Climate change is taking the heaviest toll on the poor. Every year, we help over 1,000,000 people adapt to climate change, reduce the risks of disasters, sustainably manage natural resources, and conserve nature.
Why do environment and climate change matter
The poor, who contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions, are also the ones who suffer the most from climate change. They live in floodplains, low-elevation coastal zones and on arid lands because they cannot afford safer areas. Floods and hurricanes destroy their homes and drought threatens their crops.
The first Millennium Development Goal target — to cut the 1990 poverty rate in half by 2015 — was achieved five years ahead of schedule. But climate change increasingly threatens development progress. Economic progress has come at the expense of the environment. And again, it is the least responsible who are the most affected: developing countries in general and in particular local communities that rely on natural resources such as forests and fish for their livelihood.
Dorji, Hungrel Block forester, Bhutan
Humanity has the know-how to create a climate-resilient and sustainable future. Helvetas helps vulnerable communities to reduce risks and increase the resilience of their livelihoods. Traditional knowledge and the latest research are combined to mitigate climate change and adapt to its adverse effects, manage disaster risks, and introduce environmentally friendly practices.
In the past five years, Helvetas has helped over 5,000,000 people in vulnerable communities become more resilient to climate and disaster impacts and sustainably manage natural resources.
Our approach builds on the promotion of practices that balance livelihood needs with environmental sustainability. Our multilingual Environment and Climate Change team provides advisory services both to Helvetas and external clients.