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Climate negotiations more effective if guided by long-term vision – this must include social and gender justice

Along with others at the August 2-6 climate change meetings in Bonn, women and gender groups expressed their support for the new UNFCCC Secretary General, Christiana Figueres, who in a meeting with civil society groups said that negotiations can be much more effective if we recognize a paradigm change based on responsibility to future generations. The human face of climate change must be understood.

The Women and Gender Constituency @ UNFCCC believes that this paradigm change requires a better understanding of the gender aspects of the issues. This includes an analysis of power relations within societies and institutions at all levels; local, regional and global. An example is the definition of forests that is currently being discussed in the negotiations. The on-going destruction of forests creates CO2 emissions, and mechanisms to avoid deforestation are currently under debate. The way that forests are defined and treated through such mechanisms will affect women and their communities. In a statement read at the closing session, women groups expressed their strong concerns that the current definition of forests includes large-scale monoculture tree plantations that have devastating impacts on women's livelihoods and communities in general. Women and gender organizations reject incentive schemes that reduce ecosystems to their carbon value alone, ignoring the important socio-economic, cultural, spiritual and ecological values of forests, which are of essential importance to women and their communities.

Women and gender NGOs were officially recognized as a constituency among other observer groups to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change before the 2009 Copenhagen summit. The constituency includes a growing number of international organizations and networks. Its members will continue to work for ambitious, equitable and binding climate agreements that fully include gender issues.

For more information:
the constituency statement to the closing plenary of the negotiating meeting on the Kyoto Protocol of 6 August 2010 as well as work done by the constituency thus far is on-line at

Gotelind Alber, GenderCC

Ulrike Roehr, LIFE / genanet - Focal Point Gender, Environment, Sustainability
roehr[at] ;

Sabine Bock, WECF
sabine.bock[at] ;

Cate Owren, WEDO

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