Story | 07 Jun, 2022

IUCN launches new call for proposals for Resilient, Inclusive and Sustainable Environments (RISE) grants

Addressing gender-based violence and environment linkages to deliver improved rights-based, gender-responsive conservation, climate action and sustainable development for all.

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Photo: Estudio Relativo for IUCN

Over the last week, the globe met to celebrate Stockholm+50, calling for “a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity”. The high-level meeting followed months of consultations at individual to global levels and commemorated the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and the 50-years of global environmental action it spurred. 

The event also aimed to complement and help catalyse the delivery of Sustainable Development Goals as well as the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and green COVID-19 recovery plans. As several side events noted, women around the world are essential in the fights against environmental degradation and the climate crisis, yet, not only do they persistently experience barriers to environmental decision-making, women and girl environmental activists and defenders experience disproportionate levels of violence, harassment and discrimination. 

As IUCN’s 2020 research, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), found, gender-based violence is used to reinforce discriminatory status quos surrounding women’s access, use, control, ownership and decision-making over land and natural resources – and these dynamics are further exacerbated in the context of climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss. The human, social and economic cost of gender-based violence impacts individuals, communities and entire societies, hindering individuals’ ability to engage in and benefit from environmental conservation and threatens the resilience, prosperity and wellness of entire communities and societies.

As Stockholm+50 called for “bold choices” and taking “urgent action”, IUCN is pleased to announce that it is now hosting Resilient, Inclusive and Sustainable Environments (RISE), a grants mechanism created and incubated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and informed by the work of the Gender-based Violence and Environment Linkages Center (GBV-ENV Center) under IUCN and USAID’s partnership Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT). 

RISE to datePhoto: Estudio Relativo for IUCN

To-date, RISE has supported nine projects designed to address GBV in environment-focused programming and generated evidence on promising GBV prevention and response interventions in eight countries – Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Fiji, Guatemala, Kenya, Peru, Uganda, and Vietnam which have benefited over 11,500 people, including training 419 people on gender-based violence prevention and response and providing gender-based violence services to 420 people. Through a peer-learning community, RISE has built capacities, cross-sector collaborations and a knowledge foundation on best practices to address GBV in environment-related sector. 

RISE impact to datePhoto: Estudio Relativo for IUCN

Today’s launch and call for 2022 proposals invite environment and conservation organisations and organisations working to address gender-based violence to partner in implementing evidence-based, locally or community-led or driven and survivor-centred and trauma-informed approaches to addressing gender-based violence and environment linkages. RISE is seeking to fund new interventions that address GBV in environment sectors, integrated approaches that embed GBV components in existing environmental programming – or related activities and existing GBV-environment programming that aims to continue, scale up or replicate an intervention. Prioritising interventions in climate-vulnerable contexts and addressing the protection of the rights and safety of environmental defenders, as well as adaptive management in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, RISE anticipates funding up to six projects in the range of USD 100,000 - USD 400,000 each, with implementation timelines of 18-24 months in one or more targeted geographies – Central America and the Caribbean, Eastern and Southern Africa and South and Southeast Asia. 

The RISE grants challenge will support organisations to address gender-based violence and environment linkages in environmental programming.Photo: Estudio Relativo for IUCN

The application window will be open until 18 July 2022. Stockholm+50 challenged the globe to “connect and build bridges across agendas” and to “rethink conceptions and measures of progress and wellbeing” – this World Environment Day, IUCN welcomes all IUCN and non-IUCN members to apply and become a RISE grantee – a unique opportunity to build cross-sectoral partnerships, participate in a community of learning and practice on addressing gender-based violence and environment linkages, and to benefit from technical support and spotlight attention on RISE impacts and learnings at the global, regional and national levels.