Like the Wise Coach Says: You Can't Win If You Only Play a Defensive Game.
Resilience is defined as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change circumstances (like climate change). Resilience activities are everywhere these days. But asking especially-vulnerable frontline communities to become more resilient is like asking them to roll with the punches. No; we must stop pummeling frontline communities. We must restore them—ecologically, economically, and ecumenically. More on this below...
Our Restoration Framework
As an interfaith organization, we work with houses of faith and other organizations to restore frontline communities. In this work, we use a "Three E" (Ecological, Economic, and Ecumenical) framework. However, we do not mandate, nor do we limit restoration plans to this framework. Restoration plans are led by the communities themselves. We are there to listen, to amplify community voices, and, if asked, to help match resources with needs. For more information, read our restoration primer.
Ecological restoration is necessary so that nature may continue to provide vital and free ecosystem services such as clean air and water, storm buffering, healthy food, and the resources that are the basis for all human economies. Ecological restoration acts to repair the damage that humans have dealt to Earth's natural areas and diversity of life.
Economic restoration, from the perspective of frontline communities, is a bit misleading, for we are seeking to elevate underserved populations to a level of economic health and prosperity they likely never had before. One example of this is via the formation of local, worker-owned cooperatives. Economic restoration places People and Planet in proper relationship over Profit.
Ecumenical refers to something universal or something that has a wide, general application. Often, it is used to refer to Christian interdenominational activities. We use the term in an even broader, interfaith/all-faith sense: We must combat the toxic theology that has greatly contributed to our current environmental and justice problems. This calls for Restoration Theology.
This webpage was supported by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine under award number 200013216.