This spring Women’s Global Green Action Network (WGGAN) – Earth Island Institute’s newest project – will hold its network-launching event in Mexico City. The International Grassroots Women Environmental Leaders Strategy Meeting will convene 30 visionary, peer-nominated environmental advocates from around the world.
WGGAN emerged from an ongoing conversation among a global team of women in environmental and social justice work who were concerned with the lack of networking and support services available to women environmental advocates, entrepreneurs, and community leaders around the world. In less than a year, the dynamic team of international advisors, led by co-founders Melinda Kramer and Mary Rose “Redwood Mary” Kaczorowski, has built a framework to equip grassroots women with communication technologies, support services, face-to-face exchanges, and information crucial to their collaborative work and influence upon policy.
WGGAN held its official launch at the Commission for Sustainable Development’s 13th Session in 2004, and its first educational event at the UN’s World Environment Day 2005 in San Francisco where it featured a panel of women leaders – including Julia Butterfly Hill, Camila Chávez, Hunter Lovins, and UNEP’s North American Representative Brennan Van Dyke.
During WGGAN’s three-day strategy meeting in Mexico this spring, participants will exchange best practices, define shared agendas, and begin designing the mechanisms for connecting and empowering women working across a disparate range of access to communication. The meeting will also provide a vital opportunity for women to begin building long-term working relationships and strategic alliances across borders. After their strategy meeting, the WGGAN delegation will attend the 4th World Water Forum, ensuring that the important voices of grassroots women leaders are represented.
WGGAN understands that in women’s efforts to curb the impacts of environmental degradation they work against powerfully entrenched social, economic, and political barriers. Often lacking guarantees of personal safety and political rights, women face significant constraints in influencing their
living and working conditions. Their central role in managing and preserving natural resources – which forms the sustainable foundation for any healthy and vibrant society – is often marginalized or exploited.
Yet the work women do and the movements they set in motion often readily create a groundswell of powerful influence that can transform policy and affect future generations. In communities around the world, women are winning campaigns, running sustainable small businesses, and building effective local and regional networks, informed by their unique relationship with their natural environment.
Sensing this opportunity and intent on building a movement towards a fully sustainable society – both socially just and environmentally sound – the WGGAN team continues to build a strategic platform for both experienced and emerging grassroots women leaders to convene, inspire and collaborate across borders. WGGAN’s decentralized network of regional coordinators promotes peer-to-peer information flow among activist women.
By further empowering the thousands of women around the world who take a stand for the health of their natural environment and their communities, WGGAN serves as an instrument of social democracy – equalizing access, connectivity, and influence across divides.
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