Latin American Rockefeller fellowship to develop climate solutions


Shafi Musaddique


The first cohort of Latin American leaders offering solutions to the climate crisis from across have been selected, as part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s ‘Big Bets Climate Fellows’ programme.  

The fellowship is dedicated towards a focus on solutions on the Amazon Basin. Deforestation and longer, drier spells caused by climate change threaten the Amazon.  

‘One possible disastrous impact of reduced rainfall is a change in nutrient input into streams and rivers, which can greatly affect aquatic organisms,’ says the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Amazon fish populations are also under threat with the variable temperatures.  

The Big Bets Climate Fellowship, which was established as part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s billion-dollar climate strategy, will help Latin American climate leaders to scale up their solutions. 

‘The 16 leaders in the extraordinary inaugural class of Climate Fellows have the big bet mindset: the belief that large-scale change is possible and the commitment to making that change happen,’ said Rockefeller president Rajiv Shah.  

‘Through this fellowship, we hope to help these leaders unlock the resources and forge the connections they need to turn their big, bold ideas into real impact at scale. I can’t wait to see how their big bets evolve,’ he added.  

Among the group is Lina Ascencio, from Colombia, developing renewable energy transitions in Latin America that centre indigenous perspectives. 

Mariolga Reyes Cruz, from Puerto Rico, will scale up agroecology common land structure to ‘foster regenerative agricultural practices and ensure the preservation of land used by underserved farmers.’ 

And Avriel Díaz, from Panama, hopes to develop a ‘climate-driven budget forecasting system for vector borne diseases to improve government response to climate-sensitive diseases.’ 

Latin America faces serious consequences of climate change.

According to World Bank estimates, by 2050, over 200 million people could migrate due to climate change, with 17 million coming from Latin America.

According to Devex’s 2022 World Migration report, natural disasters are driving displacement in Latin America, particularly in Honduras, Cuba, Brazil, and Guatemala.

Shafi Musaddique is the news editor at Alliance magazine.

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