The UCA President’s Conference in Fiji, 13th-17th July 2019, ‘For the whole of creation’ was a thoughtful, engaging time for participants.
On one of the evenings, a panel made a presentation on gender justice. Gender justice is actually a huge issue in the Pacific and the UN has implemented a Gender Action Plan (GAP), liaising with church and government.
‘Women commonly face higher risks in responding to natural hazards and greater burden from the impacts of climate change. Although they have intimate local knowledge and are managers of common natural resources, they are often left out of the picture when decisions on climate action are made. Gender equality and women’s empowerment is a pre-requisite to effective conservation, climate action and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. International agreements on biodiversity and the Paris Agreement present new opportunities for engaging women and accelerating equitable action, and climate change gender action plans (GAP), governments, businesses, churches and civil society are now embracing gender-responsive solutions to address the world’s most pressing development challenges, to ensure that women can influence climate change decisions, and that women and men are represented equally in all aspects of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, as a way to increase its effectiveness. The UN Development Program’s Pacific Multi-country office, which covers 10 Pacific Island countries, aims to ensure that Pacific women become full and equal partners, and leaders and beneficiaries of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation efforts and overall sustainable development (Vineet Bhatia, UN Development Program)
The Methodist Church in Fiji has implemented a gender action plan, with a dedicated team providing education and training programs. It has been great to learn about this, and that so much great work is happening in relation to addressing climate change.
To finish: the greeting used in Fiji for thanks – Vinaka Vakalevu