The Planet and Ecological Health

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Humanity is witnessing the unprecedented impact of its erroneous assumptions about unlimited natural resources and patterns of production and consumption. Despite numerous global agreements to protect the environment, international institutions and governments have not significantly curbed environmental degradation, which includes not only climate change, but also biodiversity loss, the pollution of rivers and water basins, and the depletion of forests. Meanwhile, governments and the private sector promote responses to the environment based on financial markets and technologies that exacerbate inequalities, leaving underlying consumption and production models unquestioned. Environmental degradation hurts grassroots women and poor, peasant and indigenous communities the most, threatening their livelihoods and forcing unsustainable adaptation strategies. Recurrent and worsening ‘natural’ disasters are making evident the need for stronger regulation that places communities above market interests. Also needed are responses that take into account the particular impacts of disasters on women and women’s own experiences in building community resilience and dealing with disasters.

How are women and other marginalized communities such as peasant and indigenous communities organizing and implementing sustainable environmental alternatives?  What are the strategies and tools being used by grassroots women and other key actors to broaden the debates and responses to climate change beyond market-based approaches? What are the lessons to learn from women’s experiences in responding to ‘natural disasters’? How can feminisms both inform the strategizing in response to environmental degradation and be enriched by perspectives from the ecological, environmental and climate justice movements?

View the video below where Yvonne Underhill talks about political ecology.

Related Resources

  1. As Kyoto Expiration Nears, Emissions Trading Shown Ineffective, Hazel Anderson, IPS, June 01, 2011
  2. Pointing Toward the Future: How Environmental and Women’s Rights Groups Can Work Together to Solve Global Problems, September 2011
  3. Declaration of the Alternative Forum on Climate Change, October 2011
  4. Governing Climate Funds: What Will Work for Women?  Gender Action, Oxfam, WEDO
  5. BRIDGE Cutting Edge Programme on Gender and Climate Change
  6. Carbon Markets Are Not Cooling the Planet, Stefany Leahy, IPS, June 2011
  7. The Gender Economic and Environmental Justice initiative of Development Alternatives with Women of a New Era (DAWN)
  8. Rural Women in Peru Speak Out on Climate Change
  9. Gender and Climate Change: Mapping the Linkages, BRIDGE, 2008
  10. Women on the Road to Rio+20
  11. VIDEO: Naomi Klein on Climate Change and Economic Justice, Democracy Now, March 2011
  12. Resource Scarcity, Well-being and Development, November 2011
  13. National Consultation on the Impact of Mining on Women in India, February 2010
  14. MacroAsia Lies: Indigenous People Challenge Mining Company Propaganda, August 2011
  15. Rio+20 and the Peoples´ Summit
  16. Nigerian women protesting environmental damage and exploitation from/by the oil industries (with reporting from feminist blogger Sokari Ekine)
  17. The principles and Criteria of public climate finance – a normative framework
  18. The evolving global climate finance architecture
  19. Climate Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Challenges and Opportunities
  20. The Green Climate Fund
  21. Gender and Climate Finance
  22. Climate Funding Needs Gender Equity
  23. Women in rural Kenya battle both patriarchy and climate change

Related AWID Publications

Feminist Perspectives Towards Transforming Economic Power: Topic 2 Agroecology

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