More than 700 community leaders, entrepreneurs, activists and business innovators became Climate Reality Leaders this week at a three-day training held by The Climate Reality Project in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The organisations also announced the launch of The Climate Reality Project Africa, a new branch that will further mobilise individuals and communities across the continent in the fight against climate change.
“We are proud to be able to engage with passionate climate leaders across the continent,” said former U.S. Vice President and Climate Reality Project Chairman Al Gore.
“This is a critical time for Africa. Though Africa produces a relatively small proportion of the carbon pollution driving global climate change, the continent bears a disproportionate share of its impacts. Drought, desertification and food shortages are becoming more widespread, and the continent faces daily reminders of the dire consequences of inaction. The good news is that if we act together now, we can solve the climate crisis, and Africa is already playing a key role in that effort.”
The three-day intensive training program, held March 12-14, was designed to equip individuals from Africa and around the globe with the communications skills, knowledge, tools and drive to educate and activate diverse communities on the costs of carbon pollution and what they can do to help solve the climate crisis.
In addition to Climate Reality Project Chairman Al Gore, and President and CEO Maggie L. Fox, speakers at the training included Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau of Johannesburg and Executive Director of Greenpeace International Kumi Naidoo, as well as other key South African social entrepreneurs, businesspeople, actors, scholars and other cultural leaders.
Under the leadership of Food & Trees for Africa, The African Climate Reality Project will work with climate leaders, governments, NGOs and scientists across the continent to create the tools, resources and network of African leaders to mobilise communities from Algeria to Zimbabwe in the fight for solutions to climate change.
“I’m deeply honored to help to establish The African Climate Reality Project,” said Jeunesse Park, founder of Food & Trees for Africa. “This comes at a crucial time for the continent of Africa as we face increasing climate instability. Whilst this presents us with many challenges, we also have the unique opportunity not only to help millions of Africans understand climate change, but also to innovate and implement solutions that we can share with the rest of the world.”
As an affiliate of The Climate Reality Project, The African Climate Reality Project will achieve several strategic goals in the continent:
- Create a network and communications hub for trained Climate Reality Leaders, NGOs, governments, scientists and others in Africa to collect and share information and resources
- Develop wide-ranging communications assets, workshops, events, and social channels to tell the story of climate change in Africa.
The Climate Reality Project is grateful to the Wallace Global Fund for their support of the training. The mission of the Wallace Global Fund is to promote an informed and engaged citizenry, to fight injustice, and to protect the diversity of nature and the natural systems upon which all life depends.
With a global movement more than 5 million strong and a grassroots network of trained Climate Reality Leaders, The Climate Reality Project is spreading the truth of the climate crisis to communities everywhere and creating cultural momentum to solve it.
About Food & Trees for Africa
In 1990, Jeunesse Park gathered a group of concerned individuals, representing the major greening organisations in South Africa, to form Trees for Africa, now known as Food & Trees for Africa. The organisation pioneered innovative greening, food security, sustainable natural resource management and climate change solutions, especially for the poor, and promoted environmental and climate change awareness and education.
24 years later Food & Trees for Africa has been recognised through five United Nations and many other awards for the planting millions of trees, thousands of permaculture food gardens and now organic farms. These programmes are changing lives and landscapes and growing food, farmers, and fortunes towards thriving communities – see www.trees.org.za for more information.