The goal of EarthChange is to support and protect indigenous communities and cultural and ecological resources negatively impacted by climate change and environmental exploitation, particularly using the arts, education, and sustainable development as tools for advocacy and resilience.
One of ICW's founding principles is the belief that the most effective models of development are those that are both imagined from within and developed in collaboration across cultures. With the ever-increasing threats to our environment and natural resources due to climate change and deregulation of energy production, we need more than ever to work across local, international, and intercultural borders to create a sustainable future for our next generations.
Indigenous communities across the globe carry a disproportionate weight of environmental burdens. Indigenous lands and territories are consistently exploited for oil and mineral extraction, toxic waste management, and as sites for dangerous, contaminating, and environmentally destructive industrial, agricultural, or transportation infrastructures. This historical exploitation continues to go largely unnoticed and undocumented, while indigenous communities are increasingly denied rights to manage their traditional lands.
ICW is committed to addressing this inequality. ICW's long-term objectives, to be carried out through its EarthChange program, include working with indigenous communities in designing, developing, and implementing programs to improve their resiliency against climate change and unjust environmental exploitation.
Initiated by Project Director, Jennifer Foerster, the program, now in its third year, is focusing on increasing youth leadership in indigenous movements for food and water rights, as well as supporting intercultural exchange among international indigenous communities.
EarthChange operates in alliance with ICW's mission to design, develop, and implement culturally congruent, sustainable, and community-based programs that meet the basic human needs of health, education, and economic opportunity, both locally and globally.