Dasra, a strategic philanthropy organisation, during the 14th edition of Dasra Philanthropy Week organised at Godrej One, Vikhroli in Mumbai, introduced its vision to collaborate with various sector experts, funders, civil society organisations and institutions to form Climate Action alliance to enable intersectional climate action in India. The aim of the Alliance is to bring together stakeholders across sectors to build resilient systems and to secure the welfare of marginalized communities.
The Climate Action Alliance, supported by the Rainmatter Foundation, will help build consensus and collaboration between diverse stakeholders, including the government and civil society organisations, to help shape an India view and common narrative against climate issues. The Alliance will also build partnerships with global and national institutions to leverage expertise, disseminate knowledge and hold convenings. In addition to this, The Alliance will also aim to facilitate philanthropy for climate related aspects.
Dasra also announced its plan to present a first-of-its-kind landscape and research report, to demystify the intersectionality of climate change in India. The Climate Intersectionality Report, in collaboration with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), would delve into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, namely, SDG 2 – Zero Hunger, SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-being, SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 15 – Life on Land, and SDG 5 – Gender Equality and SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals, as the cross-cutting SDGs. It would spotlight the need to approach climate change with an intersectional lens, which will help in devising suitable interventions via linkage with other sectors. The Climate Intersectionality Report will be launched in the coming months.
Speaking at the Dasra Philanthropy Week, Sameer Shisodia, CEO, Rainmatter Foundation, commented, “The climate crisis is a result of every bad trade-off we made in the last 10,000 years and, in an accelerated pace, for the past 100 years. Unless we link responsibility of our places, and link the future of our places as our responsibility, we would not have anywhere to run to.”
Sameer further added, “Climate is a place problem, and only the people who live there are aligned with the long-term interest of the place. Hence keeping the communities at the centre of the climate problem and giving them a decision making is an integral part of the fight against climate change.”
The ClimateRISE Day at the Dasra Philanthropy Week, was convened in partnership with the sector leaders including AVPN, India Climate Collaborative, Foundations Platform F20, Observer Research Foundation, and the Rainmatter Foundation as the anchor partner.
“There is a need to switch to a response mechanism to understand the needs on the ground and realize that our work should catch up with the real world and engage with an intersectional approach”, says Neera Nundy, Co-founder, Dasra at the ClimateRISE Day. “Climate is a deeply intersectional issue, and its impact cuts across almost all sectors and requires a shift across knowledge and action. It is important therefore, to not see climate change as an isolated issue. An intersectional approach towards it can help us as country to address the climate crisis while also fulfilling the aspirations of our youth.” Says Neera.
Speaking about the Climate Intersectionality Report, Dr. Nilanjan Ghosh, Director, Observer Research Foundation, said, “Climate action needs a trans-disciplinary approach and knowledge systems. On one hand, we have climate science to understand the scientific processes causing global warming and climate change, and on other hand, we need social science to understand the drivers and effects. Climate crisis emerges from unbridled human ambitions growing at the cost of depleting natural resources and its impact is felt across the various development indicators including human health, productivity and even ecosystem services. From that perspective, climate change is not an environmental problem but a development problem.
While climate action has been taken as a separate goal, every SDG has to endure the threat of climate change. We are delighted to join hands with Dasra for this project that stands upon the Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response Framework (DPSIR). The project also intends to bring out the global best practices of adaptation against climate change across various sectors.”
India is the fifth most vulnerable of 181 countries to the effects of climate change, with our poorest and marginalized communities being the most at risk. 75% of India’s districts are vulnerable to increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather events, and India might be one of the first places in the world to break the human survivability limit, with extreme heatwaves. Dasra, along with its partner organisations, aims to identify measures where policymakers can ensure synergy between climate change and the respective SDGs.
Dasra Philanthropy Week witnessed participation from thought-leaders, non-profit experts, funders and intermediaries in specially curated sessions including Sameer Shisodia (CEO, Rainmatter Foundation), Stefan Schurig (Secretary General, Foundation Platform F20), Bijal Brahmbhatt (Director, Mahila Housing SEWA Trust), Jarnail Singh (Deputy Director-India, MacArthur Foundation), Huda Jaffer (Director, SELCO Foundation), Hitesh Vaidya (Director, NIUA), Nilanjan Ghosh (Director, ORF), Chetna Gala Sinha (Founder, Mann Deshi Bank) and Aarthi Sridhar (Founder Trustee, Dakshin Foundation).
Dasra, meaning ‘enlightened giving’ in Sanskrit, is a pioneering strategic philanthropic organisation that aims for a transformed India where a billion thrive with dignity and equity. Since its inception in 1999, Dasra has accelerated social change by driving collaborative action through powerful partnerships among a trust-based network of stakeholders (corporates, foundations, families, non-profits, social businesses, government, and media). Over the years, Dasra has engaged with 500 philanthropists, corporates, and foundations, published 22 research reports in diverse fields and directed over US$34 million in strategic funding to the sector.
About Observer Research Foundation
Observer Research Foundation (ORF) is an independent Indian think tank that provides high-quality research and analysis on politics, economy, and international relations. Its publications include policy briefs, reports, and books, and it organizes events that bring together policymakers, experts, and stakeholders to discuss critical issues. Through its work, ORF contributes to informed policy-making and public debate in India and beyond.