Dear Community,
As we near the end of 2022, our movements are continuing to take action worldwide— from holding corporations, financial institutions, and governments accountable, to standing on the frontlines for our communities and planet, to growing food sovereignty and circular economies!

Please see this week's newsletters for updates and highlights of recent advocacy efforts, and actions you can take to stand with frontline communities and to protect our global climate.
Updates from the United Nations
Convention on Biological Diversity
The Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is currently underway in Montreal, Canada, taking place December 7 - 19. 

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the international legal instrument for "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources" that has been ratified by 196 nations. 

WECAN is helping to coordinate frontline women advocacy opportunities, engaging virtually with advocacy efforts, and was honored to facilitate and accredit Helena Gualinga, Kichwa youth leader from Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon to attend the conference in person.

This year, during COP15, governments are convening to discuss, finalize, and potentially adopt the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF),a global roadmap for conservation with key goals and targets for countries to individually and collectively achieve in the coming decades. Negotiations thus far have been difficult, and many in civil society and global movements continue to call for the inclusion of rights-based language throughout the framework, and language that protects Indigenous rights and sovereignty. 

In discussion is the goal to protect 30% of global biodiversity by 2030. However, implementation is a great concern with many civil society groups pointing out that the GBF policy and approach to this goal could lead to huge land grabs that would further threaten Indigenous peoples and territories, and local communities. In addition to the lack of right-based framing, there is also grave concern from scientists and many others that 30% by 2030 is far too low of a bar given the crisis of biodiversity loss already underway.

Studies share that approximately 1 million wild animal and plant species now face extinction, many within decades. Over 80% of global biodiversity is stewarded by Indigenous peoples and thus, securing and protecting their sovereignty and rights is essential for protecting biodiversity, communities, and our global climate. 

Reflecting on the negotiations, Helena Gualinga stated, "Let's not forget that... to protect biodiversity we need to protect Indigenous people first, Indigenous people are protecting biodiversity."

WECAN is continuing to follow the UN CBD COP15 negotiations and take action including:

  • Participating in a process with 73 civil society groups to send an urgent letter to the world's governments to take strong action in protecting biodiversity from an environmental justice, rights-based framework. Read the full letter here:

  • Awareness building about false solutions. Please watch this short video from our friends at Global Forest Coalition highlighting the major greenwashing risk of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures. The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures threatens to be the next frontier on corporate greenwashing on nature. Learn more here:
Stopping the Dirty Deal and Standing with Frontline Communities
In September, the frontlines stood up to Senator Manchin and Senator Schumer and defeated a dirty side deal that would undermine our bedrock environmental laws, fast-track fossil fuels, and sacrifice environmental justice communities. Unfortunately, during the final weeks of 2022, lawmakers are seeking to revive the permitting deal, attempting to attach it to necessary legislative bills.

A week ago, after concerted efforts by the grassroots to help drive calls, letters, actions, and much more, we succeeded in keeping Manchin’s dirty deal off the House’s draft annual defense spending bill (NDAA). Despite the good news, Manchin is now trying to find another vehicle; either through an amendment to the NDAA when it comes to the Senate, or by attaching it to an end-of-year spending bill. We’re keeping up the pressure to let Congress know: we beat it once, we beat it twice, and we will stop this once and for all! 

Please join us in calling your Senators and demanding they say no to the dirty deal and protect frontline communities and ecosystems. find a call script here.

Back in September, we all joined together in an historic effort led by environmental justice groups to stop the Dirty Deal. Now we need to come together and stop them again. We will continue to take action to ensure no more sacrifice communities and no more sacrifice zones!
As a part of ongoing efforts, WECAN was on the ground in early December at Fire Drill Friday in Washington D.C. demanding climate justice. We came together in solidarity to demand that Congress and the Biden Administration act on the climate emergency, including rejecting once and for all Senator Manchin’s Dirty Deal. See the livestream of the rally here.
WECAN Divestment Program Updates
The Equator Principles Association Responds to Civil Society Letter
On October 14, in an open letter to the Equator Principles Association (EPA), 25 civil society organizations led by BankTrack and the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) called upon the EPA to make a renewed commitment on climate, nature, pandemics, and human and Indigenous rights, before the Principles’ 20th anniversary next year. The call was issued ahead of the EPA’s annual meeting, which was held in South Korea.

The EPA promotes and encourages the adoption and implementation of the Equator Principles, which are an environmental and social risk management framework with over 130 signatory financial institutions across 38 countries. Most major banks worldwide are signatories.

The letter makes the case for the EPA to start a process that will lead to an important and necessary expansion of the scope of risks that the Equator Principles (EPs) set out to manage. It calls on the Association and signatory financial institutions to strengthen their commitments in the realms of climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, human and Indigenous rights, and pandemic prevention.

After receiving the letter, the EPA shared an open letter responding to civil society and our outlined concerns. You can see their response here.

We look forward to continuing our engagement with the EPA alongside our friends at BankTrack.
Big Win! HSBC announces it will no longer finance new oil and gas fields
On Wednesday, it was announced that HSBC, one of the largest banks in the world, will stop financing new oil and gas fields!

This is a testament to the continued collective advocacy of our divestment movements, and we are celebrating the hard work from our colleagues at ShareAction and many others who have put pressure on HSBC to take action. WECAN has engaged with HSBC regarding divestment demands over the past six years.

HSBC's announcement is a signal that our movements and the science are having an effect on financial institutions. They are realizing that oil and gas not only spells disaster for our planet, but also is no longer financially viable. We hope this step signals other global financiers of fossil fuels to take action and divest from destruction and climate chaos. We also know that this is by no means perfect, and does not reflect divestment from corporate financing, and we will continue to advocate for full divestment from fossil fuel expansion.

To learn more about WECAN's ongoing divestment advocacy with financial institutions, please see our webpage.
Protecting Old Growth Forests for Climate Justice
On December 14th, the WECAN team was excited to join Oregon Wild's webcast event to share about our Women for Forests program, protecting old-growth forests, and how climate justice can protect global biodiversity.

Presenters included:
  • KATHERINE QUAID, Communications and Outreach Coordinator for WECAN, was born and raised in rural central Oregon and is a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla.
  • WANDA “KASHUDOHA” CULP, WECAN Coordinator in the Tongass Region, Alaska, is an Indigenous Tlingit activist, advocate, and hunter, fisher and gatherer of wild foods, born and raised in Alaska.
  • REBEKAH CONTRERAS, Tongass WECAN Representative, is a Yupik/White climate advocate living in Hoonah, Alaska.
  • OSPREY ORIELLE LAKE, Founder and Executive Director of WECAN.

Thank you to all who joined us during the event!
New Report | Protector not prisoner: Indigenous peoples face rights violations & criminalization in climate actions
A new briefing by Indigenous Peoples Rights International and the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre explores how climate actions which do not center human rights have been harmful to Indigenous peoples and the scale of criminalization Indigenous peoples face when taking legitimate action to defend their lands, territories, resources and rights related to renewable energy projects, transition minerals mining, and conservation efforts.
The briefing includes examples of Indigenous resistance to harmful climate actions in Kenya, the Philippines, Russia, Peru, Nepal, Indonesia and Norway, as well as related legal decisions upholding the rights of Indigenous communities.

Support the Sarayaku Community
and Aero Sarayaku Emergency Flights
Please see below a solidarity request from our partners from Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon:
Sarayaku is a community of around 2,500 people in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle that for decades has been the protagonist of activist movements, awareness and environmental protection worldwide; inspiring other communities throughout the Amazon to rise up and join forces to expose the injustice and environmental degradation caused.

In 2012, Sarayaku set a precedent by taking the Government of Ecuador before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, where the court found that the Ecuadorian government flouted Sarayaku's right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) regarding the exploitation of oil and resources on the ancestral land of their peoples. This precedent is now found internationally.

Sarayaku received significant compensation at the judgment and used the funds to create their own airline to serve and help lives and strengthen community efforts through AERO SARAYAKU, a community company of the Original Kichwa People of Sarayaku.

Please join WECAN in supporting the indispensable flights of AeroSarayaku and to support the efforts of the Sarayaku people for education and conservation of the Amazon rainforest, and will guarantee a rapid response essential in the continuity of emergency evacuation flights and life flights for the people of Sarayaku and other communities in the tropical forest.

Thank you for considering standing in solidarity and supporting the Sarayaku community today. Donate here!
Watch the Recording:
WECAN Presentation at the Scenarios Forum
In June of 2022, In a groundbreaking presentation, a team from the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), in affiliation with the UC Davis ModLab, shared the latest research on how gender equity regarding women's leadership, agency, and political and social participation throughout society reduces CO2 emissions during the 2022 Scenarios Forum.

Launched in 2019, the Scenarios Forum is a conference bringing together climate scientists, social scientists, and energy systems modelers engaged in developing the Shared Socio-Economic Pathways (SSPs), which are a set of predictive climate models and data that inform reports by the IPCC. Global policymakers and decision-makers rely upon the IPCC reports to make data-informed decisions regarding climate policies and plans.

The presentation was part of a larger session at the Forum titled, "Addressing the gender dimension in socioeconomic scenarios: policy and climate change impacts on gender equality & gender equality as a driver of change."

The recording of the session is now available on the Scenarios Forum website and Youtube page. Please find and watch the recording here!
In Case You Missed It:
COP27 Report Back and Analysis
In case you missed it, WECAN is recently returning from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. We look forward to sharing with you our experience at the COP. 

Please click the button below for our in-depth analysis and coverage of COP27 outcomes and WECAN advocacy efforts, events, actions, protests, and media coverage.
Following COP27, WECAN Executive Director Osprey Orielle Lake has spoken with several media outlets sharing analysis on the outcomes of negotiations. Please check out the links below for further analysis:

WECAN Internship Openings
The WECAN Team is accepting applications for the Women Speak Research Internship, and the Social Media Internship.

WECAN regularly offers 4-6 month, volunteer internships for young leaders interested in developing and expanding their professional skills, building their network, and working together with an international team for climate justice. Internships are conducted remotely on a flexible schedule.
Learn more about the Women Speak Research Internship here

Learn more about the Social Media Internship here
To be considered for the current round of internships, we are accepting applications until January 9th, with start dates in February 2023.
For the Earth and All Generations,

Women's Earth and Climate Action Network
(WECAN) International Team