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COP27: Wins and Losses on Government Action, Peoples’ Movements Are Not Defeated

“Women have the knowledge and wisdom

to build the solutions to address this global crisis."

Neema Namadamu, WECAN Democratic Republic of Congo Coordinator,

Founder of Hero She Rising, Democratic Republic of Congo

Women leaders speak out during the WECAN COP27 Side Event, “Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change,” in Egypt 2022. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


Welcome to the WECAN COP27 report back. We have divided the report back into two main sections, the top section contains analysis of COP27 outcomes, and the bottom section shares WECAN advocacy efforts, events, actions, protests, and media coverage from COP27.

Additionally, please find live streams of our advocacy work available on Facebook here. A full photo album from COP27 is also available here.



OVERVIEW

On November 20th, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) 27 in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt finally came to a conclusion after many late nights, with the adoption of the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan.

This year’s COP27 was heralded as the African COP, as well as the Implementation COP, seeking to not only lift up the leadership of African countries but also to move forward the Paris Climate Agreement goals. However, governments failed to fully actualize either of these aims.

While the Plan includes the historic development of Loss and Damage financing, which we truly celebrate after decades of advocacy by climate justice movements, it continues to recklessly delay phaseout of all fossil fuels. The cover text also lacks any substantive language on Indigenous rights, human rights, advancement on the Gender Action Plan, and ignores key demands of civil society. Governments also pushed forward more pathways for dangerous carbon market mechanisms during negotiations on Article 6 of the Paris Climate Agreement (more details below), which will also negatively impact communities and ecosystems.

Without the urgent action and ambition needed to cut emissions commensurate with staying below 1.5 degrees warming and with the exclusion of an all fossil fuel phaseout and rights-based language, the final text is an affront to the many communities worldwide facing the extreme and threatening impacts of the climate crisis, as it continues to allow governments to delay adaptation and mitigation efforts, and sideline civil society’s calls for climate justice and rights-based approaches. This will inevitably lead to disaster for frontline communities on the African continent and around the world, and ultimately all communities will be harshly impacted.

Youth activists hold a banner that says “1.5” to Stay Alive” at the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice held inside the COP27 venue in Egypt, 2022. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


A report from UN Climate Change released ahead of COP27, found that implementation of the current pledges by governments puts the world on track for 2.5C warming by the end of the century. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates that greenhouse gas emissions must decline 45% by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Current government commitments are simply unacceptable.

WECAN was at COP27 to ensure women’s voices and solutions in all their diversity were centered within the negotiations through our advocacy, side events, press conferences, and direct actions. This year, BBC reported that women made up less than 34% of country negotiating teams at the UN summit in Egypt. Additionally, out of 110 world leaders present at COP27 only seven were women.

Women are not only experiencing the brunt of climate impacts, but are also drivers of climate action! Women, feminists, and gender-diverse leaders are at the forefront of our movements and on-the-ground solutions, and at COP27, were strong leaders in collective advocacy for the final approval of the Loss and Damage fund. Every day of the two-week convention, peoples' movements and civil society powerfully showed up to provide a vision moving forward grounded in just climate solutions that combat systemic inequity and harm to the Earth.

With this in mind, we join many voices from global peoples’ movements in expressing extreme disappointment and frustration with the COP27 outcomes that ultimately further capitalist, racist, colonial, and patriarchal policies, which continue harming frontline communities and women first and worst. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the climate talks continue to reflect unjust systems that are central to the root causes of the climate crisis, such as neoliberal economic models that drive the destructive commodification of nature, and the implementation of market-based mechanisms that most often harm people and the planet.

Attending international forums such as COP27 is one important component of WECAN’s multifaceted strategy to address the climate crisis and the root causes of environmental degradation and socio-economic inequalities. We recognize the importance of governments coming together to address the climate emergency, and yet we know that most of the urgent forward progress is in the hands of the people —with community-led solutions, on-the-ground projects, and movement building for global climate justice.

Global Indigenous leaders march through the COP27 venue during the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice in Egypt, 2022. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


In light of this, WECAN intentionally participates in the UN climate talks to advance an inside-outside strategy as we hold governments, corporations, and their financial backers accountable. It is vital that civil society continues to hold space and intervene with an inside strategy, or COP outcomes would be far worse for our communities and the Earth.

People power does work. The Loss and Damage mechanism is a victory, and we also recognize that it is only a shell at this point and there will need to be massive ongoing efforts to push for implementation. Yet, this victory is a testament to nearly three decades of organizing amongst impacted countries and civil society. We will need this same focused effort to now phaseout fossil fuels, uplift gender equity, Indigenous sovereignty and human rights, and further push governments to declare a climate emergency and act swiftly to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis.

It is imperative that nations listen to the demands and calls to action from feminist movements, civil society, and all those fighting for just climate action. As in past years, the Women and Gender Constituency remained a powerful force in coordinating impactful advocacy moments, influencing negotiations, and uplifting the demands of African feminists.

We also want to spotlight the extreme constraints of civil society at COP27 in Egypt, which limited civil society’s ability to mobilize outside of the COP venue. Nevertheless, global movements took courageous action in solidarity with political prisoners in Egypt and beyond, calling for the release of Alaa Abd El Fattah— one of an estimated 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt— and other political prisoners and human rights defenders. As governments seek to restrict the advocacy efforts of civil society, we stand proudly, echoing the movement’s call: “No climate justice without human rights.” We will continue to support women land and human rights defenders and act in solidarity with those in Egypt and beyond fighting for their rights to freedom of speech and a healthy and just future.

Frontline leaders and constituency focal points lead the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice inside COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


WECAN was honored to have participated in COP27 with our incredible frontline women leaders delegation— advocating, speaking out, movement building and engaging at every level with governments alongside global climate movement leaders and feminists for climate justice. We uplifted gender-responsive climate policies; Indigenous and human rights; rights of nature; phasing out all fossil fuels; saying no to false solutions and yes to community-led initiatives; decolonizing our economies, and so much more.

While governments failed to meet the urgency of this moment, failed to meet the title of “Implementation COP”, and further obstructed urgent just climate action, the global climate justice movement made clear that we can succeed when the demands of frontline communities are centered. We are thankful for all the collective organizing and relationships we deepened in our time in Egypt— for People and Planet!


At the high-level closing session at COP27 in Egypt, Helena Gualinga, Kichwa Indigenous youth climate leader, and WECAN COP27 Delegate left us with these parting words:

“I envision a future where we do not have to fear another flood, another fire, or finding another murdered protector of the Amazon. I envision a future where our children and your children do not have to fight for the future of humanity. I envision the Living Forest, the vision of the Kichwa people of Sarayaku that respects and ensures that the forest, the forest beings, and our people are permanently protected from extractive industries and other threats.”

Governments must commit to just climate action, and WECAN will continue to work ceaselessly and fiercely for solutions of women and frontline communities—fighting together for Mother Earth, the health of our communities, and generations to come.

Please read further to learn about outcomes from the negotiations, our WECAN delegates, events, actions, protests, and advocacy at COP26.



IMPACTED COUNTRIES AND COMMUNITIES SECURE LOSS AND DAMAGE FUND!

African feminists lead an action on Loss and Damage at COP27 in Egypt demanding a funding mechanism for Loss and Damage and to halt investments in fossil fuel projects. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


After over 30 decades of advocacy, Loss and Damage finance finally made it onto the agenda at COP27, for the first time ever. After two weeks of grueling negotiations, we are celebrating the creation of a Loss and Damage finance mechanism.

This could not have been possible without the ceaseless organizing and advocacy by Small Island Nations, nations most impacted by climate disasters, and the powerful civil society leaders fighting to ensure Loss and Damage (L&D) was a priority this year.

Loss and Damage is not a new topic in the UN climate negotiations. The first call for action on L&D came from the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in 1991. However, no financing system for addressing L&D has been promised after 30 years and 26 COPs— until now.

The agreement on L&D calls for a committee of delegates to meet over the next year to determine the specifics of the fund – which countries should pay, and where and how financing will be distributed. It is imperative that we remain vigilant and pay close attention to the advancement of this funding mechanism to ensure the leadership and expertise of those most impacted by climate disasters are a part of the development of this mechanism. Frontline communities continue to demand a finance facility for Loss and Damage, that includes and addresses past damages, non-economic, and cultural damages. Climate finance is interconnected with impacted communities, nature, and the people who steward the world’s biodiversity, therefore these same communities must be at the decision-making table as this mechanism is developed.


At last year’s COP26, vulnerable nations’ proposal for the L&D finance facility was rejected by wealthy countries. Since then, more than 119 extreme weather events have occurred in vulnerable countries and emissions have continued to rise. Before COP27, civil society spoke out loudly to ensure Loss and Damage was a part of the formal agenda. WECAN signed onto an NGO letter calling on the Biden administration to stop blocking the creation of a Loss & Damage fund at COP27, we won that demand, and the U.S. ultimately supported the establishment of the fund.


At its core Loss and Damage is a term that refers to both financial and nonfinancial losses and damages as a result of the climate crisis, which require a financial investment for repair. Loss and Damage describes how climate change causes irreversible impacts in vulnerable communities, despite adaptation and mitigation efforts. L&D is about making funds accessible for vulnerable and impacted nations to address the impacts of climate-related catastrophes. Frontline countries and communities have not yet been compensated for the consequences of a crisis that they did not create. This is an unjust cycle, as vulnerable countries are forced to put funds towards disaster response, meaning less funds are going toward resilience, mitigation, or adaptation efforts.


It is important to note that wealthy countries, most responsible for the climate crisis, have continued to fall short on current commitments to climate finance. It is well established that the United States and European Union are the top contributors to the climate crisis when looking at historical emissions. In 2009, wealthy countries committed to mobilizing100 billion USD a year by 2020 to support developing countries on climate action. However, most developed countries are falling short on this promise, mobilizing only83.3 billion USD in 2020. Studies show that even 100 billion is not nearly enough to address global losses and damages, with research estimating an increase of at least 590% in annual climate finance is needed to meet internationally-agreed climate objectives by 2030 and to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change.

African feminists lead an action on Loss and Damage at COP27 in Egypt demanding a funding mechanism for Loss and Damage and to halt investments in fossil fuel projects. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


It is also important for policymakers to acknowledge the historical oppressions that further aggravate the losses and damages of frontline communities. Particularly, it is crucial to recognize how colonialism, imperialism, and extractive capitalism have shaped the socioeconomic and environmental context of the Global South. It is no accident that Indigenous, Black, Brown, and communities in the Global South are at the frontline, facing enormous losses and damages– the historical context of colonialism and imperialism and its current impacts that continue to denigrate and destroy communities and lands for the capitalist profits of rich nations and companies.


For example, In the summer of 2022, Pakistan was devastated by floods, which were exacerbated by climate change. A third of the nation was submerged, resulting in 1,700 deaths, and at least $40 billion in economic damage. Severe floods inundated portions of Nigeria as well, and in other parts of Africa, unprecedented drought has forced millions of people to the verge of famine. The longer the delay in implementing substantive action, the more people will suffer as a result, which is why the forthcoming L&D facility must aim to reduce harm and inequalities. As the development of the facility advances we remain concerned about how funds will be distributed and could end up delaying funding or utilizing multilateral development banks, which have a harmful track record for actually supporting vulnerable countries and communities.


It is also vital to highlight that we must simultaneously stop fossil fuel expansion so that there is less damage to communities. It has been suggested that ending fossil fuel subsidies could free up billions for a Loss and Damage fund.


While there are many negative outcomes at COP27, we celebrate this vital advancement and breakthrough for Loss and Damage and will continue to join our colleagues globally to uplift the work and demands of those most impacted by climate disasters and to continue to fight and hold wealthy countries, like the United States and European Union, responsible for their contributions to the climate crisis.



GOVERNMENTS CONTINUE TO DELAY A PHASEOUT OF FOSSIL FUELS

Osprey Orielle Lake (center), WECAN Executive Director takes action alongside Sharon Lavigne, Founder of RISE St. James (center left) in an action at COP27 in Egypt, led by Gulf South frontline leaders to demand an end to fossil fuels and for governments to declare a climate emergency. Photo Credit: WECAN


Ending the era of fossil fuels remains a key demand of WECAN and global movements in domestic and international climate policy. We know the most important way to cut emissions is to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Nevertheless, fossil fuel production continues to rapidly expand with governments enabling expansion despite their climate commitments.

A push led by India to include a phase down of all fossil fuels, not only coal, in the final text was rejected. This makes the 1.5-degree target almost impossible to achieve — we must have bold and transformative action now!

Tragically but not unexpectedly, fossil fuel lobbyists continue to hold a grip on the negotiations. At COP27, the influence of the fossil fuel industry only escalated, with Global Witness reporting a 25% increase in fossil fuel representation from last year.

Ahead of COP27, WECAN joined our colleagues demanding the Egyptian COP presidency to kick big polluters out, yet those calls remained unanswered. We must immediately transition off fossil fuels, however, governments continue to delay accountability and action. Throughout the two weeks, we engaged in sweeping actions with civil society calling for fossil fuel phaseout, and bringing attention to the fossil fuel industry's attempts to derail negotiations and global advancement toward the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement.

An action at COP27 in Egypt to kick big polluters out of negotiations and to phaseout fossil fuels. Photo Credit: WECAN


While India’s proposal to include all fossil fuels in a phase down was rejected, we did see some surprising support for the proposal, with a reported 80 countries endorsing the initiative. Specifically the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union were willing to be a part of the push to phase down all fossil fuels in the agreement, a large shift from their positions in previous years. It is also imperative that we critically examine these positions and their potential greenwashing implications. As an example, we need to explicitly determine the meaning of “unabated” fossil fuel phaseouts.

While decisions made at COP27 are vital to multilateral climate action, governments do not have to wait to take action on fossil fuels. Governments must be accountable to their statements at COP27, and start pursuing policies and strategies to end fossil fuel production and expansion domestically. For the United States this means saying no to Line 5, Mountain Valley Pipeline, and projects like Formosa in the Gulf South, as well as fossil fuel export expansion.

During a press conference at COP27, Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director stated:

"We're asking, where is the government regulation? Where are the political leaders standing up to the fossil fuel industry? And where are the real commitments from governments and financial institutions to phase out fossil fuels and instead invest in a just transition? Many groups are organizing to have strategic campaigns to call for divestment, to stop fossil fuel infrastructure and extraction at the source, and to stop supply chains that also lead to deforestation.”

As movements to phaseout fossil fuels continue to grow and apply pressure at the COP, we need immediate action by all governments and financial institutions to implement a rapid and steep decline of fossil fuel production. Investment in fossil fuels is simply not compatible with keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees.



THE FOSSIL FUEL NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY MAKES SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENT AT COP27

WECAN COP27 Delegate, Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), participated in an action held at COP27 in Egypt calling for governments to support a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treat. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


While nations continue to skirt their role in supporting a phaseout of fossil fuels, international advocates had significant success in advancing the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. WECAN is on the Steering Committee for the Treaty, and it was part of our advocacy efforts at COP27 to promote the Treaty.


During COP27, Tuvalu joined Vanuatu (who endorsed the Treaty at the UN General Assembly in September) in supporting the Treaty during their Prime Minister’s formal address at the UN climate talks. Following Tuvalu’s announcement, interest from Parties escalated leading to multiple high level bilateral and multilateral meetings with at least 25 countries.


The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is a proposed international mechanism that would complement the Paris Agreement by managing a fast and fair global transition away from coal, oil and gas. The Treaty has three clear pillars:

  • End expansion of fossil fuel production

  • Phase down existing production in line with 1.5ºC

  • Enable a global just transition for every worker, community and country

The push for a Treaty to manage a global just transition draws significant lessons from other treaties to manage global threats, such as nuclear weapons, landmines and ozone depleting substances.


Pacific policy leadership was critical to securing many of these mechanisms and now we are seeing them also lead the push for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Several key endorsements were made public throughout COP27 including the Amazonian city of Belem in Brazil, U.S. Senator Ed Markey, and Member of the European Parliament, Pierre Larrouturou. A full report back on the Treaty at COP27 can be found here.


In addition, we witnessed the incredible growing international cooperation of Indigenous Peoples, faith leaders, civil society activists, youth, academics, and many more all calling for a global treaty to phaseout fossil fuels. WECAN was also glad to participate in an international strategy session during COP27 with the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty network, and to continue amplifying the tenets of the Treaty as we urge governments to endorse.

The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Network at their COP27 Strategy Workshop in Egypt. Photo Courtesy of the Fossil Fuel Treaty Coalition.



CIVIL SOCIETY POWER GROWS DESPITE CONSTRICTIONS

Civil Society leaders hold an action to honor and bring attention to political prisoners and environmental and human rights defenders during COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


“No Climate Justice Without Human Rights! We Are Not Yet Defeated!”

These are the words that remain in our hearts, and minds after leaving the negotiations in Egypt. While marginalization of grassroots civil society engagements within the UNFCCC is nothing new, against the backdrop of political conditions in Egypt, civil society faced increased constraints at COP27, limiting direct-actions outside of the COP venue and freedom of expression, only further marginalizing our advocacy and leadership within negotiations.


Ahead of COP27, civil society groups, including WECAN, noted the many human rights violations in Egypt, specifically the significant number of political prisoners and human rights defenders. Most notably the imprisonment of Alaa Abd El-Fattah, who went on a food and water strike on the first day of the climate talks.

Despite increased restrictions, civil society organized powerful actions to uplift human rights, and honor environmental defenders and political prisoners across the world. Human rights is a requirement of climate justice. For successful negotiations, it is imperative to have a vibrant and active civil society that can easily and democratically engage and participate in negotiations and dialogues throughout the COP process.

Governments must take steps to speak out about human rights violations and implement policies to protect freedom of speech and freedom of expression as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And, there must be policies that stop the criminalization of land defenders globally.

We look forward to supporting and continuing to work with all constituencies to uplift the rights of communities. We celebrate the powerful work of diverse peoples’ movements, both virtual and in-person, from around the globe that continues to ensure a spotlight on these important issues and the need for the voice of the people to be heard.



ADVANCEMENT OF THE GENDER ACTION PLAN STALLS

The Women and Gender Constituency joins together for Indigenous Women’s Day on November 15th during COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


This year the Women & Gender Constituency (WGC) met with COP27 Parties to implement basic demands on the Gender Action Plan (GAP). Driving solutions on social protection, structural debt and unlawful finances were amongst these vital demands.

However, after two weeks of negotiations, we instead saw a striking lack of ambition and promise on the GAP at COP27. A deprioritization of gender equality through no advancement on gender-responsive implementation, a disregard of critical IPCC data on gender, and a rollback on progressive language in the text have been some of the outcomes of this year’s GAP negotiations. For more details, please see this statement from the Women and Gender Constituency.

In 2012, the UNFCCC secretariat launched the annual Gender Day at COP, with the aim of recognizing and celebrating gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in climate policy and action. But ten years later, the vast majority of high-emitting countries still have serious gender gaps in their climate policies.

During COP27, we continued the launch of the WECAN report, “Gender Integration in Climate Policy: A G20 Analysis Report,” which analyzes the level of gender integration - or lack thereof - in the national climate policies and nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of the world’s largest economies, the G20 group.

The findings show that gender has yet to be comprehensively or meaningfully integrated into G20 countries’ climate policies despite a growing body of research that has firmly established that greater gender equity leads to better climate outcomes.

This is disappointing as we know that women’s leadership is a driver of climate action and can reduce carbon emissions. For example, a one unit increase in a country’s score on the Women’s Political Empowerment Index demonstrates an 11.5% decrease in the country’s carbon emissions.

Reflecting on gender equality at COP27, Mary Robinson wrote in the Irish Times:

“We know that there will not be climate justice, nor the solutions and innovations we need for a safe future, without gender equality: we ignore half the world’s population at our peril. Too many women and girls still live in the shadow of the climate crisis, with numerous barriers preventing them from stepping into the light.”

The Parties, who hold the keys to successful negotiations, continue to ignore and sideline the expertise, advocacy and demands of the WGC, the National Gender and Climate Change Focal Points (NGCCFPs) and of Indigenous women and women of the Global South. Despite the capacity and knowledge of implementation that these groups hold in moving forward effective gender and climate change policy, the GAP has instead been treated like a tokenized buzz, without any substantive funding or outcomes to note at this COP.

In turn, advancement on the GAP has been pushed to the intersessional in Bonn, Germany next year, after the failure of the Parties to advance gender equality in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Global Women and Feminists for Climate Justice have responded with the slogan, “Justice delayed is Justice Denied!”



ARTICLE 6 CONTINUES TO PROP UP FALSE SOLUTIONS AND MARKET MECHANISMS

A sign held up on one of the final days of COP27 in Egypt during the “Convergence of People's Action” coordinated by civil society. Photo Credit: WECAN


This year at COP27, country delegates continued their attempts to fast track false solutions through text negotiations in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Last year, in Glasgow, the final text of Article 6 was finalized, which included key language regarding protections for human and Indigenous rights after strong organizing and advocacy from Indigenous-led groups.


Article 6 of the Paris Agreement is concerned with how countries are to mitigate and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by operationalizing market and non-market based solutions. Similar to past years, this year Parties continued to sideline Indigenous and frontline leadership and instead further advance climate chaos and destruction of frontline communities and ecosystems by promoting dangerous market-based mechanisms.


Market-based mechanisms are a false solution to curb catastrophic climate change and deforestation. As an example, these mechanisms allow big polluters to continue to poison communities at sites of extraction and at points of distribution and processing by buying up pollution permits from forests around the world and simultaneously continuing dirty pollution practices in a different country. Simultaneously, pollution permits or offsets in forest areas can lead to land theft and dispossession from Indigenous and local communities. These ‘solutions' enable polluters to keep polluting, while Indigenous and frontline communities suffer the consequences.


In the Article 6 negotiations, these false solutions continued to take center stage. Very controversially, pro fossil fuel actors continue their influence over the negotiations with secretive meetings without negotiators. Many fossil fuel companies are seeking to profit off of these false solutions in the energy transition. In the final days of COP27, various changes were made to the final document regarding Article 6 that lay a pathway for the proliferation of false solutions.


Specifically, Parties agreed to allow countries to designate any type of information as confidential, without even requiring a justification. Parties also sought to make carbon removals eligible as carbon credits, which would enable approaches such as carbon capture and storage, which have not been proven to be effective climate solutions. However, thanks to concerted efforts by civil society, there was a delay on that decision to COP28.

Frontline leaders hold a banner reading, “Our trees are not for sale” during the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice held inside the COP27 venue in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


Overall, we remain concerned about the future negative impacts of Article 6, and the exclusion of Indigenous and frontline leadership in crafting the implementation of these mechanisms.


We need to enact policies and programs that align with a Just Transition, Indigenous sovereignty, feminist principles, and implement successful frameworks already created by civil society, that invest in just, renewable and regenerative energy and economies, while disrupting and challenging predator capitalism. It is imperative that governments and financial institutions adopt Just Transition policies and frameworks moving forward.



UPLIFTING FORESTS AND BIODIVERSITY PROTECTION

Indigenous women leaders from across the Amazon and related ecosystems, joined by Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, at COP27 in Egypt after a WECAN Press Conference. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


Global forests remain vital to efforts to combat the climate crisis. Living forests create and maintain the cycles of air, water and soil that sustain the Earth and our communities. Forests are also home to more than 80% of the world’s plant, animal, bacteria and fungi diversity, and more than 1.6 billion people rely directly on forests for food, fresh water, clothing, traditional medicine, and shelter.

At COP27, WECAN hosted several events highlighting global forests, and the role of Indigenous women land defenders in protecting and defending biodiverse ecosystems. On November 14th, WECAN organized the COP27 Press Conference "Indigenous Women from the Amazon: Calls for Urgent Action,” where Indigenous women from across the Amazon and connected ecosystems and territories presented and shared their struggles and experiences of fighting to protect their forest territories, and literally risking their lives to do so. (For more information, see section below, “Speaking out for Climate Justice: WECAN Events, Press Conferences, and Collective Actions.”)

There was uplifting news at the press conference shared by newly elected Indigenous leader Sônia Bone Guajajara, Federal Deputy of the National Congress of Brazil, and the promise of the recent elections in Brazil and what that can mean for respect of Indigenous peoples and the protection of the Brazilian Amazon.


“It is important that we secure the protection of all of Brazil's biomes like the Amazon, the wetlands, the grasslands, the Atlantic rainforest, and the Pantanal. Those biomes are equally under threat, and only by protecting all of these territories, we can guarantee the balance of our ecosystems. By protecting all of the biomes, we will be implementing a supply chain that is free of not only deforestation but Indigenous assassination… If we as Indigenous people are providing the protection of the majority of the planet's biodiversity, we also need to be looked upon as a part of the solution. Indigenous blood, not a single drop more.”

Sônia Bone Guajajara (Guajajara), Indigenous Leader from Brazil,

Federal Deputy of the National Congress of Brazil, and WECAN COP 27 Delegate

At COP27, we were excited to celebrate, alongside partners in Brazil and around the world, the newly elected Brazilian President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. This political transition promises to bring renewed support of Indigenous Peoples rights and territories, as well as the protection and defense of the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest and other biodiverse regions in the country.


Lula attended the second week of COP27 and pledged to recommit Brazil to tackling the climate crisis and offered to hold a future COP in Brazil. During his visit he met with Indigenous leaders from Brazil, including Taily Terena, WECAN Coordinator in Brazil, and Sonia Guajajara, WECAN COP27 delegate and recently elected as the first federal Indigenous woman lawmaker for the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Indigenous leaders from Brazil celebrate at COP27 with Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Photo Credit: Midia NINJA via Twitter.

Global Witness reports that more than 1,700 murders of environmental activists were recorded over the past decade, an average of a killing nearly every two days. Environmental land defenders the world over are putting their lives on the line everyday to protect their communities, territories, and our global climate. To protect our planet it is imperative that governments protect the rights of land defenders and uphold Indigenous sovereignty, while supporting and implementing policies and frameworks that protect Indigenous rights and Environmental Defenders, like the Escazú Agreement, an historic multilateral accord guaranteeing access rights on environmental matters, and the protection of human rights and environmental defenders in Latin America and the Caribbean.

WECAN has been honored to organize with women land defenders and allies to uplift and implement the Escazú Agreement in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). During COP27 we met with several members of our campaign Steering Committee to further discuss implementation and ways to support women on the ground in the LAC region. Learn more about our campaign here: https://www.wecaninternational.org/escazu

Left photo: Carmen Capriles (left), co-founder of Reaccion Climatica strategizes with Osprey Orielle Lake (left) on advocacy for the Escazú Agreement in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), during COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: WECAN International.

Right photo: During COP27, the WECAN team met with powerful leader Ruth Spencer from Antigua and Barbuda. Ruth is a Steering Committee member for WECAN’s Escazú Campaign and it has been an honor to organize with her as we advocate for just implementation of the Escazú Agreement. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


The WECAN team with Taily Terena (Terena), Indigenous rights activist and WECAN Coordinator in Brazil after discussing best practices to support women land defenders in Brazil. Photo Credit: WECAN


The WECAN team discussing best practices to support women land defenders in Brazil.

Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN



MEETING WITH OFFICIALS AND BUILDING COLLECTIVE POWER

Throughout the two weeks we engaged with government officials from around the world to advocate for climate justice, Indigenous rights, an end to fossil fuels, community-led solutions, and feminist climate policies and frameworks. This is a critical aspect of participating in the UN Climate Talks.

Left Photo: Neema Namadamu, WECAN COP27 Delegate and Coordinator in the DR Congo, meets with Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, to discuss forest protection and women’s leadership in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo Credit: WECAN

Right Photo: Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director with longtime colleague Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner, Climate Special Envoy for the Marshall Islands and Poet. Photo Credit: WECAN


Katherine Quaid (Confederated Tribes of Umatilla), WECAN Communications Coordinator and COP27 delegate attended U.S. President Biden’s speech addressing governments at COP27. During the speech Indigenous and Youth activists took bold action holding a sign reading “People vs Fossil Fuels” to bring awareness to false solutions and fossil fuels.

Left Photo: Katherine Quaid (Conf. Tribes of Umatilla), WECAN COP27 delegate and Communication Coordinator, at President Biden’s Speech during COP27 in Egypt, 2022. Photo Credit: WECAN

Right Photo: Indigenous and Youth activists take action during President Biden’s speech at COP27 in Egypt to demand an end to fossil fuels. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


In addition to meeting with officials, we also took the opportunity to engage with many partners from around the world, many of whom we often work with virtually. With everyone in person we are able to establish and deepen relationships and trust which are necessary building blocks for collective movement building for climate justice.

Left Photo: WECAN COP27 Delegates spend time relationship building and sharing international strategy during COP27. Photo Credit: WECAN

Right Photo: Indigenous leaders Taily Terena (left) from Brazil, Casey Camp-Horinek (center) from Ponca Nation in the United States, and Patricia Gualinga (right), after a WECAN press conference at COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


Left Photo: Goldman Prize Winner and frontline leader Sharon Lavigne with Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director. Sharon is the founder of Rise St. James and fighting to protect her community from environmental racism and pollution from Formosa Plastics. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN

Right Photo: Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation) (far right), Environmental Ambassador and WECAN COP27 delegate and board member, reconnects with powerful Indigenous leaders and long-time colleagues at COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


We also want to lift up the ongoing work of the Women and Gender Constituency. Every morning, WECAN delegates would attend the daily caucus meetings for collective advocacy and organizing. The constituencies play a powerful role in the negotiations and the WGC shone fiercely and boldly. Here are the demands set forth by the WGC going into COP27.


At CO27, the WGC also held the annual Gender Just Climate Solutions Award Ceremony, celebrating concrete examples from women, gender, and human rights advocates on how to center gender equality and women’s rights in climate action. Find more information about this year's honorees here!

Members of the Women and Gender Constituency at COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN



SPEAKING OUT FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE: WECAN EVENTS, PRESS CONFERENCES, AND COLLECTIVE ACTIONS

In Egypt, WECAN organized opportunities for global women leaders to advocate with countries, engage in the negotiations, speak for themselves, and demonstrate their calls to action and just solutions rising up from frontline communities. Women, feminists and gender diverse leaders from around the world presented successful climate solutions, and shared struggles for justice.


Movement leaders discussed their in-depth political analysis, plans for systemic change, and held actions throughout the two weeks of the COP— highlighting the struggles for loss and damage, human and Indigenous rights, raising awareness of the dangerous influence of the fossil fuel industry on governments, the epidemic of Missing Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) and two-spirit relatives, and advocating for forest protection, the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, Rights of Nature and a Just Transition.


Formal Side Event: Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change

Powerful women leaders stand together in solidarity after WECAN’s formal COP27 side event, “Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change,” held at COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


“It is important to secure the participation of women and indigenous women in decision-making spaces. Within the context of COP, the presence and participation of women are still very much undermined. And if we as Indigenous people are providing the protection of the majority of the planet's biodiversity, we also need to be looked upon as a part of the solution. Indigenous blood, not a single drop more.”

— Sônia Bone Guajajara (Guajajara), Indigenous Leader from Brazil,

Federal Deputy of the National Congress of Brazil, WECAN COP27 Delegate


At this official UN Side Event, grassroots, frontline and Indigenous women leaders, alongside representatives from international climate justice organizations, spoke out to address root causes of interlocking crises and the need for solutions based in a climate justice framework, including forest and biodiversity protection, Indigenous rights, agro-ecology, fossil fuel resistance, protection of women land defenders, and community-led solutions.


WECAN also continued the launch of the WECAN report, “Gender Integration in Climate Policy: A G20 Analysis," which analyzes the level of gender integration - or lack thereof - in the national climate policies and nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of the world’s largest economies, the G20 group.



Speakers included:

  • Neema Namadamu, Democratic Republic of Congo Coordinator, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Sônia Bone Guajajara (Guajajara), Indigenous Leader from Brazil, Federal Deputy of the National Congress of Brazil, Brazil

  • Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Nation Environmental Ambassador and WECAN Board Member, USA

  • Anne Songole, Climate Justice Coordinator, The African Women’s Development and Communications Network (FEMNET), Kenya

  • Jessica Grefa, Indigenous youth leader from Santa Clara in the Ecuadorian Amazon

  • Eriel Tchekwie Deranger (Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation), Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action, Canada

  • Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)

Loss and Damage Actions

We contribute the historic creation of the Loss and Damage facility to the many powerful actions and advocacy of civil society prior to and during COP27 in Egypt. Through the entirety of the negotiations, leaders and civil society took action to ensure Loss and Damage remained in the dialogues, pressuring government leaders to make a decision.

African feminists lead an action on Loss and Damage at COP27 in Egypt demanding a funding mechanism for Loss and Damage and to halt investments in fossil fuel projects. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


Both Photos: Civil society marches together during the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice holding signs in support of Loss and Damage and reparations for frontline communities. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


Frontline leaders at an action apply pressure on governments to agree to a Loss and Damage financing during the second week of negotiations during COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


Engagement with Financial Institutions

Frontline leaders meet with representatives from Financial Institutions during a meeting at COP27 in Egypt co-hosted by WECAN, BankTrack, and Global Witness. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


As part of our work at COP27, we co-convened a high-level bank engagement, co-hosted by WECAN, BankTrack, and Global Witness, bringing together representatives from global financial institutions and frontline leaders who shared how their communities and ecosystems are impacted by the financing of destructive projects in their regions. We look forward to continuing our work with the banks to push for inclusion of rights-based language and policies and for uplifting and implementing Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

We want to particularly acknowledge Sumeyra Arslan, Climate Campaigner and Researcher at BankTrack for her excellent coordination of this meeting.

Speakers (pictured below) included: Rita Uwaka, ERA/FoE Nigeria & Coordinator, Forest & Biodiversity Programme, Friends of the Earth Africa (FoEA); Omar Elmawi, coordinator of the Stop EACOP Campaign; and Robert/Pekon Sani Guimaraes Vásquez, Líder Shipibo - Consejero de la Federación de Comunidades Nativas de Ucayali de Ucayali - FECONAU, Peru. The session was moderated by Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director.

Frontline leaders meet with representatives from Financial Institutions during a meeting at COP27 in Egypt co-hosted by WECAN, BankTrack, and Global Witness. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN



Press Conference: Women Leading Fossil Fuel Divestment and a Just Transition

Panelists from the WECAN press conference, “Women Leading Fossil Fuel Divestment and A Just Transition,” held during COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


“I have seen firsthand how big corporations and multinational corporations are invested in the destruction of our lands and territories. They're not just there to destroy the earth, though. They're there to make money. That is the bottom line for them. And how we move that and change the entire financial sector involves putting forward policies that protect not only the lands and territories and the planetary health but the health of those that have protected these spaces since Time Immemorial.”

— Eriel Tchekwie Deranger (Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation),

Executive Director, Indigenous Climate Action


Women leaders are building critical strategies for national and international divestment that call for justice and accountability from the financial sector and governments to phaseout fossil fuels and deforestation, while advocating for a Just Transition that places people and planet first.


During this WECAN press conference at COP27, speakers shared vital reports and strategies for ending the era of fossil fuels and supporting communities and ecosystems impacted by extractive industries and Indigenous rights violations.

WECAN continued the launch of our report, “The Gendered and Racial Impacts of the Fossil Fuel Industry in North America and Complicit Financial Institutions (second edition),” which documents the disproportionate gender and race-specific health and safety impacts as well as human and Indigenous rights issues of fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure in the United States and selected parts of Canada. Read the full report here.



Speakers included:

  • Eriel Tchekwie Deranger (Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation), Executive Director, Indigenous Climate Action

  • Tzeporah Berman, Chair, Fossil Fuel Non Proliferation Treaty

  • Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director, Amazon Watch

  • Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)

End the Era of Fossil Fuels - Actions for Divestment and to Stop Fossil Fuel Extraction

WECAN participates in an action at COP27 in Egypt, led by Gulf South frontline leaders to demand an end to fossil fuels and for governments to declare a climate emergency. Photo Credit: WECAN


Throughout the two weeks, WECAN joined many actions denouncing governments support of continued fossil fuel extraction. This included actions led by leaders of the Gulf South in the United States which brought attention to the health impacts for Black and frontline communities, and demanded governments declare a climate emergency.


We also participated in an action uplifting the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, calling for all governments to immediately phaseout fossil fuels and adhere to the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement.

WECAN COP27 Delegate, Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), participated in an action held at COP27 in Egypt calling for governments to support a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


Left Photo: Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director participates in an action at COP27 in Egypt, to call for no more fossil fuels and no more false solutions. Photo Credit: WECAN

Right Photo: An Indigenous leader speaks out during an action to phaseout fossil fuels during COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: WECAN



No Climate Justice without Human Rights

Civil society takes action in a cross-constituency campaign honoring environmental defenders and political prisoners across the world. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


On November 10th, civil society took powerful action in a cross-constituency campaign honoring environmental defenders and political prisoners across the world. Under the hashtag #SilencedCOP27 global leaders shared stories and powerful testimonies on the many risks and threats environmental defenders and political prisoners are facing as they speak out for the protection of their communities and Mother Earth.

Please see a full livestream of the action here, and the many powerful speakers, on the WECAN Facebook page.

Civil society takes action in a cross-constituency campaign honoring environmental defenders and political prisoners across the world. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


Civil society takes action in a cross-constituency campaign honoring environmental defenders and political prisoners across the world. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


Indigenous Water Ceremony

Indigenous leaders hold banners to defend water and life after an Indigenous women and femme led water ceremony held at COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


On Saturday November 12, ahead of the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, we attended an Indigenous women and femme led water ceremony at the COP27 venue. Following the ceremony, Indigenous leaders marched through the COP26 venue to the Indigenous Peoples Pavilion where we heard a powerful panel on protecting water and Indigenous rights. Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), WECAN COP27 delegate and board member, co-led the water ceremony and spoke on the panel.

Following the Indigenous led water ceremony, Indigenous leaders march through the COP27 venue in Egypt to the Indigenous Peoples Pavilion. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN



Global Day of Action for Climate Justice

Frontline and constituency leaders begin the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice held inside the COP27 venue in Egypt, 2022. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN

On November 12, WECAN joined hundreds of people to take action at COP27 in Egypt as part of the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice. We took powerful action, marching through the COP venue even though protest was restricted beyond the Blue Zone. We called for climate justice, human rights, gender justice, and lifted up the voices and demands of all frontline communities and movements facing repression while fighting for a more healthy and just world!

Left and Center Photo: Civil society during the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice held inside the COP27 venue in Egypt, 2022. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN

Right Photo: Great Grandmother Mary Lyons with Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director at the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice. Mary is a powerful and longtime Indigenous leader and Water Protector advocating for Indigenous rights and protection of water. Photo Credit: WECAN


Civil society during the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice held inside the COP27 venue in Egypt, 2022. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


Press Conference: Indigenous Women from the Amazon: Calls for Urgent Action

Panelists from the WECAN press conference, “Indigenous Women from the Amazon: Calls for Urgent Action,” held during COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


“If Indigenous people are the custodians of most untouched forests around the world, most of those territories are actually protected by women. So, if we protect women we are also protecting these territories. And, in the next years, we know that when it comes to climate change and climate change mitigation, one key point in this is to protect ecosystems that are already protected and alive. And that needs to be a priority if we're going to fight climate change and to be able to do so, we need to protect the people that are doing so.

— Helena Gualinga (Kichwa), Indigenous Youth Climate Leader, Sarayaku, Ecuador


Indigenous organizations and communities, led by women, are mobilizing locally and globally to protect and defend their communities and territories from governments and corporations that continue to violate Indigenous and human rights, and push forward extractive projects that harm local ecosystems and put communities at risk.



During this press conference, Indigenous women from across the Amazon and connected ecosystems and territories brought forth calls to action for Indigenous rights and protection of forests, water, communities, and the global climate.


Speakers included:

  • Sônia Bone Guajajara (Guajajara), Indigenous Leader from Brazil, Federal Deputy of the National Congress of Brazil, Brazil

  • Patricia Gualinga (Kichwa), Spokeswoman for Mujeres Amazónicas Defensoras de la Selva (Amazon Women in Defense of the Jungle), Sarayaku, Ecuador

  • Helena Gualinga (Kichwa), Indigenous Youth Climate Leader, Sarayaku, Ecuador

  • Taily Terena (Terena), Indigenous Rights Activist, WECAN Coordinator in Brazil, Brazil

Press Conference: Rights of Nature is a Systemic Solution to the Climate Crisis

Panelists from the WECAN press conference, “Rights of Nature is a Systemic Solution to the Climate Crisis,” held during COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


“The earth will endure. Do we as humans choose, as Movement Rights says, to align human law with natural law? And when those things come together, then we have a way forward for our generations.”

— Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Nation Environmental Ambassador and WECAN COP27 Delegate, Board Member and Movement Rights Board Member


As humanity faces escalating climate and ecological crises, we seek to articulate a vision toward a new legal framework and economy based on living in balance with Earth’s natural systems; where the rights of humans do not extend to the domination of nature. The Rights of Nature, one of the fastest growing global environmental movements in history, offers a systemic framework for change.


During the press conference, we heard from Rights of Nature advocates on how this framework can protect biodiverse ecosystems, Indigenous sovereignty, and human rights.


At the press conference we also released a White Paper on the Legal Rights of Nature Framework co-authored by WECAN, Movement Rights, and the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature - GARN. Read the report here: https://www.wecaninternational.org/ron-report



Press conference speakers included:

  • Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Nation Environmental Ambassador and WECAN Board Member and Movement Rights Board Member

  • Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)

  • Nnimmo Bassey, Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation, an ecological think tank; Steering Committee Member of Oilwatch International, Nigeria

Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Nation Environmental Ambassador and WECAN Board Member and Movement Rights Board Member, and Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, hold up the Rights of Nature White Paper released at the WECAN press conference, “Rights of Nature is a Systemic Solution to the Climate Crisis,” during COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


Action to Honor Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women

Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), WECAN COP27 Delegate, speaks out during an action honoring Missing Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), girls, and two-spirit relatives held at COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


We must end violence against the land, and violence against women.

On November 15th, we took action inside COP27 in memory of Missing Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), girls, and two-spirit relatives. During the action, Casey Camp-Horinek, WECAN COP27 delegate, spoke to the impacts of the fossil fuel industry on women in her community. Watch it here.

Indigenous women continue to face huge risks as they stand up against corporations and governments polluting and degrading Mother Earth in their territories. First hand experiences and ample evidence shows a link between the presence of resource extraction workers who live in temporary 'man camps' and violence against Indigenous women and girls, further exacerbating the MMIW epidemic.


Left Photo: Civil society at an action honoring Missing Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), girls, and two-spirit relatives held at COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN

Right Photo: Indigenous leaders and civil society at an action honoring Missing Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), girls, and two-spirit relatives held at COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


Press Conference: Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions

Panelists from the WECAN press conference, “Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions,” held during COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


“If we want to save the planet we need to understand the interconnection of those environments. Colonization divides us, creates borders and violates our lands and bodies. Indigenous women feel and suffer the most because we are on the frontlines of the protection of our lands and the protection of our people.”

—Taily Terena (Terena), Indigenous Rights Leader, and WECAN Coordinator, Brazil


During this press conference, international women leaders discussed feminist and women-led visions emerging from global movements, share the context and impacts of international climate policies, and discuss strategies, solutions and alternatives towards shaping a healthy and equitable future.



Speakers included:

  • Neema Namadamu, Democratic Republic of Congo Coordinator, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Nation Environmental Ambassador and WECAN Board Member, USA

  • Anne Songole, Climate Justice Coordinator, The African Women’s Development and Communications Network (FEMNET), Kenya

  • Taily Terena (Terena), Indigenous Rights Leader, and WECAN Coordinator, Brazil

  • Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)

WECAN also continued the launch of several reports and our Call to Action released earlier in the year. Links to the reports are available below.

Global Voices and Women-led Calls to Action in Response to COP27

Around the world, peoples’ movements are responding to the escalating climate crisis and rising to address the urgency and needs of people and the planet. During this event, we heard from women and gender-diverse leaders on the ground at COP27 to report out on negotiations, share highlights, report releases, calls to action, demands from women globally, struggles, and solutions.



Speakers included:

  • Noelene Nabulivou, Co-founder/Director, DIVA for Equality, Fiji

  • Carmen Capriles, Founder of Reacción Climática, WECAN Coordinator for Latin America

  • Patricia Gualinga (Kichwa), Indigenous Leader from Sarayaku, and Spokeswoman, Mujeres Amazónicas Defensoras de la Selva

  • Mitzi Jonelle Tan, Convenor and International Spokesperson for Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP)

  • Jacqui Patterson, Founder and Executive Director, The Chisholm Legacy Project;

  • Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director, Amazon Watch

  • Geraldine Patrick Encina, Indigenous Relations Advisor, One Earth Member of Grand Council of the Eagle and the Condor, and member of Earth Timekeepers

  • Adriana Calderón, Youth Climate Activist, USA & Mexico; Advocate with Fridays For Future, Fridays For Future MAPA (Most Affected People and Areas) and Fridays For Future in Mexico (Viernes Por El Futuro Mexico)

  • Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)


This event was dedicated to Joye Braun, who passed away on November 13th while we were at COP27. Joye Braun (Wambli Wiyan Ka’win), a citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Nation and incredible leader, Water Protector and inspiration to so many. Her voice will be dearly missed in our movements for Indigenous rights and climate justice.


For financial support for family and expenses, please donate through the following options:

Venmo: smurfi94

Cashapp: $smurfiikim or $kookiee3

PayPal: jasminelebeau7@gmail.com or bringsplentysisters@gmail.com

Joye Braun (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Nation), incredible leader, Water Protector speaks with Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director at Standing Rock in 2016. Photo Credit: Emily Arasim | WECAN


FemGND Coalition Press Conference: Accelerating a Feminist Green New Deal


Panelists from the FemGND press conference, “Accelerating a Feminist Green New Deal,” held during COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: WECAN


“What governments are doing now, is clearly not working; we need an intersectional approach to climate policy…Through the Feminist Green New Deal Principles we are urging the U.S. to confront institutional patriarchy and racism and to secure rights-based policies and programs that recognize the global implications of US climate policies, and that also includes uplifting and ensuring Indigenous Rights and sovereignty.”

— Katherine Quaid (Confederated Tribes of Umatilla),

WECAN Communications Coordinator


To truly address the root causes, as well as the scope and scale of the climate crisis, the Green New Deal must be cross-cutting in its approach, steadfast in feminist principles, and strive to combat historical oppressions.


During this press conference, speakers discussed the principles of the Feminist Green New Deal and feminist policies and frameworks that are necessary for advancing just climate policies. This press conference was organized by the Feminist Green New Deal Coalition, of which WECAN is a founding member.



Speakers included:

  • Jacqui Patterson, Founder and Executive Director, The Chisholm Legacy Project

  • Margaret Kwateng, National Green New Deal Organizer, Global Grassroots Justice Alliance (GGJA)

  • Dr. Frances Roberts-Gregory, Program Director, Initiative for Energy Justice

  • Katherine Quaid (Confederated Tribes of Umatilla), Communications Coordinator, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)

  • Mara Dolan, Program Manager, Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)

FemGND Coalition Event: Global Grassroots Feminist Frameworks for Climate Justice

Panelists from the FemGND event, “Global Grassroots Feminist Frameworks for Climate Justice,” held during COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN


On Monday, November 14, the Feminist Green New Deal and the Global Grassroots Justice Alliance hosted the “Global Grassroots Feminist Frameworks for Climate Justice” event at the Climate Justice Pavilion.

Katherine Quaid, WECAN communications coordinator was honored to work with other members of the coalition to support and plan the event. During the panel global feminists shared their perspective and how grassroots feminism and women’s leadership can protect biodiversity and advance climate justice.


Partner Event: Delocalizing Climate Policy: Using Local Knowledge to Inform Climate Science

Neema Namadamu (center) joined global speakers for the event, “Delocalizing Climate policy: Using Local Knowledge to inform climate science,” held during COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: WECAN


We were honored to have Neema Namadamu, COP27 WECAN delegate, speak at this partner event, “Delocalizing Climate policy: Using Local Knowledge to inform climate science”, hosted by Michigan Technological University (MTU) at the Capacity building Hub at COP27 during Oceans & Land day.

The session focused on the integration of Indigenous knowledge in developing technological innovations, to create just and equitable renewable energy from a system approach for post-industrial communities. Speakers highlighted the ways in which ancestral connections allow members of the community to know when to plant, harvest, and work with the land, focusing on the need to protect the practices and knowledge of these indigenous groups.


Peoples Plenary: People Power for Climate Justice!

Civil Society at the People’s Plenary held near the end of COP27 negotiations in Egypt. Photo Credit: WECAN


On November 17th, nearing the end of the negotiations, civil society groups took over COP27 during a people's plenary to raise our collective demands and demand that governments respond urgently to the climate crisis and other multiple linked challenges.


Demands included:

  • Loss and Damage Finance Now

  • No Climate Justice without Human Rights

  • Adopt a Fossil Fuel Phaseout

  • No False Solutions

Left Photo: Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director at the People’s Plenary held near the end of COP27 negotiations in Egypt. Photo Credit: WECAN

Right Photo: Indigenous leaders from Indigenous Climate Action at the People’s Plenary held near the end of COP27 negotiations in Egypt. Photo Credit: WECAN


Convergence of Peoples Action

Civil society at “The Convergence of the Peoples” action held on the final day of COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: WECAN


WECAN joined friends, allies, and civil society during a final action in Sharm el-Sheikh, as “The Convergence of the Peoples.” We raised our voices to express our collective power, we heard stories of resistance from frontline struggles and we held space for each other, bringing light and power to our movement that we can each bring back home to communities everywhere.

Civil society at “The Convergence of the Peoples” action held on the final day of COP27 in Egypt. Photo Credit: WECAN


Visiting Habiba Regenerative Farm

Seham Saeed Salem with Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director. Seham is the first Bedouin woman in her community to graduate from the university where she majored in politics and law, and now an active member of the Habiba garden community. Photo Credit: WECAN


To complete our time at COP27 in Egypt, several of the WECAN team had the honor of traveling to the Habiba regenerative and organic farm in Nuweiba, which aims to green the desert by providing organic produce, gathering ecological knowledge, and building community collaboration. The farmers are testing regenerative growing techniques, supporting economic sustainability, and building a holistic-minded network of peoples with a specific program on women-led food gardens in the Sinai desert.

We were invited to meet the Indigenous Bedouin women who work in the Habiba gardens and to meet Seham Saeed Salem who is the first Bedouin woman in her community to graduate from the university where she majored in politics and law. Seham has now returned to work in her community to support improving women’s leadership. We were deeply humbled and honored to be invited to her home for a traditional meal and beautiful conversation.

We were also very grateful to Giulia Carrabino, International Relations and Project Manager at Habiba for organizing our visit and sharing vital information. Out of respect and request, we are not showing photos of the women other than Seham with her consent. We did have permission to interview Giulia to share some of the story of Habiba.

In their gardens, the women are growing watermelon, arugula, tomatoes, eggplant, sunflowers, lettuce, cabbage, many herbs and medicines and so much more— in the heart of the desert—truly amazing to see. This is precious knowledge for food sovereignty and security as the climate crisis escalates, and these women are central to their communities thriving.

WECAN visits the Habiba regenerative and organic farm in Nuweiba, which aims to green the desert by providing organic produce, gathering ecological knowledge, and building community collaboration in the Sinai Desert of Egypt after COP27. Photo Credit: WECAN


WECAN visits the Habiba regenerative and organic farm in Nuweiba, which aims to green the desert by providing organic produce, gathering ecological knowledge, and building community collaboration in the Sinai Desert of Egypt after COP27. Photo Credit: WECAN



COP27 Solidarity Action in Alaska

Climate groups join forces to acknowledge COP27 and how it reaches the community of Juneau. Photo Credit: Connor Meyer via KINY Radio.


During COP27, Juneau-based climate groups, including the Tongass Women's Earth & Climate Action Network, alongside 350 Juneau, Juneau AYEA, and SEACC, held a satellite event highlighting how addressing the climate crisis also means protecting old-growth forests and how we need permanent protections for the Tongass National Forest now.

As the single largest storehouse of forest carbon in the nation, we want to amplify the demands of our partners and allies to Protect Old Growth Forests as they are essential in avoiding the worst and deadliest impacts of the climate crisis. Learn more about the action here.


CELEBRATING THE COP27 DELEGATION

WECAN International was honored to organize and facilitate the presence of an incredible group of frontline women leaders at COP27, who advocated for climate justice and led and participated in powerful actions and events over the duration of their time in Egypt.


NEEMA NAMADAMU

Democratic Republic of Congo

Neema Namadamu is the WECAN Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of Congo leading WECAN’s forest protection and reforestation program in the Itombe rainforest. Neema is also Founder and Director of SAFECO, the Synergy of Congolese Women’s Associations and Maman Shujaa: Hero Women of the Congo, through which she has a established a media center for Congolese women to make their voices heard on the range of issues affecting their country.


CASEY CAMP-HORINEK

Ponca Nation, Turtle Island, USA

Casey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation is a community leader, long-time Native rights activist, environmentalist and actress. She is the Ponca Environmental Ambassador and a WECAN Board member. She has been at the forefront of grassroots community efforts to educate and empower both Native and non-Native community members on environmental and civil rights issues.


SÔNIA BONE GUAJAJARA

Guajajara, Brazilian Amazon

Sônia Bone Guajajara is from the Guajajara/Tentehar people, who inhabit the forests of the Araribóia Indigenous Land, in the state of Maranhão, Brazil. She was recently elected as the first federal Indigenous woman lawmaker for the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sônia has also served as the Executive Coordinator for the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) led the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Indigenous-resistance efforts to protect communities and biodiversity.


HELENA SIREN GUALINGA

Kichwa, Ecuadorian Amazon

Helena Siren Gualinga is a youth social justice and climate activist, from Sarayaku, Ecuador. She is a co-founder of Polluters Out and speaks out on Indigenous rights, climate justice, and forest protection.






OSPREY ORIELLE LAKE

USA

Osprey Orielle Lake is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International. She works nationally and internationally with grassroots and Indigenous leaders, policy-makers and scientists to promote climate justice, resilient communities, and a just transition to a clean energy future.



KATHERINE QUAID

Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, Turtle Island, USA

Katherine Quaid is the Communications Coordinator for the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN). She was born and raised in rural central Oregon and is a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla. Her dedication to climate justice is tied to the lands of her ancestors and the many communities nationally and around the world that are fighting for a healthy future.


PEARL GOTTSCHALK (LUJAN)

Canada

Pearl Gottschalk (Lujan) is an ally in Indigenous Philanthropy and is of Ukrainian and Apache descent. She currently works as the Program Advisor to the Indigenous Women's Flow Fund at The Kindle Project and has worked in philanthropy for the last decade specializing in frontline, grassroots funding. This will be her third COP and she is excited about being a liaison between the philanthropic community and Indigenous People's in global delegations.


We also want to give a special thanks to Julie Gorecki (center), who provided exceptional support throughout the COP negotiations to the WECAN team!



MEDIA ROUND UP

Media requests for the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network during the UNFCCC COP27 Egypt can be directed to: katherine@wecaninternational.org


Please see a full list of media links here, we had over 50 media hits and counting!


Below is a selection of some of the media highlights for the WECAN COP27 Delegation and the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network overall:






















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