Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

October 29, 2021

WECAN Delegation COP 26 -- Rising for Communities and Mother Earth

WECAN Indigenous Women's COP 26 Delegation Glasgow

Dear Community,
The past months have brought strong winds of social unrest, spreading among many countries and continents. People are rising demanding systemic change in diverse movements, and WECAN feels the urgency of this moment from social movements to climate actions.

In the coming week, the WECAN team is traveling with our outstanding delegation to COP26 in Glasgow to join civil society calls for governments and financial institutions to take meaningful and significant climate action.

This year at COP26 governments are to announce their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), informed by the Paris Agreement. The recent IPCC report confirms what we already know to be true, which is not only is climate change "unequivocally" the result of human action, but that government commitments are nowhere close to mitigating the worst impacts of global warming. Government commitments to date bring us to a perilous 2.7 degrees temperature rise by the end of the century, far past the 1.5 degree target made clear by global scientists. Quite simply, current commitments are a death sentence for our communities and future generations.

The detrimental global systems of domination, exploitation, capitalism, patriarchy, colonization and racism continue to be deadly to our world communities, harming first and worse, women, Indigenous peoples, communities of color, and low-income communities, We need our governments to fundamentally transform in order to truly function and care for people and planet— that means, uplifting and including Indigenous, Black, Brown, Global South, and frontline women leaders in decision making spaces; supporting frontline communities who are building climate solutions; and ending exploitative policies and practices that are deleterious to communities and the planet.

As we head to Glasgow it is also vital to highlight once again the serious inequities playing out at this COP. Vaccine apartheid and COP26 leadership's failure to plan an equitable forum, has led to large numbers of advocates being locked out of participation at this vital international forum. Civil society leaders, many of whom are from the Global South, are on the frontlines of the climate crisis and COVID-19 pandemic. In September, WECAN joined calls by civil society to postpone COP26, not because we wanted governments to slow progress, but because we know the voices and leadership of our colleagues and partners in the Global South are crucial for advocacy of equity and justice at COP negotiations. We will continue to do all we can to bring forth and uplift their leadership during our efforts at COP26.

Furthermore, the voices of grassroots, frontline, and Indigenous women and gender-diverse leaders could not be more important. Only 16% of the COP26 UK Leadership team is women. Women, feminists and gender-diverse leaders continue to be underrepresented in the international decision-making space. Since the COP26 announcement last year, we've been collaborating with the SHE Changes Climate campaign to address the continued gender disparities at the UN Climate Talks.

WECAN International reaffirms our commitment to bring women and feminist voices to the forefront, as well as unyielding action to expose the roots of the climate crisis and help usher in just climate solutions commensurate to the level of the multiple interlocking crises we face.

This week, Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, had the honor to speak at the urgent one-day High-level event entitled “Delivering Climate Action: for People, Planet & Prosperity” at the UN Headquarters in New York. During her intervention, Osprey stated clearly the power of our collective movements:

"As we head into COP26, please know, we are not willing to die or sacrifice future generations for truly pitiful reasons of corporate greed and political power and hubris. Rather we are willing to fight to use our imaginations, to be alive, to thrive, to be courageous, to be uncomfortable for positive changes, to be bold, and to win. We are willing to endlessly fight for policies that prioritize social, racial and economic justice, and Indigenous and human rights."

(To listen to Osprey's’ full remarks and the delivery of our Call to Action at the UN, please see below)

During COP26, WECAN will be advocating for Indigenous rights and sovereignty as key climate solutions, gender-responsive climate policies, forest protection, keeping fossil fuels in the ground, holding corporations and financial institutions accountable, defending land defenders, saying no to carbon offsets, supporting Rights of Nature, centering community-led sustainability solutions, and furthering systemic change. As we do each year, we will also be advocating with the powerful Women and Gender Constituency, please read the WGC COP26 Key Demands here.

For more background on WECAN International's analysis at previous COPs, please see some of our previous UN climate negotiations blogs COP25 - COP24 - COP23 - COP22.

You can also find updates on our COP26 delegation and events on our website here!

While it is vital to engage within the formal UN climate negotiations process in order to advocate for policies that support people and planet above profit and false solutions - our deepest hope lies with the people's climate justice movements organizing in magnificent diversity and strength across the world.
Please explore our newsletter further to meet the WECAN COP26 delegates, and to learn about upcoming WECAN actions and events to date, in Glasgow during the COP26 climate talks.

WECAN International and women for climate justice are on the move, and your continued engagement and support is essential. Thank you for your contributions!
Celebrating the COP26
WECAN Delegation
Ponca Nation, Turtle Island, USA

Casey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation is a community leader, long-time Native rights activist, environmentalist and actress, and WECAN board member. As traditional Drumkeeper for the Ponca Pa-tha-ta, Woman’s Scalp Dance Society, Camp-Horinek helps maintain the cultural identity of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma for herself, her family and her community. She has been at the forefront of grassroots community efforts to educate and empower both Native and non-Native community members on environmental and civil rights issues. She has raised her voice and taken action in countless forums across the world, and is a leader in the Rights of Nature movement.
Brazilian Amazon

Sônia Bone Guajajara is a Brazilian Indigenous leader. She is the Executive Coordinator for the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), and comes from the Araribóia Indigenous Land, of the Guajajara people. She graduated in Arts and Nursing, apart from being a specialist in Special Education by the State University of Maranhão. She was a candidate for Vice-President of Brazil in the 2018 Elections; coordinator of the organizations and articulations of the indigenous peoples of Maranhão (COAPIMA); and of the Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB). In 2015, she received the Order of Cultural Merit from the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Culture.
Kichwa, Ecuadorian Amazon

Helena Siren Gualinga is a youth social activist, of Kichwa-Indigenous and Swedish origin. She is known for her advocacy for climate and environmental justice. Helena is a WECAN Young Women Program Lead.
Democratic Republic of Congo *Virtual Delegate*

Neema Namadamu is a visionary peacemaker from Bukavu, South Kivu Province in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where she advocates for peace, women’s rights, rights for persons with disabilities, rights for Indigenous pygmy peoples, and Rights of Nature. Neema is the WECAN Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As WECAN DRC Coordinator, Neema leads workshops and trainings with local women to address deforestation, build women’s leadership, support Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and protect the rich ecosystems of the Itombwe rainforest. In June of 2012 Neema was selected as one of three World Pulse journalists for their annual Live Tour of the U.S., where she spoke before the U.S. Department of State, the Clinton Global Initiative, and was interviewed by CNN.

Carmen Capriles is a founding member of Reacción Climática and the WECAN Coordinator for Latin America. She is from La Paz, Bolivia and started Reacción Climática in 2010, as a volunteer organization which aims to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change on the Andean region. She has actively participated in different UN processes like the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement, with special emphasis on women's rights and gender equality - and most recently in the Escazú Agreement, advocating for Environmental Defenders. Carmen holds a degree from Bolivia as an Engineer in Agriculture, as well as a degree in Sustainable Rural Development from Egypt.
United States

Osprey Orielle Lake is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International. She works nationally and internationally with grassroots and Indigenous leaders, policy-makers and scientists to promote climate justice, resilient communities, and a just transition to a clean energy future. She serves on the Executive Committee for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and heads-up WECAN’s advocacy work in areas such as Women for Forests, Rights of Nature. Fossil Fuel Divestment, and UN Forums. Osprey is the author of the award-winning book, Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture with Nature.
Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, Turtle Island, USA

Katherine Quaid is the Communications Coordinator for the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN). She was born and raised in rural central Oregon and is a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla. Her dedication to climate justice is tied to the lands of her ancestors and the many communities nationally and around the world that are fighting for a healthy future. Katherine is passionate about sharing her voice for justice, and collaborating with frontline women across Turtle Island (USA) and globally in resistance movements and climate solutions.
WECAN COP26 Events and Collaborative Events
Please see all events scheduled to date down below.
WECAN will provide livestreams and further details on Facebook and our COP26 webpage.
More events will be added, please follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with our COP26 events and delegation.

Public Event:
5th International Rights of Nature Tribunal

When: November 3 and 4 at 4:00pm GMT

Where: Virtual via Zoom and in person at Strathclyde University, Glasgow

The International Rights of Nature Tribunal is an international institution established by citizens to investigate and publicize Rights of Nature violations. It creates a forum for people from all around the world to speak on behalf of Nature, to protest the destruction of the Earth—destruction that is fostered by corporations with the governments’ compliance—and hence, the Tribunal visibilizes the conflicts and its perpetrators and makes juridical recommendations about Earth’s protection and restoration as modeled jurisprudence for frontline communities. Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, is honored to be a judge for the upcoming tribunal. WECAN is honored to co-organize this event with the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. The event will be transmitted in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Following the event, Tribunal decisions will be announced on November 7 at 9:30am GMT during a showing of the "People and Nature vs. the UNFCCC" at the Glasgow Film Theater in Scotland.
Legislative Event:
Global COP26 Legislators Summit

When: Friday, November 5 at 12:15pm GMT

Where: Scottish Parliament Building, Edinburgh

Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, will speak at the 2-day COP26 Legislators Summit during the session, "Challenge Session 1: Keeping 1.5 to stay alive," presented by the Scottish Parliament. Learn more here.
Art Projections for Indigenous Rights and Sacred Lands

When: Friday, November 5 at sunset

Where: Outside the SEC Armadillo Building at COP26 Venue

This event is hosted by global colleagues, including WECAN, and will be livestreamed on the WECAN Facebook page.

Public Event:
Global Day of Action for Climate Justice

When: Saturday, November 6 starting at 11:30 am GMT

Where: Kelvingrove Park, Stewart Memorial Fountain, Glasgow

​​On November 6th, as world leaders meet in Glasgow for the COP26 Global Climate Summit, towns and cities across the world will take to the streets demanding global climate justice. WECAN delegates will be joining the Indigenous Bloc and Feminist Bloc for the march, look on our Facebook page for livestreams throughout the day.
Public Event:
A Grassroots Feminist Path to Climate Justice

Time and location to be announced soon!

This event is in partnership with the Global Grassroots Justice Alliance and the Feminist Green New Deal Coalition
(WECAN is a founding member of the Fem GND Coalition)

This is a critical moment for climate action, and time to act urgently to confront the global climate crisis. All over the world women and gender-oppressed leaders are advancing feminist analysis from the grassroots, to build alternative visions for a feminist and regenerative economy. Climate breakdown disproportionately impacts women, girls, gender non-conforming and LGBTIQ people across the world. In this assembly we share critical visions for feminist action for climate justice like the Feminist Agenda for a Green New Deal, the Feminist Peace Initiative, and the World March of Women, which lay the path to rights-based and gender-just approaches to redress climate injustices, address the root causes of climate change, and advance a just transition to a regenerative economy. We will provide space for frontline and grassroots feminist leaders and advocates to discuss how feminist analysis must shape climate policies, how feminist climate solutions can pave the way to a more just future, and what feminist climate voices demand of global climate solutions. Speakers to be announced. This event is part of the COP26 Coalition People's Summit.
COP26 WECAN Formal UN Side Event:
Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change

When: Monday, November 8 at 1:15pm GMT

Where: Multimedia Studio 1, SEC Centre, Glasgow

At this official UN Side Event, grassroots, frontline and Indigenous women leaders, alongside representatives from international climate justice organizations, will speak out to address root causes of interlocking crises and the need for solutions based in a climate justice framework, including forest and biodiversity protection, Indigenous rights, agro-ecology, fossil fuel resistance, protection of women land defenders, and community-led solutions.

​To attend you will need UN accreditation. Or you can join us online as we plan to live-stream this event for allies around the world, via Facebook Live!
Public Event:
Questioning the Paris Agreement in Feminist Pathways towards a Just and Equitable Transition

When: Tuesday, November 9 at 2:00pm GMT

Where: Online, please register here.

This event is hosted by APWLD and ESCRNET

This interactive session aims to bring the analysis and stories of resistance and resilience of grassroots women leaders and feminist advocates from across regions, struggles and generations who are directly confronting the human rights impacts as well as the structural drivers of the climate crisis and other intersecting crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The speakers will discuss feminist visions emerging from peoples’ movements, consider the relevance of the Paris Agreement in this context, and discuss strategies, solutions and alternatives towards shaping a healthy and equitable future. This event is part of the COP26 Coalition People's Summit.
COP26 Press Conferences
Please see all press conferences schedule to date down below.
All press conferences will be shared via the WECAN Facebook page.
Collective Press Conference:
Report Back from the Rights of Nature Tribunal in Glasgow: Foundations for Systemic Change in Climate Solutions

When: Friday, November 5, 5:45pm GMT

Where: Press Conference Room Durdle Door, SEC Centre, Glasgow

This press conference is held in partnership with the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN).
WECAN Press Conference:
Indigenous Women from the Amazon: Calls to Action

When: Friday, November 5, 6:30pm GMT

Where: Press Conference Room Durdle Door, SEC Centre, Glasgow
WECAN Press Conference:
Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change

When: Monday, November 8 at 5:30pm GMT

Where: Press Conference Room Durdle Door, SEC Centre, Glasgow
Collective Press Conference:
Accelerating a Feminist Green New Deal

When: Tuesday, November 9 at 5:30pm GMT

Where: Press Conference Room Durdle Door, SEC Centre, Glasgow

​This press conference is organized by the Feminist Green New Deal Coalition, of which WECAN is a founding member.

Watch the Speech!
Osprey Orielle Lake speaks out
during a High-level UN Event
Our communities and the planet are out of time, we need climate justice now! On October 26, Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director spoke to world governments at an urgent one-day High-level Thematic Debate entitled “Delivering Climate Action: for People, Planet & Prosperity” at the UN Headquarters in New York. The event was hosted by the UN President of the General Assembly to call for hope and ambition in the lead up to COP26.

Osprey made it clear in her intervention: "No more sacrifice people, no more sacrifice zones." She spoke to world governments asking:

"Where are the government leaders willing to stand up to the fossil fuel industry? And, where is the $100 billion a year promised from wealthy countries so we can move toward a just transition? We can move billions once we claim a global climate emergency — and pulling from military budgets is a good place to begin."
Watch the speech on YouTube by clicking the image below,
or on Facebook by clicking here.
Osprey Orielle Lake Speaks Out at High-Level UN Event - October 26, 2021
Right now, current country commitments bring global warming to 2.7 degrees Celsius, far past the 1.5 degree target laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement. Osprey called for an end to false solutions and presented a Call to Action Statement.

During the recent ‘Global Women’s Assembly for Climate Justice: Solutions from the Frontlines and the Protection and Defense of Human Rights and Nature’ this September, WECAN delivered the collective Call to Action to governments and financial institutions worldwide, signed by 150 organizations, representing millions of people globally. Please be welcome to read the statement here.

In addition to the Call to Action, WECAN also released a list of recommended frameworks and initiatives for governments and institutions that have been developed by peoples movements over many years and are in alignment with an equitable path forward.

Many thanks to Abdulla Shahid, President of the UN General Assembly from the Republic of Maldives, for inviting Osprey to speak and for uplifting the urgency of this moment.
Divestment Updates in the Lead up to COP26
As we prepare for COP26, one of our key demands, among many, is to call for governments and financial institutions to end the era of fossil fuels.

This week a coalition of partners released "The Global Fossil Fuel Divestment and Clean Energy Investment Movement” report, which show movement trends in climate finance that have sprouted from the divestment movement. The report reveals that now more than 1485 Institutions with assets over $39.2 trillion have committed to divest from fossil fuels - a figure that’s higher than the annual GDP of the United States and China combined!

While divestment is at an all time high, we know more is needed. Fossil fuel production continues to expand unabated, with governments enabling expansion despite their climate commitments. The recent Production Gap Report, published by leading research institutes and the UN Environment Programme, found that “Governments still plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than what would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C."

Additionally, new research, from our friends at BankTrack, into finance for the fossil fuel industry provided under the Equator Principles has found that since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed at the end of 2015, signatory banks have been involved in financing at least 200 fossil fuel projects.

Investment in fossil fuels is simply not compatible with addressing the climate crisis. We are glad to see that COP26 leadership is beginning to take civil society's demands seriously. Recently, they announced that fossil fuel companies will not have any official role at COP26. However, we know that fossil fuel companies continue to delay progressive climate policy, whether they have an official role or not.

Frontline community leaders, science, and the United Nations itself is telling us to end fossil fuel production and invest into a Just Transition. The divestment movement will continue to grow and we will continue to push for no fossil fuels at COP26 and beyond!

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