ADRA Influences Climate Solutions at COP28

PHOTO CREDIT: UNclimatechange

SILVER SPRING, MD (December 21, 2023) – The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) was a significant humanitarian leader at COP28, promoting environmentally-conscious projects and helping vulnerable communities establish climate-resilient practices. The United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP28, officially recognized ADRA as a collaborating humanitarian agency of the global event, held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12.  The acknowledgment further solidifies ADRA’s status as an influential institution pioneering green projects and increasing its voice at future conferences.

ADRA representatives from the U.S., Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Madagascar met with delegations from numerous countries and trusted partners including the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO).  ADRA showcased its holistic livelihood approaches, sustainable land use, reforestation methods, carbon accounting expertise, and food systems.

Climate unpredictability has global consequences, but it is especially damaging in regions prone to food insecurity. More than 333 million people are expected to face extreme food insecurity in 2023, with no idea where their next meal will come from.

“As a humanitarian organization with over one hundred country offices woven into the fabric of the local communities they serve, ADRA is uniquely positioned to speak for those most vulnerable to a volatile climate,” says Imad Madanat, vice president for humanitarian affairs and network standards at ADRA. “ADRA was one of only a few organizations to meet with UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi to advocate for the needs of the world’s displaced people and how climate change will increase that number.” At the COP28 Farmers Constituency Meeting, we also got the opportunity to underline the significance of focusing on smallholder farmers and women-owned farms because they are the most affected by the adverse effects of extreme weather.”

ADRA’s Role at COP28

At COP28, ADRA participated in several panels and hosted thematic sessions, including one titled “Carbon Accounting for Humanitarian Actors,” which addressed the humanitarian responsibilities to perform environmentally sensitive operations. Panelists representing humanitarian organizations, government agencies, and environmental specialists explored how businesses and organizations can utilize the carbon calculator to measure their environmental impact and develop carbon-cutting initiatives to combat climate change. 

In 2022, ADRA offices from Germany and Canada participated in the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and EcoAct pilot project to develop the Humanitarian Carbon Calculator.  The initiative helped ADRA in calculating the greenhouse gas emissions from projects in various parts of the world. 

“Talking about Carbon Accounting means that we want to take responsibility for our own actions, and we want to make sure that the communities that we serve are also more climate resilient in the future. The offices of [ADRA’s] global network are part of the fabric of the local communities, it means we need to take action, we need to be greener, and we need to be more sustainable. So we are proud to be a part of this important discussion,” says Carina Rolly, panel moderator and advocacy and policy advisor for ADRA Germany.

ADRA co-hosted the “Resilient and Inclusive Food Systems: Strengthening Climate Adaptations for Global Food and Nutrition Security”  discussion with Welthungerhilfe and World Vision. The symposium for decision-makers and representatives from various generation groups examined how environmental degradation increases the risk of malnutrition among vulnerable populations.

ADRA also took part in the “Climate-Induced Shocks and Humanitarian Response” session to emphasize the interconnected nature of food security, climate change, and humanitarian efforts. The discussion emphasized the crucial need for new ideas and collaborative ways for culturally relevant and climate-sensitive initiatives that empower women, girls, and families to build safe, equitable, and resilient communities.

ADRA’s Climate-Smart Techniques

ADRA is at the forefront of combating the environmental damage caused by climate change. The humanitarian organization’s participation at COP28 and future summits allows it to continue sharing lessons gained and best practices.  ADRA humanitarians have the expertise to bring attention to solutions for climate-affected populations since the organization has implemented climate-smart projects that have helped underserved communities worldwide for more than forty years. ADRA green initiatives include drought-resistant irrigation systems, disease-resistant dwellings, greenhouses, school feeding projects to improve children’s nutrition, and environmentally friendly farming techniques.

ADRA’s Call to Action


ADRA encourages communities of all backgrounds to join the #GoGreenWithADRA initiative and participate in environmentally friendly activities that beautify local neighborhoods. Discover ADRA toolkits for tree planting and learn how schools and young people are engaging in educational activities to safeguard communities from the impact of climate change.

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About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. ADRA’s purpose is to serve humanity so all may live as God intended.

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