Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction urges bold action at COP28 UAE to address climate crisis

28 November 2023


Dubai, United Arab Emirates – November 28, 2023 – As we stand at the crossroads of our collective future, navigating an evolving risk landscape, the choice for a livable future is real, and it is ours to make. COP28, at the forefront of the Paris Agreement negotiations, is a crucial opportunity to address the escalating climate crisis. The Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction urgently calls upon world leaders, policymakers, and the global community to take bold and immediate action to prioritise climate resilience. The Global Stocktake at COP28 underscores the need for concerted global efforts to fulfil the objectives of the Sendai Framework and the broader 2030 Agenda.

Rising global temperatures, sea levels, and the growing frequency of extreme weather events continue to strain natural and financial resources, resulting in the loss of lives and livelihoods, conflict, and widespread displacement. The urgency for immediate and collaborative action cannot be overstated.

GNDR, a network of over 1,800 civil society organisations in 130 countries, emphasises the disproportionate impact on local communities, especially those in the global south, who bear the greatest share of the costs of climate change. Driven by our members working with communities most at risk, our work focuses on amplifying the voices of those at the frontline, ensuring their active engagement in shaping policies and practices for resilience.

This call to action, co-developed with GNDR members from across the globe, draws on findings from targeted membership surveys, inputs from our Climate Working Group, policy positions, and consultations. 

Quotes from GNDR Climate Working Group Members:

Marcos Concepción Raba, Executive GNDR: 

Our call to action is not just a set of recommendations; it’s a reflection of the lived experiences and insights contributed by GNDR members worldwide, providing us with a clear path forward and demonstrating the strength derived from unity and collaboration in the face of climate challenges.

Grace Dorong, Executive Director, GNDR member, Root of Generations, South Sudan:

As civil society organisations, we believe in giving communities the wings to soar above adversity and build back better. As we approach COP28, we urge leaders to join us in giving wings where desolation has taken root, restoring hope and bringing smiles back to the lives of those most affected by climate impacts.

Dr. Andrew Knight, Policy Lead, GNDR: 

Engaging local communities and civil society organisations in climate change negotiations, mitigation, and disaster response is essential for effective action on the ground. Our research continues to show that 84% of local actors – civil society organisations, local governments, and community members – are not included in assessing threats, preparing policies and plans, nor in taking action to reduce threats. Meanwhile, the necessary finance to respond to such threats is still not reaching local communities who themselves are at the forefront of the climate crisis. In addition to the eight points in our Call-to-Action, GNDR members urge policymakers to revisit and radically scale up their commitments under the Grand Bargain, particularly regarding quality financing and power-shifting. 

GNDR is concerned by reports from our members that civil society badge allocation for in-person attendance at COP28 has decreased significantly compared to COP27. Virtual attendance is no substitute for in-person attendance, particularly for CSOs from the global south whose voices need to be heard and whose representatives need to engage with their peers in global policy spaces. Only through such engagement can we achieve meaningful and effective action on climate change adaptation at a global level.

GNDR issues a clarion call to climate negotiators and policymakers shaping the future of climate policies and disaster resilience – join us in making our call to action our reality:

1. Listen to and engage with the communities at the frontline of the climate crisis

Ensure local communities are actively involved in decision-making processes, with their views effectively represented and acted upon at COP28.

2. Enhance the engagement of civil society to strengthen effective climate actions at local and global levels

Promote meaningful inclusion of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in negotiations, decision-making, and implementation at all levels, addressing concerns about reduced in-person attendance for CSOs from the global south.

3. Increase allocation of financial resources at the local level 

Prioritise transparent allocation of finance to local communities, promoting climate-resilient infrastructure, agriculture practices, access to clean water, and timely release of pre-arranged finance.

4. Promote inclusion across local to global levels of climate change decision making

Advocate for a ‘whole-of-society’ approach, ensuring meaningful participation in decision-making processes for marginalised and displaced groups, including women, youth, elderly, Indigenous Peoples, and those with disabilities.

5. Mainstream climate and disaster risk-informed development into national planning and Official Development Assistance (ODA)

 Reinforce national planning and Official Development Assistance (ODA) to invest in climate adaptation, disaster reduction, resilient infrastructure, and industries.

6. Strengthen climate and disaster risk reduction efforts in fragile and conflict affected settings

Channel a greater proportion of climate finance to fragile and conflict-affected areas, removing barriers to access and ensuring conflict-sensitive financing mechanisms.

7. Operationalise a Loss and Damage Fund that meets the needs of those affected by climate change and disasters

Prioritise the immediate operationalisation of the L&D fund, with commitments for new and additional climate finance for rehabilitation and reconstruction in impacted communities.

8. Preserve and restore ecosystems and biodiversity as resources to reduce disasters and limit the impact of crises

Advocate for the protection and restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity, emphasising Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to reduce disasters and limit the impact of crises.

Download the full call to action in English, French, and Spanish.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Dr Andrew Knight, Policy Lead at; and Adessou Kossivi, Africa Regional Lead and Climate Change Lead, at

About GNDR

The Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR) is the largest international network committed to strengthening the resilience of communities most at risk of disasters. With over 1,800 members in 130 countries, GNDR works to strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations so that they can mobilise and increase the resilience of communities most at risk of disasters.



Back to top