In acknowledgement of the urgent need for more effective and interlinked regional feminist responses from the economic south involving and in support of women advocates working in areas of gender and development, DAWN is organising a series of regional consultations and training institutes on “Strengthening Policy Analysis and Advocacy on Gender, Economic and Ecological Justice” in three regions - the Pacific, Africa and Latin America - in 2010 and 2011.
This advocacy is part of DAWN’s on-going effort to help promote awareness on and resolution to three major challenges highlighted in global governance debates: The first challenge is the existence of double standards in the response to the triple crisis. An unequal playing field in key policy areas is a major obstacle to coordinated response. The second challenge is the search for a sustainable model of economic recovery, growth, and development. The focus on financing climate change mitigation and adaptation is too narrow given the significant resource flows needed for developing countries to shift from high carbon, fossil-fuel energy to low carbon, renewable energy sources; to address the food crisis exacerbated by extreme and frequent climate events, floods, droughts, storms, loss of arable land and biodiversity; and to provide social protection for groups most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change including disease, landlessness, migration, poverty, and much more. Thus, far solutions to all these challenges have tended to be market- or technology-oriented and driven by corporate interests, which have created new inequalities between the North and the South. The third challenge is the inconsistencies between international trade rules (both WTO and regional trade mechanisms) and international environmental agreements.While economic south governments and civil society acknowledge some of these converging crises, as in other regions of the globe the inter-linkages between them are often ignored.
This project brings together actors working in various spheres of the areas of gender, economic and climate justice in the three regions of the Pacific, Africa and Latin America, in settings where people can raise difficult questions and political challenges in an atmosphere of trust and collective reflection. Specifically, participants include researchers and analysts from academia and civil society; policy makers from government, inter-governmental and regional institutions; and young and local women activists. The training institutes and consultations aim to provide venues for sharing information on a range of global and regional responses to the world multiples crises, including new initiatives that challenge hegemonic thinking and systems in finance, trade and monetary, and environmental policymaking, as well as for mapping current measures, mechanisms and programs at national and regional levels; and discuss possibilities, constraints and contradictions. The women’s rights activists from local and regional organizations will have their own facilitated input process.
Through the process, DAWN also hopes to encourage young feminists and women’s rights advocates to increase their engagement in transforming global economic and climate change governance structures; build capacity in policy analysis and advocacy on key gender, economic and climate justice issues, and their interlinkages; and encourage solidarity and support to contribute to policy proposals and social movement activism toward and during regional and global policy advocacy targets including the Tarawa Climate Change Conference (Kiribati, Nov 9-12 2010), CBD COP 10 (Nagoya, 27-29 October 2010), UNFCCC COP 16 (Mexico, Nov 29-Dec 10, 2010), Rio+20' Earth Summit (New York, May 2012), UNFCCC COP 17 (South Africa) and others.*
The GEEJ series began in the Pacific last September 2010, followed by Africa in November 2010, and to be continued in Latin America in March 2011.
Viewpoint: Additionality or Bust!
Viewpoint: Additionality or Bust!
by Noelene Nabulivou, DAWN Executive Committee Member
Article originally published online on Islands Business, April 2012 edition
Pacific governments and NGOs are increasingly asked to demonstrate effectiveness, uptake and ‘additionality’ in their climate change responses and the climate finance gurus develop new and more complicated methodologies every year.
Governments, development technical assistance and NGOs in the economic south find ourselves on a glorious merry-go-round of increasingly compartmentalised, professionalised and complex processes.
We are encouraged to use increasingly marketised models. We focus on endless growth as our main development goal rather than challenging fundamentally unsound production and consumption patterns; and all this in the midst of extraterritorial pressure from economic-military-industrial-development-aid complexes that endlessly distort and sometimes capture local and regional political, economic and social processes.
The heavy pressure to invest state resources and use external technical assistance to feed these insatiable and politically charged climate finance tracks is immense, and the consequences dire—especially for Small Islands and Micro-states. However, the problem is not only one of resource over-use and diversion from other sustainable development and human rights challenges, the suspect underlying conceptual frameworks of these globalised climate response systems also remain largely unchallenged.
There is, for example, a presumption that it is even possible and useful to separate climate change adaptation from mitigation approaches.
Also more broadly to distinguish climate change issues from wider long-term issues of ecological sustainability, gender equality and universal human rights.
But why do projects need to differentiate between ‘new effects’ and ‘usual development objectives’? Is it even possible? States and NGOs will come up with ways to satisfy donor M&E needs because they must. Whether this approach is helpful to sustainable development effectiveness is entirely another matter.
These dysfunctional globalised climate response systems also ignore and downplay universal human rights as a pre-requisite for sustainable development and climate justice. So we need to continually investigate, disrupt and transform our Pacific work on climate change by asking, for instance:
• Are we supporting marketised development and climate adaptation approaches where individual and community well-being and basic rights (personal, political, social, economic & cultural) are incidental rather than central?
• Do we legitimise government responses/strategies that view the planet primarily as a resource base for human wants and accumulation, and trampling on natural ecosystems and the biosphere?
• Are governments using an integrated and comprehensive human rights and gender equality framework to design their responses/strategies, or do they pick and choose which indicators to use?
• When advancing climate change and sustainable development theories, can we explicitly include attention to intersectional identity to better understand inclusion and exclusion dynamics? Precisely who is affected, why and how?
• How do governments and civil society co-design strong participatory processes from local to global, recognising the fundamental right of everyone to participate in decisions over their lives?
Just as Pacific societies develop strategies to address long-term and emergent sustainable development and human rights problems, other communities around the world are doing the same.
Strategies are endlessly shifting over time and space because of variables including community understanding of issues, NGO uptake, perceived urgency, local and regional political conditions, available entry points into regional and global advocacy tracks, donor engagement, etc.
Support and resourcing of these local and national strategies needs to scale upwards and outwards, not the reverse.
This is why DAWN GEEJ[i] work by young women advocates from the economic south includes public statements towards the Rio+20 Earth Summit that clearly state their rights and needs.
It is also why many of these activists will be present at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June, others engage in UNFCCC, and more work on highly localised mining and extractive industry resistance.
Our government and civil society delegations should listen closely, as a consistent theme through GEEJ consultations are strong connections between bodily integrity and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); women’s economic, social and cultural rights; ecological rights and political decision-making and leadership:
Women negotiating through limited access to voice, participation and decision-making power across multiple constituencies inevitably have concerns across a continuum of ‘adaptive gaps and capacities’. Where the power over one’s body and actions is difficult to negotiate, and where there are fears for one’s physical safety in squatter settlements, rural villages, towns and cities, it is understandably hard to participate in local, national, regional and global processes.
Women may be leading community campaigns and advocating on climate change issues while simultaneously facing violence against themselves and their children. They may also be fighting for access to land, better marketplaces, water and sanitation, or asserting rights related to their maternal mortality, and facing discrimination because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
Women continue to organise, negotiate and challenge. But where large gaps and challenges appear, we often ask, ‘Why is ‘she’ not participating? ‘Where are the women?’ Women are there, dealing with double and triple political, economic, social care and reproductive burdens. And now for women in the economic south including Africa, Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, the situation is exacerbated by climate change and ecological disasters and demands—and development dynamics that ask for ever more demonstration of not just work, but ‘effectiveness’, ‘additionality’, ‘value-added’ and ‘multiplier factors’.
And if we are not alert and assertive, we also risk becoming neutralised ‘faces of climate change’ at the global level, with all the racist and condescending accompaniments.
It would seem reasonable to assert therefore, that if we continue to discuss climate justice and sustainable development as if all Pacific social citizens experience our states, societies, work, families and intimate relationships with equal power and in the same way, we will never come up with adequate strategies to address these multiple and linked social justice and human rights issues here at home, and globally.
It is also clear that we need to urgently address gender and sexual equality as a core social justice and human rights question, and as integral to development and climate change work.
After all, the question is not really about demonstrating ‘additionality’. It is about ensuring effectiveness in addressing these deep, complex and interlinked crises of human rights, finance, fuel, food and ecology in what DAWN calls this ‘fierce new world’. We can resist the silos, even as we engage and work to transform them.
[i] DAWN GEEJ information: http://dawnnet.org/advocacy-geej.php
Read the original article on the Islands Business website HERE.
For more information on GEEJ, click HERE
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