The crucial yet under-recognized role that the world’s women play as agents of change and healers of the ocean and climate was the focus of a side event at the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany on 6 November.
The event – hosted jointly by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), UN Environment and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme – aimed to draw attention to the value of inclusive ocean and climate management.
“Women are leaders in resource management and agents for building resilient communities, and their valuable work bridges across climate action, sustainable development, and nature protection,” said Ms. Raumanu Pranjivan-Sharma, a senior legal officer for the Government of Fiji who is serving as a liaison officer for the COP23 presidency. “I want to reiterate the COP23 presidency’s commitment to the work on gender and climate change.”
The event, “The Role of Women as Healers of the Ocean at the Frontlines of the Climate-Resilient Development–Nature Nexus”, showcased the varied and valuable roles of women amidst the rising tide of challenges brought on by climate change and other human-induced changes.
“We also know that when women are well represented in decision-making processes, their ability to share skills and knowledge strengthens our collective effort to face the challenge of climate change,” said Ms. Pranjivan-Sharma.
The speakers, ranging from government officials and academics to women from coastal communities whose livelihoods depend on the ocean, shed light on how women continue to punch above their weight in trying to maintain their way of life amid the challenges facing our ocean and climate-dependent livelihoods.
The discussion highlighted the value of empowering women in engaging in ocean governance and climate adaptation and mitigation, using locally appropriate methods.
“The different social and cultural differences must be recognized. We cannot come in blazing…