Climate change activists have called for a revision of foreign Investment policies to favor ecosystems by stopping foreign investments that destroy natural resources and mandating foreign investments to finance community-led environmental regenerative projects by plowing back their profits in different countries for climate action.
The call was made during the young feminists convening on gender and climate change organized by Oxfam, FEMNET and Akina Mama Wa Afrika in Kampala under the theme; Transforming gender and climate justice narratives on COP27.
The three days meeting brought together over 40 young activists from Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Zambia and DRC.
This was held ahead of the UNFCCC 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27), which will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from. It will focus on the implementation and delivery of global commitments bridging gaps towards mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage and climate finance.
In their communique, the young feminist climate activists called on global leaders to ensure that African voices and issues are included on the COP-27 agenda.
“Humanize the effects of climate change – the realities of how women, children, youth, and persons with disabilities in the global south are extremely affected by drought, heatwaves, and flooding, which lead to loss of income, malnutrition, displacement, and chronic illness,” the activists called on global leaders.
The young activists further demand a loss and damage facility for the most vulnerable countries that contribute less to global emissions yet suffer some of the worst impacts of climate change. Floods and prolonged drought have led to the loss of lives, property, and livelihoods in many African Countries.
Oxfam Country Director, Francis Shanty Odokorach, said that, “In the face of climate change, we know women and young people become more vulnerable as the care burden increases on women. The social-economic impacts of these crises make young people, especially girls, more vulnerable in search of alternative living. Climate solutions must therefore include the voices of the most affected.”
Edwin Muhumuza, the team leader, Youth Go Green Uganda called for long term strategies to address the effects of climate change other than continuously handling symptoms.
The Shadow Minister for Water and Environment, Christine Kaaya appealed to all people to get concerned about climate change so as to take a collective responsibility sharing in the benefits and challenges of climate change.
Below are other demands put forward by the young feminist climate change activists:
- Make climate actions inclusive by investing in meaningful participation of girls, women, youth, and persons with disabilities, especially in the global south’s minority, marginalized and indigenous communities such as in global convenings like the COPs.
- Unify climate action policies, legal frameworks, and political commitments across the region that speak to gender and youth inclusion to harness the region’s efforts in combating climate change;
- Educate and inform women and young people on climate change issues in their environments, and most importantly, learn from them the solutions they propose in fighting climate change. They should be able to collect and disseminate data on climate change within their communities.
- Invest in women (especially rural women): More funding and technical support must be directed to women-centered organizations, cooperatives, associations, or groups to improve environmental sustainability and resilience to climate change.
- Build capacities of women in Arid and Semi-Arid countries on gender-responsive approaches to natural resource management and conflict resolution.