WOCAN Board Member's Reflection on CBA8: "What stops people to mention women as major stakeholders in climate financing mechanisms?"

May 6, 2014

Written by Kanchan Lama, WOCAN Board Member

On 27-30 April, I attended the 8th Annual Community-Based Adaptation Conference (CBA8) organized by International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in Kathmandu, Nepal. I attended various panels/discussions and actively engaged with other GGCA members participating at the conference. GGCA members developed a Resource Guide for Gender in CBA8, which included key messages and recommendations to ensure community based adaptation and its funding is gender responsive.

The GGCA team put efforts to mention "equity" rather than "gender ", although a few of us continuously raised concerns around gender mainstreaming in almost every penal session. This happened due to absence of common acceptance of gender terminology and also not having a special side event consultation among the GGCA team members. There were no session for major groups' statement presentation and thus claims were not transparent to the wider group of audience.However one gender person raised her voice in the last plenary that CBA8 remained weak in addressing "gender mainstreaming" in the KTM declaration" which is very true. 

I mentioned the WOCAN's W+ Standard during various panels discussions and with GGCA list serve but we did not receive any response from wider audience so far. 

I also pledged that I shall use the KTM CBA8 declaration (with some inputs) and use this as a tool to support our financing advocacy with our private partners, donors and policy makers in various forums in order to raise concerns about importance of maintaining gender mainstreaming principles in climate financing.

I also raised my voice in favor of considering women as a special category for inclusion in the process of CBA financing and they should be included at every level of making choices and implementation and monitoring.

I also proposed holding special session for major groups, at least to accommodate statement sharing for creating a greater support from government and CSOs and donors too.

The organizer was positively responsive to the raised points, but may be women major group and GGCA needs to do more efforts towards a consorted presentation of statement to contribute to the overall Declaration.

Anyway as the IIED organizer remarked, this is not an official flag, not any UN or government policy document, therefore this is a good beginning of participatory interaction on this topic which will continue in the next events, including Paris and Lima sessions of UNFCCC in the near future.

I learned about various efforts being undertaken in other countries on community based adaptation and financing. Last presentation was given by Asia Pacific Network that highlighted about call for proposals on adaptation financing for developing countries, website www.apn.gor.org and contact info@apn-gor.org

On the final day of the conference, Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, addressed various points raised in the Kathmandu Declaration and gave a very encouraging speech which ended with issue of inclusion of women and the vulnerable groups in all processes.

There were mention of women and vulnerable groups but do not know how much effort they are willing to put to address the issues, because, "What stops people to mention women as major stakeholders in climate financing mechanisms?" may be people think there will be resistance, But change never comes without resistance. Finally we need strategic preparation for making gender equality and women's empowered role visible and heard and counted and officially stated.  

More info on CBA8: http://wocan.org/news/wocan-cba8-nepal