About Klima International
We believe in a world where all people, regardless of their location, income, or race, are empowered to turn the tide of climate change.
Klima is an international organization, founded in 2018 and based in Moab, UT, with a mission to empower local communities to build long term climate resilience. We provide pathways for organizing and acting to bring the resourceful knowledge of the local community to power on regional climate initiatives.
Why the name Klima?
The name “Klima”(pronounced “Klee-ma”) comes from the Spanish ‘clima’, meaning climate. The ‘K’ comes from the colloquial tendency between friends writing in Spanish to turn the C to a K. Klima represents this intimacy and importance of relationship, care, and honesty between people who can thrive in a changing climate.
Klima’s founder Jessica Reilly-Moman grew up on an intertidal estuary in coastal New Hampshire, playing in the mud and collecting horseshoe crabs. She observed firsthand the changes in her tidal backyard in the shadow of crumbling mills restored to a revitalized town, meanwhile exploring quiet coasts and listened to the stories of immigrants and fisherman.
This foundation set the stage for her future research and work in coupled human and natural systems.
Following a degree in ecology from Brown University, Jess gathered twelve years of professional experience supporting communities preserving livelihoods intrinsically linked with ecosystems.
She based her international development work out of a rural town, Moab, UT, that has struggled with conflict around land development for energy and use for over half a century.
Unsatisfied with the state of international development and renewables development to ensure the rights of rural, coastal, and low-income people and places, Jess focused her inquiry into holistic climate action on interdisciplinary solutions at the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley.
Armed with a Masters that encompasses engineering, economics, ecology, and social science, she undertook a daring research project to understand the impact of climate on an understudied region: Latin America’s rural coasts.
And she decided to do it with as small a carbon impact as possible and experiencing a newly intimate connection with the ocean:
By sail. For three years, with the support of a Fulbright fellowship and the Institute of Current World Affairs, Jess and her husband Josh sailed ‘double-handed’ over 6,000 nautical miles on the shores of Latin America.
They named their 1978 Cal 39 Oleada, which means both “swell” and “uprising” in Spanish.
As they visited remote areas, many only accessible by boat, they collected hundreds of academic and journalistic interviews.
They observed and recorded effective and unsuccessful strategies for climate adaptation and survival on coasts changed in fundamental ways by global warming.
Their approach gave them unique access and they worked with the people they met to develop effective strategies for local climate adaptation with limited financial resources.
These people and places were the inspiration for Klima International. With a commitment to rural, coastal, and low-income groups, and driven to share the important stories and strategies of the people they met, Jess founded Klima to serve and support these people maintaining the land and water that serves and feeds all of us.
Klima represents this intimacy and importance of relationship, care, and honesty between people who can thrive in a changing climate.
Our Work In Action
We’ve supported resilience projects for over 20 years before formalizing Klima. Take a look to see the projects we’ve collaborated on and the incredible people we’ve met along the way.