Who we are
The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) is a continental coalition of Civil Society Organizations from diverse backgrounds in Africa.
Founded in 2008, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance has emerged as the most vibrant and largest Civil Society platform in climate change and sustainable development, with a membership of more than 1000 organizations and networks.
The Alliance brings together Faith-based Organizations, Community-based organizations, Non-Governmental organizations, Trusts, Foundations, Farmers and Pastoralist Groups among other sectors.
Inception and Growth
The journey towards a unified African civil society, which in essence gave forth to the conception and subsequent birth of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), begun in the South African city of Johannesburg.
Alarmed by the complete absence of the African civil society voice in the international climate change dialogue processes, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Oxfam International organized a workshop whose aim was to facilitate a dialogue among African CSOs to explore ways of working together in order to have an impact on the post-2012 discussions on the climate change regime.
This was held on the sidelines of the 12th Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in Johannesburg, which provided the first opportunity for the African Civil Society to engage with key policy makers in their governments.
After the CSOs workshop, participants joined delegates at the AMCEN conference with a unified agenda and recognition of the need to proactively engage key policy makers on climate change.
Inspired by this background, PACJA has convened African Civil Society meetings at the sidelines of subsequent AMCEN consultations, thus making it a traditional component of every process spearheaded by this important environmental stakeholder in Africa.
As the first substantive and properly constituted CSOs meeting for climate change in Africa with representation from all sub-regions and sectors, a proposal by a section of participants to name the network was deferred through consensus so as to allow CSOs present to consult, bond together and attract more actors in the process.
Participants felt that an effective civil society network could only be possible through a genuinely consultative and all-inclusive process, which cultivates the ownership of communities.
On August 19-20, 2008, another meeting for the African CSOs working on climate change and sustainable development was facilitated by a coalition of international Non-governmental Organizations, genuinely concerned about the low level of African CSOs participation in the UNFCCC process.
The coalition - the association of 17 Development and Humanitarian Aid Organizations in Europe related to the World Council of Churches known as APRODEV, bringing together Christian Aid, Norwegian Church Aid, Diakonia and Finn Church Aid among others, worked with the small team elected in Johannesburg to broaden the participation and ensure that elements lacking in the previous consultation were captured.
The meeting - The African Civil Society Climate Justice Strategy Meeting - organized on the sidelines of the Accra UNFCCC Climate change talks, not only endorsed the South African initiative, but also moved further to finish part of the unaccomplished business initiated in Johannesburg by unanimously declaring the name of the network as the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).
Cognizant of the task ahead and the flight of time on the countdown to Copenhagen, the participants agreed on a plan of action that would eventually ensure that African civil society was effectively facilitated to actively participate in the Bali Roadmap.
The five-member Steering Committee established in Johannesburg was expanded to address the gaping gender and regional inequality and accorded the mandate to implement the Post Accra Action Plan for the Bali Roadmap.
The Coalition has gained recognition in African and international levels and has forged strong partnerships with key stakeholders such as the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Regional Office for Africa, among other UN Agencies, Regional Economic Integration Communities and National Governments to enhance the continent's voice in the international dialogue process, as well as driving climate-related policies in Africa.
The Alliance also works with partners from both North and South, in recognition of the intricate challenge of climate change crisis brought to the planet and humanity, and in appreciation of the global call for collective action against the biggest challenge facing humanity in the 21st century.
The Alliance has an observer status with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and represents African Civil Society in the Participants Committee of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) as well as the Steering Committee of ClimDev Africa, a programme of the African Development Bank, Africa Union Commission and UN Economic Commission for Africa.
PACJA members represent the Alliance and affiliate networks in different capacities both at national and regional levels. For the last seven years since 2010, PACJA has coordinated and hosted the African CSOs in the UNEP Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum.
Mission & Strategy
PACJA’s strategic plan for the period 2016-2020 reflects the growing mandate of the Alliance, which is seeking to conduct interventions across the environment sector to promote stronger people-centered, pro-poor perspectives on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.
PACJA envisions… a global environment free from the threat of climate change with sustainable development, equity and justice for all.
PACJA’s mission is … to develop and promote pro-poor development and equity based positions relevant for Africa in the International climate change dialogue and related processes.
PACJA is guided by the following values:
Wise use: We believe in the wise use of natural resources so they continue to function effectively in serving present and future generations.
Equitable use: All people are equitably entitled to the values and benefits of our natural resources. Use of natural resources should be done in a manner that optimizes the values and benefits of current and future generations.
Unity of purpose: We have all come together because we are concerned about the state of our planet and natural resources, and we would like to secure the values of natural resources to nature and people.
Courage and determination: Most of our work involves protecting natural resources against misuse by powerful people and corporations. This can be dangerous and physically and emotionally draining. We, however, have the courage and determination to succeed.
Professionalism: We discharge our duties diligently and in line with nationally and internationally recognized ethical and professional standards.
PACJA’s overall goal is: to mobilize and empower African civil society to ensure realization of environmental and climate justice for all people in Africa.
PACJA’s five strategic objectives are:
- Policy Influence
- Public engagement and mobilization
- Holding governments accountable
- Research, knowledge development and communication
- Institutional and governance strengthening
HOW WE WORK
In order to successfully deliver this strategic Plan, PACJA uses an approach that integrates research, advocacy, partnerships development, capacity building and awareness creation.
ADVOCACY: Advocacy comprises the core business of PACJA. The Alliance undertakes evidence-based advocacy aimed at improving the policy and laws on natural resources management. The research work that PACJA supports, the partnerships it develops and the capacities it strengthens are all supportive of the advocacy function.
CAPACITY BUILDING: Local communities that are key custodians of natural resources remain vulnerable to climate change, have low adaptive capacity and lack sufficient capacity in the sustainable management of natural resources. PACJA mobilizes and coordinates capacity building efforts targeting the community and other key stakeholders.
AWARENESS CREATION: PACJA recognizes the knowledge and information gap in society about climate change, larger environmental and natural resources values and threats. PACJA uses a comprehensive knowledge management approach in creating awareness on effective climate/environmental threat coping mechanism and wise use of natural resources.
RESEARCH: PACJA supports and facilitates research to generate new information and knowledge that is both used internally to support climate resilience-building, natural resources management, making the same available to other stakeholders for use in a variety of ways.
PARTNERSHIPS: PACJA recognizes the importance of developing and sustaining strategic partnerships. The Alliance continues to identify and strengthen partnerships with a variety of stakeholders ranging from small community support groups, religious organizations, civil society organizations, private businesses, government institutions and international networks.
Download the full version of the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan here