During the recent September 2016 International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) ‘World Conservation Congress’, the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network spoke out, advocated and engaged with global governments, businesses and civil society organization in order to lift up the climate justice framework and show why women’s leadership; Indigenous rights and frontline women’s struggles and solutions; and deep systemic change are key to just and effective conservation policy, and to all attempts to move forward on the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
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, focused this year on the theme of ‘Planet at the Crossroads’ in an attempt to build forward motion 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 felt strongly that this was an important moment to highlight the voices of grassroots, frontline and Indigenous women community and Earth defenders to the Congress to share their struggles, experiences and solutions; demonstrate resistance to false solutions to the climate crisis while offering clear directives for a just and safe energy transition; and advocate for No Go Zones and Rights of Nature.
In advance and on the ground in Hawaii, WECAN was honored to be collaborate with Amazon Watch, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), Center for Earth Jurisprudence, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and diverse allies gathering at IUCN through the Sacred Lands Film network.
Listed below, explore key engagement points of WECAN Interational’s participation at the World Conservation Congress this year.
- ‘A Deep Dive on Gender and Environment: Exploring the Policy Landscape, Strategies in Action, and Women’s Frontlines Solutions’ – key event and panel presented by WECAN and the IUCN Gender team.
- Motion 26 advocacy: WECAN was honored to stand with a diverse group of colleagues who have worked for years to successfully push for the passing of Motion 26 which, “protects areas to be considered as no-go areas for environmentally damaging industrial activities and infrastructure developments, emphasizing the need for respect of Indigenous peoples’ rights as a high priority, to ensure their free, prior and informed consent in relation to activities in sacred natural sites and territories conserved by Indigenous peoples and local communities.”.WECAN has huge appreciation to all allies for their tremendous efforts over many years in this achievement. The power and presence of Indigenous voices and leadership is essential, and the need to respect the rights of Indigenous peoples and sacred sites a top priority in these critical times.
- EcoWatch – Sacred Sites Should Be No Go Zones For Developers
- The Ecologist – World Conservation Congress Votes to Protect Indigenous Sacred Lands
- Monga Bay – Indigenous Peoples Demand Protection of Sacred Sites at World Conservation Congress
- Monga Bay – IUCN to Create New Category of Membership for Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations
- InterContinental Cry – World Conservation Congress Approves Historic Measure to Protect Indigenous Lands
- Press Conference 1- Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change
- Press Conference 2 – Rights of Nature
- Advocacy for the end to oil drilling and respect for Indigenous rights and territories in the Ecuadorian Amazon alongside Patricia Gualinga (Director of International Relations, Pueblo of Sarayaku, Ecuadorian Amazon); Leila Salazar Lopez (Amazon Watch) and Atossa Soltani (Amazon Watch)
- Women’s Caucus Participation
- March with local Hawaiian groups to bring visibility to their local issues and voices during the Congress
- No Dakota Access Pipeline Solidarity Action
- Oklahoma Fracking Awareness Action