The right to a safe and protected environment and the commitment to a sustainable future is enshrined in the South African Constitution. While many communities in South Africa are increasingly feeling the effects of climate change, civil society engagement in environmental governance remains limited.
Many South Africans believe that Parliament is the institution where important social and environmental justice issues should be heard, and yet how many of us know who our parliamentary representatives are and how to engage with them?
This led Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA), the African Climate Reality Project (ACRP), the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), and the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) to launch Action 24 – Active citizens for responsive legislatures.
The project was a 30-month action, co-funded by the European Union, aimed at strengthening environmental governance and civic participation, in order to advance decarbonised sustainable and inclusive development in South Africa.
The Active Citzens programme was born out of this and it aims to strengthen environmental governance and civic participation, in order to advance decarbonised sustainable and inclusive development in South Africa. This is done by building the capacity of civil society, media, youth and women to more effectively participate in public consultation and legislative oversight, with the anticipated outcome of the realisation of civic rights in respect of a healthy and safe environment and resilience against negative climate change effects.
Active Citizens aims to foster more bottom-up, participatory decision-making processes on environmental issues. Sustainability, climate change, gender equality, women’s empowerment, and youth engagement are crosscutting principles underpinning the programmes strategy.