environmental defenders who, in the course of their work, sustain injuries or become seriously ill as a result of any form of physical violence perpetrated against them, may be supported by the Fund. In such cases, the Fund may provide assistance to the Defender by covering the costs of medical services and treatment. Psychosocial support may also be provided where necessary to enhance recovery from the experience of traumatic or improve their emotional well-being.
      • Temporary moving expenses
        • Relocation becomes necessary when a defender faces a threat of violation of his or her rights or risks being exposed to other types of danger as a result of his or her continued presence in a particular place or territory. The Fund can cover all the costs associated with relocation for as long as the threat persists.
      • The cost of hiring private security for the defender in exceptional circumstances
        • Where a defender fears their life is in danger, they may apply for funding to hire private security for a short period. Requests for this type of support will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the facts and evidence presented by the applicant.
      • Expenses related to the installation of safety infrastructures in the event of exceptional circumstances
        • The Fund may cover a request for the acquisition of security infrastructure such as CCTV cameras, provided that adequate justification is provided as to how this will contribute to overcoming the emergency. This may include a reference from a technology specialist on the effectiveness of such infrastructure. Due to the high costs of security infrastructure, it must be clear from the application that this is the best way to secure a defender, that the application is justified by a third party and that the budget is provided by a service provider.
    Eligibility criteria
    • Anyone can apply for a grant if the applicant :
      • Is a citizen of an African country or a person residing or working legally in an African country;
      • Is an active frontline land and environmental rights advocate working on issues related to land rights, environmental and climate justice, including but not limited to natural resource rights, land or environmental conflicts, land grabbing and land reform;
      • faces imminent threat or harm due to the nature of its work as a defender of land and the environment;
      • Has not obtained any other type of support from any other entity, organisation or anyone to support them in an emergency.
    • This Fund cannot support other types of non-emergency costs such as :
      • Maintenance and routine administrative and office expenses.
      • Human rights programmes that are not linked to a specific, contingent situation of rights violation.
      • Armed security.
      • Emergencies linked to natural disasters.
      • The cost of applying to become a citizen of another country.
      • Any other costs that the Committee considers not to constitute an emergency.

    For more information, please visit AACJ

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