Dear Community,
2020 continues to be a pivotal year in so many ways, and WECAN is doubling down on our work and commitment to Mother Earth and accelerating the global climate justice movement. There are many ways this week for you to take action, and support a future grounded in justice, sovereignty, reciprocity, and care for each other and our planet.
Protect The Tongass Forest in Alaska
The Indigenous Women's Tongass Delegation prepares to meet with congressional staff in Washington D.C in 2019. Delegates included (from left to right): Wanda Culp, Tlingit, WECAN Tongass Coordinator; Kari Ames, Tlingit, Alaska Native Voices Cultural Heritage Guide; Rebekah Sawers, Yupik, student and WECAN Tongass Representative; and Adrien Nichol Lee, Tlingit, President of the Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 12 and keeper of cultural Tlingit education. Photo Credit: Melissa Lyttle
Currently, the United States Forest Service (USFS) is intensifying plans to roll back long-standing protections against logging and road-building in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. Last week, the USFS announced a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and moved one step closer to exempting the Tongass, known as the nation’s “climate forest,” from the hard-fought for National Roadless Rule.

Please join us in fighting to protect over 9 million acres of ancient forest in Alaska, defending the climate, and standing with Indigenous land defenders and all forest protectors by submitting a comment demanding the USFS keep the federal 2001 Roadless Rule intact and current protections in place for national forests.

You can take action by writing to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue, to demand an immediate halt to the rollback of the Roadless Rule by October 15th before the Record of Decision moves forward.
The 2001 National Roadless Rule established prohibitions on road construction in U.S. National forests, ending decades of extractive logging practices. In October 2019, the USFS released its plan to repeal the Roadless Rule in the Tongass. This exemption proposes to roll back protections across more than 9 million acres of the Tongass, dangerously weakening this national standard by enabling logging interests to bulldoze roads, boost mining exploration, and cut old growth trees in areas of the Tongass that have been off-limits for decades.

The proposed exemption is one of the latest examples of environmental racism toward Indigenous communities in the United States. The Tongass exists within the traditional territories of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian peoples. Protecting the forest is key for ensuring food security in Indigenous communities and combating centuries of colonial policies seeking to displace Indigenous peoples from their homelands. If approved, it will disrupt the traditional lifeways, medicine, and food systems of the region's Indigenous communities, violating Indigenous sovereignty and endangering cultural survival. Learn more and hear from Indigenous women leaders in our full press release!
Protect Human Rights and Defend Nature
Last week women policy makers, Indigenous leaders, and human rights defenders united to announce renewed advocacy for ratifying the Escazú Agreement in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The Escazú Agreement is a vital multilateral treaty that promotes access to information and security for environmental and human rights defenders. 

With 80% of the biodiversity left on the planet existing within the territories of Indigenous Peoples, it is imperative to implement policies and frameworks, such as those included in the Escazú Agreement, that ensure Human Rights and the protection of Environment Defenders, including their access to decision making, public information, and justice mechanisms. Multiple studies have shown that the most effective ways to protect biodiverse regions, like the Amazon Rainforest, is to protect the rights and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples. By protecting the rights of Indigenous land defenders, the Escazú Agreement is helping to protect the planet from further climate collapse and ecological degradation. Additionally, we know that when women are at the forefront of decision making - the planet and our communities are prioritized.

You can watch a recording of the forum down below
via YouTube or on our Facebook page!
During the online forum, speakers highlighted the challenges women face and their solutions in securing human and Indigenous rights, protecting their territories from extractive industries and participating in climate policy. Our goal is to engage regional stakeholders, with the backing of international civil society, in the Escazú Agreement with the aim of propelling one more LAC country to ratify the Agreement in order for it to enter into full force next year (2021). 

For the Escazú Agreement to enter into full force throughout the LAC region, 11 countries must ratify the accord. Since our Forum, we are glad to announce that Argentina ratified the Agreement, so we have one more country to go! Click the button below to join us in urging the countries of Costa Rica and the Caribbean region to ratify the Escazú Agreement.
Stop Funding Tar Sands
Join us on Friday, October 2nd at 11:00-12:30 PST / 2:00-3:30 EST for an Online Rally to hold the funders of tar sands accountable - Register here!

Tar sands is one of the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fossil fuels on our planet. Pipelines like Keystone XL, Line 3, and Trans Mountain are disastrous for people and the planet. They are built on Indigenous lands without consent, endanger the safety of Indigenous women, and poison nearby communities, while furthering the climate crisis.

WECAN is partnering with Stop the Money Pipeline and Indigenous frontline leaders to organize Stop Funding Tar Sands, a day of solidarity with frontline and Indigenous communities fighting back against Tar Sands pipelines including Line 3, Trans Mountain, and Keystone XL.

During the online rally, we’ll live stream the actions happening outside the headquarters of the corporations bankrolling the pipelines. In between the actions, you’ll hear from Indigenous frontline women leaders, including Tara Houska of the Giniw Collective, Kanahus Manuel of the Tiny House Warriors and Jasilyn Charger with Earth Guardians, who will share stories from the frontlines.

Throughout the event we will give you opportunities to take action: calling and writing decision makers, taking the pledge to never bank with fossil funders and helping to make our message travel far and wide on social media.
Indigenous Rights and Women's Leadership are
Central to Divestment Strategies
Last week we heard from powerful Indigenous women leaders who spoke about the intersections of Indigenous Rights, women's leadership, and divestment strategies during one of our WECAN events held concurrently with the UN General Assembly and Climate Week 2020.

You can watch a recording of the forum down below
via YouTube or on our Facebook page!

Backed by banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions, fossil fuel companies continue to push forward projects, further exposing Indigenous communities to environmental pollution and now also COVID-19. Along with extraction and infrastructure, fossil fuel companies also develop ‘man camps’, which house workers from outside the community and have been directly linked with increased rates of drug use, sex trafficking and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Indigenous women and their allies are demanding that financial institutions adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement, protect the climate, respect the rights of nature, and the rights and lives of Indigenous communities experiencing the impacts of fossil fuel development. While much more is still needed, divestment advocacy, direct actions, and campaigning are having a critical impact on the fossil fuel industry regarding moving funds out from the dirty energy sector and generating policy changes to uphold Indigenous and human rights as we face the climate crisis.
In the United States, the upcoming election is of the utmost importance, and we urge all of you in the U.S. to ensure that you are registered and prepared to vote.

Learn more about voter registration, local elections, and opportunities to volunteer at your local poll stations at the button below!
Welcome the WECAN Women Speak Interns!
Please join WECAN in welcoming the newest members of the Women Speak Research Intern team! They will be joining Women Speak Programs Coordinator, Karina Gonzalez in powering our extensive story-telling database 'Women Speak: Stories, Case Studies And Solutions From The Frontlines Of Climate Change'.
We know that women - who are disproportionately impacted by climate change worldwide, and simultaneously essential to sustainability solutions - must be engaged at all levels of participation, leadership and decision-making to build effective and just social and ecological programs and communities. And yet - the voice and rights of women often continue to be suppressed and ignored.

'Women Speak: Stories, Case Studies And Solutions From The Frontlines Of Climate Change' seeks to offer the resources, evidence and inspiration needed to shift the narrative, and challenge dominant systems of exploitation and oppression of women and the Earth through an accessible and ever-growing database of information, research and multimedia storytelling. 

Please take a look at the many compelling stories in the Women Speak database here. We look forward to sharing more updates with you as we add stories to meet the urgency of this historic moment in time.
Thank you for your continued support of WECAN's ongoing campaigns, projects and programs. We will continue to fight and advocate for a just and healthy world.
For the Earth and All Generations,

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