First Solar Engineer Grandmother Moseten


 By: Kiyomi Nagumo and Carmen Capriles

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 Solar panel installations provides electricity to indigenous families in the Mosetén Nation.

On March 18, Maria Vani from the Mosetén nation, 53-year-old, grandmother, returned to Bolivia as the first indigenous Solar Engineer.  She was welcomed by local authorities, family and neighbors in the community of Villa Concepcion located in the north of the region of La Paz, Bolivia.

After five months at Barefoot College in India, our solar grandmother was trained in the installation and maintenance of solar panels. Maria said the assembling of components of panel parts is what she enjoyed the most.

The purpose of this program is to support sustainable development and access to renewable energy sources, such as solar, to families in rural and indigenous communities, as an alternative source of energy friendlier with the environment and at the same time less expensive.

Mrs. Maria expressed, “I never thought in my life, at my age 53, being a woman, and indigenous, that I could not do something worthwhile. But now I’m proud of myself and I know I can do everything, and I can help my community, and my people. ”

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The Solar Grandmother is proud to contribute with the development of Mosetén Nation, and specifically within her community. She is excited as she waits for the arrival of solar panels. They will provide alternative energy to those who need it most in her community.

This initiative was coordinated through the efforts of volunteers from the city of La Paz committed to climate change and sustainable development of the country and Reaction Climate, Peace Network Integration and Development (PAZINDE) in collaboration with the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN-LAC).



Por: Kiyomi Nagumo y Carmen Capriles

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 La instalación de paneles solares, brindará electricidad a familias de la Nación Indígena Mosetén  

El pasado 18 de Marzo MARIA VANI indígena de la Nación Mosetén, de 53 años de edad, abuela, retorna como la primera Ingeniera Solar Indígena de Bolivia, fue recibida por autoridades locales, familiares y vecinos en la comunidad de Villa Concepción, ubicada en el Norte del Departamento de La Paz, Bolivia.

Tras cinco meses en el Instituto de los Pies Descalzos (Barefoot College) en la India, la abuela solar fue capacitada para la instalación y mantenimiento de paneles solares, lo que más le gusto a María fue el armado de componentes, como así lo asegura.

La finalidad de este programa es apoyar en el desarrollo sostenible de familias en comunidades indígenas, con el acceso a fuentes de energías renovables como es la solar como una alternativa energética más amigable con el medio ambiente.

María expresa “Yo pensaba que nunca en mi vida, menos a mis 53 años, siendo mujer e indígena podía hacer algo y que no valía nada. Pero ahora estoy orgullosa y sé que soy capaz de hacer todo y puedo ayudar a mi pueblo y mi gente”.

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La abuela Solar orgullosa de aportar en el desarrollo de la Nación Moseten y en especial a su comunidad, está ansiosa por la llegada de los paneles solares, para poder brindar energía alternativa a los más necesitados de su comunidad.

La iniciativa fue coordinada gracias a la gestión de voluntarios de la ciudad de La Paz  de Reacción Climática y la Red Paz Integración y Desarrollo (PAZINDE) con la colaboración de la Red de Acción de Mujeres por el Clima y el Ambiente (WECAN-LAC), todos comprometidos con el cambio climático y el desarrollo del país.

Behind the Climate Negotiating Text for COP21

Pablo Solón

The future lies in the past. What has happened will determine what will come. The idea that we can change everything and save the world at the last minute is exciting in movies but it does not work in real life. It particularly applies when we speak about issues like climate change where the consequences of what we did in the past century are just beginning to manifest.

This principle applies also to climate negotiations. What is now on the table after the climate negotiations held in Geneva from 8-13 February 2015 is setting the scope and the range of possibilities for the climate agreement at the upcoming COP 21 in Paris this December.

The good news

The good news is that in Geneva the climate negotiations have finally really started. Smoothly and quickly, delegations from different countries avoided long speeches and went directly to work to compile their different proposals for a future climate agreement in Paris. At the moment, the negotiating text has 86 pages and 1,273 brackets. The task for the next 10 months is to streamline this bracketed draft and come out with a text of around 20 pages without annexes and zero brackets.

In the current text there are good and bad proposals that yet need to be negotiated and agreed. The final result will be something in between the most ambitious and the weakest proposals. So how good are the more positive proposals on the table? Are they going to put us on a path that limits the increase of the temperature to 1.5 ºC or 2 ºC?

Disturbing omissions

By now, it is well known that to achieve the goal to limit the temperature increase to below 2ºC, we need to leave 80% of the current known fossil fuel reserves under the ground. This has been stated in many studies, reports and interventions, but not one single country has submitted this proposal in the current text of negotiations. The word “fossil fuels” only appears twice throughout the text and only in reference to the reduction of fossil fuel subsidies. How are we going to cut back greenhouse gas emissions if we don’t have an agreement to leave under the soil, the 80% of the “black gold” that has been discovered?

The other disturbing omission is the short-term target for 2025 and 2030. In the text there are 13 references to zero emissions by the mid and end of the century. But when it comes to this decade and the next, there are no concrete targets and just general references about “enhancing the mitigation ambition” that appears 61 times in the text. The targets that are needed are very clear in different studies. The UNEP Emissions Gap report and other studies show that to be consistent with a trajectory that limits the increase of the temperature to 2ºC, global greenhouse gas emissions have to be reduced to 44 Gigatons (Gt) of CO2e by 2020, 40 Gt by 2025 and 35 Gt by 2030. This is the cap the world needs to avoid a future too dire to imagine.  Now, in the text there are no references to these figures. There are only proposals in terms of percentages for the next half of the century. The most ambitious for the near term says, “Developed country Parties shall take mitigation commitments for the post-2020 period that are more ambitious than emission reductions of at least 25–40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020”. In other words, the next decade you have to be more ambitious than this decade. That is not really a clear target.

These omissions in the text are not an accident, they reflect an agreement that for the coming years until 2030, every country will do what they can/want and the UNFCCC will just summarize the “intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs)”. No single country has challenged this suicidal path by putting in the negotiating text that we need a global target to reduce global emissions to only 40 Gt of CO2e by 2025 to avoid an increase in the temperature of 4ºC to 8 ºC.

The center of the debate?

Looking at the negotiating text, it is clear that what seems to be the center of the controversy is not about how much to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but around the supposed conflict between developed and developing countries. The word “development” appears 247 times in the negotiating text, “developing” countries 410 and “developed” countries 342 times. The debate in the text is more about who should do what in the reduction of green house gas emissions (developed and developing), what flexibility mechanisms (carbon markets) are going to be in place, how each one is going to report, what kind of verification process will be established for the different type of countries and what kind of financial and technological support there will be to implement the mitigation actions.

The position of developed countries in general tends to water down the difference between developed and developing countries, promoting more the use of “all parties” (134 mentions in the text). On the other hand, developing countries want to keep the firewall between developed and developing countries.

The group of Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) that includes Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria and Venezuela has included the following paragraphs in the negotiating text that show their approach to developed and developing countries:

“Developed country Parties shall commit to undertake Absolute Emission Reduction Targets during the period of 2021-2030, in accordance with a global emission budget including their historical responsibility, through quantifiable, economy-wide mitigation targets, covering all sectors and all greenhouse gases, implemented mainly domestically, which can be aggregated and which are comparable, measurable, reportable and verifiable, with the type, scope, scale and coverage more ambitious than those undertaken under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol during the pre-2020 period, and communicated and implemented without any conditions”.

On the other hand, Developing country Parties should commit to undertake Diversified Enhanced Mitigation Actions (DEMAs) during the period 2021–2030. They may include, inter alia, relative emission reductions; intensity targets; REDD-plus activities and other plans, programmes and policies; joint mitigation and adaptation approaches; net avoided emissions, or also manifested as adaptation co-benefits, in accordance with their special circumstances and specific needs.”

While it is true that this is a real source of debate – the maintenance of the delineation between developed and developing countries so that developed countries do not escape their historic responsibility, and that countries make commitments according to common but differentiated responsibility, it is also one that serves as a smokescreen for the deals that have been made between polluters – one developed and one developing. China, which has caught up to developed countries on levels of emissions, maintains the developing country title but does the rest of the developing countries a disservice by striking a very bad deal with one of the largest polluters in the world, the United States. The highly publicized US-China deal last year is a reflection of how the US and China, two of the largest polluters, have decided not to do what is needed for 2025/2030. The two big polluters account for more than 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is a “laissez faire” deal in which China will only peak (reduce in absolute terms) emissions in 2030 and the US will reduce 15% of their green house gas emissions in 2025 based on their level of emissions in 1990. As a reference, the EU has committed to reduce 40% of their emissions by 2030 based on their 1990 levels.

This is the heart of the deal in Paris and with these emission cuts from the US and China, the rest of the countries will not do much more because as they have expressed, that would go against their competitiveness in the global economy. The negotiation around the text is about how to package and sell a bad deal to public opinion and how to dilute the responsibility of polluting countries of the developed and the emerging developing world. Probably the issue about “common but differentiated responsibility” will be solved through the addition of some “innovative language” like “in light of different national circumstances” as it happened in COP20 in Peru.

Opening the door for new carbon markets

Even with the failure of carbon markets, the debate is not if this mechanism should continue or not, but how to enhance the current ones and develop new ones. No country has submitted text to avoid carbon market mechanisms or REDD+. Carbon market mechanisms are mentioned 27 times and REDD+ 13 times. In the text there are mentions of an “enhanced Clean Development Mechanism (CDM+)”, the “Emissions Trading System (ETS)”, “REDD Plus”, “market mechanism in the land use sector”, “sub-national and regional emissions schemes” and “carbon pricing”. A reading of the text shows that COP 21 will open the door for new carbon market mechanisms but that the real development of them will be agreed at future COPs.

Finance: the forgotten promise

Finance, which was supposed to be one of the most crucial commitments by the developed countries to the developing countries, has now become an issue relegated to the sidelines. The climate debt owed to those suffering the impacts of climate change, yet who are the least responsible, is on the way to being forgotten. Looking at the text, the word finance itself is mentioned 203 times but when it comes to concrete figures, there are only a measly 14 mentions with only four proposals:

  • [Developed countries][All countries in a position to do so] commit to provide at least USD 50 billion per year during the period from 2020 to 2025, at least USD 100 billion per year by [2020][2030] for adaptation activities of [developing countries].
  • The provision of finance committed by developed country Parties to be based on a floor of USD 100 billion per year since 2020.
  • A short-term collective quantified goal of USD 200 billion per year by 2030 should be committed by developed country Parties,
  • [Developed country Parties][Parties in a position to do so, considering evolving capabilities] to provide 1 per cent of gross domestic product per year from 2020 and additional funds during the pre-2020 period to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

If current promises are to be a basis, there is little confidence in these promised numbers. At the COP20 in Lima, there was triumph around the achievement of reaching 10 billion USD – out of the 100 billion USD that was originally promised several COPs ago.

Furthermore, in the text, developed countries prefer to use the term “mobilize” instead of “provide” and they do not limit the obligation of funding to developed countries but to all countries in a position to do so, further diluting the responsibilities of the developed countries as they spread it to developing countries. The term “mobilize” is not associated with any figure in particular and in general includes “from a variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources” which means that even loans and carbon markets will be accounted in the process of mobilization of financial resources.

Rights and compliance

Human rights are mentioned seven times and mainly in the preamble and objectives section. There are no concrete proposals to guarantee human rights in mitigation, finance, market or technology measures. There is only one mention in adaptation and only in general terms. In some cases, the mention of human rights is at the same level as the right to development.  Indigenous peoples’ rights appears only two times in the preamble. Migrant rights are not included, and in the loss and damage chapter, there are only two mentions of “organized migration and planned relocation”. The proposal of Rights of Mother Earth or Rights of Nature is not included at all as an option to be discussed. The only mention to Mother Earth is in relation to “protecting the integrity of Mother Earth” without further development.

When it comes to mechanisms of compliance, there are those that say, “no specific provisions required” and those that suggest a “Compliance Committee” with “an enforcement branch and a facilitative branch”. The possibility of sanctions is mentioned and also suggested is the “use of economic instruments such as market mechanisms as a way to promote compliance”. Bolivia has included the proposal for an “International Climate Justice Tribunal”.

These token mentions of rights and recognition of those at the frontlines of climate change are empty promises with no concrete commitments attached to them. The negotiations around solutions to climate change need to have the rights of peoples and Nature at its heart.

Fighting for our Future now, not in Paris

The nature of climate change with its feedback mechanism is such that what we did in the past is what we reap now. Following this logic, what we do now is what we will reap in the next 10 years, and if the current text is to be the basis of that future, we will have none of which to speak.

There is no cheating, buying or creating loopholes to delay action until 2030 – the time to act decisively is now. And these are very concrete and clear actions that need to be taken:

  • leave 80 percent of the known fossil fuels reserves under the ground
  • deep emissions cuts to achieve global targets – 44 Gigatons (Gt) of CO2e by 2020, 40 Gt by 2025 and 35 Gt by 2030
  • reduce military and defense expenditures, which account for more than 1.5 trillion dollars globally, and instead channel these funds to provide public finance for developing countries for adaptation, mitigation and for loss and damage
  • the recognition, respect and promotion of the rights of people and nature

A bad deal in Paris will lock in catastrophic consequences for the future of the planet and humanity. The urgency of the task at hand cannot be emphasized enough – we need to act now.

*Pablo Solón is Executive Director of Focus on the Global South. 

Women Are Half Of The Population, Policies Must Reflect This!

WECAN Latin American Coordinator Statement for the 5th meeting, Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations 

(Declaration Session) – U.N. General Assembly


2015 is a historical year, first because the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) agenda comes to an end with its ups and downs, achievements and lessons learned. On the other hand, new agendas are being drafted to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and to finalize a global climate agreement in Paris. New finance for a development agenda is on the table and while the process is surely flawed, we want to do all that we can within the process to help the least developed countries, and in that sense, it is important to highlight the need to include a women’s rights perspective. In order to do so it is necessary to understand that women’s rights, women’s empowerment and participation are key to achieve positive development that can become a game-changer in the complex social, economic and environmental panorama that we are facing.

Therefore is important to make the voices of all women especially those in forgotten places, like small and indigenous communities or small towns in rural areas included in this new agenda. The needs of women and their solutions must be taken into account in order to really draft an agenda that leaves no one behind. Many of the women we represent live in poverty conditions , have low access to education, produce their own food, are left on their own to face the drastic impacts of climate change, face pollution from mining and oil industries and are witnesses to the loss of their lands and forests. They experience all of this without having any benefit for themselves or their children and while sadly earning a legacy of poverty as they lose their ways of life.

Kiyomi Nagumo as Coordinator of WECAN Latin America Region participated in a session for the drafting of the declaration for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) calling on Governments and States to take into account that women are half of all populations and therefore half of the world and they should not be ignored or forgotten but should be instead at the core of the new POST2015 – Sustainable Development Agenda.  In order to really shift the catastrophic path our society is aiming toward , which includes the ongoing oppression of women and building a cruel economic structure based on their bodies and perpetuating their poverty, we must have women’s empowerment and full representation at the forefront.

The following statement calls for a strong reflection upon the needs of a system change and to realize that it is time to stop profiting from women’s poverty and to create a new environment where women can truly realize themselves as persons and not take them for granted as objects,  property or mere commodities. Women are life-givers not only in the sense of motherhood but also the ones that protect and nourish the seeds and the animals. Many women are already leading their communities against all odds and with further education and access to resources and the true benefits of their work they can became even stronger leaders that can help create better societies based on solidarity and understanding of nature and natural laws.

February 20, 2015 Session of the SDGs

Speaker: Kiyomi Nagumo (WECAN-WECF)

Thank you Mr. Chair (Mr. Facilitator), authorities, and colleges

Good morning, my name is Kiyomi Nagumo, speaking on behalf of the Women`s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) and Women of Europe for a Common Future (WECF)

Although many countries have tried to generate policies to eradicate structural violence against women, we must acknowledge that the structures of abuse cannot be eliminated if we do not recognize that we live in a patriarchal system where we, women, are assumed as an object and that the regulatory, social, legal and economic structures are based on our bodies. Therefore part of the global economy is the result of the unpaid work we do.

However, we have seen a failure to include women in spaces (seats) of power, wrongly thinking that empowerment will come with only a name or percentage within decision making spaces. Talking about the empowerment of women has a great responsibility because it becomes necessary to work with legal recognition and social recognition.

If we really want a change and impact the political landscape effectively , we must acknowledge that women are half of the world, therefore half the planet.

Establishing specifically equitable access to land tenure and natural resource policies is essential, since the policy or established standards are not sufficient and the necessary control mechanisms to carrying them out do not exist. Because without equitable access, women cannot access spaces of local, regional, national and  international decision-making.

We are aware that the least developed countries, indigenous peoples, intercultural communities and rural communities and women suffer from droughts, floods, hail, pests, so it is necessary to establish mechanisms to adapt to the changing weather conditions.

We are convinced that there is no person, organization, community, province, region or nation who can solve the problem of climate change and sustainable development alone, so it is vital that international commitments do not remain neglected and that governments respond to the same level of urgency.

Sustainable development goes hand in hand with the empowerment of women and of women’s movement. Women can contribute to, and influence local and international governance in order to generate policies, raise climate measures and sustainable solutions,  ensure respect and sovereignty of our people. In this way women and indigenous communities can design and determine their own future, drafting a new course ensuring coexistence and living well in relationship with the environment.

States should take into account that it is time to achieve global cooperation, coordination and an understanding of a diversity of peoples and cultures by taking into account that there are intercultural regulatory, economic and social plural systems.

Therefore, the Declaration of the post-2015 agenda needs countries to commit to the rights of half the planet, women,  and ensure women’s rights are guaranteed and implemented,  and are consistent with climate justice agreements.

Thank you very much!

Kiyomi Nagumo, WECAN Coordinator for Latin American Region , with  Carmen Capriles, Reacción Climática Bolivia

Spanish Statement:

Muy buenos Días, Mi nombre es Kiyomi Nagumo, hablo en nombre de la Red por la tierra y el Clima (WECAN) y WECF

A pesar de que muchos países han tratado de generar políticas para erradicar la violencia estructural contra la mujer. Tenemos que tener en cuenta que las estructuras de maltrato no pueden ser eliminadas si no estamos consientes de que vivimos en un sistema patriarcal, que las mujeres somos asumidas como un objeto y que las construcciones normativas, sociales, jurídicas y económicas se basan en nuestros cuerpos. Por lo tanto parte de la economía mundial es fruto del trabajo impago que realizamos.

Sin embargo, existe una falla al incluir a las mujeres en estrados de poder. las mujeres somos la mitad de cada pueblo, por ende la mitad del planeta. Si queremos realmente ser tomadas en cuenta, no únicamente necesitamos políticas para el empoderamiento denominativo o porcentual, se debe impulsar el par político de manera efectiva.

Establecer políticas equitativa sobre el acceso a la tenencia de tierras y los recursos naturales, no son suficientes es necesario q existan mecanismos de control, y ejecución de las mismas. Ya que sin ellos, nosotras no podemos acceder a espacios de tomas de decisión locales, regionales, nacionales y hasta internacionales.

Estamos conscientes de el impacto de cambio climatico es mas severo en comunidades campesinas, y sobre todo a las indígenas, por lo tanto es necesario establecer mecanismos para poder adaptarnos a situaciones de clima cambiantes. “Si el planeta está mal, nosotras nos llevamos la peor parte”

Estamos convencidas que ninguna persona, organización, comunidad, provincia, región o nación es capaz de resolver el problema del cambio climático y lograr un desarrollo sostenible por sí solo, por eso es trascendental que los compromisos internacionales no sigan siendo postergados y que los gobiernos respondan a la escala de urgencia.

El desarrollo sostenible va de la mano con el empoderamiento del movimiento de mujeres, nosotras podemos aportar e incidir en la gobernanza local e internacional con el fin de generar políticas, plantear medidas climáticas y soluciones sostenibles. Para garantizar el respeto y la soberanía de nuestras poblaciones, para que estas puedan diseñar y determinar su propio futuro, trazar un nuevo rumbo garantizando el vivir bien en coexistencia y relación con el medio ambiente.

Por eso, la Declaración de la agenda post-2015 necesita q los países se comprometan que los derechos de la mitad de la planeta estén garantizadas e implementadas, a demás, que estén en concordancia con el acuerdo del clima.

Muchas gracias

Kiyomi Nagumo, WECAN Coordinator for Latin American Region and Carmen Capriles, Reacción Climática Bolivia