The fight against climate change gains strength under the leadership of women

In recent years, the fight against effects of climate change has gained strength thanks to the leadership of women around the world who work hard and raise their voices not only in their communities but increasingly from organizations or international summits.

Figures like that of the Swedish Greta thunberg, the Kenyan Elizabeth wathuti, the Costa Rican and architect of the Paris Agreement, Christiana Figueres; or the current executive secretary of the Framework Convention of United Nations about him Climate change, the Mexican Patricia Espinosa, have become benchmarks in this world battle in which women are, at the same time, the most affected.

Behind them are many other women leading green transformation projects in various countries such as Chile, Peru or Costa Rica, writing reports on the situation of ecosystems in danger that are analyzed in high-level meetings or protecting territories from the exercise of the defense of the human rights and of the nature.

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“There are many leaders trying to propose solutions to one of the great challenges that we are going to have as humanity in the coming years. But let us remember that it has been 30 years since many women began to work on these issues in a comprehensive way,” says the specialist from gender, environment and climate change United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Latin America, Andrea Quesada.

The specialist, in statements to EFE, appoints Gro brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway who invented the term “sustainable development” in 1987; to the Kenyan Wangari Maathai, the first African to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for “her contribution to sustainable development and democracy”, and to the indigenous leader Berta Cáceres, assassinated in 2016 for her fight for human rights and the environment in Honduras.

“Many of these new leaders are in the branches of the trees they planted these women were so transformative at the time and the most interesting thing is that the diversity of voices is maintained, “adds Quesada.

THE STRENGTH OF INDIGENOUS LEADERS

The indigenous Waorani Nemonte Nenquimo she is one of those new leaders. She remembers that her love for nature and her struggle to keep her territory “safe” began at a very young age.

“We live from the jungle, fishing, hunting and the land. Amazon it is full of diversity, of life, and that is why we respect it. But the western world does not understand it, for them it is pure green area, “the Ecuadorian woman who has led a campaign to prevent oil companies from settling in her community, located in the province, told EFE. Amazonian Pastaza.

Raising her voice led her to win in 2020 the Goldman Environmental Award, considered the “Nobel” of environment. “I am a Waorani woman and I feel collectively. This recognition is for the thousands of women in the world who are defending life, territory, Amazon. Those women are inside me and thanks to that I can show my face. “

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“This life is not easy, but that recognition made me feel strong and inspired to continue building a future with all these women who are protesting,” says the activist, who adds that together with other women she works in a food security project so that more people depend on the fruits that these lands bear.

Although he has been to several international summits, Nenchyme is very critical of the agreements that are made in these and admits that, although she was invited to the COP26It wasn’t because “I didn’t want to come back with nothing.”

“There are many forums and organizations that talk about green funds, but they do not invest all that money. They only give us a minimum percentage and the rest for them (sic). Better that those leaders come to know what we defend, that they fight with us” , reiterates.

EVERY TIME MORE WOMEN RAISE THEIR VOICE

Like Nenquimo, Alexandra Narvaez, leader of the Cofán community of Sinangoe, works every day so that mining companies do not enter his territory, located in the Ecuadorian Amazon. She is a guardian of the community, a position that has historically been held by men.

“I was the first who asked to join the group of guards to make tours and take care of the territory. At first it was very hard, I received a lot of criticism, but I had the support of my family,” she recalls in conversation with the EFE Agency.

Now she is the president of the women’s association and others from her community have joined her to continue with the task. “Now there are women and girls who say they want to lead and take care of their territory. I think I am leaving a seed for the future, “he says.

Narváez says that the effects of climate change are being felt more and more every day. “The river overflows, we cannot go to collect the fruits to make handicrafts or eat. We cannot allow this to be destroyed, this is something that not only affects us as indigenous people, but also affects everyone“.

From the UNDP, says Andrea Quesada, they are building bridges between the needs of indigenous and rural women and governments, with the aim of developing projects that not only contribute to the sustainability of the life in territory but also to the empowerment of more women who can go out on the public stage to defend nature.

We want to thank the writer of this short article for this outstanding material

The fight against climate change gains strength under the leadership of women

Hank Gilbert