FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2016
Communications Coordinator, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network
+1 (505) 920-0153
Global Women Leaders To Speak Out For Climate Change Action and Justice
At Public Event During the United Nations COP22 Climate Talks
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, California (November 3, 2016) – On November 14, 2016, women leaders from across the world will join together to share their struggles, experiences and solutions to the climate change crisis; speak out in resistance to false climate solutions; and present the diverse strategies and visions with which they are working to shape a healthy and equitable world.
‘Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change – Marrakech’ is a free, public event organized by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International, to be held in downtown Marrakesh, Morocco during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP22 climate talks.
Included in the discussion during ‘Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change – Marrakech’ will be vital topics such as Indigenous rights; the connection between gender and environment; rights of nature; frontline environmental movements; and women’s leadership and calls for immediate climate action within a climate justice framework.
Policy makers and international advocates will speak alongside grassroots, Indigenous, grassroots and frontline women leaders from around the world. The event will be opened with traditional music of the Tamazight peoples, and highlight the voices and work of African and Moroccan women leaders, alongside diverse women allies from South America, North America, Europe and global Island Nations.
Speakers to date include Her Excellency President Hilda Heine (President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands); Honorable Mary Robinson (Mary Robinson Foundation: Climate Justice, Former President of Ireland); Neema Namadamu (SAFECO, Women's Earth and Climate Action Network Democratic Republic of Congo); Rachida Outouchki and Amina El Hajjami (Tamazight Representatives of the High Atlas Foundation, Morocco); Ruth Nyambura (African Eco-Feminists Collective, No REDD in Africa Network, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Kenya); Simone Lovera (Global Forest Coalition, Paraguay); Diana Lopez (Southwest Workers’ Union; Global Grassroots Justice Alliance, USA); Thilmeeza Hussain (Deputy Ambassador to the UN from the Maldives, Climate Wise Women, Voice of Women, Maldives); Jacqui Patterson (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Environmental and Climate Justice Program, USA); Kalyani Raj (UNFCCC Women and Gender Constituency Representative, India); Marta Cecilia Ventura ( Abya Yala Women Messengers, Mayan People of Quiche, Guatemala); Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner (Climate Change Activist / Poet, Marshall Islands); Southern Africa Rural Women's Assembly Representative; Gloria Ushiga (to be confirmed, ASHIÑWAKA Association of Sapara Women of Ecuador); and Osprey Orielle Lake (Women's Earth and Climate Action Network, USA).
“Across the world, women stand on the frontlines of climate change impacts, and it is far past time for them to be at the center of all climate policy and action plans. Throughout COP22, we are standing strong to bring the voices of frontline, Indigenous and grassroots to the forefront where they belong. On November 14th, we united to speak out with the conviction that real forward movement to address climate change and meet the demands of the Paris Climate Agreement depends upon the full and equal participation of women, and that the urgent solutions required at this time will come from women taking action for social and environmental justice at the local, national, and international level. Women are experiencing climate impacts first and worst, and through these challenges hold the tools to confront injustice and build the world we seek.” stated Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network
“Women around the world are passionate about addressing Climate Change. In DR Congo, we wage our war on the front lines in the most primitive conditions – without hoses or running water (having to carry water in buckets) to water our nurseries, no boots, no gloves, no back braces (but maybe a baby on our back)…There is no border for Climate Change, just like there is no border for oxygen. The damages and benefits we create are global….That is why everyone must put their back into the work. Women on the frontlines of this war deserve better support. We speak for Climate Justice, and we stand for justice for the Maman Shujaa (Hero Women) who are fighting on the frontlines to combat climate change on behalf of the whole world.” stated Neema Namdamu, Founder and Director of SAFECO and Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network Democratic Republic of Congo Coordinator
“This fight is not between the rich and the poor, nor between the developed countries and the developing countries this is a fight between people who are willing to act on climate and those who refuse to act, those who are willing to speak out and those who choose to stay silent. And if we choose later, we won't be leaving our children with a planet that is livable.” stated Thilmeeza Hussain, Former Deputy Ambassador to the UN from the Maldives; Human Rights and Climate Activist & Educator; Representative of Climate Wise Women and Founder of Voice of Women, Maldives
“Women play a vital role in community initiatives that contribute to the conservation and restoration of forests and other ecosystems, but regretfully current climate finance mechanisms tend to prioritize large-scale ecologically damaging projects like monoculture tree plantations rather than community-driven conservation initiatives that contribute to climate mitigation and resilience. Profound reforms are necessary to ensure climate policies and climate finance provide more appropriate and effective support to community conservation." stated Simone Lovera, Executive Director of the Global Forest Coalition, Paraguay
Photo 1: Thilmeeza Hussain, Former Deputy Ambassador to the UN from the Maldives; Human Rights and Climate Activist & Educator; Representative of Climate Wise Women and Founder of Voice of Women, Maldives speaks at a WECAN International event during COP21 Paris. Photo by Sophie Pinchetti
Photo 2: Neema Namadamu of SAFECO and WECAN DR Congo speaks inside the United Nations during COP21 in Paris – Photo by Emily Arasim
About The Women's Earth & Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) is a solutions-based, multi-faceted organization established to engage women worldwide as powerful stakeholders in climate change, climate justice, and sustainability solutions. WECAN unites women globally for mobilizations, just solutions, and worldwide movement building. Work includes the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit, Women’s Climate Declaration, and WECAN Women’s Climate Action Agenda. International climate advocacy is complemented with on-the-ground programs such as the Women for Forests, US Women’s Climate Justice Initiative, and Regional Climate Solutions Trainings in the Middle East North Africa region, Latin America, and Democratic Republic of Congo. WECAN International was founded in 2013 as a project of the 501(c)3 Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC)