Using Nature-Based Solutions


Nature For Justice (N4J) is a new non-profit established to harness nature to address the social justice needs of populations around the world confronting the climate crisis. N4J acts as a bridge between climate-impacted populations and companies, impact investors, and donors to help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change and deliver resources to those in need. We build on the trust developed by local, community partners to improve land management practices, restore landscapes, and protect forests.

Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of our partners in order to create resilient communities that contribute to reducing emissions and a model of support that can be scaled-up and replicated.

Current Status

As a US-registered non-profit, we are currently engaging with existing and potential partners in 13 countries that span North America, Central and South America, Africa, and the Asia Pacific region.  Our work includes a major focus on helping Black, Indigenous, and people of color adapt to climate change in the Southeastern United States and Canada.  We have developed a cross section of strong working relationships with national-level NGO partners, FinTech companies, impact investors, and offset buyers.

To move our various initiatives forward, a staff of three work with an array of consultants and senior advisors.  On governance, our four-person board will be expanding to reflect the organizations that we work with that are diverse, inclusive, and embrace justice as a core part of their mission.

The Challenge

The impacts of climate change are disrupting livelihoods, supply chains, food security, and the health and welfare of more than a billion people.  It is projected to worsen over the next 10 years and ultimately spur the largest mass migrations the world has ever seen.

Harnessing Nature

We already know how to solve at least a third of the challenge of removing carbon from the atmosphere — by utilizing “nature-based solutions”(NBS).  Healthy forests, farms, and fields can absorb massive amounts of greenhouse gasses, whereas unhealthy ones emit them.

Evidence from research done by scientist Bronson Griscom[1] and others shows that employing nature at the landscape level can sequester over a third of the carbon needed to keep global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius or below. Methods of using nature include improving conservation and land management practices; restoring landscapes through natural regeneration and/or tree planting; and protecting forests, mangroves, peat bogs, salt marshes and seagrass beds.  These are viable NBS that we know how to implement.

[1] Natural Climate Solutions Could Speed Up Mitigation, With Risks. Additional Options Are Needed” Griscom et al, Earth’s Future 4/2020; “Natural Climate Solutions” Griscom et al, PNAS, 10/17

Our Strategy

N4J is partnering with the private sector, the public sector, and national and subnational non-profit organizations and companies to create self-sustaining systems that mitigate and adapt to climate change. We seek to:

A Different Approach

Our team has decades of experience working in over 70 countries.  This long history of engagement on the combination of environmental conservation and community economic development has led us to two core principles in our work:
  1. To build upon the network of trust that our local partners have developed over years with local communities. These Trust Networks are not built overnight, and while funding may come and go, our perspective, like our local partners, is to commit to the long-term.
  2. To start with communities where they are, building upon their knowledge and experience, in a participatory planning process to agree on joint strategies and collaborative agreements.

Select Partners

ImplementingCountry LevelSpecialists
Planet Women (Gender focus)Nature Conservation Research Center
Global Safety Net (Science)
RESOLVE (Facilitation)Los Aliados (Ecuador)Cultivo (Investment)

Who We Are

The N4J founders – Hank Cauley, Kevin Bryan, and Frank Hicks – collectively have more than 90 years of on-the-ground conservation and development experience, which includes advising companies and organizations on ensuring that equity and justice are central to their work.