Kenyan women looking through a camera lens

Envisioning Resilience

Amplifying women’s voices in climate change adaptation planning

Through the Envisioning Resilience initiative, women on the front lines of climate change are developing their skills in photography and storytelling, learning about climate impacts in their region, and sharing their visions of resilience with decision-makers involved in National Adaptation Plan (NAP) processes.

It is well-documented that the impacts of climate change are not gender neutral. Women disproportionately suffer the consequences of climate change due to the inequitable distribution of roles, resources, and power. Despite this, women remain underrepresented in adaptation decision-making processes. 

Participant of the Envisioning Resilience initiative at a policy dialogue telling the story behind her photo that shows the impacts of climate change on her life.

Photo: Participant of the Envisioning Resilience initiative telling the story behind her photo that shows the impacts of climate change on her life. Credit: Dennis Nipah, Ghana (2021).

Led by national governments, the NAP process enables countries to build the resilience of their ecosystems, economies, and communities to the impacts of climate change. To be effective, NAP processes must consider the impact of climate change on the lives of women in all their diversity – this demands a participatory and gender-responsive approach. The process therefore presents an opportunity to facilitate dialogue between adaptation decision-makers and women on the front lines of climate change. However, there are challenges in creating appropriate spaces and finding a common language to talk about climate change, its impacts, and strategies for building resilience.  

Founded by the NAP Global Network and Lensational in 2021, with financial support from Global Affairs Canada, Envisioning Resilience aims to address these challenges.  

The initiative trains underrepresented women in photography and storytelling, enabling them to develop visual stories that capture their experiences with climate change and their visions of resilience. These stories then provide a basis for dialogue with decision-makers toward a shared understanding of the effects of climate change on women’s lives and the adaptation priorities for their communities. Further, the process supports economic empowerment by offering to sell the trainees’ photographs on Lensational’s online platform.   

The pilot phase was implemented in Ghana and Kenya, in close collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency in Ghana and the Climate Change Directorate in Kenya.

Women and men taking hay off a truck in Kenya

Photo: To manage through shortage of pasture, Kenyan people accumulate stubble remains from everything they harvest and use it to feed cattle. Credit: Esther Tinayo, Envisioning Resilience, Kenya (2021)

Following the success of the pilot initiatives, and with the continuous financial support provided by Global Affairs Canada, Envisioning Resilience then welcomed GirlsCARE as a partner in 2023 and began a new phase of work in Jamaica. 

This year, we are proud to be working alongside the Rwanda Women’s Network to support a new cohort of women trainees. 

Find out more about what we’re learning from Envisioning Resilience in this briefing note.