Doha, Qatar (December 5, 2012) – The Network of Women Ministers and Leaders of the Environment (NWMLE) held a meeting on the occasion of the UNFCCC COP/CMP8 to bring together a diverse group of government, UN and civil society leaders in the environment sector. The NWMLE has been active since 2002, with an overall objective to promote gender responsive sustainable environmental management at regional and global levels and enhance representation and involvement of women in all levels of decision-making in the areas of environment and sustainable development.

The co-chairs of the Network, Rejoice Mabudafhasi (Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa) and Lena Ek (Minister of Environment, Sweden), led the meeting, which discussed the achievements and future of the NWMLE, adopted a Declaration on Gender and Climate Change that was presented during COP18, and engaged the participants on gender and climate change topics including health, equality and national action plans. Minister Ek highlighted the meeting as a time to move from discussion to action.

WEDO participated as a member of the NWMLE, a representative of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance, and as part of a team of climate experts from around the world in support of the Empower Women Benefit All program, jointly coordinated with Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF).

Multiple presenters recognized the comprehensive work of the GGCA partners, and of WEDO in its climate change advocacy in all areas of the convention and in its Women Delegates Fund (WDF) that facilitates the participation and capacity building of women from developing countries on their national delegations. Mary Robinson highlighted the role the GGCA has played in integrating gender in the negotiations, as well as the role that developed countries can play in further supporting the activities of the WDF to support implementation.

The Network is planning for its upcoming full-day meeting at the UNEP Governing Council meeting in Nairobi, where further collaboration among Parties, UN and civil society will take place. WEDO is committed to its work with the NWMLE to continue to refine synergies among the Rio Conventions, post-Rio+20 and post-2015, and further gender equality and women’s leadership in that context.

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