WECAN IN ACTION DURING UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE (UNFCCC)
The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network strives to raise up women’s leadership in climate change solutions through direct action initiatives, trainings, on-the-ground solutions and grassroots organizing - as well as through advocacy work within global policy forums.
Since the organizations founding, WECAN International has been participating both within and outside of the UNFCCC climate conferences to advocate for climate justice, gender equality, Indigenous rights, rights of nature and meaningful, bold action on climate change.
Explore this page for selected highlights from the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network’s recent work at the UNFCCC.
WECAN International at the UNFCCC COP22 Climate Negotiations - Marrakech, Morocco 2016
The Women's Earth and Climate Action Network spent two weeks on the ground in Marrakech, Morocco at the 2016 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP22 climate talks, where, with our global frontline, civil society, grassroots and Indigenous women allies, we took action, marched in the streets, held events and press conferences, and advocated day and night for climate justice and women's leadership at the forefront of meaningful action to address climate change.
Click here to read our full WECAN COP22 blog for in depth analysis of COP22, and details on all of WECAN’s actions and events.
- Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change - Marrakech
Fatima Khalloufi (right) and Aicha Abouh (left) - women leaders of the Imider, #300kmSouth movement present on their 5 year resistance to silver mining during WECAN's main public event - Photo via Kailea Fredrick of SustainUS
November 14th, 2016 - In parallel to COP22, WECAN presented ‘Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change - Marrakech’, a major public event in downtown Marrakech. Over the course of four panel discussions and several keynote speeches, women leaders from Morocco, sub-Saharan Africa, Pacific Island Nations, North America, South America, Europe and Continental Asia spoke on diverse issues including women, seeds and soils; women's resistance to fossil fuel extraction; women and forests; oceans; Indigenous struggles for sovereignty and Earth protection; violence against women land defenders; Traditional Ecologic Knowledge; and women's leadership in climate policy and strategy, amongst many vital topics.
WECAN was very honored to have the event opened with traditional songs of the Indigenous Amazigh peoples, and to include a special presentation from Moroccan woman leaders of the Imider movement about their ongoing resistance to silver mining in the south of Morocco.
One of four panels and several keynotes presented during WECAN's public event, 'Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change - Marrakech' - Pictured left to right: Neema Namadamu (Democratic Republic of Congo); Diana Donlon (USA); Natalie Isaacs (Australia); Amina El Hajjami (Amazigh Peoples, Morocco); Nina Gualinga (Sarayaku Peoples, Ecuador)
Keynote speaker Her Excellency Hilda Heine, President of the Marshall Islands, meets Alicia Cahuiya and Blanca Chancosa of Ecuador at the start of the event to speak about their struggles to protect the Amazon Rainforest from continued oil extraction
- International Climate March, Marrakech
November 13th, 2016 - Thousands of people from across Morocco and around the word took to the streets of Marrakech to visibilize their social and ecologic struggles and send a strong message to world governments meeting at COP22 that the peoples movement for climate justice will forge ahead with resistance and solutions regardless of the action, or lack thereof, from the political leadership of our countries. WECAN delegation members marched with women allies from across Morocco and around the world.
Indigenous leaders from Morocco and around the world lead the Marrakech Climate March - Photo by Emily Arasim/WECAN International
- Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change Press Conference and COP22 Side Event
WECAN COP22 side event speakers Osprey Orielle Lake (USA); Thilmeeza Hussain (Maldives); Neema Namadamu (DR Congo); Marta Ventura (Guatemala); Cecilia Flores (Chile); Precious Phiri (Zimbambe); Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie (Canada); and Carmen Capriles (Bolivia) stand together in solidarity and action at the end of the event, together filling the room with cries of 'act on climate' and 'water is life'
November 16th, 2016 - Inside of the formal UNFCCC COP22, WECAN organized and presented an official, ‘Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change’ press conference and side event, during which extraordinary women leaders from around the world spoke truth to power, shared vital stories, strategies and climate solutions, and refused to shy away from the pressing realities about our global climate crisis and the need for just, women-led action NOW.
WECAN was honored to be a part of ensuring that frontline, grassroots and Indigenous women from around the world had the opportunity to speak for themselves within spaces such as COP22, and to share their on the ground sustainability solutions and resistance movements.
WECAN COP22 press conference speakers (left to right):
Carmen Capriles (Bolivia); Marta Ventura (Guatemala); Ruth Nyambura (Kenya);
Neema Namadamu (DR Congo); Thilmeeza Hussain (Maldives); and Osprey Orielle Lake (USA)
- Rights of Nature: Foundations for Systemic Change in Climate Solutions' press conference
November 17th, 2016 - During a UNFCCC press conference, WECAN's Executive Director, Osprey Orielle Lake shared the critical work of the Rights of Nature movement and Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature - speaking out against the continued commodification of the Earth's living systems within the UNFCCC process, and presenting an alternative vision for a legal and economic system founded upon respect for the inherent rights of our life giving mountains, forests, waters and soils.
- Women's Caucus and Women and Gender Constituency Advocacy
WECAN International was honored to support the Women and Gender Constituency Key Demands at COP22, and to participate in meetings of the Women’s Caucus.
Carmen Capriles, longtime WECAN partner, delegation member, and Founder of Reaccion Climatica in Bolivia, was an active participant in the UNFCCC Women and Gender Constituency throughout the COP22 process. At 2:00 am on the final night of COP22, Carmen presented an inspiring final intervention on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency.
- Stand With Standing Rock & Other Actions Inside COP22
WECAN Executive Director, Osprey Orielle Lake, stands in support of Indigenous allies leading a Standing Rock solidarity action inside of COP22 Marrakech
From Morocco to North Dakota – we stand with Standing Rock. On the November 15th Day of Action for Standing Rock, and again on November 17th, WECAN was honored to join many allies for a prayer circle and action held at COP22 in solidarity with the frontline protectors of water and life standing in resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.
- WECAN Visits Women's Cooperatives in Ourika Valley, Morocco
WECAN team members meet with women leaders of the High Atlas Foundation to visit the nurseries of a local women's cooperative
In the days following COP22, the WECAN team met with local women allies of the High Atlas Foundation to visit one of their stunning nursery projects, learn more about their work, and explore points of collaboration and information exchange.
- Women Act for Climate Justice: Ten Days of Global Mobilization
WECAN team members meet with women leaders of the High Atlas Foundation to visit the nurseries of a local women's cooperative
Click to explore powerful photo and statements submitted by women and allies from more than 35 countries around in advance of the UN COP22 as part of 'Women Act for Climate Justice - Ten Days of Global Mobilization' .
WECAN International at the UNFCCC COP21 Climate Negotiations - Paris December 2015
In 2015 world governments gathered in Paris, France for UNFCCC COP21 climate negotiations, where they agreed upon an international climate agreement with important implications for our global trajectory and the health of people and planet.
WECAN International was on the ground throughout the two-week process, working both inside the UNFCCC negotiations, as well at outside events and on the streets with the people’s climate justice movement.
Click here to read WECAN’s full reaction to the Paris Climate Agreement– which acknowledges breakthrough steps by governments, but ultimately denounces the lack of binding, sufficient and just commitments, the continued implementation of false solutions, and the failure to uphold human rights, Indigenous rights and fully support gender equality.
- Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change – Paris
Dec 7, 2015 - An extraordinary gathering of worldwide women joined in solidarity to speak out against environmental and social injustice, draw attention to root causes of the climate crisis, and present the diverse array of visions and strategies with which they are working to shape a healthy and equitable world.
This event was presented with the conviction that real forward movement towards climate justice depends on the full and equal participation of women in all stages of decision making and implementation, and that real change will come from women mobilizing and taking action at the local, national, and international level.
‘Women Leading Solutions’ featured more than 20 women leaders including Mary Robinson (Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice), Patricia Gualinga (Sarayaku, Ecuador), Josefina Skerk (Sami Parliament, Sweden), Kandi Mossett (Indigenous Environmental Network), and Aleta Baun (Conservationist & anti-mining activist of West Timor, Indonesia) and many more. Click here to read full speaker biographies.
Click to read the ‘For the Earth and Future Generations’ event blog and hear directly from all of the outstanding speakers.
- International Rights of Nature Tribunal
Dec 4 & 5, 2015 – A unique, citizen-created initiative giving people from around the world the opportunity to testify publicly on destruction of the Earth and their communities, while advancing an alternative legal framework for living in harmony with the Earth. The Tribunal featured internationally renowned lawyers and leaders for planetary justice, who heard cases addressing issues such as climate change, GMOs, fracking, mega dams and other environmental violations, and offered judgments and recommendations for theEarth’s protection based on the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.
WECAN serves on the Steering Committee for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, and Osprey Orielle Lake of WECAN served as an event organizer and the central Judge for the Climate Change case. WECAN delegates Casey Camp Horinek of Ponca Nation, Oklahoma and Patricia Gualinga of Sarayaku, Ecuador presented testimony during the Tribunal.
Click to WATCH ‘International Rights of Nature Tribunal Paris’– a dynamic introduction to the Tribunal.
- Global Women & Indigenous Peoples on the Frontline of Climate Solutions: Forests & Renewable Energy COP21 Side Event
Dec 8, 2015 – A formal COP21 side event in which we heard testimony from frontline women leaders, examined the Women’s Climate Action Agenda, presented the Sarayaku people of Ecuador’s "Living Forest" proposal, highlighting Amazonian indigenous solutions, and showcased women as agents of change in transitioning to 100% renewable energy.
- UNFCCC Press Conference Inside COP21 – Frontline Women Speak
Dec 8, 2015 – WECAN was committed to bringing the voices of frontline women leaders to COP21 through side events, media, advocacy, direct actions, official press conferences and the release of WECAN’s Women’s Climate Action Agenda inside COP21 .
Click to WATCH the Frontline Women’s Press Conference - Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca Nation, Oaklahoma, Turtle Island, USA), Kandi Mossett (North Dakota, Turtle Island, USA), Neema Namadamu (DR Congo), Patricia Gualinga (Ecuador) and Osprey Orielle Lake (USA) speaking truth to power inside of COP21, addressing themes of violation of the Earth and women, Indigenous and African climate solutions, and women as vital agents of just change.
- Rights of Nature, Human Rights and Women’s Rights Events at Place To B and ZAC Climate Action Zone in Paris
Dec 3 & 10 – WECAN Executive Director Osprey Orielle Lake led and participated in roundtable discussions, workshops and presentations on the intersection of Rights of Nature, women’s rights and human rights at various civil society platforms across Paris. Click here to WATCH ‘Rights of Nature for Climate Justice – Osprey Orielle Lake At Place 2 B During COP21’
Advocacy Inside COP21 with the Women and Gender Constituency
Throughout COP21, members of the WECAN delegation participated in meetings, strategy sessions, actions and direct advocacy work with the UNFCCC Women and Gender Constituency.
- Keep It In the Ground advocacy work with international allies– read and sign ‘Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground: A Declaration for the Health of Mother Earth’
- Human Chain and D12 Direct Actions on the Streets of Paris
Nov 29 & Dec 12 – On November 29th, WECAN organized and supported a women’s contingent joining thousands on the street in Paris for a peaceful human chain action, organized as part of the Global Climate March in the wake of the French authorities ban on protests following attacks in the city.
On December 12th, in response to the release of the final draft of the Paris climate agreement, more than 20,000 mobilized for at the Arc de Triomphe for a ‘red lines’ action, street march and moment of silence honoring those who have already lost their lives to climate change. WECAN and allies also took action at the Eiffel Tower, participating in a massive human chain and rally, all expressing discontent with the final Paris agreement and hope in the power of the people to take real action for climate justice in light of governments insufficient commitments.
WECAN International in New York CIty during the UN General Assembly – September 2015
The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network took action in New York City, September 2015 during the UN General Assembly and the Social Good Summit – key moments in the lead up to the UNFCCC COP21 climate negotiations.
- Women Speak: Climate Justice On The Road To Paris and Beyond
Sept 29, 2015 – A special event held as part of WECAN's call for a Global Women's Climate Justice Day of Action. Featuring global women leaders Patricia Gualinga (Indigenous leader from Sarayaku, Ecuador), May Boeve (350.org), Mary Robinson (Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, via special video message) Melina Laboucan-Massismo (Lubicon Cree First Nations Indigenous and environmental activist with Greenpeace Canada), Jacqui Patterson (NAACP Environmental & Climate Justice Program), Thilmeeza Hussain (Voice of Women Maldives) and many more. Click for full speaker biographies.
Click to WATCH ‘Women Leading Solutions on the Road to COP21 & Beyond’– a dynamic short video produced during the ‘Women Speak’ event.
- Global Women’s Climate Justice Day of Action
Sept 29, 2015 – On September 29th, women from more than 50 nations took action as part of the Global Women’s Climate Justice Day of Action. In New York City, WECAN women and allies took action for climate justice outside of the United Nations while the General Assembly was in session. Click to view photos and statements in the worldwide action gallery!
- Solidarity Actions with Indigenous Women of Ecuador
As part of ongoing work to support the Kichwa and Sapara Indigenous women of Ecuador in their struggle to protect their territories for oil and mining extraction – WECAN, in partnership with allies at Amazon Watch, helped facilitate a series of meetings between the women and key international policy makers, including members of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
- WECAN at the Social Good Summit – presentation on women and renewable energy with Neha Misra of Solar Sister.
WECAN International at the UN COP20 – Lima, Peru December 2014
Advocacy work inside the UNFCCC COP20, in partnership with the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) and the Women and Gender Constituency. December 1-12, 2014.
Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change-Lima
December 8, 2014 - A convening of women leaders joined in solidarity to speak out against environmentally and socially destructive activities and policies, and to present the diverse visions and strategies with which they are working to chart another course. Panels and strategy circles focused on extractive industries and mega-dams, forest protection and territory rights, renewable energy alternatives, new economic frameworks, rights of nature, systemic change, and how relationships between women of the Global South & North are furthering the climate justice movement.
Click to WATCH ‘Indigenous Women: Earth Defenders Speak Out from the Front Lines of Climate Change’– fantastic Democracy Now! coverage of the event.
- WECAN International formal UN side event at the UNFCCC COP20
December 9, 2014 - Event in collaboration with allies at Amazon Watch and TakingItGlobal. WECAN presented the Women’s Climate Action Agenda as a blueprint for our path forward and showcase examples of youth and women as agents of local and global change. Particular focus was on Indigenous women on the frontlines of climate change and solutions building.
- International Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal - Lima
December 5-6, 2014 - The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature adjudicated various cases linked to COP20 proceedings, including threats to the Great Barrier Reef and oil and mineral extraction in South America. The Tribunal is a model and potent tool to help communities working to defend the Earth and their health and heritage. WECAN is on the Global Alliance Steering Committee and participated in the Tribunal as a judge. Click to learn more about the Lima Tribunal.
People’s March Lima - December 10, 2014 - WECAN International marched with Indigenous allies in the Lima People’s March.
WECAN International at the United Nations Climate Summit– New York City September 2014
- WECAN delegation and support of women’s mobilizing at the ‘People’s Climate March’, New York City, NY
- Women Leading Solutions on the Front Lines of Climate Change – Click here to WATCH the full event footage
- Rights of Nature and Systemic Change in Climate Solutions event in partnership with the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature.
- WECAN Wall of Women Action in NYC and Across the World – click here to view global actions and events
- Women's Climate Action Agenda release. Download, read and share the Action Agenda here.
- Leaders’ Forum on Women Leading the Way: Raising Ambition for Climate Action Event with the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice – WECAN delegates participated in the event, and presented a dynamic table to share information on WECAN’s work for women’s leadership in climate justice.
WECAN International at the UNFCCC COP19 – Warsaw, Poland November 2013
- WECAN advocacy work inside COP19 alongside the Women and Gender Constituency
- Presentation of the WECAN Women’s Climate Declaration, including an action and reading of the Declaration, dedicated to the women of the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Hayian.
- Civil society walk out of COP19
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