International Day Of Forest 2019

From 18 to 21 March 2019, 32 representatives of local community groups, women’s groups and NGOs gathered for a West African skillshare on gender-sensitive community-based forest conservation and restoration initiatives and a strategy meeting on bioenergy developments, which was organized by the Global Forest Coalition, in collaboration with Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, the American Jewish World Service and les Amis de la Terre-Togo. On 21 March 2019, the participants agreed on the following press statement


Theme: ‘Forests and Education’


Whereas the United Nations General Assembly has declared 21st of March of every year as International Day of Forests, it calls to mind the significant role forests play in human and environmental well-being.

Considering that forests cover a third of the land providing vital organic infrastructure for life on earth, support countless species as well as the livelihood of billions of people particularly local communities and indigenous peoples whose survival depend on it.

Recognizing, Africa a home to rich and unique biodiversity, where local people are more dependent on forests for their livelihoods, in addition to timber, forests supply food, fuel wood, medicine, building poles and dry season grazing.

Realizing that in spite of the known facts about the benefits of forests, human activities continue to undermine the protection and management of forest thereby increasing forest loss and degradation.

Noting that, Africa faces the worst situation of forest and biodiversity loss due to the use of biomass energy, land grab for extractive industries, mechanized agriculture as well as monoculture plantation expansion with negative impact on the local communities particularly women. In many respects women continuously suffer a range of challenges undermining their active participation in forest conservation and governance. The inadequate knowledge of women about their roles in forest governance and conservation as well as their rights to participation remains a challenge.

Additionally, many of the proposed mainstream solutions to overcome the global challenges affecting forest including climate crisis and deforestation (e.g REDD) led from outside only make matters worse. Communities, especially women, end up becoming even more desperate after the implementation of such solutions limiting community access and control over their lands and territories and exacerbating poverty.

Truly, effective solutions such as community-led conservation initiatives need to be scaled up. Building local movements and solidarity are key elements of community conservation. The building of local movements allows communities to share their experiences from the implementation of their traditional knowledge and practices. Educating the public on the necessity for a sustainable management of natural resources is no doubt one of the solutions for successful conservation of forests. Thus investing in forest education will help achieve more in terms of bringing understanding and awareness on the importance of community-led forest conservation.

On the other hand, indigenous peoples and their way of life have conserved the global environment for millennia and their philosophies and methods should be respected, adopted and promoted if climate change mitigation is to be successful.

Therefore, we call on the international community, regional bodies, CSOs to promote forest education and community-led forest conservation.


16 Blogs For 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based violence Campaign

The Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st) in partnership with Lagos State Gender Advocacy Team (LASGAT)   will be celebrating 2017 16 days of activism against gender based violence  from 25th of November to 10th of December 2017.

Campaign tagged 16 Blogs For 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence will run for the 16 days. The campaign will feature 16 blogs written by activists, scholars and social development practitioners from Africa and diaspora.

The blogs will explore different aspects of gender based violence  in all spheres of societal life as it affects girls, women, boys and men.  This will be in tandem with the 2017 themes,  “Together We Can End GBV in Education” and “Leave No One Behind” 

A discussion tread with hastag #16Blogs16DaysActivism  will  be initiated on social media platforms to crowd source solutions and useful information on ending all forms of violence.

On ground, in Nigeria, training sessions on Gender Based Violence will hold in Low fees Private Schools across Lagos state to build awareness among pupils, teachers , parents and all relevant stakeholders in the education sector.

The objective of this campaign is to raise critical  awareness about the negative impacts of  gender based violence and raise voice to end all forms of violence in our society.

Though women and girls have been acknowledged as the major victims of  gender based violence but  recently it appeared that the  paradigm is shifting towards men as victims.  The  report of  two Nigerian men allegedly stabbed by their wives about two weeks ago  and the subtle justification coming from some women as reported by the social media is is lending credence to this shift. This no doubt  is disturbing and calls for increased awareness an deeper inquiry into the reasons behind the shift and indeed all forms of   violence. Violence in any form and from any person should not be condoned or justified.

As we start the discussion today  25th of November 2017, a day set aside by united Nations to eliminate all forms of Violence against Women and girls let us reject all forms of violence and ensure peace in our homes and communities.

Remember to follow us on twitter @c21stnigeria

Ms Titilope Ngozi Akosa

Executive Director






We, representatives of Civil Society Organization (CSOs) promoting gender equality and accountability for women’s rights in Africa, participants to the “African Union Commission (AUC) Consultative Meeting on the New Gender Strategy 2017-2021, from 27-28 October 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia organized by Gender is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) Network in partnership with Women Gender and Development Directorate (WGDD) of the African Union Commission and Action Aid International;


WELCOME the development of the AU gender strategy for the period 2017 -2021which is in line with AU Assembly/AU/Decl.5 (XXV), Twenty-Fifth Ordinary Session, 2015, Johannesburg, South Africa, on aligning policies with Agenda 2063 and the African Union Commission’ approval to design a new strategy for gender equality and women’s empowerment in 2016;


ACKNOWLEDGE the invitation of diverse Civil Society Organizations. Media, Research Institutions and other Women’s Rights Organizations who are key in realizing the implementation of this strategy at all levels to contribute, participate and shape the new AU gender strategy including assessing the capacity requirements for its implementation, monitoring tools, harmonization with other frameworks and plans for its operationalization;


RECOGNISING that this process is timely in view of leveraging the gains made by the AUC on advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment on the continent through policy frameworks that include the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA), Maputo Protocol and other ground breaking and gender responsive initiatives, the SDI tool for monitoring;


SUPPORT the ongoing AUC reform and call for strong integration and institutionalization of gender throughout all structures, policies and processes. In light of this, WE REQUEST for the mobilization of resources and a fund that will address women’s empowerment and accelerate the realization of gender commitments;


COMMIT ourselves to support AU Women, Gender and Development Directorate towards the realization of the AU gender strategy as partners in the development through to implementation.


We call the AU Gender Directorate mandated with the development of this strategy to focus on the following key priorities:


  1. Women Peace and Security– recognizing existing continental, regional, national and local level efforts on UNSCR1325 and follow up instruments;
  2. Securing Rights and Wellbeing of Women; eliminating all forms of GBV, harmful traditional practices and norms (child marriages, female genital mutilation, teenage pregnancies), access to comprehensive Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, and addressing HIV& AIDS;
  3. Women’s Agriculture, Environment and Climate Justice – Holistic approach and models across the value chains to transform women’s status, labor saving technologies and innovations;
  4. Women’s Leadership, Governance and Decision-making – at all levels taking into account transformative and intergenerational leadership in both public and private sectors;
  5. Quality Education, Training, and capacity building– founded on African Pan African values and principles and advancing Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ( STEM);
  6. Women’s Economic Empowerment and justice – especially advancement in macro-economics, infrastructure, energy, technology and financial services, reducing,  and redistributing unpaid care work, gender pay gap and inequalities, access and control of productive resources.


We urge the AU Gender Strategy to incorporate the following substantive cross-cutting approaches and values as drivers of change towards achieving gender equality in Africa:


  1. Accountability to women’s human rights, justice, the rule of law and commitments as defined in the Solemn Declaration SDGEA, Maputo Protocol, Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030;
  2. Mobilization and leadership of women and girls, thus adopting an inter-generational approach on the content of the issues;
  3. Adequate resource allocation, investment in women and girls and implementation of special temporary measures and innovative technologies;
  4. Strengthening the gender institutions and mechanisms at the African Union, regional, national and local levels:
  5. Fostering safe, secure and open space for civic engagement and women’s participation;
  6. Closing the gender data gaps through implementation of the Solemn Declaration Index and AU Gender Scorecard for monitoring and evaluating progress on gender equality;
  7. Addressing structural and systematic barriers that continuously perpetuate gender inequality and low status of women and girls in Africa.
  8. A holistic approach which includes addressing the intersections between patriarchy, unequal access to power and resources, and socially constructed norms, and failed economic models.,


APPRECIATE   the continued recognition by AUC that gender and youth are central to development and WE ASK for support for strengthening of the AU Gender Directorate’s in implementing its mandate and coordination mechanisms and continued support to civil society.


Dated at Addis Ababa this 28th Day of October 2017

Women Reject EU’s Interference In The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative


African women reject the European Union’s unnecessary meddling in Africa’s Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI).  African women are very concerned at the manner in which some European countries, France in particular, influenced some African leaders to hastily approve projects without having a transparent process with social, environmental and gender criteria in place.


At a board meeting in March in Conakry, the European Commission and France in collusion with a few African countries repackaged existing European Union projects for Africa, but which did not originate from Africa, as first batch of projects to be approved by AREI.


The way and manner these projects were introduced and approved- by bypassing AREI’s process being developed for social and Environmental criteria- is a very negative sign, setting the entire process off on a negative footing, refusing African people’s transparent decision making, and entirely against the principles by which AREI was created.


African women insist that European Union cannot dictate for Africans over any issue especially the one concerning universal access to clean, appropriate and affordable energy for all.


Women are particularly concerned about the unnecessary interference by European Union and France particularly as it can jeopardize the noble objective of AREI in providing people-centered and gender responsive clean energy solutions capable of addressing the chronic energy poverty which affects women in Africa disproportionately.


African women join their voices with other Civil Society Organizations in Africa to condemn the undue interference of European Union in AREI. African women stand for a strong and independent AREI, with full and meaningful participation of women’s organizations in all levels of the decision-making processes.


For and on behalf of African women


Ms Priscilla Achakpa, Executive Director, Women Environment Program (WEP), Collette Benoudji Coordinator  Association Lead Tchad and Ms Titilope Akosa, Executive Director, Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st)

 For further information:

Centre For 21st Century Issues (C21st)

6, Balogun Street, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria



African Women Congratulate Their Super Shero –Ms. Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary General

19 th December, 2016

On behalf of Nigerian women and indeed, African women, we heartily congratulate Amina J. Mohammed, the Honourable Minister of Environment, Nigeria, for a well earned and deserved appointment as the new Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. This is another testimony to her great and avowed commitment to the people and the planet.

The exemplary life of service of Ms. Amina Mohammed since her days as the National moderator of Civil Society Action Coalition On Education for All (CSACEFA) to her meritorious service in coordinating the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), her recent role in catalyzing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and her current transformative leadership as Nigeria’s Minister of the Environment; have demonstrated unwavering commitment, dedication and passion to the cause of humanity.

In all these positions Ms. Amina Mohammed has inspired us women to strive to be the best and aim for the stars. We have drawn inspiration from her leadership, encouragement and wealth of experience. We are therefore not surprised that her dedication, passion and doggedness has propelled her to achieve the feat of been the first woman in Nigeria to attain this new position.

Her latest accomplishments are indeed no mean feat; it is a signal to all women everywhere that women can shatter the glass ceiling and at the same time a clarion call for the enthronement of women’s leadership in the world.

Assuredly, we women are solidly behind her, we stand by and support her to succeed in this new position.

We commend President Mohammed Buhari and Nigeria people for reposing confidence in Ms. Amina Mohammed to take on the Position of the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.

While we appreciate the President for appointing Amina Mohammed, we are very much aware that she deserves it, we take this opportunity to call for more openings and opportunities for smart and hardworking Nigerian and African women into appointive leadership positions at all levels.

Congratulations again! We are proud of you and your achievements.

Continue to climb new heights of success! You are unstoppable!

Priscilla M. Achakpa-Women Environmental Programme, Nigeria/Organizing Partner-Women’s Major Group

For and on behalf of Nigerian and African Women’s Major Group

Endorsed by

1. Ms. Titilope Akosa – Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st) – Nigeria

2. Sascha A Gabizon- Women Engage for a Common Future- International and Organizing Partner, Women Major Groups (WMG)

3. Anne Addeh- Women and Youths Environmental Safety and Empowerment Organisation a.k.a EWAY for Development

4. Ms. Ugbaa Sewuese Mary –Angel support Foundation – Nigeria

5. Thelma Munhequete – Africa foundation for Sustainable Development- Mozambique

6. Mrs. Semia Gharbi: Association de l’Education Environnementale pour les Futures Générations: AEEFG, -Tunisia

7. Amb Caroline Usikpedo – Niger Delta Women’s movement for Peace and DevelopmentNigeria

8. Louisa Ono Eikhomun- Echoes of Women in Africa (ECOWA) Nigeria

9. Judith Kateule- Africa Foundation for Sustainable Development (AFSD)-Zambia

10. Attah Benson- Community Emergency Response Initiative, Nigeria

11. Juliana Agema-Charles and Doosurgh Abaagu Foundation, Nigeria

12. Felicia Onibon- Change Managers International Network, Country Coordinator Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya GEC

13. Omoyemen Lucia Odigie-Emmanuel- Centre for Human Rights and Climate Change Research, Nigeria

14. Zenabou Segda- Women Environmental Programme, Burkina Faso

15. TSONYA – ACAKPO ADDRA Brigitte- Women Environmental Programme, Togo

16. Elizabeth Jeyol- Gender and Environmental Risk Reduction Initiative (GERI), Nigeria 17. Cécile NDJEBET Presidente REFACOF/Coordonnatrice Nat. Cameroon

18. Gertrude Kabusimbi Kenyangi- Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN), Uganda

19. Mrs. Hawa Nibi Amenga-Etego- GrassRootsAfrica, Ghana

20. Juliet Wombo-Kwande Sisters Foundation, Nigeria

21. Nnenna Nwakanma- Africa Regional Coordinator, World Wide Web Foundation

22. Colette BENOUDJI, Lead Tchad

23. Akurut Violet Adome (Hon) Member of Parliament Uganda and Founder Member and Chair Katakwi Grassroots Women Development Initiative (KAWODI) Uganda.

24. Ndivile Mokoena- GenderCCSA, South Africa

25. Jennifer Amejja- National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Uganda

26. Diel Mochire Mwenge- Provincial PIDP Nord-Kivu, REPALEF/RDC au Nord-Kivu, RDC 27. Hon. Winifred Masiko- Rural Gender and Development Association, Uganda

28. Kemi Oluyide- Centre for Grassroots and Environmental Concerns, Nigeria

29. Nkiruka Nnaemego-Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative, Nigeria

30. Hanna Gunnarsson, Women Engage for a Common Future Deutschland 31.

Mary Nyasimi- Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Kenya

32. Winnie Lichuma- Chairperson, National Gender and Equality Commission,Kenya

33. Rose Pélagie MASSO, Coordonnatrice Adjointe Cameroun Ecologie (Cam-Eco)

34. Veronica Jakarasi- Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Zimbabwe

35. Mirabel Edozie – South – South Professional Women Association, Nigeria.

36. Daisy Alero Emoekabu- Climate  Change  Policy  PhD  Researcher,  University  of  Kent,  and  Green  Patriots  for  Environmental  Protection  &  Sustainability,  Nigeria

37. Bose Ironsi-  Women’s Rights and Health Project (WRAHP), Nigeria

38. Ruth During- Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council(WSSCC), Nigeria

39. Lucy Mulenkei- Indigenous Information Network, Kenya

40. Dr, Keziah Awosika -Women Law and Development Centre (WLDCN)- Nigeria

41. Alexandrial Allen- foundation Starters – Nigeria

42. Nancy Olatunji-International Living Africa Urban and Environment Project – Nigeria

43. Vivian Ifeoma Emesowum, Grassroot People and Gender Development Center – Nigeria For further information:

1. Women Environmental Programme (WEP) Block E Flat 2 Anambra Court, Gaduwa Housing Estate, after Apo Legislative Quarters Abuja, Nigeria;

2. Centre For 21st Century Issues (C21st) 6, Balogun Street, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Message To World Leaders On Earth Day And The Signing of The Paris Climate Agreement

Today, as we celebrate the Earth Day, 2016, World Leaders will gather at the United Nations headquarters in New York to sign the Paris Agreement that was adopted on 12th of December, 2015 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st  Conference of Parties ( COP21).

It is an epoch making event which not only prepares the ground for other formal processes as required by international law for the agreement to enter into force but it significantly, reminds us that It is our collective responsibility to pursue efforts to limit  temperature increase to 1.5°C for the people and planet to have a chance at survival.

It is a wake up call to #keepFossilFuelsInTheGround, #BreakFreeFromFalseSolutions, #MoveAwayFromDirtyEnergy, embrace clean and 100% renewable energy and set the world on the pathway to climate resilience and sustainability. It is time to strive harder to deliver Climate justice to those who are on the frontlines of climate change, majority of whom are women and children.

World leaders should remember that signing, ratifying is one of the first steps to set the tone for implementation of the agreement. Implementation is key to averting the dangerous consequences of climate change. Bearing in mind that the submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which is now part of the Paris agreement is not sufficient to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C. We need ambitious policies and actions beyond what is in the NDCs to keep the world safe.

Celebrating the” feat” of reaching the Paris  agreement is good but genuine and  effective actions are better. Genuine leaders act and stand on the side of  the people and the planet.

 Happy Earth Day, 2016

Gbemisola Titilope Akosa
Executive Director
Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st)

Women and Gender Constituency Response to Draft Paris Outcome



11 December 2015

Click to access da02.pdf

The capacity for the Paris Agreement to deliver a binding, ambitious, fair and gender just outcome that will limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees and transform polluting and inequitable economies continues to be at risk.

The most recent draft, issued by the French Presidency on the anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, adopted here in Paris on December 10, 1948, represents a disappointing step away from the promised commitment to human rights and at the same time, it
suggests a move to pressure developing countries into accepting a weaker outcome in the final hours of negotiations.

Fundamentally, this agreement does not address the needs of the most vulnerable countries, communities and people of the world. It fails to address the structures of injustice and inequality which have caused the climate crisis.
Our key concerns includes:
● Weak goal on limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, with total failure to address or mandate actions needed from developed countries to attain this goal;
● Failure to enshrine human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples, gender equality, a just transition of the workforce that creates decent work and quality jobs, food
security, intergenerational equity, and ecosystem integrity in the core of the agreement;
● Total shift away from implementation in line with the principles of the Convention, namely common but differentiated responsibilities;
● Offsetting as mitigation measures;
● Failure to ensure compensation for loss and damage;
● Dilutes the responsibilities of developed countries to provide climate finance; with weak provisions for public finance and grants over loans;
● No provisions to ensure that technology development and transfer are safe, socially and environmentally sound.

Preamble/Article 2.2
● Article 2.1: The current purpose of holding global temperature increases to “well below 2 degrees” and “pursuing efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees” is ambiguous and does not reflect a strong enough commitment to 1.5 degrees, which would be necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change.
● Article 2.2:
○ Rights language has been lost: a s recently as this week, Article 2.2 of the draft agreement included strong language on human rights and gender equality. Despite the urging of many Parties to ensure these crosscutting
principles are returned, a reference to gender equality was not restored and “human rights” was removed. This must be reinserted
within the operative text of the Agreement.

Continue reading

Women are Guardian Angels of The Climate

The first day of the COP21 climate talks was very dramatic. Right from the entrance of Le Bourget venue of COP21 climate change talks in Paris  world leaders and participants were welcomed by beautiful women dressed in angelic regalia holding key messages of peace, hope and justice for a just climate change agreement that will put the world on the pathways of resilience.

The women no doubt represents women all over the world who are craving for a climate change agreement that takes account of the needs of the most vulnerable and protect our shared humanity and planet.  The  actions of the women guardian angels resonates with  the key demands of women to the world leaders which was later unveiled at a press conference by the women and Gender Constituency (WGC) of the UNFCCC .

Women has 11 points demands which includes

  1. Governments must commit to keep warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius to prevent catastrophic climate change, in line with the principles of the Convention, namely equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR).
  2. The agreement must ensure that all climate actions, both adaptation and mitigation, respect, protect, promote and fulfil human rights, gender equality, the rights of indigenous peoples, intergenerational equity, a just transition and decent work, food security, and ecosystem integrity and resilience.20151128_163407
  3. Developed countries must do their fair share by taking the lead to close the inequitable emissions gap of current intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) and providing unconditional support to developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  4. Governments must commit to wide-ranging ambitious and just actions pre-2020 under Workstream II.
  5. Concepts such as ‘net-zero’ or ‘carbon neutrality’ or any that encourage off-setting and unsafe technological solutions must be left out of the agreement.
  6. The long-term global goal of the agreement must articulate a sustainable pathway for urgently reducing emissions: phasing in 100% safe and sustainable renewable energy systems and wide-ranging structural and lifestyle changes – and phasing out harmful technologies and fossil fuels, in line with the principles of CBDR and equity.
  7. Adaptation approaches must be country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent.
  8. The new agreement must explicitly include a standalone section on Loss and Damage and include a mechanism to address both financial and non-monetized Loss and Damage.
  9. Technology development and transfer must be safe for people and the environment, affordable to all and gender responsive.
  10. Developed countries must provide clearly defined, new, additional, and predictable gender-responsive public finance, in the form of grants. The goal of $100 billion per year must be a floor, not a ceiling, scaled up at least every five years, with a 50:50 balance between mitigation and adaptation, and include finance for loss and damage in addition to adaptation funding.
  11. Finally, participation in decision-making under the new agreement should be inclusive and transparent, ensuring all barriers to movement and travel for developing country participants are alleviated and that civil society has access to decision-making spaces.

The women’s demands are crucial to engender real system change that can catalyze redistribution of wealth, resources and power for a sustainable and just future.

Just as world leaders and participants at the climate talks was arrested by the messages of the women climate guardian angels at Le Bouger, the voices of those who are most impacted by climate change, including women the vulnerable, the  socially disadvantaged as well as poor should also arrest the attention of world leaders in the negotiations and inspire them to commit to a gender just  climate agreement.

Women are playing their roles as mothers of the human race and  guardian of the earth and the climate. They are saying in unison that they will not give up on our beautiful planet. They will stand up and fight for the survival of the planet.

Written by

Ms Titilope Gbemisola Akosa and Ms Edna Kaptoyo

Women Climate Justice advocates COP21


A ‘Non-Paper’ for a ‘Non-Effective’ ‘Non-Just’ ‘Non-Equal’ Climate Agreement

Ahead of ADP2.11 the Women Gender Constituency of the UNFCCC have responded  to  the draft Paris agreement and draft COP decision released by Co-Chairs of the ADP  
below is the text of the press release
 A ‘Non-Paper’ for a ‘Non-Effective’ ‘Non-Just’ ‘Non-Equal’ Climate Agreement

On October 5th 2015, the co-Chairs of the ADP process released a new “Non-Paper” document including a draft of the Paris agreement and a draft of the COP decision, to be both adopted at COP21 in December 2015 in Paris.

The WGC, one of the nine official constituencies accredited to the UNFCCC, comprised of women’s rights, feminist organizations and networks representing thousands of groups and individuals, wants to express its profound concern about this new ‘non-paper’ which aims to act as a basis for negotiations on the new climate agreement.

Having followed the ADP negotiations very closely, this document does not reflect the discussions in a balanced way. Many crucial issues voiced by Parties under the ADP have been glaringly left out. This undermines the promises of the co-Chairs for a Party-driven process, and threatens the collective will to actively engage towards an ambitious and fair agreement. The WGC has highlighted several key issues which must be brought back into the agreement in this upcoming week of negotiations.

1. Deletion of gender equality and human rights in the draft agreement

Since the first session of the ADP, and throughout this year, Parties have made strong calls for human rights and gender equality to act as guiding principles to all actions under the new agreement. In particular, in the last session where the co-Chairs had identified these issues in ‘Part 3’ of their negotiations tool, Parties made clear that they wanted these issues brought back into the agreement. Several Parties raised this in the discussions on the Preamble and in discussions on the General / Objective section. More than 40 Parties expressed their support in having human rights and gender equality expressly mentioned in the Paris agreement. Specifically on gender, three groups of Parties (AILAC, the Environmental Integrity Group and the African Group) alongside 12 individual countries raised their flags to make clear to the co-Facilitators that gender equality must be included under the operative part of the agreement and not just in the preamble or in a decision. Fundamentally, no Party expressed objection to this.

The WGC and many colleagues and allies are therefore concerned and surprised to see that these issues have been completely left out of the co-Chairs non-paper. Gender equality, which had been referenced across all areas of the new agreement, including prominently also in technology and finance sections, is now solely reflected in relation to adaptation. This is neither reflective of Parties views nor the progress/ current mandates which already exist on these issues under the UNFCCC.

2. Does not address the causes of the climate crisis

The unique mention of fossil fuels that was contained in the previous non-paper of the co-Chairs has disappeared in this updated version. With 80% of GHG emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels and public subsidies to this sector accounting for 700 Billion USD — a multitude of the long-term finance promise of 100 Billion USD per year by 2020 from Copenhagen –, this is a glaring gap that obfuscates one of the systemic causes of the global climate crisis.

Additionally, accountability for mitigation commitments is wholly insufficient, instead prioritizing language on voluntary promises and flexible targets. Commitments made by Parties under the currently submitted INDCs are nowhere near the cuts needed to prevent an increase in the temperatures below 2C. The Geneva text contained an option that referred to a carbon budget, to be divided among countries according to their “historical responsibilities, ecological footprint, capabilities and state of development”. But this too has been omitted from the current non-paper.

The mitigation section doesn’t at all challenge the structural causes of global warming. Wide ranging structural and lifestyle changes, reduction in current consumption and production patterns, and maintenance of ecological sustainability should be at the core of solutions to the climate crisis. Instead, the mitigation section includes false solutions, including the possibility of opting for a long term objective of “net zero” that promotes offsetting mechanisms such as forest plantations for carbon storage at the detriment of the rights of local people and indigenous communities and their livelihoods.

3. Inadequate reflection of CBDR

CBDR is one of the core principles of the UNFCCC. The mandate of the ADP is “to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties”. According to the very mandate of the Paris agreement, the Paris agreement should fully respect the Convention principles. Yet, the language proposed in this new text clearly waters down this core legal principle, allowing developed countries to avoid their responsibilities of providing support to developing countries to both mitigate and adapt to climate change as well as to take the lead globally in ambitious emissions reductions .

CBDR is a critical pillar of multilateralism, framing the nature of the responsibilities of developed and developing countries in the pursuit of sustainable development. It underscores the universality of the Paris agreement as well as the need, on principled and practical grounds, for differentiation of responsibilities between historical and ‘new’ emitters. Universality of the Paris agreement ensures that all states —rich and poor alike—commit to taking concrete actions to meet the ultimate objective of the Convention. CBDR ensures that the share of the responsibilities to take these actions be just and equitable, based on varying and diverse degrees of historical responsibility, national capacity, resources, levels of development and effective influence. Based on this differentiation, developed countries have far greater responsibility to deliver actionable means of implementation across the relevant areas of financial resources, technology and capacity development. The principle of CBDR is therefore not an excuse for inaction on the part of developing countries; it merely contextualizes their responsibilities.

According to this legal principle, the WGC has been advocating for developed countries to provide the means of implementation needed by developing countries to achieve their mitigation emissions reduction target. The new co-Chairs non-paper shifts away the legal responsibility of developed countries and does not mention even once CBRD in relation to mitigation action. Additionally, the only mention of support to developing countries in their shift towards low-emission pathways is now in Article 3 (12) that simply states: ”Developing country Parties are eligible for support in the implementation of this Article”, without addressing whom this support will come from nor any accountability or obligation for these provisions.

4. Insufficient attention to rights-based adaptation

To be relevant, adaptation action must take into account differences between people through a right-based approach, especially in terms of differential risk, adaptation ability, exposure and vulnerability. This includes adopting a gender approach, and we deplore the weakening of the language proposed which now only “acknowledge[s]” this crucial adaptation component, instead of requiring adaptation actions to be “country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory and fully transparent, take into account vulnerable groups and ecosystems, be based on science and traditional and indigenous knowledge, and promote the engagement of subnational and local authorities and other stakeholders”.

5. Imbalanced reflection on key issues

The current proposal is clearly imbalanced towards the views and perspectives of developed countries, including the critical issue of Loss and Damage. Irreversible loss and damage caused by climate change goes beyond adaptation and is already a reality for many Parties resulting in forced displacement, loss of land and territorial integrity and resulting in breaches of social and economic rights. This is a long-standing developing countries’ priority, and especially for small island states and LDCs, and in the face of the gigaton gap left unreduced by the INDC approach it is even more urgently needed, meanwhile, it is currently only reflected in one paragraph. We reiterate the necessity for loss and damage to be anchored as a standalone element that is separate and distinct from adaptation, and for a special provision to fast-track urgent action required to assist the most affected and vulnerable people that are already experiencing existential threats and human rights violations from climate change.

6. Finance must be new and additional

Climate finance should help developing countries to face the impacts of climate change and to curb their GHG emissions. There is no mention of the fact that climate finance should be new and additional to pre-existing commitments, including ODA and that it has to be delivered in a gender-responsive way (as several Geneva text options had suggested).

Developed countries have committed to disburse $100 billion to developing countries by 2020. Yet the draft text contains no elements that would allow clarity and certainty on a time-table for scaling up from current disbursement levels to the full amount of the money pledged. Nor does it contain any reference to mechanisms to re-evaluate and review fulfilled finance commitments in regular intervals with a view to a significant scaling up of funding beyond 2020 whereas the needs of developing countries are evaluated to be far greater. Instead of clarifying the key role of public finance provision as the core of previous climate finance pledges, the new draft elevates private finance contributions to be counted as part of climate finance, stating “the desirability of a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources, noting the need for a diversity of sources and instruments to fit recipients’ changing economic circumstances”. The main goal of private finance is fundamentally to profit private corporations interests – some of them, the “carbon majors”, collectively responsible for worst contributions to the climate crisis -, not to genuinely support affected communities to cope with climate change. However, the issue of innovative finance sources, such as a carbon levy of corporate polluters, is not further developed. The new draft also allows climate finance to be disbursed in the forms of debt-creating mechanisms, adding further burden to the already highly indebted developing country economies.

7. Technology must be safe, appropriate and environmentally, economically and socially sound

The current co-Chairs non-paper is missing several critical elements which had been raised in the Geneva discussions under the ADP. For the WGC, this particularly includes mandates in the new agreement on the quality of the technologies which will be implemented to advance climate action, calling for “safe, appropriate and environmentally, economically and socially sound adaptation and mitigation technologies.” This language from the Geneva text needs to be brought back into the language of the agreement as well as language in regard to gender-differentiated technology needs and traditional technologies already used by local communities, including women.

We are also missing progressive language on assessment of appropriate technologies, such as language proposed in Geneva: “Technology assessment to ensure civil society participation with a gender perspective, and integrate a multilateral, independent and participatory evaluation of technologies for their social, economic and environmental impacts.”

The WGC has been actively monitoring the ADP and we have heard a number of countries – most of them developing countries – supporting the points raised here.

We have heard countries that refuse to give up as our civilization is facing one of the biggest challenges ever. We have heard countries that are asking for the ones that created the damage to repair it. We have heard countries that value enough human rights and gender equality to strive for them in every future climate actions designed and implemented.

When will the process hear and reflect these view?

-The Women and Gender Constituency

LASGAT Decries Poor Women’s Representation in Elective Positions


The Lagos State Gender and Advocacy Team (LASGAT), congratulates all candidates who contested and won in the just concluded 2015 general elections. LASGAT particularly congratulate all women who won elections into elective positions nationwide.

We are however  deeply concerned that the outcomes of the 2015 elections has produced less than 10% of women in elective positions nationwide resulting in a marked reversal in women’s representation in elective position compared to past years. This situation no doubt is discouraging and could lead to the further marginalization of women in politics and public life in future.

Nevertheless, LASGAT still believes that the low representation of women in elective positions can be addressed by giving women the opportunity to serve in appointive positions in government.

LASGAT hereby ,calls on the federal and states government to increase the representation of women in appointive positions by ensuring that women occupy  nothing less than 50% of all appointive positions in Nigeria.

LASGAT has a list of qualified women in all spheres of human endeavour who can be appointed to serve the country. LASGAT is ready to work with the Federal and States Government to recommend credible and qualified women for appointive positions.

Meanwhile, we call on all successful candidates   to leverage on the opportunities provided by their victory at the 2015 polls to pursue requisite measures to mainstream gender equality and promote women’s empowerment in all their undertakings as representatives of the people.

Dr Keziah Awosika                                  Ms Titilope Akosa

Chairperson LASGAT                             Coordinator LASGAT