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Rio+20 Side Event: Women Leading the Way: Mobilizing for an Equitable, Resilient and Thriving Future

Event Date: 
June 19, 2012 - 16:00 - 18:30

Women Leading the Way: Mobilizing for an Equitable, Resilient and Thriving Future

Igniting a whole-systems, global women’s climate movement!

Vandana Shiva, Marina Silva, Rose Marie Muraro,
Ted Turner
two of the “Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers” and others
Song by Ta'Kaiya Blaney

Reception Follows (wine and hors d’ouevres)
No UN credentials required to attend


UN Side Event Rio + 20 Earth Summit
June 19th 4:00pm-6:30pm, Room UN2 Barra Arena
(Barra da Arena)
Avenida Embaixador Abelardo Bueno, 3401 - Barra da Tijuca Rio de Janeiro
Please note the speakers/reception will run until 6:30

The Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) is honored to be co-hosting this event with Brazilian partner, Instituto Democracia e Sustentabilidade (IDS)
and USA partner, Pathways to Peace.

Women are at the nexus of a thriving and just global future: they are disproportionately impacted by environmental and economic problems and yet demonstratively central to the most important solutions. In this side event, we will be highlighting women worldwide as innovators and agents of change in mitigating and adapting to climate change and environmental degradation, while also demonstrating a way forward with cross-sector and cross-cultural solutions from the grassroots up.

How will we leverage women’s vital sustainability contributions and climate change solutions at speed and scale at the local and global levels? How will we empower a rights-based approach to sustainability and climate change solutions to respect Women’s rights, Indigenous rights and Nature’s rights?

Breakthrough alliances in women’s networks are critical at this time. The complexities of the environmental, economic and climate crises require systemic change in how we are living with each other and our Earth. This change will only be achieved through full representation of women in decision-making processes, deploying necessary resources for women, and developing a comprehensive women’s network to aid in implementing economic and environmental solutions.

This side-event will serve as the official launch for the International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative (IWECI). The strategic focus of IWECI is strengthening and building the capacity of women’s leadership worldwide as an essential ingredient in solving critical issues of climate mitigation and adaptation. WECC is the genesis 
entity for IWECI and is in 
partnership with its strategic 
ally and principal partner, 
eraGlobal Alliance.

• Welcome Address: Osprey Orielle Lake and Sally Ranney
• Words of Wisdom from the Indigenous Grandmothers:
Maria Alice Campos Freire (Amazon, Brazil) and
Mona Polacca (Hopi/Havasupai/Tewa USA)
• Women’s Leadership Panel--with special comments from
Vandana Shiva and Marina Silva
• Conversation with Ted Turner
• Song with Ta'Kaiya Blaney
• Reception comments from the Honorable
Senator Cristovam Buarque

Vandana Shiva is a physicist, environmental activist, and prominent eco-feminist. Shiva, currently based in Delhi, has authored over twenty books and over 500 papers in leading scientific and technical journals. She is the founder of “Navdanya”, a women’s movement for the protection of biological and cultural diversity. Navdanya was the genesis of the Earth democracy movement in India, which espouses a worldview in which humans are embedded in the Earth Family, connected through love and compassion. She was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1993.

Marina Silva Founder and Director of the Institute for Democracy and Sustainability (IDS), President of the board at Instituto Marina Silva. At the age of 36, Silva became the youngest Senator in the history of Brazil and the most-voted-for candidate of Acre. Due to her environmental ethos, she was appointed Environment Minister during President Lula’s administration. In 2007, the UN Environment Program honored her with the award “Champions of the Earth” for her tireless fight to protect the Amazon and in 2008, the newspaper The Guardian listed her as one of the “50 people who can save the planet”.

Rose Marie Muraro is a pioneer of Brazil's feminist movement. She is the author of over 35 books and is proposing an economy based on cooperation and solidarity, including bartering systems and the incorporation of a gender perspective in development.

Representative from La Via Campesina -- an international movement which coordinates peasant organizations of small and middle-scale producers, agricultural workers, rural women, and indigenous communities from Asia, Africa, America, and Europe .

Sheyla Juruna is an indigenous leader from the Xingu Basin of the Brazilian Amazon and leader of the Xingu Alive Forever Movement (MXVPS). Her strategy for empowering indigenous peoples of the Amazon is based on a three-point platform for advancing health, culturally appropriate education, and widespread recognition of indigenous land rights.

Ted Turner "I think men should be barred from holding public office for a hundred years. The men have been running the world for the last thousand years, and they've mucked it up something awful. If women were in control it would be a much more peaceful, prosperous, equitable world in a very short period of time.” Cable news pioneer Turner has dedicated his life to trying to save the world. His causes range from women's rights to protecting endangered species and achieving nuclear disarmament. Turner has donated more than $1.5 billion to charity, including $866 million of his $1 billion pledge to the United Nations Foundation. The Turner Foundation was founded in 1990 and is dedicated to protecting the climate, safeguarding environmental health, maintaining wildlife habitat protection, and developing policies to curb population growth rates.

Song by Ta'Kaiya Blaney Ten-year old Ta’Kaiya lives in North Vancouver and is from the Sliammon First Nation. “Shallow Waters”, recorded in July, 2010, is one of five songs co-written by Ta’Kaiya and her singing instructor/professional songwriter/pianist Aileen De La Cruz. Ta’kaiya is homeschooled and particularly enjoys studying about the oceans and marine life. When Ta’Kaiya and Aileen began writing “Shallow Waters” it was to raise awareness about a proposed oil pipeline planned between the Alberta Tar Sands and Kitimat, BC. At the time the song was almost finished, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened.

Reception welcome words
Senator Cristovam Buarque -- Member of the Brazilian Senate, Professor at the University of Brasilia, Senator Buarque holds a Ph.D. in economics from Université Paris Sorbonne – Paris IV. He worked at the Inter-American Development Bank and is a former rector of the University of Brasilia, former governor of Brasilia (the federal capital of Brazil) and former Minister of Education (Brazil). Currently he is a senator in the Brazilian National Congress, a professor at the University of Brasilia and a member of the UNESCO Education Institute. He is the author of several books including The End of Economics, The Gold Curtain, and Abolishing Poverty.

With Event Supporters:
Emila Queiroga Barros -- Vice President of Global Urban Development and IWECI Advisory Council —Brazil
Alexandra Rescheke -- Executive Secretary, Institute for Democracy and Sustainability
Event Hosts and Moderators:

Osprey Orielle Lake -- Founder/President of the Women's Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) and Founder/Co-Director of IWECI. Lake works nationally and internationally with grassroots leaders, policy-makers, business people, and scientists to promote resilient communities, foster a post-carbon energy future, while also addressing societal transformation. She is an advisor to the International Eco-Cities Framework and Standards Initiative, an International Advocate Working for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, and has traveled to five continents studying ancient and modern cultures while making presentations at international conferences and universities. Her book, Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture with Nature, won a 2011 Nautilus Book Award.

Sally Ranney -- President of eraGlobal Alliance and Co-Director of IWECI, Ranney has dedicated her life to protecting the gems of the planet and has secured protection for thousands of acres of wild space in Alaska, Chile, Argentina, Africa, Canada and the Grand Canyon. Ranney has over thirty years of experience within the private and public sectors in land, water and energy policy; biodiversity and wildlife protection; environmental consulting, and youth engagement and outreach. She served as a resource policy analyst for the Wilderness Society, and later co-founded American Wildlands and served as its President for twenty years. Ranney is President of Rising Wolf International, a specialized consulting group and CEO of StillWater Preservation, LLC, a private, Colorado-based wetlands mitigation banking company.

Reception statements will be posted from Women’s Environment and Development Organization, UN Women, Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, Women in Europe for a Common Future, Solar Sisters, Women and the Green Economy, Global Gender Climate Alliance, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature,, others

Contact Information:
Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus President:
Osprey Orielle Lake

U.S. Coordinator:
Wyolah Garden

Room UN2 Barra Arena (Barra da Arena)
Avenida Embaixador Abelardo Bueno, 3401 - Barra da Tijuca
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro

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