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International Women Leaders Advocate for Climate Justice during the UNFCCC COP20 in Lima, Peru 

MILL VALLEY, Calif., December 2, 2014-  

The Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) is on the ground in Lima, Peru this week, working to strengthen the voice of women and advocate for climate justice during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 20th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP20).

 

The UNFCCC COP20 is the crucial first round of negotiations as policymakers work to draft a new international climate agreement ahead of talks in Paris in 2015. WECAN International, an environment and climate action movement working to engage women worldwide in their role as key leaders in climate change solutions, will be participating in COP20 and leading and taking part in a series of grassroots events happening in parallel.

 

On Dec. 9th, WECAN International will host a formal side event inside the UNFCCC COP20 with allies from Amazon Watch and TakingItGlobal. The event will showcase examples of youth and women as agents of local and global change, with particular focus on Indigenous women on the frontlines of climate change impacts and solution building.

 

WECAN International will also present the newly released 'Women's Climate Action Agenda' as a blueprint and plan of action for an equitable and healthy path forward. The U.N. side event will be held between 16:45 and 18:15 in the negotiation's Caral Room.

 

Outside of formal U.N. proceedings, the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network will engage in a series of public events and actions addressing issues of women and climate, climate justice, and rights of Nature and Indigenous peoples.

 

On Dec. 8, WECAN International will present 'Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change-Lima', a forum of women leaders gathered to speak out against environmentally and socially destructive practices, and to present alternative strategies for addressing the climate crisis.

 

Panel discussions will cover topics including resistance to extractive industries and mega-dams, forest protection and territory rights, renewable energy alternatives, new economic frameworks, and women's leadership. The event is free and open to the public, and will be held between 13:00 and 17:00 in the Libertadores room of the Sheraton Hotel Lima, Avenida Paseo de la Republica 170.

 

While in Lima, WECAN International will also take part in the 'International Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal ', hosted by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, on whose Steering Committee WECAN serves.

 

An expert group of judges will adjudicate various cases linked to COP20 proceedings, including hydraulic fracturing, threats to the Great Barrier Reef, and oil and mineral extraction in Latin America.

 

"The Rights of Nature Tribunal models what a legal framework that works within the planets limits really looks like," explained WECAN International co-Founder and Executive Director, Osprey Orielle Lake, "It provides communities with tools for defending the Earth, and allows us to strategically compile the analysis needed to catalyze real international action on these cases."

 

The Tribunal is free and open to the public, and will be held Dec. 5-6 at the Gran Hotel Bolivar, Jiron de la Union 958.

 

"We are rising," Lake explained, "we are rising in the streets, in the court houses, in the forests, in the fields, and in conference rooms across the globe. We know there will be no climate justice until the voices of women, Indigenous peoples, and frontline communities are the voices that guide climate policies and global action. We have a long way to go and a short time to get there. WECAN International will work ceaselessly in pursuit of this goal."

 

Further information on WECAN International's work in Lima during the UNFCCC COP20 can be found on the WECAN webpage, wecaninternational.org/pages/unfccc-cop20-2014, and on the organization's blog, wecaninternational.wordpress.com.

 

About WECAN International

The Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) is a solutions-based, multi-faceted effort established to engage women worldwide as powerful stakeholders in climate change and sustainability solutions. Recent work includes the 2013 International Women's Earth and Climate Summit, Women's Climate Declaration, and WECAN Women's Climate Action Agenda. International climate advocacy is complemented with on-the-ground programs such as the Women's for Forests and Fossil Fuel/Mining/Mega Dam Resistance, and Regional Climate Solutions Trainings in the Middle East North Africa region and Democratic Republic of Congo. WECAN International was founded in 2013 as a project of the 501(c)3 Women's Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) organization and its partner eraGlobal Alliance.

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Photo 1: Indigenous leader Patricia Gualinga of Sarayaku, Ecuador speaks at a WECAN International event.

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