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Updates From the Women And Climate Justice Hearings

GCAP and the Feminist Task Force have been coordinating a series of 15 Women and Climate Justice Tribunals over the past month. These hearings  were based on the recognition that although women play a central role in providing effective response to the challenges imposed by climate change in their communities, their voices are not being adequately heard in the debates around climate change at all levels.

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The following are summaries of updates form the campaigns, with link to the full updates.

Update From Argentina

Rural and indigenous women in northern Argentina, hit hard by the expanding agricultural frontier, deforestation and the spraying of toxic pesticides, spoke out about their problems and set forth proposals for discussion at the next global summit on climate change. They did so at the Women’s Hearing on Gender and Climate Justice 2011-Argentina, held Tuesday.

Update From Bangladesh

34 years old Munni Akhter moved to Char Nonglia, Noakhali after her home in Monpura of Bhola was destroyed twice by river erosion. She started her life in a small cottage on the bank of the river with her 2 sons and a daughter. Even though she settled into the Char only 8-10 years ago, her house has already been vanished into the river once. She made her new home further from the bank but now it is in danger. About this tendency of river erosion and climate change Munni Akhter says “all my crops have been destroyed by saline flood 4 years ago, my only cow, and 20 ducks along with my furnishings floated away.

Update From Zambia

Despite contributing just three percent of the world’s annual greenhouse gases, Sub-Saharan Africa is often said to be the region likely to suffer most from global climate change and women and children are most vulnerable and suffer more. Zambia has no choice but to adapt. It is poorly placed to do so, given the extent of poverty and the lack of understanding of the anthropogenic component of the country's variable weather.
In common with other Least Developed Countries, Zambia has gained little support from international donors for its NAPA recommendations, with only one of the priority projects funded so far. The general thrust of a response to global warming in Zambia will be to intensify activities which are in any event appropriate to poverty reduction and food security in the face of climate variability. For example, farmers will be encouraged to diversify from their over-dependence on maize, a crop which performs poorly in dry and hot conditions. Indigenous crops such as cassava and millet are more resilient. Skills in conservation agriculture will be relevant to regenerating soil and water resources. 

Improving the regional and local services of the Zambia Meteorological Department will be vital for the rural economy. The broader institutional development necessary to deliver a strategic response to climate change has been slow moving. 

Update From India

In India, a National Action Plan (NAP) on Climate Change has been designed and several states have also proposed State Action Plans aimed at dealing with the impacts of climate change. These plans are yet to be analysed with respect to the provision of sustainable alternatives for the most vulnerable communities who depend on forests, water bodies and agriculture land as their main livelihood and resource, including rural and tribal communities and most especially women who are directly involved with the management and use of natural resources in their daily lives.
The Women’s Hearing on Gender and Climate Justice aims to identify and document grassroots alternatives of climate adaptation that could be shared at a national level, alongside a gender review of the National and 04 State Action Plans on Climate Change. The national hearing will be held in Nagpur, India on 14 November 2011.