Ensure racial and gender justice and equity concerns are central to funding decisions, and that funding policies include adequate, accessible safeguards.

“More diversity in those who are making decisions and managing the economic, political, and social power is fundamental. In most places where decisions are being made, for example in the case of ethnic communities, decisions are made “for” – and not “with” and “from”.
Paula Moreno, Visible Hands, Colombia


Climate solutions must be rooted in social and racial justice. Advancing racial, gender, and climate justice and equity requires shifting power. Climate donors should prioritize resources toward the people most impacted by climate change and support those communities in determining and developing solutions.

Redistributing funding and decision-making power and amplifying the voices of those most directly impacted by land and resource exploitation are both essential to achieve just and equitable land use policies and practices. Diverse movements and diverse movement leadership will be critical to achieving fundamental shifts in rights and power.

Funders have a responsibility to support, listen to and learn from those who have historically been marginalized, reduce information and knowledge imbalances, and address structural challenges, not merely their symptoms.


  • Increase investments in:
    • Promoting Indigenous peoples, local communities and women, in leadership roles in all types of climate and land use organizations and providing general support to such organizations
    • Grassroots environmental defenders.
  • Critically assess funding protocols and processes to see how and where they might exclude or undermine the participation and leadership of marginalized populations; work with grantees on developing outcomes and indicators.
  • Engage new allies who already have a strong justice and equity orientation – such as faith communities, public health advocates, and unions – and who can engage even where civil society is weak.
  • Learn from those who receive support. Learn from how grassroots organizations are integrating agendas and developing solutions on the ground.

Related Resources


We offer these as a contribution to ongoing conversations about climate and forest funding priorities for the critical decade ahead. Click below to learn more.