Dear Community,
Today on World Water Day, we are sharing a friendly reminder for WECAN's virtual event at the UN Water Conference, 'Women for Climate Justice Leading Protection of Water', happening TOMORROW, Thursday, March 23 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time. Click below to register and learn more — we hope you can join us!
Women for Climate Justice Leading Protection of Water
Virtual Event
Thursday March 23, 2023
2:00pm NYC Eastern Time
**Please check your time zone to coordinate**
Spanish and English Interpretation Available
At this official virtual UN Side Event, grassroots women leaders, water protectors, and international policy experts, will address the impacts of climate change and destructive projects on global water, and share ongoing solutions and strategies for the protection of oceans, freshwater, rivers, and aquatic ecosystems based in a climate justice framework. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Great-Grandmother Mary Lyons | Band of Ojibwe, Ojibwe Elder, Women of Wellbriety, International, United Nations Observer on Women/Indigenous Issues, Turtle Island/USA
  • Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner | Poet, Director for Marshallese youth nonprofit Jo-Jikum, and Climate Envoy, Marshall Islands
  • Alexandra Narvaez (Cofán) | Indigenous rights & Land Defender, Goldman Prize Winner, Ecuador
  • Maude Barlow | Founding Member of the Council of Canadians, Co-Founder, the Blue Planet Project, Canada
  • Aurora Conley | Bad River Ojibwe, Anishinaabe Environmental Protection Alliance, Turtle Island/USA
  • Vasser SeydelPresident at The Oxygen Project, USA
  • Comments and Moderation by Osprey Orielle Lake | Executive Director, Women's Earth and Climate Action Network, WECAN
This event is taking place during the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York City, which is expected to adopt the Water Action Agenda as a main outcome representing voluntary commitments of countries and stakeholders to meet the global water-related goals and targets.

The conference opens today, March 22, on World Water Day, and WECAN is submitting a commitment and releasing a Call to Action today urging governments to increase and improve their ambition to protect global water sources by enacting a rights-based approach and ensuring women’s leadership in decision- making spaces.
The most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released March 20, clearly notes how climate change has already caused widespread impacts on human systems and altered terrestrial, freshwater and ocean ecosystems worldwide. Within this context the Call to Action provides analysis and studies demonstrating how women’s leadership and rights-based approaches can protect freshwater and ocean ecosystems worldwide.
Friday, March 24
Rights of Nature: The missing connection to enhance and implement the SDGs on Water
WECAN is honored to co-host this upcoming in-person event, "Rights of Nature: The missing connection to enhance and implement the SDGs on Water," held at the UN Water Conference in New York City.

This event will explore why the Rights of Nature framework presents a powerful legal, non-anthropocentric, holistic tool for water restoration and protection, and how an Earth Rights-based approach to Nature can help meet and complement the global goals and objectives of restoration and protection of water ecosystems, as well as ensure water for the environment, effective governance and the maintenance of the ecosystem’s life cycle in benefit of Nature. This will be presented through several cases of rights-bearing aquatic ecosystems.

WECAN will have a livestream of the event available on our Facebook page here:
Updates from the Field
WECAN and BankTrack Host Workshops with Financial institutions
Workshop facilitators and speakers prepare for meetings with members of the Equator Principles Association.
Civil society organizations Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) and BankTrack are currently hosting a series of workshops for the Equator Principles Association (EPA), which is a consortium of 138 financial institutions in 38 countries that have adopted the Equator Principles (EP), a risk management framework used for “determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in projects and is primarily intended to provide a minimum standard for due diligence and monitoring to support responsible risk decision-making.”

The workshops will examine two primary topics. The first set of workshops will focus on how financial institutions can better engage with impacted communities as part of their due diligence processes. The second set of workshops will focus on the key challenges associated with market-based solutions and opportunities for other pathways forward, including frameworks for a Just Transition and community-led solutions. All workshops will highlight the importance of human and Indigenous rights protections, including the implementation of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) and addressing the need for transformative approaches to financing given the escalating climate and biodiversity crises, and health impacts from extractive industries to communities. Frontline community speakers will be presenting at the workshops.

These workshops are taking place following the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR6 report, which delivers a final action call for keeping global warming below 1.5°C. Given the many pledges by banks to align with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, the findings in this report are pertinent to continued calls for divestment from fossil fuels.

WECAN Takes Action to Stop Dirty Banks in the U.S.
In action in San Francisco for the National Day of Action to Stop Dirty Banks on March 21.
Photo Credit: WECAN International
On March 21, we organized and took action with people across the United States for the National Day of Action to Stop Dirty Banks!

WECAN was on the ground in San Francisco and Juneau to tell Wells Fargo that if they don’t move out of fossil fuels, we’ll move our money out of their banks. See the livestream from the action here in San Francisco.

To avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis, we must immediately and rapidly decrease emissions and that means ending the era of fossil fuels. Financial institutions must heed the calls of science and our global climate justice movements and divest from fossil fuels and invest in people and the planet!

See the full photo album here. Learn more about WECAN's ongoing divestment work on our website here.
In action in San Francisco for the National Day of Action to Stop Dirty Banks on March 21.
Photo Credit: WECAN International
WECAN Responds to the new IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report
On March 20, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its long awaited AR6 Synthesis report, which completes the work of the IPCC in the current report cycle, a cycle that began with the 2018 report Global Warming of 1.5°C.

Climate chaos will continue to worsen, but this report confirms there is still a chance for 1.5C to be the upper guardrail, but it will require massive and immediate action. For our communities and global ecosystems, we will not give up fighting for Climate Justice! 

Please see below a statement from Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director in response: 

"AR6 is the final call for action — it shares what we have known for years: we can and must act now or the world as we know it will careen toward irreparable harm due to climate change, which has been brought on by centuries of colonization, patriarchy, racism, and endless economic growth. The report makes clear that in addition to the just climate solutions our movements have been generating for years, what is needed urgently is the political will from governments and financial institutions to turn the tide, and transition immediately off of fossil fuels and invest in real climate solutions. 

We know solutions exist for the transformative systemic change that is truly needed to protect our communities and the planet. Solutions grounded in Indigenous and human rights; gender, racial and economic justice; rights of nature; and respect for people and planet. Governments and corporations must listen to the science and to climate justice movements to stop the escalation of catastrophic harms. There is no time to lose in ending the era of fossil fuels and investing in community-led solutions."

WECAN will be sharing a deeper analysis soon, and is staying attuned to the many announcements following the IPCC report including the announcement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres of conditions for countries to join the UN Climate Ambition Summit in September. Conditions to participate in the global summit include ceasing all licensing and funding of new oil and gas development and halting expansion of existing oil and gas reserves, meaning that the United States risks being shut out of this important summit to accelerate climate action. Please continue following WECAN for further updates and analysis on the IPCC report and what its findings mean for people and planet.
Please consider supporting WECAN as we continue to uplift the leadership and solutions of women and feminists worldwide fighting for climate justice and the defense of the planet for current and future generations.
For the Earth and All Generations,

Women's Earth and Climate Action Network
(WECAN) International Team