Welcome to the July 2012 GenderCC newsletter.
This issue provides a short overview of the Secretariat’s current activities and the involvement of GenderCC and the climate change community in current UNFCCC negotiations, as well as at the recently concluded Rio+20 conference on Sustainable Development.
For more information and updates, please visit our website www.gendercc.net. Furthermore, we would like to encourage you to contribute to the newsletter. Please send your articles to newsletter[at]gendercc.net .
We hope you will enjoy reading this issue!
Bettina, Kate and Clariste
for the GenderCC team in Berlin.
Activities of the Gender and Climate Change Community
News on Gender and Climate Change
Agriculture is receiving increasing attention within the UNFCCC, with growing recognition of the importance of small holder farmers for food security and also the role of women in agriculture. However, gender aspects continue to be neglected in the policy making, despite the fact that climate change affects men and women differently, especially in relation to agriculture.
This GenderCC briefing paper provides an outline of agriculture in the UNFCCC process, providing a sketch of the negotiations on an agricultural work programme and especially the results of the last Conference of the Parties in Durban. It outlines and summarizes the positions of different parties, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and gives an overview of selected literature that deals with gender issues in this field.
To download the paper, click <link fileadmin inhalte dokumente topics briefing_paper_agriculture.pdf>here.
At the beginning of June, the GenderCC Secretariat had the pleasure of welcoming a new intern – Clariste Nzolla from Cameroon.
Clariste has a Master in Fundamental Private Law in Ngaoundere and Yaoundé Universities Cameroun. She has spent much of her professional life working with civil society in order to improve living conditions for women. She is today Executive Secretary at FEPED (Women for Environment and Development) and works part-time as a legal advisor. Currently, she is completing an international program called ILT (International Leadership for Sustainability Management). The program is offered by the German government in order to reinforce links of cooperation with developing countries. Through the ILT Program, Clariste has broadened her knowledge of Sustainable Development.
A central part of the ILT-program is the development of a transfer project. Clariste’s project aims to disseminate improved stoves in Cameroon as an efficient strategy for reducing firewood consumption, one of the main cause of deforestation in her home town Yaoundé. Clariste wants to act as a Change Agent and to develop an innovative strategy to save energy in collaboration with JVE (Young Volunteer for Environment), an NGO that manufactures stoves. This strategy involves bringing together a group of 20 motivated women who agree to involved themselves in a weekly saving of CFA 350 (about 0,50 euro) each. The money would be then collected to purchase an improved stove that costs 7000 Fcfa and to give it to one woman per week so that after 20 weeks each of the members will have received one, following a rotation system.
From June to October, Clariste will be working as an intern at Gender CC to gain more experience in project management. She is very interested in introducing more gender policies within her organization in Cameroon, which mainly focuses on water management, education and health.
The climate negotiations in Bonn proved to be hard going this time around: it took almost two weeks of deliberation to finalise the negotiating agenda for the Durban Platform, hailed a 'breakthrough' after the last Conference of the Parties in Durban, and it wasn't until the very last minute that a chair was able to be elected for the Ad Hoc Working Group.
Within the women and gender constituency, particular attention was paid to the first meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Plan for Enhanced Action (ADP). At the inaugural meeting Yvette Abrahams from GenderCC South Africa made an intervention on behalf of the constituency, emphasizing the necessity for a stronger commitment to gender equality. The constituency called for a workshop on gender justice which should be run as part of ADP to underline the link of gender justice and climate change.
Discussions about article 6 of the convention are related to education, training, awareness rising about climate change, and participation, with the aim of drafting a new work programme. The positions of the women and gender constituency and the youth constituency (YOUNGO) were heard in a joint intervention arguing for two important considerations: finance and participation. Only a reliable funding system can ensure the effective implementation of a work programme. Active public participation of women, the youth and indigenous people is also crucial for the work programme to successfully combat climate change.
Capacity building is an issue in all UNFCCC related bodies and working groups. Speaking on behalf of the women and gender constituency, Svitlana Slesarenok from the Ukraine highlighted in an intervention the need for gender-sensitive capacity building especially in economies in transition. Furthermore, she called for a compulsory reporting of gender sensitive capacity building in the 4th review of the implementation of the framework.
Despite the fact that the negotations are currently proving difficult, the awareness of gender aspects is increasing considerably. Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres invited members of the constituencies to a "Gender Picnic". Apart from being a very lively networking event, it also was an excellent opportunity to communicate the various ideas on how to improve gender recognition in the negotiations, in addition to the inclusion of gender and women references in the text. Christiana asked for ideas on how references can be trickled down to national and local levels and called for the support of NGOs to put pressure on governments to integrate gender.
Yvette Abrahams pointed out that the climate negotiations are a very important framework for grassroots women to demand action from their national government. Others highlighted the need for addressing the role of women and gender in mitigating climate change in industrialised countries. The next step is to 'map' the progress on integrating gender in climate politics and identfy the gaps. These activities are being supported by a gender advisor, who has been working in the Climate Secretariat since spring 2012, funded by Finnland, with the aim of strengthening the gender perspective in the various strains of negotiation.
The constituency as a whole - in cooperation with GGCA - has begun preparations for Doha, including plans for a larger event dealing with gender, which will hopefully be co-hosted by the UNFCCC secretariat.
The UN conference “Rio+20” is over. Most have agreed that The Future We Want, outlined in the outcome document of the same name, is certainly not the future we need. It might have been possible to shrug one’s shoulders and conclude that the conference made a great deal of noise without achieving anything, were it not for alarming attempts by various governments to disregard the rights of women. Or, on a brighter note, were it not for the countless side events held by civil society organisations, seeking to contribute a feminist perspective on sustainable development.
Noteworthy examples included:
The Feminist Task Force and partner organizations presented a side event titled “Organizing for Change, Women's Tribunals as Civil Society Advocacy”. For more information on the hearings, click here.
A high-level ministerial event, “Commitments on Gender and Sustainable Development: A Global Call for Action for Rio+20 and beyond”, was co-hosted with the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment. The commitments will be published by the end of October.
In addition, UN Women hosted a panel discussion titled, “Mainstreaming Gender in the Rio Conventions: Progress to Date and the Way Forward”, which took place at the Gender Mainstreaming Day in the Rio Conventions Pavilion. Luc Gnacadja (Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification), Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias (Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity), and Christiana Figueres (Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) presented the gaps, core obstacles and their visions for the future.
Climate protection was an important issue at the conference, which was taken up in the outcome document. Yet unfortunately, reference was not made to women or gender factors. This is one of several criticisms made by the Women Major Group (WMG). Their statement, as well as others, can be found on the website of our partner organization genanet.
Together with other German women’s organisations, gender experts and feminist economists, genanet produced a number of discussion and background papers in the lead up to the Rio+20 conference, which are also available in English.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) held a training session on gender and climate change for Fiji officers from government ministries and NGOs, aimed at strengthening participants' understanding of the gender analysis approach, and enabling them to apply gender analysis in the context of climate change. The training convened from 20-22 June 2012, in Suva, Fiji.
According to SPC, understanding the different roles of women, men, youth and children, is critical to reducing vulnerability and enhancing resilience to the impacts of climate change. The workshop aimed to enhance understanding of these differing roles, enabling participants to identify effective interventions for the improved management of limited resources in the face of a changing climate.
The workshop was organized by the SPC/German International Development Cooperation (GIZ) programme, Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Region.
To read more, click here.
The Kenyan Institute of Environment and Water Management has been demonstrating a commitment to the integration of a gender perspective at policy level.
In June, the Institute of Environment and Water Management in collaboration with the Kenya Climate Change Working Group organized a multi-stakeholder dialogue to facilitate public analysis of the climate change bill from a gender perspective which is headed for its first reading on the floor of parliament.
Other events include a training and an analytical study on gender and climate change in Kenya.
To read more, visit the website.
The first EU-wide report on climate change and gender equality has been released by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).
The report was prepared by the German organisation LIFE e.V. (member of GenderCC) and Milieu Ltd (Belgium) and is aiming at reviewing the progress made by the European Union Member States in the implementation of one of the twelve areas of concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for Equality, Development and Peace (BPfA), namely of area K: Women and the Environment, focussing on the field of climate change.
It provides a comprehensive research review on gender and climate change knowledge availabe in the EU27 member states. The EIGE report highlights that gender approach must be integrated into climate change policies and actions to respond to climate change efficiently.
Additionally, the report introduces the first EU indicators to support the policy makers in enhancing equality and improving the climate change policies.
Among others, GenderCC co-founder Ulrike Röhr (LIFE e.V.) and board member Gotelind Alber were part the drafting team for this report.
To read the report, click here.
Ministers of Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) have adopted conclusions on the issue of “Gender equality and the environment: enhanced decision-making, qualifications and competitiveness in the field of climate change mitigation policy in the EU”.
Considering that women play a “vital role” in sustainable development and that their “potential as agents of change” needs to be recognised, the Council agreed on several measures aimed to enhance the representation and participation of women in all areas related to climate change: decision-making, but also scientific research and education.
In order to achieve this, the Council calls upon Member States to integrate the principle of gender mainstreaming into “all relevant legislation, policy measures and instruments related to climate change mitigation”. Member States are urged to actively work on the elimination of all the barriers that currently prevent women from taking part into climate change policies and research.
To read more, click here.
tvebiomovies is looking for creative film proposals which tackle some very contemporary environmental issues. There are 5 categories to choose from, one of which looks at the relationship between women and climate change and the impact that the latter has on the former.
Young and old can enter and filmmaking experience is not necessary. A total of 10 films will be choosen - 2 from each category - and we'll give succsesful finalist $300. The finalist films will be put on YouTube and the film from each category that receives the most views wins $1500. All 10 films will also be shown at the UN COP18 Conference. More information.
30 Aug - 5 Sep 2012, Bangkok, Thailand: Informal sessions of the AWG.
The seventheenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 17) and the third part of the fifteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 14) will take place in Bangkok, Thailand from August 30 to September 5, 2012. The official notification for the sessions will be issued in due course on the UNFCCC website.