Through our major program, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), we address the immediate actions needed to arrest climate change and create resilient communities, as well as the long-term societal transition needed for systemic and enduring change. Studies show that women, especially Indigenous women, women of color, and women in impoverished countries, are already the most adversely effected by climate change and environmental degradation; yet, are also central to solutions. Strengthening and building the capacity of women’s leadership across sectors and at every level is an essential ingredient in solving critical climate justice issues and is our main focus.
How we helped
Lush Charity Pot’s funding helped with WECAN’s International Climate Training program specifically in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Our online and on-the-ground trainings there focused on the protection of the rainforests in the Congo basin, which is home to one of the four largest and most important rainforests globally. We centered on the Itombwe Rainforest and support for the Indigenous communities living in and around it, whose cultural and ecologic heritage is severely threatened by unsustainable and exploitative logging, mining and agricultural practices. The trainings were aimed at capacity building of women and Indigenous Pygmy people with regard to sustainable protection and management of the Itombwe Forest. Uplifting women’s empowerment in protection of the forest was a focal point and workshops included ethno-botanical knowledge, highlighting Traditional Ecological Knowledge, introduction of fuel efficient cook stoves, solar lighting, holistic Indigenous conservation methods, and women’s leadership. One of the major achievements of the on-the-ground trainings was the formation of conservation committees at the village and district levels. They are tasked with sharing what they have learned with other people in their villages; denouncing any act of deforestation in their village area; denouncing local authorities/leaders facilitating unauthorized timber and charcoal producers; and denouncing local people who guide timber and charcoal producers. WECAN continues ongoing work in the DRC and our trainings are replicable in other regions as WECAN International teams work together to defend and protect forests and the web of life.