For Immediate Release
(14th of March, 2022) Port Vila, Vanuatu - The Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) hosted a region-wide panel discussion with representatives of the Solomon Islands Climate Action Network (SICAN), Vanuatu Climate Action Network (VCAN) and Oxfam in the Pacific. The Panel Discussion titled "Gender-just Climate Solutions that will Drive the Transition to a Green Future" focused on the nexus between gender justice and climate justice, and the indigenous, Pacific-led gender-just solutions that will drive the envisioning of a green future.
Allan Taman of the Santo Sunset Environment Network (SSEN) set the scene by outlining how women are often excluded from participating in community decision-making and policy-making, particularly around critical areas like resource management. However, if they had access to capacity building and other forms of support, women can lead in resource management as demonstrated by Santo Sunset Women Environment Network (SSWEN).
Lecturer at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and member of SICAN, Mary Tahu Paia, also pointed out that women and girls should be part of decision-making because they are on the frontlines of climate change because of how dependent they are on natural resources like fresh water and firewood for their livelihood, but also because they play such an important role in adapting to the climate crises. Women have knowledge of sustainable practices and resource management particularly around areas like food security because of their traditional roles and their connection with the land and sea.
Moses Pelomo of the Kastom Gaden Association and member of SICAN expounded on this food security analysis by pointing out the various dimensions to food security and the impact of climate change on it.
Aydah Akao, Coordinator and Gender Adviser of the Network for the Indigenous Peoples of Solomons pointed out some best practices with indigenous groups and their management of natural resources. She also spoke of the need to bring in men to the conversation around gender.
The panel discussion then concluded with closing remarks from Oxfam in the Pacific’s Project Manager and Capacity Building Adviser for the Pacific Climate Change Collaboration Influencing and Learning (PACCCIL) project, Kesaia Vasutoga who reinforced the idea that climate disasters impact women and girls first and worst and pointed out the need to, as a result, centre women and girls in the conversation around climate justice. In addition, the necessity to reflect, document processes in the climate and gender justice space to ensure learning and knowledge is established.
The panel discussion was convened at the Climate Action Network’s Festival of Ideas and was organised by PICAN in its efforts to reinforce the nexus between climate justice and gender justice and the interconnectedness of issues in these areas.
Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) is a regional alliance of non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), civil society organizations (CSO’s), social movements and not-for-profit organizations from the Pacific Islands region working on various aspects of climate change, disaster risk and response and sustainable development. PICAN is also the Pacific regional node of the Climate Action Network International.