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African countries conclude gender and climate change training

afrol News, 19 October - Delegates from 26 African countries, plus Canada, Jamaica and Philippines, today in Addis Ababa concluded a three-day sensitisation training on gender and climate change, resolving to put necessary pressure on political leaders and African lead negotiators to integrate gender issues in climate change negotiations ahead of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The training, which was part of the implementation of the Nairobi Declaration, was organised by the United Nations Environment Programme, with the collaboration of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP).

The Nairobi Declaration of the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment, called on Governments to support efforts being undertaken byb the Global Gender and Climate Alliance in pushing for a gender-responsive process and outcomes under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

It also called for the development of Clean Development Mechanism projects that are women-friendly and simplified.

The sensitisation training introduced delegates to the various dimensions of gender and climate change and provided them tools and methodologies for mainstreaming gender equality in climate change initiatives at the national, regional and international levels. Delegates were also trained on how to comprehend the various international mandates, conventions and legal frameworks and their implications for promoting gender in climate change debates.

In a statement at the closing, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Water and Environment Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, said women were critical to the well-being and sustainable development of their communities and to the maintenance of the earth’s ecosystem, biodiversity and natural resources.

She said women contribute time, energy, skills and personal vision to family and community development in their distinct roles in managing plants in forests, drylands, wetlands and agriculture; in collecting water and fuel and in overseeing land and water resources.

“Therefore, their extensive experience makes women an invaluable source of knowledge and expertise on environmental management and appropriate actions,” said Ms Mabudafhasi.

She said the Network of Women Ministers would follow the ongoing subregional consultations to ensure that gender concerns are fully integrated into the framework of Africa’s positions leading to Copenhagen.

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