On October 7 2015, at the IAW International Meeting in Paris, the Board decided by consensus to give a mandate to Natalia Kostus, Chair of the Commission on Climate Change and Board Member of IAW to start forming the IAW Programme on Climate Change and Sustainable Development to be adopted and launched at the Congress in 2016 and to have the possibility of attracting funding.
Natalia explained that the bases for the Programme are two outcomes: Paris Agreement on Climate Change to be adopted in December 2015 and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015. Natalia stressed that both outcomes represent global calls to action, leadership, and partnership, represent people’s revolutionary movements, set ambitious and specific goals for implementation and are set to attract significant amounts of funding.
Natalia explained that the overarching global programme will comprise of a global component and a portfolio of multiple local projects developed and implemented jointly with IAW member organizations, capitalizing on the niche of IAW, which lies in providing the connection between global policy and IAW member organizations that work on the ground. The programme will be focused on climate change, sustainable development, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and specific issues, including: energy, cities, food security, environment, and consumption.
Natalia led the initial consultation and interactive discussion, gathering the first round of input on the programme direction, scope, strategy, and structure.
Rakesh Dhawan Representative of All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) and Board Member of IAW stressed that climate change is one of the biggest threats to civilization today; pointing to accelerated natural disasters and the incredible pressure on ecosystems, overexploitation of natural resources, and high carbon emissions. Rakesh detailed initiatives taken by AIWC in India: popularizing solar energy and energy efficiency though fairs and training programs for women, integrating training for women on cutting emissions though efficient waste management, supporting traditional practices, and awareness rising for women water leaders. Rakesh concluded with an appeal to together combat this greatest challenge for survival and implement strategy for environment and climate protection.
Renee Gerard, Representative to the Council of Europe of IAW stressed that there are many projects IAW should develop, especially focusing on waste, food security, small technologies, and education for environment in school and in public.
Arina Angerman, Representative to the European Women’s Lobby of IAW advocated that for this programme IAW should focus on SDG target on women in decision making. Arina highlighted the importance of communication and sustainable Internet technologies and suggested to include green ICT platforms for this programme.
Monique Bouaziz, Representative to UNESCO of IAW and Danielle Levy Board Member and Representative to UNESCO of IAW detailed French NGOs preparations for Paris COP and the NGO climate change village in November and December 2015.
Rita Marque Mbatha, Executive Director at Women’s Comfort Corner in Zimbabwe stressed the importance of technology and communication, and shared experiences on cell phone donation programmes and partnership with wireless providers to help give rape victims and domestic violence victims and survivors their voice. Rita explained additional benefits of the program for cleaner environment; instead of the phones being thrown away they are being recycled. Natalia highlighted the important role cell phones play in the event of natural disaster.
Joke Sebus,Co- Editor of the IAW Newsletter pointed out the importance of water and sanitation. Jessica Kehl Executive, Vice President of IAW highlighted the difference between waste and recyclable materials. Dr. Horeya Megahed, Coordinator for the Arab Countries of IAW called for action on climate change and discussed experiences on solar energy and sustainable water management from the Arab Region. Priscilla Todd Editor of the International Women’s News of IAW recommended partnerships for IAW and to include consumption and education.
If you would like to contribute to the development and participate in the online discussion on the new IAW Programme on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, please e-mail Natalia at: Natalia.Kostus.IAW@gmail.com