A side event organized at the climate Generations Area at the Women and Gender Constituency stand on 3rd December 2015 by MADRE New York and Indigenous Information Network
Indigenous Information Network Cythia Wechabe and Edna Kaptoyo and MADRE’s Natalia Caruso shared success stories of indigenous women adaptation initiatives in adapting to climate change at community level. They shared stories on how climate change has impacted the indigenous women in Kenya, affecting their access to freshwater, food etc and how they are choosing not to wait but respond to the changes with actions at community level that seeks to enhance access to clean energy and freshwater. They stressed the importance of supporting indigenous women to define their priorities and needs in tacking climate change. It is important to support them to build leadership capacity and self organization.
Currently, Kenya the country where the adaptation projects are been implemented is working on an energy policy, but policy is not enough if its going to focus on mega projects on energy rather than decentralized energy system which is what is needed by indigenous women.
Local government need capacity building as well to understand climate change and women issues so they can be able to have policies and actions that reflect needs of the community.
Fatima partner of MADRE shared her experience in Sudan in organizing small scale women farmers into cooperatives to enhance their access to markets and improve value added to their products.
The gathering also provided space for other women to share stories on the different initiatives they are doing to respond to climate change. A woman climate advocate from Nigeria, Titi Akosa shared on the Indigenous rain water harvesting initiative with the Esan people of Edo state, Nigeria.
Chief Caleen from North America shared on the challenge of the dams being built in their communities and challenge it presents to community in accessing clean water. She advised that initiatives at community level should focus on cleaning the rivers to run clean again.
Participants at the side event underscored the importance of solidarity of all women around the globe in demanding for actions from world leaders to address climate change at COP21.
Ms Titilope Gbemisola Akosa
Ms Edna Kaptoyo