Frontline funds: investing in grassroots-led responses to climate change


This online event as part of London Climate Action Week on 30 June 2021 explored the role of frontline funds as effective mechanisms to build resilience for grassroots-led responses.

Last updated 9 July 2021
People seated around a table

Women map their community in a Mumbai slum, India (Photo: copyright Slum Dwellers International)

Climate change has a disproportionate effect on communities at the frontlines. Despite experiencing first-hand the impact of the climate and nature crises, these communities continue to be among the most overlooked as solution providers and knowledge holders. 

This online event explored how civil society-led mechanisms can deliver the solutions that are urgently needed at the local level.

Grassroots organisations have a demonstrated ability to innovate and produce solutions that work and can be replicated. Networks of organisations have produced, organised and mobilised communities and, with the right support, are well placed to champion climate change processes that can rapidly increase community resilience and reduce vulnerability. Support is growing for locally led initiatives, with more than 50 organisations now having signed up to the principles for locally led adaptation.

The urgency of climate action and what is at stake at UNFCCC COP26 provides an opportunity to reshape conventional narratives – to promote ‘business-unusual’ approaches. 

We want to move away from business-as-usual approaches and design transformative long-term mechanisms that ensure that:

  • Money gets where it matters
  • Accelerate local climate resilience and adaptation
  • Multiply the potential of grassroots organisations as change-makers
  • Advance climate justice
  • Respond to the needs, priorities and interests of grassroots organisations and vulnerable communities, and
  • Place values of equity, solidarity and human dignity front and centre of climate action.

This event brought climate finance providers, foundations and multilateral organisations together with grassroots organisations and social movements to discuss the role of frontline funds as effective mechanisms to build resilience that is driven at the local level.

Drawing on lessons learned through grassroots action, our panel discussed how to increase financial streams that place resources in the hands of organised communities groups, empowering poor women and men to take short- and long-term measures to build resilience to multiple threats?

This event was hosted in partnership with Huairou Commission, Slum Dwellers International, Climate Justice Resilience Fund and Global Resilience Partnership as part of London Climate Action Week 2021

Event coverage

Watch a full recording of the event on London Climate Action Week's YouTube channel.


About the speakers

Welcoming remarks by Andrew Norton, director of IIED


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