WECAN ADVOCACY AT THE UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE (UNFCCC)
The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network strives to raise up women’s leadership in climate change solutions through action initiatives, trainings, on-the-ground solutions, and grassroots organizing - as well as through advocacy work within global policy forums.
Since the organization's founding, WECAN International has been participating both within and outside of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP) convenings - to advocate for climate justice, gender equality, Indigenous rights, Rights of Nature, and meaningful, bold action on climate change.
We are honored to be a part of ensuring that frontline, grassroots, and Indigenous women from around the world have the opportunity to speak for themselves within spaces such as the UN climate negotiations - to share their demands, on the ground sustainability solutions, and resistance movements.
Explore this page for select highlights from the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network’s history of engagements and actions within and in parallel to the UNFCCC, working alongside our global climate-justice movement allies.
COP26 Climate Negotiations - Glasgow, Scotland 2022
Global women leaders at the COP26 WECAN Formal UN Side Event: "Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change."
Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid/WECAN International
WECAN’s COP26 delegation and diverse global allies advocated, spoke out, participated in events and meetings, and stood for climate justice during marches and direct-actions throughout the two weeks of COP26. Please see all of our photos, live streams, and videos from our time at COP26 on our Facebook Page.
WECAN International was very honored to facilitate the presence of an incredible delegation of frontline women leaders at COP26, who advocated for climate justice and led and participated in powerful actions and events over the duration of their time in Madrid. Read WECAN's full coverage of COP26 and analysis in the WECAN Blog.
The WECAN delegation included: Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation, Turtle Island, USA), Ponca Nation councilwoman, long-time Native rights activist, environmentalist and actress; Sônia Bone Guajajara (Brazilian Amazon) Executive Coordinator for the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB); Helena Gualinga (Ecuadorian Amazon), 17-year-old Indigenous social activist; Carmen Capriles, Bolivia; along with Osprey Orielle Lake (USA), Executive Director of WECAN International; and Katherine Quaid (Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, Turtle Island, USA), Communications Coordinator for WECAN International.
COP25 Climate Negotiations - Madrid, Spain 2019
WECAN’s COP25 delegation and diverse global allies advocated, spoke out, participated in events and meetings, and stood for climate justice during marches and direct-actions throughout the two weeks of COP25. Please see all of our photos, live streams, and videos from our time at COP25 on our Facebook Page.
WECAN International was very honored to facilitate the presence of an incredible delegation of frontline women leaders at COP25, who advocated for climate justice and led and participated in powerful actions and events over the duration of their time in Madrid.
The WECAN delegation included: Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation, Turtle Island, USA), Ponca Nation councilwoman, long-time Native rights activist, environmentalist and actress; Sônia Bone Guajajara (Brazilian Amazon) Executive Coordinator for the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB); Daiara Tukano (Brazilian Amazon), Indigenous activist, artist, and coordinator of Radio Yandê; Nina Gualinga (Ecuadorian Amazon), Indigenous woman leader and co-founder of HAKU Amazon Design; Helena Gualinga (Ecuadorian Amazon), 17-year-old Indigenous social activist; along with Osprey Orielle Lake (USA), Executive Director of WECAN International; and Katherine Quaid (Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, Turtle Island, USA), Communications Coordinator for WECAN International. Full bios can be found in the WECAN Blog.
WECAN delegates and partners celebrate frontline women’s leadership and solutions at WECAN’s public event, “Frontline Women Protecting and Defending Rights, Land, Communities and Climate” held during the Cumbre Social por el Clima/People’s Climate Summit. Photo via WECAN International - Katherine Quaid
Two Key Outcomes From The COP25 Negotiations
Gender Action Plan
In the midst of much stagnation in the negotiations, there was a shining light — a victory for the Gender Action Plan. The dedication of ceaseless work by the Women and Gender Constituency, feminists advocating at the Party level, and frontline constituencies proved powerful as the Gender Action Plan (GAP) was formally adopted by the Parties, with the inclusion of rights-based language.
We have deep gratitude for all the gender equity advocates and the Women and Gender Constituency who have worked tirelessly to ensure gender justice within the COP. After years of negotiations, the Gender Action Plan is an important success that will offer some sorely needed leverage for human rights in the Paris Climate Agreement.
WECAN commends this outcome, recognizing the necessity for a rights-based approach to be included at all levels of climate action policy. We will be monitoring the GAP because for it to truly be effective, the GAP must coincide with progressive climate financing, support Indigenous and human rights and biodiversity, and bolster worldwide women’s movements at the grassroots, local, and national level.
Article 6 of the Paris Climate Agreement
Article 6 of the Paris Climate Agreement is concerned with how countries are to mitigate and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by operationalizing market and non-market based solutions. Yet, Parties only chose to focus on creating and establishing market-based mechanisms for reducing emissions, including carbon markets, REDD+, carbon offsets, and cap-and-trade programs.
Throughout the week, Indigenous and frontline communities and civil society organizations led and organized several Article 6 demonstrations, you can watch the videos of the actions here and here.
Ultimately negotiators were unable to agree upon an outcome for Article 6, and thus it remains in limbo. In this instance, no deal is better than any deal as we do not want any Articles that enable counterproductive carbon markets and do not ensure safeguards for Indigenous rights, human rights, gender justice, and ecological integrity.
As in the case of the Article 6, it is vital in these negotiations for our voice as civil society to be at the COP to advocate and influence the process, and to interfere with mechanisms that will further predator capitalism, which has caused the socio-ecological crisis in the first place.
Powerful Women leaders speak at WECAN International’s formal
United Nations Side Event, “Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions
on the Frontlines of Climate Change”
Women leaders share their struggles and solutions during WECAN’s formal UN side event, ‘‘Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change” on December 11, 2019. Photo via WECAN International - Katherine Quaid
WECAN held our formal UN Side Event, “Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change” on December 11 at the UNFCCC COP25 in Madrid, Spain. Grassroots, frontline and Indigenous women leaders, alongside representatives from international climate justice organizations, spoke out to address the need for solutions based in a climate justice framework, including forest and biodiversity protection, Indigenous rights, agro-ecology, fossil fuel resistance, and protection of women land defenders.
WECAN has such deep gratitude for the amazing women who spoke at the side event: Sônia Guajajara (Brazilian Amazon); Daiara Tukano (Brazilian Amazon); Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca Nation, USA), Ruth Nyambura (Kenya); Nina Gualinga (Ecuadorian Amazon); Jacqui Patterson (USA), and Osprey Orielle Lake (USA).
You can watch a Facebook livestream of the event down below!
500,000 People Take Climate Action During Mass Mobilization
500,000 demonstrators march through Madrid to demand governments act with urgency and declare a Climate Emergency. Photo via WECAN International - Katherine Quaid
WECAN took to the streets in Madrid joining 500,000 activists to demand governments of the world declare collectively that we are in a #ClimateEmergency and act now from a climate justice framework.
At the closing rally, Sônia Guajajara, Executive Coordinator of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) spoke to over 500,000 people who attended the protest. Speakers also included Greta Thunberg, Javier Bardem, Antonio Banderas, and the frontline Indigenous delegation. Watch the rally speakers at Midia India's Facebook page.
After leading the march, Indigenous people stormed the stage and sang the Women Warrior song to close the rally, please see our video here: https://www.facebook.com/WECAN.Intl/videos/570835153476172/
Civil Society Holds Action Inside COP25
Indigenous women sing the Women Warrior Song after demonstrators were kicked out of the COP25 venue during an action. Photo via WECAN International - Katherine Quaid
On December 11, at the UNFCCC COP25 in Madrid, civil society held an action, interrupting high-level plenaries inside the COP25 venue. Led by Indigenous and frontline delegations, over 300 came together to vocalize their dissatisfaction with the inaction and blocking of progressive climate policy by big polluters, including the United States. Casey Camp Horinek spoke out during the action, which you can watch via WECAN’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WECAN.Intl/videos/523488455047134/
During the protest, WECAN delegate Daiara Tukano spoke with Democracy Now! to further discuss the persecution of Indigenous people in Brazil. Watch her interview here.
For full WECAN analysis of CO25, please read our in-depth blog for more information on our advocacy, press conferences, events and actions.
COP24 Climate Negotiations - Katowice, Poland 2018
Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network delegates participated in COP24 in Katowice, Poland in 2018, taking part in various UNFCCC events, meetings, and creative demonstrations with other climate-movement advocates from around the globe.
Explore our full COP24 analysis and recap via the WECAN International blog here!
Meet The WECAN COP24 Delegates!
Ruth Nyambura is a Kenyan feminist who works on the intersections of gender, economy and ecological justice. Her organizing and research interests are on the agrarian political economy of Africa, the rural-urban movements resisting the corporatization of Africa's food systems and the neoliberal turn as a whole.
Carmen Capriles of La Paz, Bolivia started Reacción Climática in 2010, as a volunteer organization which aims to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change on the Andean region. She has actively participated in different UN processes like the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement, with special emphasis on women's rights and gender equality - and most recently in the Escazú Agreement, advocating for Environmental Defenders. Carmen holds a degree from Bolivia as an Engineer in Agriculture, as well as a degree in Sustainable Rural Development from Egypt. She is an honored member of WECAN International's Advisory Council.
Elaine Colligan is an activist and organizer passionate about gender and climate justice. Originally from Seattle, Washington, USA, she is currently reading for the Masters in Philosophy in Political Theory at the University of Oxford. Before coming to Oxford, she co-directed a political action committee called Clean Virginia. She also worked on former U.S. congressman Tom Perriello's gubernatorial campaign, advocating against two fracked gas pipelines and for a $15/hour minimum wage. Elaine cut her teeth in U.S. politics through working with 350 Action on the 2016 presidential election, organizing students and youth to talk to presidential candidates about climate change. She has also conducted research on gender and climate change in Djirnda, Senegal. Elaine is proud to be part of the WECAN family, having assisted on a variety of projects throughout the years, including the recently-launched "Women Speak" project. She is deeply invested in promoting climate justice as a framework to understand and approach the climate crisis, which prioritizes the needs and solutions of people living on the frontlines of climate change, in particular women and Indigenous peoples.
Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change - Poland
On December 12th, WECAN Delegates joined with other extraordinary women leaders to present the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network's official side event, 'Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change - COP24 Poland'!
The event featured (in speaking order) - Elaine Colligan (Organizer and Activist, Masters in Philosophy in Political Theory at Oxford, and Women's Earth and Climate Action Network Programs Contributor, U.S); Carmen Capriles (Feminist, Human Rights and Environment Defender, Bolivia); Ruth Nyambura (Feminist, Organizer and Researcher, Kenya); India Logan-Riley (Ngati Kahungunu ki Heretaunga, Youth climate leader, Aotearoa/New Zealand); Aneesa Khan (COP24 Delegation Leader at SustainUS, U.S.); and Cynthia Mellon (Climate Justice Policy Coordinator, Climate Justice Alliance, U.S).
During the event, presenters spoke out to address the need for solutions based in a climate justice and feminist framework, including forest and biodiversity protection, Indigenous rights advocacy, agro-ecology implementation, fossil fuel resistance, and protection of women land defenders.
during the event are also available courtesy of our allies at the Climate Justice Alliance!
Panelists at WECAN International’s side event at COP24 in Poland
Escazú Agreement Advocacy
Amongst many other diverse advocacy efforts, WECAN International Delegate, Carmen Capriles of Bolivia, advocated for Latin American and Caribbean countries to ratify the Escazú Agreement. The Escazú Agreement is an important initiative to protect the lives and communities of Indigenous Peoples and land defenders across the region. WATCH Carmen and allies speak out and take action here.
UNFCCC Women And Gender Constituency
As part of WECAN International's years of work within the United Nations climate negotiations process, we were also honored to collaborate and participate with the UNFCCC Women and Gender Constituency again this year. WECAN International Delegates attended Women and Gender Constituency strategy meetings, and worked in solidarity with allies to uplift the Key List of Demands from the Women and Gender Constituency.
WECAN International also joined climate movement allies to disrupt the only official U.S. government panel at the climate conference - an event that dangerously promoted further fossil fuel extraction and nuclear energy. Delegate Elaine Colligan participated and reported on the action via Facebook live here.
For more information, explore our full COP24 analysis and recap via the WECAN International blog!
COP23 Climate Negotiations - Bonn, Germany 2017
Isabella Zizi (US), Ruth Nyambura (Kenya), Nina Gualinga (Ecuador) and Thilmeeza Hussain (Maldives), during WECAN International’s public event in parallel to COP23 - Photo via Emily Arasim/WECAN International
Click here to read our WECAN blog for in-depth analysis of COP23 in Bonn, Germany - as well as full details on all of WECAN’s actions and events. Explore key highlights below, and view our album of photos from COP23 here!
Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change - Bonn
WECAN International’s public event in Bonn, Germany during COP23 explored vital topics including the intersectionality of gender and environment; Indigenous rights; carbon sequestration in soils; protection of Earth and water defenders; and women's leadership and calls for action within a climate justice framework - with policy-makers and international advocates speaking alongside grassroots, Indigenous, and frontline women leaders from around the world.
Her Excellency President Hilda Heine (President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands); Honorable Mary Robinson (President of the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, former President of Ireland); Bianca Jagger (President and CEO, Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation & Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador); Noelene Nabulivou (DIVA for Equality, Pacific Partnerships on Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network, Fiji); Ruth Nyambura (African Eco-Feminists Collective, Kenya); Kathy Jetnil–Kijiner (Climate Change Activist and Poet, Marshall Islands); Thilmeeza Hussain (Former Deputy Ambassador to the UN from the Maldives, Voice of Women, WECAN COP23 Delegation, Maldives); Kathy Egland (Hurricane Katrina evacuee/survivor, NAACP National Board of Directors, Environmental and Climate Justice Committee Chair, US); Sônia Guajajara (Guajajara/Tentehar leader, National Coordinator of Brazil's Association of Indigenous Peoples, Brazil); Patricia Gualinga (Kichwa leader from the Pueblo of Sarayaku, Ecuador); Leila Salazar Lopez (Executive Director, Amazon Watch, US); Nina Gualinga (Kichwa leader from the Pueblo of Sarayaku, Ecuador); Kalyani Raj (All India Women's Conference, Representative of the UNFCCC Women and Gender Constituency, India); Shannon Biggs (Co-Founder and Director of Movement Rights, US); Precious Phiri (Representative of Regeneration International, EarthWisdom, Zimbabwe); Monica Atkins (Cooperation Jackson, Just Transition Organizer for the Climate Justice Alliance Our Power Campaign, Representative of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, US); Dorothee Häussermann (Representative of the Ende Gelende Movement, Germany); Isabella Zizi (Northern Cheyenne Arikara and Muskogee Creek youth leader with Idle No More SF Bay, Earth Guardians Bay Area, US); Varshini Prakash (Organizer with Sunrise, Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network, Representative of SustainUS, US); Constance Okollet (Chairperson of Osukuru United Women’s Network, Representative of Climate Wise Women, Uganda); and Osprey Orielle Lake (Founder/Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network, US).
COP23 Side Event & Press Conference
Women For Climate Justice Leading Solutions On The Frontlines Of Climate Change
On November 15th, WECAN International presented a formal COP23 press conference and side event, which both featured grassroots and Indigenous women leaders addressing climate solutions from a climate justice framework, including forest and biodiversity protection, just transition to 100% renewable energy, agro-ecology implementation, fossil fuel resistance, Indigenous rights protection, and rights of nature.
Event and press conference speakers included - Patricia Gualinga (Kichwa leader from the Pueblo of Sarayaku, Ecuador); Nina Gualinga (Kichwa leader from the Pueblo of Sarayaku. Ecuador); Leila Salazar Lopez (Executive Director, Amazon Watch, United States); Precious Phiri (Representative of Regeneration International; EarthWisdom, Zimbabwe); Heather Milton Lightening (Treaty Four Territory, Pasqua First Nation; Representative of Indigenous Climate Action, Canada); Thilmeeza Hussain (Former Deputy Ambassador to the UN from the Maldives; Voice of Women; WECAN Advisory Council, Maldives); India Logan Riley (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga People's, Te Ara Whatu Aotearoa/New Zealand Youth Delegation member from Hawke's Bay, New Zealand); and Osprey Orielle Lake (Founder/Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network, United States).
Solidarity With Indigenous Women of Ecuador
Outside of WECAN events and press conferences, our team also had the honor of supporting the efforts of Kichwa Indigenous women leaders throughout their time at COP23. On one of the last days of COP23, Patricia Gualinga of the Kichwa Pueblo of Sarayaku, gave a powerful high-level intervention to UNFCCC.
Global Launch Of ‘Women Speak:
Stories, Case Studies And Solutions From The Frontlines Of Climate Change
On November 1, 2017 - the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network celebrated the international launch of ‘Women Speak: Stories, Case Studies And Solutions From The Frontlines Of Climate Change’, a web-based research database and initiative designed to shift the narrative and challenge dominant systems of exploitation and oppression of women and the Earth, through the collection and sharing of stories by and about women leading struggles and solutions for climate justice under a variety of cross-sectional themes.
In the lead-up to Bonn COP23 and throughout the 2 weeks of the climate talks, WECAN International highlighted the project through all events and media engagements - leveraging the platform as a critical tool to affect policy and socio-ecological changes.
COP23 Rights of Nature Advocacy
Mirian Cisneros, President of the Kichwa Pueblo of Sarayaku, presents during the International Rights of Nature Tribunal - Bonn
Over the course of COP23, WECAN International was thrilled to be engaged as a member of the Executive Steering Committee of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, in organizing and presenting a series of important events both inside and outside of COP23.
Over a series of two days, the 4th International Rights of Nature Tribunal was held as a public event in downtown Bonn, featuring international Rights of Nature advocates, and frontline and Indigenous leaders, who presented and tried a series of cases involving violations of Earth rights, Indigenous rights, and community rights around the globe.
Inside of the UNFCCC process, WECAN Executive Director, Osprey Orielle Lake, and other Alliance representatives presented an official press conference, ‘Report Back from the Rights of Nature Tribunal in Bonn: Foundations for Systemic Change in Climate Solutions’.
The Women's Earth and Climate Action Network, Movements Rights and Indigenous Environmental Network also released a vital new report, 'Rights of Nature and Mother Earth: Rights-Based Law for Systemic Change'.
Members and allies of the Women and Gender Constituency hold an action to highlight violence against women defenders of the land at COP23
WECAN International Delegates participate with global allies in a direct-action to call-out false solutions from the Trump Administration at COP23
Like every COP climate conference - COP23 in Bonn was full of important creative demonstrations planned by coalitions of civil society organizations and individuals. Two actions of note at COP23 included an action of the Women and Gender Constituency to highlight the abuse and murder of women land defenders, during which women leaders appeared in the halls of COP with black tape over their mouths; as well as an U.S. climate justice movement action to disrupt the Trump administration’s insulting panel on coal and nuclear as climate solutions.
WECAN Solidary With Ende Gelände and Delegation To The Hambach Forest
WECAN delegation members and Hambacher forest protector Eva Toller look out over the mass devastation of the Hambacher mine - Photo via Emily Arasim/WECAN International
The day before the start of COP23, Germany's powerful Ende Gelände movement and over 4,500 activists from around the world held a non-violent direct action to shut down part of Europe's largest open pit coal mine, the Hambacher mine, which extends over 33 square miles, and is a site for digging and burning of lignite coal, considered one of the dirtiest of all forms of fossil fuel energy.
WECAN International joined in solidarity at the action as hundreds of movement leaders went deep into the mine, putting their bodies on the line to prevent the work of the massive excavators ripping at the Earth; and to say 'no' to fossil fuels, and 'yes' to a just transition to a renewable energy future.
The day after the close of the climate talks, our team returned to the area to visit the adjacent Hambach forest and learn more about an ongoing effort to protect what remains from the coal mine expansion. To pursue expansion of the mine, 90% of the forest, an ancient and unique ecosystem, and one of the last mixed forests in Central Europe, has already been cut.
For the past five years, a brave group of activists and Earth defenders have been peacefully occupying the remaining forest on the edge of the mine - setting up tree houses and a year-round encampment. WECAN was honored to visit with and interview some of the women of the Hambacher occupation to learn more about why they stand for the forest, and their visions for systemic change and climate justice. Watch and share:
In the time since WECAN International visited the Hambach Forest, the camp has faced various new challenges, court cases, and police evictions. Follow their story at @HambiBleibt (twitter) - www.hambacherforst.org
COP22 Climate Negotiations - Marrakech, Morocco 2016
WECAN COP22 press conference speakers (left to right):
Carmen Capriles (Bolivia); Marta Ventura (Guatemala); Ruth Nyambura (Kenya);
Neema Namadamu (DRC); Thilmeeza Hussain (Maldives); and Osprey Orielle Lake (USA)
Click here to read our full WECAN blog for in-depth analysis of COP22, and details on all of WECAN’s actions and events - and explore key highlights below!
Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change - Marrakech
On November 14th, 2016, in parallel to COP22, WECAN International presented ‘Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change - Marrakech’, a major public event in downtown Marrakech. Over the course of four panel discussions and several keynote speeches, women leaders from Morocco, sub-Saharan Africa, Pacific Island Nations, North America, South America, Europe and Continental Asia spoke on diverse issues including women, seeds and soils; women's resistance to fossil fuel extraction; women and forests; oceans; Indigenous struggles for sovereignty and Earth protection; violence against women land defenders; Traditional Ecological Knowledge; and women's leadership in climate policy and strategy, amongst many vital topics.
Women leaders of the Imider, #300kmSouth movement present on their 5 year resistance to silver mining during WECAN's public event - Photo via Kailea Fredrick
WECAN International was very honored to have the event opened with traditional songs of the Indigenous Amazigh peoples, and to include a special presentation from Moroccan woman leaders of the Imider movement about their ongoing resistance to silver mining in the south of Morocco.
Learn more about the extraordinary speakers and critical topics covered in this event in the full COP22 blog.
Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change - Marrakech panel, featuring (left to right) - Neema Namadamu (DRC); Diana Donlon (USA); Natalie Isaacs (Australia); Amina El Hajjami (Amazigh Peoples, Morocco); Nina Gualinga (Sarayaku Peoples, Ecuador)
Keynote speaker Her Excellency Hilda Heine, President of the Marshall Islands, meets Alicia Cahuiya and Blanca Chancosa, Indigenous women defenders of Ecuador, at the start of the event
International Climate March, Marrakech
On November 13th, 2016, thousands of people from across Morocco and around the word took to the streets of Marrakech to visibilize their social and ecological struggles and send a strong message to world governments meeting at COP22 that the peoples movement for climate justice will forge ahead with resistance and solutions regardless of the action, or lack thereof, from the political leadership of our countries. WECAN International team and delegation members marched with women allies from across Morocco and around the world.
Indigenous leaders from Morocco and around the world lead the Marrakech Climate March - Photo via Emily Arasim/WECAN International
COP22 Press Conference & Side Event -
Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change
Neema Namadamu (left) and Thilmeeza Hussain (right) speak during WECAN International’s press conference at COP22
On November 16th, 2016, inside of the formal UNFCCC COP22, WECAN organized and presented an official, ‘Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change’ press conference and side event, during which extraordinary women leaders from around the world spoke truth to power, shared vital stories, strategies and climate solutions, and refused to shy away from the pressing realities about our global climate crisis and the need for just, women-led action NOW.
Rights of Nature:
Foundations for Systemic Change in Climate Solutions' Press Conference
During a UNFCCC press conference, WECAN's Executive Director, Osprey Orielle Lake shared the critical work of the Rights of Nature movement and Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature - speaking out against the continued commodification of the Earth's living systems within the UNFCCC process, and presenting an alternative vision for a legal and economic system founded upon respect for the inherent rights of our life giving mountains, forests, waters and soils.
Women's Caucus and Women and Gender Constituency Advocacy
WECAN International was honored to support the Women and Gender Constituency Key Demands at COP22, and to participate in meetings of the Women’s Caucus. At 2:00 am on the final night of COP22, Carmen Capriles, a WECAN delegation member from Bolivia, presented an inspiring final intervention on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency.
Stand With Standing Rock & Other Actions Inside COP22
From Morocco to North Dakota – we stand with Standing Rock. On the November 15th Day of Action for Standing Rock, and again on November 17th, WECAN International was honored to join many allies for a prayer circle and action held at COP22 in solidarity with the frontline protectors of water and life standing in resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.
WECAN Visits Women's Cooperatives in Ourika Valley, Morocco
WECAN team members meet with women leaders of the High Atlas Foundation to visit the nurseries of a local women's cooperative - Photo via Emily Arasim/WECAN International
In the days following COP22, the WECAN International team met with local Moroccan women allies of the High Atlas Foundation to visit one of their stunning nursery projects, learn more about their work, and explore points of collaboration and information exchange.
Click here to watch our short interview with Amina El Hajjami (Amazigh Peoples), a project manager with High Atlas Foundation working to facilitate tree planting, farming, and co-op efforts with fellow women leaders.
Women Act for Climate Justice: Ten Days of Global Mobilization
Click here to explore a gallery of powerful photo and statements submitted by women and allies from more than 35 countries around the world in advance of the United Nations COP22, as part of, 'Women Act for Climate Justice - Ten Days of Global Mobilization', organized by WECAN International.
COP21 Climate Negotiations — Paris December 2015
Global women leaders gathered after a WECAN COP21 side event - (right to left) - Leila Salazar Lopez, Kandi Mossett, Patricia Gualinga, Neema Namadamu, Casey Camp Horinek, and Osprey Orielle Lake - Photo via Emily Arasim/WECAN International
In 2015 world governments gathered in Paris, France for UNFCCC COP21 climate negotiations, where they agreed upon an international climate agreement with important implications for our global trajectory and the health of people and planet.
WECAN International was on the ground throughout the two-week process, working both inside the UNFCCC negotiations, as well at outside events and on the streets with the people’s climate justice movement.
Click here to read WECAN’s full reaction to the Paris Climate Agreement– which acknowledges breakthrough steps by governments, but ultimately denounces the lack of binding, sufficient and just commitments, the continued implementation of false solutions, and the failure to uphold human rights, Indigenous rights and fully support gender equality.
Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change – Paris
On December 7, 2015, an extraordinary gathering of worldwide women joined in solidarity to speak out against environmental and social injustice, draw attention to root causes of the climate crisis, and present the diverse array of visions and strategies with which they are working to shape a healthy and equitable world.
‘Women Leading Solutions, Paris’ featured more than 20 women leaders including Mary Robinson (Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice), Patricia Gualinga (Sarayaku, Ecuador), Josefina Skerk (Sami Parliament, Sweden), Kandi Mossett (Indigenous Environmental Network), and Aleta Baun (Conservationist and anti-mining activist of West Timor, Indonesia) and many more. Click here to read full speaker biographies.
Click to read the ‘For the Earth and Future Generations’ event blog and hear directly from all of the outstanding speakers.
Josefina Skerk (Sami) shares her story as an Indigenous woman of Europe during WECAN’s public event at COP21 Paris
Pennie Opal Plant (U.S) alongside women leaders of Ecuador during WECAN’s public event at COP21 Paris
International Rights of Nature Tribunal — Paris
Women leaders of the Kichwa People of Sarayaku, Ecuador lead the opening of the 2015 International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Paris, France - Photo via Emily Arasim/WECAN International
On December 4 and 5, 2015, WECAN International, as part of the Executive Committee for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, helped organize and participate in the International Rights of Nature Tribunal, Paris. Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, served as an event organizer and the central Judge for the Climate Change case, and WECAN International COP21 delegates, Casey Camp Horinek of Ponca Nation, Oklahoma and Patricia Gualinga of Sarayaku, Ecuador, presented testimony during the Tribunal.
Click to WATCH ‘International Rights of Nature Tribunal Paris’– a dynamic introduction to the Tribunal.
Global Women and Indigenous Peoples on the Frontline of Climate Solutions:
Forests and Renewable Energy COP21 Side Event
Patricia Gualinga (Kichwa Pueblo of Sarayaku, Ecuador) speaks during a WECAN press conference with other international women leaders at COP21
On December 8, 2015, WECAN International organized and held a formal COP21 side event in which we heard testimony from frontline women leaders, examined the Women’s Climate Action Agenda, Indigenous leaders presented the Sarayaku people of Ecuador’s "Living Forest" proposal, highlighting Amazonian indigenous solutions, and showcased women as agents of change in transitioning to 100% renewable energy.
UNFCCC Press Conference Inside COP21 – Frontline Women Speak
WECAN International was committed to bringing the voices of frontline women leaders to COP21 through side events, media, advocacy, official press conferences and the release of WECAN’s Women’s Climate Action Agenda inside COP21 .
Click to WATCH the Frontline Women’s Press Conference - Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca Nation, Oaklahoma, Turtle Island, USA), Kandi Mossett (North Dakota, Turtle Island, USA), Neema Namadamu (DR Congo), Patricia Gualinga (Ecuador) and Osprey Orielle Lake (USA) speaking truth to power inside of COP21, addressing themes of violation of the Earth and women, Indigenous and African climate solutions, and women as vital agents of just change.
Rights of Nature, Human Rights and Women’s Rights Events
at Place To B and ZAC Climate Action Zone in Paris
WECAN International Executive Director Osprey Orielle Lake also led and participated in roundtable discussions, workshops and presentations on the intersection of Rights of Nature, women’s rights and human rights at various civil society platforms across Paris.
Advocacy Inside COP21 with the Women and Gender Constituency
Throughout COP21, members of the WECAN delegation participated in meetings, strategy sessions, actions and direct advocacy work with the UNFCCC Women and Gender Constituency.
Keep It In the Ground Advocacy Work with International Allies
Members of the Keep It In the Ground Coalition together during COP21
Explore the declaration here: ‘Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground: A Declaration for the Health of Mother Earth’
Human Chain and D12 Actions on the Streets of Paris
On November 29, WECAN International organized and supported a women’s contingent joining thousands on the street in Paris for a peaceful human chain action, organized as part of the Global Climate March in the wake of the French authorities ban on protests following attacks in the city.
On December 12, in response to the release of the final draft of the Paris climate agreement, more than 20,000 mobilized for at the Arc de Triomphe for a ‘red lines’ action, street march and moment of silence honoring those who have already lost their lives to climate change. WECAN and allies also took action at the Eiffel Tower, participating in a massive human chain and rally, all expressing discontent with the final Paris agreement and hope in the power of the people to take real action for climate justice in light of governments insufficient commitments.
United Nations General Assembly – New York City September 2015
The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network took action in New York City, September 2015 during the UN General Assembly and the Social Good Summit – key moments in the lead up to the UNFCCC COP21 climate negotiations.
Women Speak: Climate Justice On The Road To Paris and Beyond
On September 29th, 2015, a special event was held as part of WECAN International's call for a Global Women's Climate Justice Day of Action, and featured global women leaders Patricia Gualinga (Indigenous leader from Sarayaku, Ecuador), May Boeve (350.org), Mary Robinson (Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, via special video message), Melina Laboucan-Massismo (Lubicon Cree First Nations Indigenous and environmental activist with Greenpeace Canada), Jacqui Patterson (NAACP Environmental & Climate Justice Program), Thilmeeza Hussain (Voice of Women Maldives) and other remarkable women. Click for full speaker biographies.
Click to WATCH ‘Women Leading Solutions on the Road to COP21 & Beyond’– a dynamic short video produced during the ‘Women Speak’ event.
Global Women’s Climate Justice Day of Action
On September 29th, 2015 women from more than 50 nations took a stand as part of the Global Women’s Climate Justice Day of Action organized by WECAN International. View the 2015 gallery of photos and statements here.
In New York City, WECAN women and allies took action for climate justice outside of the United Nations while the General Assembly was in session.
Solidarity Actions with Indigenous Women of Ecuador
As part of ongoing work to support the Kichwa and Sapara Indigenous women of Ecuador in their struggle to protect their territories for oil and mining extraction – WECAN International, in partnership with allies at Amazon Watch, helped facilitate a series of meetings between the women and key international policy makers, including members of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Indigenous women leaders of Ecuador, and international allies, take action outside of the Ecuadorian Consulate in NYC during the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues - Photo via Emily Arasim/WECAN International
Gloria Ushigua, Blanca Chancosa, and Patricia Gualinga of Ecuador meet with Chandra Roy Henriksen and Mirian Masaquiza of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues with support from WECAN and Amazon Watch
WECAN at the Social Good Summit
Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network Executive Director, Osprey Orielle Lake, was honored to make a presentation on women and renewable energy with Neha Misra of Solar Sister.
COP20 – Lima, Peru December 2014
Gender Advocacy Work at COP20
Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN International Executive Director, speaks on a COP20 panel with other members and allies of the Women and Gender Constituency
WECAN International participated in advocacy work inside the UNFCCC COP20, in partnership with the Global with the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) and the Women and Gender Constituency. December 1-12, 2014.
Explore an overview of WECAN International efforts at COP20 in Lima, Peru:
Advocacy work inside the UNFCCC COP20, in partnership with the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) and the Women and Gender Constituency. December 1-12, 2014.
Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change-Lima
On December 8, 2014, WECAN organized a public convening of global women leaders, which included panels and strategy circles focused on extractive industries and mega-dams, forest protection and territory rights, renewable energy alternatives, new economic frameworks, rights of nature, systemic change, and how relationships between women of the Global South & North are furthering the climate justice movement.
WECAN International formal UN side event at the UNFCCC COP20
On December 9, 2014, WECAN International presented the Women’s Climate Action Agenda as a blueprint for our path forward, and showcased examples of youth and women as agents of local and global change. Particular focus was on Indigenous women on the frontlines of climate change and solutions building.
International Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal - Lima
On December 5-6, 2014, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature adjudicated various cases linked to COP20 proceedings, including threats to the Great Barrier Reef and oil and mineral extraction in South America. The Tribunal is a model and potent tool to help communities working to defend the Earth and their health and heritage. WECAN International serves on the Global Alliance Executive Committee and participated in the Tribunal as a judge.
People’s March Lima
On December 10, 2014, WECAN International marched with Indigenous allies in the Lima People’s March
United Nations Climate Summit– New York City September 2014
People’s Climate March 2014
WECAN International representatives marched and helped to organize with WEDO and other allies women taking action at the historic ‘People’s Climate March’ in New York City, NY!
Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change
Women Leading Solutions on the Front Lines of Climate Change – Click here to WATCH the full event footage from the public event organized by WECAN International during NYC Climate Week and the People’s Climate March!
Wall of Women Action in NYC and Across the World
WECAN International organized a global ‘Wall Of Women’ day of action in 2014, providing a space for women around the world to share their stories, demands and solutions in the period before and during the People’s Climate March.
Women's Climate Action Agenda
WECAN International releases the Women’s Climate Action Agenda at public events and other advocacy engagements!
Leader's Forum on Women Leading the Way
Raising Ambition for Climate Action Event with the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice – WECAN delegates participated in the event, and presented a dynamic table to share information on WECAN’s work for women’s leadership in climate justice.
UNFCCC COP19 – Warsaw, Poland November 2013
WECAN International efforts at COP19 included:
Advocacy work inside COP19 alongside the Women and Gender Constituency.
Presentation of the WECAN Women’s Climate Declaration, including an action and reading of the Declaration, dedicated to the women of the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Hayian.
Women speak out during civil society walk out of COP19