Preserving Akwesasne biodiversity

Akwesasne is back in the spotlight with a new project to reduce the impact of climate change on native biodiversity. The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) will be the operating partner to implement this new project coordinated by the International Secretariat for Water (ISW) and in close collaboration with the North American Youth Parliament for Water.

With the support of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) EJ4Climate (Environmental Justice and Climate Resilience) Grant Program, 14 climate-focused projects have been selected over more than 330 proposals. This Program seeks to support environmental justice by facilitating the involvement and empowerment of communities searching for solutions and the development of partnerships to address their environmental and human health vulnerabilities, including those due to climate change impacts.

Our project

The strong need for fair and inclusive engagements of all to conserve native biodiversity and seeds and, at the same time, promoting the inclusion of youth in the protection of said biodiversity will reduce the exacerbated impacts of climate change in the community. Therefore, the incremental access to native biodiversity and seeds will protect Akwesasne from negative environmental pressures and enforce environmental legislation. Akwesasne is progressively losing its native biodiversity, including 25 percent of all wetland species. This loss intensifies other impacts, such as flooding and water pollution.

Main activities

  1. Training trainees in collaboration with Akwesasronon (Akwesasne youth) and community farmers
  2. Organizing civic activities to mobilize Mohawk community members
  3. Organizing Youth exchange and intergenerational dialogues
  4. Carrying on biodiversity conservation awareness-raising communication campaigns
  5. 1st call for proposals to fund youth projects oriented to climate change, biodiversity and seeds preservation in the Akwesasne community
  6. 2nd call for proposals to fund youth projects oriented to climate change, biodiversity and seeds preservation in the Akwesasne community


Through this project, we aim to :

  • increasing knowledge and skill levels of Akwesasronon (Akwesasne youth) to promote and lead the preservation of biodiversity and native seeds and addressing climate change
  • Spreading awareness in the Mohawk community of Akwesasne about the loss of biodiversity and the impacts of climate change.
  • Strengthening the Akwesasronon-led actions to conserve biodiversity and native seeds.


We expect the following outcomes:

  • Trained Akwesasronon are ready to lead biodiversity and native seeds preservation in the community
  • Akwesasne community participates in awareness-raising events about the threats to biodiversity and native seeds
  • Akwesasne youth will have benefited from approaches and techniques to conserve biodiversity from other students, experts and elders
  • Messages to conserve biodiversity and to join community efforts are shared on official partners media
  • Youth-led biodiversity conservation projects are implemented

Biodiversity and water: two of a kind

Nature plays an indispensable role in our water security and the sustainable development of our planet. Our well-being, food security, health, sanitation and most economic activities directly depend on water ; but it is nature that makes it possible for us to use it.

Where ecosystems degrade, biodiversity is lost and so is the precious natural infrastructure we depend on. If we fail to account for ecosystem services, we will no longer be able to rely on them for our water security and sustainable development. But if we invest in nature and its services, it will offer us solutions for water security and other development challenges.
The water sector has both a responsibility to mitigate its negative effects on biodiversity and ecosystems and motivation to utilize the benefits of biodiversity on offer. Often, these work together to deliver solutions that meet both water development and biodiversity conservation goals under a broader sustainable development agenda.