The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International is a solutions-based, multi-faceted organization established to engage women worldwide in policy advocacy, on-the-ground projects, direct action, trainings, and movement building for global climate justice.

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Bringing Womens Leadership & Indigenous Rights to the Forefront of Conservation Issues-WECAN at IUCN


Patricia Gualinga (Director of International Relations for the Pueblo of Sarayaku, Ecuador) presents her Living Forest proposal during a main event hosted by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network and the IUCN Gender Program. Pictured with Leila Salazar Lopez of Amazon Watch and Osprey Orielle Lake of WECAN International


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.



Our Executive Director had the honor of meeting up with Dr. Jane Goodall. We are deeply honored that Dr. Goodall is on our Advisory Council.


Listed below, explore key engagement points of WECAN Interational’s participation at the World Conservation Congress this year.



Patricia Gualinga speaks at an IUCN Press Conference.


‘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.



Women standing for No Go Zones, Motion 26, Living Forests, and Keep It In the Ground at the World Conservation Congress. From left to right: Leila Salazar-López, Paty Gualinga, Osprey Orielle Lake, Aura Tegría, Sônia Bone Guajajara and Atossa Soltani.


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.






Sally Ranney, Co-Founder of WECAN speaking at the WECAN event at IUCN.



Press Conference 1- Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate ChangePress

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

Huffington Post – Dear IUCN: Lead On Gender Equality



Women’s Caucus: No Climate Justice without Gender Justice



Women’s Caucus morning meetingsMarch with local Hawaiian groups to bring visibility to their local issues and voices during the CongressNo Dakota Access Pipeline Solidarity Action



At the World Conservation Congress we learned of dogs attacking #NoDAPL indigenous water and land protectors in North Dakota — we were appalled and enraged! Indigenous leaders and allies in Hawaii sent our love and solidarity.



March at the IUCN Congress with Bridget Burns of WEDO and Osprey Orielle Lake of WECAN InternationalOklahoma Fracking Awareness Action




While at the WCC, Casey Camp Horenik, Ponca Nation leader from Oklahoma and WECAN Steering Committee and Advisory Council member informs us of largest earthquake yet in Oklahoma due to fracking. Indigenous leaders and allies stood in solidarity with Pawnee and Ponca nations after the terrible Earthquake. Casey told us that there had been 36 quakes just that one week.


Additional Photos:




Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux and all allies protecting water and stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline. Indigenous land defenders from over ten countries around the world and allies gathered at the World Conservation Congress demonstrate support.




Meeting with Hawaiian allies.



Left to right: Patricia Gualinga (Pueblo of Sarayaku), Leila Salazar Lopez (Amazon Watch), Nina Gualinga (Pueblo of Sarayaku) and Osprey Orielle Lake (WECAN International)




Preparing for the IUCN conference to uplift frontline women and their communities, our WECAN Executive Director had the pleasure of celebrating with Sylvia Earle on her 81st birthday! She is an incredible elder – an ocean elder and we are very honored to have her on our WECAN Advisory Council.