Grassroots women’s organisations have launched a new advocacy network to scale-up funding for Indigenous and local women and girls. Women in Global South Alliance for Tenure and Climate – the name of the network – was launched earlier this week at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
The mission of the Alliance is to advocate for equitable changes to current donor and governmental climate finance architecture and the global funding space to secure direct, flexible, and long-term funding for women and girls’ priorities.
The new Alliance will work alongside the historic $1.7 billion pledge made at last year’s COP in Glasgow, Scotland, to support Indigenous and local communities protecting forests. Research released last week about the funding pledge found that so far, less than 20 per cent of the total sum has reached grantees.
In a statement, the new Alliance said that last year’s $1.7 billion pledge was ‘a step in the right direction’; however: ‘if this pledge intends to repair the historical gap in direct funding awarded to Indigenous Peoples and local communities, it must also address the rights of the women and girls within these communities whose direct access to funding has been severely limited.’
‘Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community women and girls should be leaders of climate action, not victims of climate policies,’ said Archana Soreng, youth climate activist from the Kharia Tribe in India and member of the UN Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change. ‘Climate finance must not leave Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community women and girls behind. We are working on a global issue that needs global perspectives which is what the formation of this new women’s alliance is about.’
Though money is pouring into the climate mitigation space faster than ever, only a small fraction is reaching organisations working in developing countries and less is getting to Indigenous groups. Research found that in the last decade, Indigenous women’s organisation received 0.7 per cent of all recorded human rights funding, despite using, managing, and conserving community territories that comprise over half of the planet’s land.
‘Even where funding is reaching Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local women’s organizations, it tends to be inadequate and short-term,’ said Omaira Bolaños, Director of the Latin America and Gender Justice Programs at Rights and Resources Initiative.
‘The Women in Global South Alliance for Tenure and Climate is a grassroots advocacy network urging donors and governments to rectify this historical gap in access to direct climate finance for women and girls. The Alliance – which includes women’s groups from 21 countries in the Global South – renders visible the leadership role these women have been playing in conservation and climate action for centuries.’