© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen

Climate & Disaster Resilience

Helvetas supports vulnerable communities to address climate change, sustainably manage natural resources and their biodiversity, and reduce the risk of disasters.
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen

Climate change is taking the heaviest toll on poor people. Every year, we help over 400,000 women and men in low-income countries adapt to climate change, reduce the risks of disasters, sustainably manage natural resources, and conserve biodiversity. 

Why the environment and climate change matter

Poor people generally suffer the most from climate change, though they contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions. They are most likely to live in floodplains, low-elevation coastal zones, steep unstable slopes or on arid lands because they cannot afford safer areas. Floods and hurricanes destroy their homes and drought threatens their crops. Women tend to be particularly badly hit by disasters, often being less able to escape extreme events, and then bearing the brunt of caring responsibilities afterwards. 

The first Millennium Development Goal — to cut the 1990 poverty rate in half by 2015 — was achieved five years ahead of schedule. Yet climate change increasingly threatens development progress. Economic progress has often come at the expense of the environment. And again, it is the least responsible who are the most affected: women and men living in low-income countries who rely on forests, lakes, rivers and the sea for their livelihoods.  

© Helvetas/Singye Wangchuk
«The forest and the environment are much better protected now that people manage the forest themselves.»

Dorji, Hungrel Block forester, Bhutan

Our work

Human beings have the know-how to create a climate-resilient and sustainable future. Helvetas supports vulnerable individuals and communities to reduce the risks they face and increase the resilience of their livelihoods. We bring together traditional knowledge and the latest research to mitigate climate change and adapt to its adverse effects — managing disaster risks and introducing environmentally friendly practices. 

In the past five years, Helvetas has helped over 5,000,000 women and men in vulnerable communities to become more resilient to climate and disaster impacts and sustainably manage natural resources. 

Our Expertise and Services

Our approach builds on the promotion of practices that balance livelihood needs with environmental sustainability. Our multilingual Environment and Climate Change team provides advisory services both to Helvetas and external clients.

Learn more and contact us

Humanitarian Response

In recent years there has been a global rise in disasters. Earthquakes, droughts, floods and cyclones turn years of development progress to dust overnight.

Selected Projects: Environment and Climate Change

© Helvetas
Haiti Climate & Disaster Resilience

Better Prepared for Storms

© Helvetas
Ethiopia Climate & Disaster Resilience

Pastoralists Take Charge of Natural Resource Management

© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
Nepal Climate & Disaster Resilience

Fresh Start after the Earthquake

Mali Climate & Disaster Resilience

New Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change

North Macedonia Climate & Disaster Resilience

Conserving Biodiversity, Managing Complex Landscapes

© Helvetas
Tajikistan Climate & Disaster Resilience

For a Self-Determined Life in Dignity

Tanzania Private Sector Development

Climate-Smart Organic Cotton

Switzerland Climate & Disaster Resilience

For Climate and Disaster Resilience - Swiss NGO DRR Platform

Rasht Valley Tajikistan | © Helvetas
Tajikistan Gender & Social Equity

Improved Nutrition and Health for Rural Families

Kyrgyzstan Private Sector Development

Sustainable Tourism Strengthens People and Nature

 Mother with daughter preparing food | © Patrick Rohr
Laos Climate & Disaster Resilience

Connecting for Improved Nutrition

© Helvetas / Luigi Baldelli
Madagascar Private Sector Development

Boosting Income to Boost Rainforest Conservation

© Helvetas/Andrew Bartlett
Laos Private Sector Development

Towards a Greener and More Profitable Future

© Helvetas Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan Climate & Disaster Resilience

Green Economy for People and Environment