A series of conferences paved the road to COP16 in Cancún. Women's and gender experts and organisations were again active in putting gender on the international climate agenda and in the decisions.
Gender activities up to COP16 included:
As in the past meetings, negotiations on the AWG-LCA document (Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention) were held in drafting groups closed to observers. Moreover, Parties started again more or less from scratch, as the objective of the meeting was to prepare draft decisions for Cancun. Thus, the challenge for women and gender organizations was again to ensure that existing references to women and gender were not lost.
In an intervention in the Opening Plenary of AWG-LCA, Gotelind Alber, on behalf of GenderCC, raised the issue of mitigation and low-carbon development from a gender and women's perspective.
Gotelind Alber from GenderCC and Focal Point of the Women and Gender Constituency at the time, chaired the first meeting of the new Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres with the civil society observers.
Members of the Women and Gender Constituency drafted several submissions on the ongoing negotiations.
Side Event: "Africa Adaptation Programme. Interdisciplinary approaches to Integrating Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction into Adaptation"
The Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP) was a three year, $92.1 million project funded by the Government of Japan operating in 20 countries across Africa. A case study on gender and climate change nexus from Ghana was presented. The side event was hosted by UNDP.
Side Event: "Improving National Implementation: Highlighting gender equality and women's participation"
With examples of gender plans of action from different regions, IUCN and WEDO convened partners from governments and civil society to highlight the importance of gender considerations in implementing national climate change plans.
Side Event: "Gender and climate change research: gaps, questions, and potentials"
This side event was held by GenderCC and co-hosted by LIFE e.V., WECF, BRIDGE and GDN. The very well-attended side event introduced the current state of research on gender and climate change in specific issue areas and discussed suggestions for improvement.
Gotelind Alber provided in her presentation an introduction and background of gender and climate change research.
Maira Zahur focused on a variety of issues such as disasters, conflicts and migration.
Robert Müller (WECF) talked about the feasibility of household and community-based projects under the CDM illustrated by examples in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Alyson Brody (BRIDGE) presented the new Gender and Climate Change Cutting Edge programme of BRIDGE.
As a follow-up to the side event, GenderCC took up the initiative on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency to contact the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), to offer support in any possible way, e.g. to share research findings and references, and to comment on draft reports. Responding to the letter, the IPCC Secretariat welcomed the opportunity for further cooperation, and listed a number of possibilities.
Interventions on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency:
Women's action for climate justice
On June 5th (World Environment Day) a women's block was organized by EcoMujer, WECF and WLOE e.V. as part of a demonstration for climate protection and climate justice.
The first round of Climate Change negotiations since Copenhagen took place in Bonn, Germany, 9-11 April 2010. The result of the meeting was an agreement to intensify the negotiation schedule in order to achieve a strong outcome at COP16 in Cancún, Mexico at the end of the year.
During the Bonn meeting, participants from GenderCC together with WEDO, WECF and LIFE e.V. held a press briefing discussing the way from Copenhagen and towards Cancún from a gender perspective.