INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY, JUNE 5TH 2017.
It is time to assess the connections between what is happening in our environments and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
It is time to assess:
SDG 2 “to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”, that frequently links with SDG1 “to end poverty” which as we know often impacts disproportionally on women, and SDG 3 ”to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all to all ages.”
Many of us have seen images of hungry and starving women and babies in eastern Africa, where they are seeking food and water as a result, partially of war (SDG16), and also of long droughts, SDG 6 and SDG 13.
SDG 16 is to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development..”
SDG 6 is to” ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”.
SDG 13 is to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.”
In other parts of the World, especially in the small island states, people are already being affected by extreme weather events, like Tropical Cyclones in the Pacific, as well as storm surges and increasing salinity in the narrow coastal strips where people grow their food. It is pertinent that Fiji’s President is the UNFCCC Cop 23 president and is leading talks in the World about the UN Framework on the Convention on Climate Change and the Conference of Parties COP. An example of actions:
“ Rural Women Light up their Villages in Fiji “
“Women, girls, boys and men have different roles within their families and communities in Pacific Island Countries. Each of these groups is differently affected by, and has distinct ways of dealing with, the effects of climate change. Women’s separate role in communities, however, means that they can play an important part in supporting their families and communities to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Women have valuable knowledge and skills which they can use when given the opportunity. UN Women is working with governments and partners to empower women through training as solar engineers.
Overcoming social barriers such as illiteracy and other language barriers; learning skills that are traditionally male dominated; venturing out of their comfort zones of rural village life overcoming the intimidation of flying out a country for the first time; 10 [mothers?] and grandmothers from remote rural communities around Fiji have successfully completed training to become solar engineers and have now returned and installed household solar panels for 376 homes in 12 villages around Fiji.” (Ref : unfccc.int/files)
The International Council of Women promotes SDG 6 to “achieve gender equity and empower all women and girls”.
Therefore, the International Council of Women requests all national constituent councils to asses what is happening in their countries, and to take action in response to the issues that we know can adversely affect women and families.
197 countries signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, but not all countries have ratified the Agreement. To check see the unfccc.int website and find Paris Agreement_Status of Ratification.
Attached is the letter I wrote to the Australian Federal Government about SDG 13, using the agreed, official Targets and the Indicators as questions.
By Wendy Rainbird, ICW Environment Adviser
IMPLEMENTING THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
In regard to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 to which over 190 countries agreed, we refer to the relevant Targets and Indicators.
SDG 13 is “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”.
The Targets to which we refer are:
13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
13.b Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities
In relation to SDG 13 Target 13.1, what measures is the government taking to strengthen resilience, for example in coastal areas subject to sea-level rise and occurring now with intense storm events especially during king tides?
What measures are being taken to manage water resources to help with more severe droughts?
In relation to SDG Target 13.2: what government measures have been taken to: “formally communicate the establishment of integrated low- carbon, climate-resilient, disaster risk reduction development strategies (e.g. a national adaptation plan process, national policies and measures to promote the transition to environmentally friendly substances and technologies)? http://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/47th-session/documents/2016-2-IAEG-SDGs-E.pdfE/CN.3/2016/2 )
It is important to improve communication about combating climate change. Target 13.3 indicator: what has your government done or has developed policies that “have integrated mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning into primary, secondary and tertiary curricula “? ( op cit)
In relation to 13.b: Are small island states receiving “specialized support for mechanisms for raising capacities for effective climate change-related planning and management, including focusing on women, youth, local and marginalized communities”? (op cit)
The International Council of Women and their associated National Councils of Women around the World, are concerned that real actions are being taken, or policies have been developed that address the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 13 on combating climate change.