World Rainforest Movement

Gender issues and climate change

For the first time in the history of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, a world wide coalition of women drafted position papers with the women’s and gender perspective on the most pressing issues negotiated at this Convention that took place in Bali, Indonesia from 3 to 14 December. Gender and Climate Change (gender cc), a global alliance of women for climate justice, presented their position papers at a press conference during the Convention and distributed hundreds of copies to government delegates.

One of the key issues stated in those papers is that “Women are the most affected by climate change, but they are also key catalysts for positive change. Their knowledge and experience is fundamental for a successful mitigation of climate change, as well as for climate change adaptation”.

They demanded “a future climate regime designed in a framework of gender equality and sustainability guidelines, instead of being driven by dominant economic factors. To mitigate climate change, the root causes must be addressed more fundamentally”.

They also demanded the “acknowledgement of the contribution of women to forest conservation. Women should be included in any forest protection mechanism, measures and compensation schemes. Carbon trading, large hydro-projects and expansion of agro-fuels are not the solution for climate change but rather increase deforestation”.

Ulrike Roehr, acting coordinator of the gender cc network stated: “We need to question the dominant perspective focusing mainly on technologies and markets, and put caring and justice in the centre of the measures and mechanisms.” Roehr stressed that “The lack of gender perspectives in the current climate process not only violates women’s human rights -fundamental principles agreed on by the UN community- but it also leads to shortcomings in the efficiency and effectiveness of climate related measures and instruments.”

On the last day of the Conference, the gender cc network presented a strong Submission to the Plenary stating: “We urge you, our governments, to ensure drastic emission cuts at source. You have the power to do this here and now. People threatened by climate change cannot wait.”

At the same time, in a joint declaration with MADRE (seehttp://www.wrm.org.uy/actors/CCC/Bali/Women_Agrofuels.pdf ), both gender organisations rejected agrofuels as a valid way of reducing carbon emissions, and urged all parties and stakeholders to support, among other things, the call of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Jean Ziegler, for a five-year moratorium on agrofuel development, which increasingly occupies agriculture lands thus aggravating world hunger.

For more information of the gender cc network contact: Ulrike Roehr, gender cc -women for climate justice, roehr@life-online.de, www.gendercc.net

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