• iCS - Climate and Society

How are we in the midst of the pandemic?

Updated: Apr 21

Learn about how the iCS team is dealing with the new scenario and adapting to a new routine. Discover the emergency grants made and approved by our board, which are being directed to the socially vulnerable regions of Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon Region. Also find out more details of the initiatives and campaigns of our grantees in the midst of the crisis


By Andréia Coutinho Louback


We are facing the first pandemic on a global scale. It is an unprecedented health crisis that affects at least 180 countries and territories. This is an unparalleled time in history that has crossed generations, geographies and social classes. The numbers referring to the coronavirus are new and alarming every day throughout Brazil. We are losing lives and learning to deal with multiple uncertainties about the future.


Faced with this health crisis, we live in a time of reaffirming our agendas and methods of operation. The present situation challenges us to provide an emergency construction of propositional measures, especially for the most vulnerable populations. It is the time to reestablish priorities and to financially support initiatives that seek to contain the pandemic and fight for actions of solidarity. It is the time to react and to survive.


Our first challenge has been to understand the new calendar. The team from the Institute for Climate and Society (iCS) has been using home office since March 16, respecting the social isolation proposed by the health agencies and seeking the protection of all its employees. As stated by our executive director, Ana Toni, in a letter sent directly to our grantees, we understand that the time is critical and we can reassure our supported organizations with respect to deadlines and possible revisions of projects or budgets.


Our board has approved an amount for emergency funds to financially support some peripheral and socially vulnerable regions in Rio de Janeiro. We have also supported initiatives in the Amazon Region, because the indigenous peoples are more vulnerable to epidemics due to their social, economic and health conditions, according to the Socioenvironmental Institute. Up to now, we have made six emergency grants, which are detailed here.


Below, we have brought together 10 initiatives that are happening in the field of philanthropy in the fight against COVID-19. Our expectation is that they can continue to move us towards practical action, inspire new combat strategies and provide transparent, accessible and quality information to our entire network. Here they are!


I) Emergency grants from iCS to Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon Region



On this website page, it is possible to find more information about the grants approved by iCS since March 26. We intentionally seek to support organizations that operate with agendas that are not restricted to climate change. It is important to remember that all the amounts are recorded in the update of the COVID-19 Donations Monitor of the Brazilian Association of Fund Raisers (ABCR), which aims to consolidate the donated amounts – updated daily – in response to the coronavirus in Brazil, in order to further inspire a culture of donation. Both our website page, and that of the ABCR Monitor, are available in Portuguese and English.


II) COVID-19 Emergency – Coordination of actions of philanthropy and social investment in response to the crisis

Launched on March 26, by GIFE, the platform seeks to contribute with the coordination and collaboration between philanthropic organizations so that we can respond to the current situation in the most effective and efficient manner and with the greatest possible positive impact in overcoming this challenge and all the damage caused by it. Learn more here and to contact GIFE, please write to contatoemergenciacovid19@gife.org.br

III) Series of infographs by Casa Fluminense

Each week, Casa Fluminense will share data, proposals and reflections on the reality of the inequalities in the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro. This will be achieved through the special series of Infographs of Inequality, with a close look at the precariousness and the lack of access to basic rights that historically mark the daily life of the suburbs. The context of the COVID-19 pandemic has made even more clear the role of public policies to guarantee security for the population, mainly for the most vulnerable economically. Click here to explore the infographics. #housing IV) Discover how to help the indigenous peoples and peoples from the forest in the fight against the coronavirus

The indigenous and other peoples from the forest are mobilizing themselves to guarantee the well-being of their communities. Virtual money collections and bank accounts have been made available to guarantee hygiene items, food and also cash for the coming months. If you know of any initiative that is not included in the list published by the Socio-Environmental Institute, please send the information using the social networks of the organization. V) Platform to monitor the indigenous situation in the pandemic of the new coronavirus in Brazil

Learn about the platform with information based on the newsletters of the State Health Secretariats about the pandemic and compiled by the initiative Brasil.io. For the indigenous cases, the source is the Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health (Sesai), subordinated to the Ministry of Health (MS). There is a weekly update of information based on news from the press and its own investigation for the cases in the cities. The numbers and infographics can be seen here. VI) Covid-19 and Climate Change: What do these crises have in common?

Both subjects involve health, well-being and economic conditions of the population in the short- and long-term. They demand urgent measures by governments, individual actions, cooperation between countries and confidence in science. The crises arising from the coronavirus pandemic and the crisis resulting from the increase of the temperature on Earth, the climate crisis, have many elements in common. In this episode of the podcast As Árvores Somos Nozes, Iago Hairon, from the Climate and Energy campaign of Greenpeace Brazil and a climate activist, and Andréia Coutinho, communication coordinator from the Institute for Climate and Society, provide their perspectives on the subject. Check it out!


VII) # RadarICLEI_Covid19

ICLEI South America has periodically published on its social networks several highlights of initiatives that compile plans, strategies and policies developed in municipalities worldwide against the pandemic. According to the communication and advocacy coordinator, Fernanda Kalena, the curatorship carried out for the ICLEI Network seeks the best national and international references and information, in order to facilitate, inspire and support the actions of local managers. Check out all the editions on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.


VIII) What is the connection between climate justice and the pandemic?

The climate crisis, due to the warming of the Earth, was already here long before the crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic became (with every reason) the largest concern of the entire world. Both will affect the poorest populations more. Play the two-minute video released by Greenpeace Brazil, which has gone viral on the social networks. #climatejustice



XI) COVID-19 Newsletter

To support the RAPS leadership in the mission that the pandemic imposes on us, the team from the organization has been producing a weekly newsletter that is updated with a compilation of the most important measures that have been adopted and announced by governments and federal agencies and that should be considered by other governing bodies, both in the plan of specific actions and in order to avoid setbacks and to guarantee rights.

Check out editions #1, #2, # 3 and # 4 of the newsletter with the main measures of the federal government. X) When the pandemic and the economy meet

The second podcast by the Instituto Escolhas interviewed the economist Rudi Rocha. The meeting of the coronavirus pandemic with the economy is the topic of the conversation mediated by Sergio Leitão, the executive director of the organization. Listen on Spotify and on Anchor!

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