We work at the grassroots with communities and the activists who protect them, gathering testimonies from the frontlines of climate change.
EJF’s Climate Witness Network empowers and connects people by providing a platform where people can share their experiences of our changing world.
For many people around the world, the impacts of climate change are already apparent. They face the effects of increasingly erratic rainfall, unpredictable seasons, worsening storms and flooding, more frequent and longer-lasting droughts on their livelihoods, food and water security, homes, infrastructure, health and wellbeing. We work with vulnerable communities and the activists supporting them, using film to gather testimonies from those on the frontline of climate change.
We work to make sure the testimonies of those first and worst affected by climate change are heard at international negotiations on climate change, to give individual voices to the human impacts of climate change.
A major EJF investigation involved community members in rural Bangladesh being interviewed about the impacts of climate change and their situation of being forced from their homes and land. This led to our 2011 report, A Nation Under Threat, which combined the testimonies gathered from field investigations with recent data on the wide-reaching impacts of climate change.
The accompanying film, Land of Rivers, featured video testimonies from the investigations in Bangladesh and was a powerful exploration of the human impacts of climate change.
“We are here simply because of the flood… There was heavy rainfall. Hens, ducks, doors, furniture – everything got smashed. We were starving. We had no choice but to move… I am not sure how many families left the village, but a lot of them have done so. I may not return to the village. I have no place to live in. The house is not safe. There will be more floods in the future.”
Haowa Begum, a resident of the Tupera Taltola slum, Khulna, Bangladesh
EJF began to develop partnerships with grassroots organisations and individuals in areas particularly vulnerable to climate change to establish a global network of climate witnesses.
We worked alongside a journalist resident in Kenya’s Dadaab Refugee Camp to gather testimonies from individuals and families who were forced from their homes due to weather-related events and are living in Dadaab.
In 2011, East Africa suffered the worst drought in 60 years. 13 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan were left in need of food, water and emergency healthcare. Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya became the biggest refugee camp in the world, home to more than 520,000 people.
Our partner recorded powerful testimonies from climate refugees in Dadaab:
“I was a farmer and also a livestock keeper. After two years of drought, my crops and livestock got finished. I had to run to Dadaab camp.”
“My name is Batulo. I’m 31 years old. I was a farmer. I used to grow mangoes and vegetables. When the drought affected my farm I had to run for two days for the Jilib area to arrive at this camp with my five children.”
During Climate Week 2011, our 90-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) No Place like Home: Rising Waters was screened in cinemas before feature films featuring a powerful portrayal of water levels rising due to climate change. The words of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives appeared within the water, giving a voice to the challenges felt by low-lying nations faced by rising waters caused by climate change.
“We are just 1.5 metres over sea level and anything over that, any rise in sea level – anything near that – would basically wipe off the Maldives. We view this as a human rights issue, as a justice issue, and also as a climate issue. We will be affected very quickly and very soon. We need a voice. We have a right to live.”
Mohamed Nasheed, former President of the Maldives, in an interview with EJF
Through our Climate Witness and Activist Training programmes we provide the necessary equipment and training to enable people to capture footage, photographs and testimonies of the human impacts of climate change.
We work with local grassroots partners and other NGOs including iMatter (USA), SES (India), Gravis (India), LEDARS (Bangladesh), Association for Climate Refugees (Bangladesh), REDO (Rwanda), Redep (Ghana), Jeunesse et Developpement (Mali), Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition (Nigeria), Pan Nature (Vietnam), Environmental Alert (Uganda), The Refugee (Kenya), Restless Development (UK), Concern Universal (UK).