Patricia Gualinga (right) presents the Living Forests proposal and speaks out against oil drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Photo by Emily Arasim.
This September, the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network will speak for climate justice, women's leadership, Indigenous and frontline women’s struggles and solutions, and deep systemic change at the 2016 International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) 'World Conservation Congress'.
IUCN is the world’s largest environmental organization, comprised of both governmental and civil society representatives. The IUCN World Conservation Congress, held once every four years and this year's 'Planet at the Crossroads' conference will focus specifically on action to fulfill the Paris Climate Agreement, adopted by 195 world governments in 2015.
As a global network of women for climate justice, the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International is committed to bringing the voices of grassroots, frontline and Indigenous women community and Earth defenders into such spaces to share their struggles, experiences and solutions and to demonstrate resistance to false solutions to the climate crisis, while offering clear directives for a just and safe energy transition. WECAN International is glad to have the opportunity to participate in the World Conservation Congress this year as a voice for climate justice, the Earth and all generations - calling for and presenting effective, just, women-led solutions to address the interwoven social and ecologic crisis that we face.
WECAN International and Gender Program allies at IUCN will co-sponsor and present the key panel 'A Deep Dive on Gender and Environment: Exploring the Policy Landscape, Strategies in Action, and Women’s Frontlines Solutions’.
Additionally, WECAN is honored to be collaborating with Amazon Watch, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and diverse allies gathering at IUCN through the Sacred Lands Film network.
Patricia Gualinga, longtime WECAN ally and Director of International Relations for the People of Sarayaku, Ecuadorian Amazon, has been invited by WECAN International ( co-sponsored by WECAN and Amazon Watch) to present during the session 'A Deep Dive on Gender and Environment: Exploring the Policy Landscape, Strategies in Action, and Women’s Frontlines Solutions’. Close ally, Leila Salazar Lopez, Executive Director of Amazon Watch, will be interpreting for Patricia, and Osprey Orielle Lake , Executive Director of WECAN International will be presenting at this session about women and climate justice .
We will focus on women-led solutions to protect natural and sacred places vulnerable to climate change and threats of resource extraction, including the rainforests of the Amazon.
The “Living Forest” proposal of the Sarayaku people's of the Ecuadorian Amazon, presented for many years and globally during the United Nations COP21 climate negotiations in Paris last year, will serve as a key foundation for our strategy and call to action.
Standing with the people of Sarayaku and many allies, we will advocate for ‘No Go policies’ for mineral and oil extraction in relation to World Heritage Sites, sacred natural sites and primary forests.
It's imperative that Indigenous voices and solutions that respect "living forests" are heard at this event and throughout the IUCN World Conservation Congress.
With Sarayaku's ancestral territory under imminent threat from state-sanctioned oil drilling, their vision is not only compelling - it offers the best hope for protecting their territory, culture and communities, and the health, and wellbeing of our global climate.
Additionally, we will present the Women’s Climate Action Agenda, a comprehensive WECAN report analyzing the root causes of the climate crisis, and sharing the solutions and demands of global frontline women on issues ranging from forests, oceans, agriculture, fossil resistance and much more.