New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Doha to Focus On Women Next

Doha — The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) launched the second pillar of its Momentum of Change initiative on Wednesday in Doha, Qatar.

The initiative, known as Momentum for Change: Women for Results, is a partnership between the Rockefeller Foundation and the UN Climate Change Secretariat and provides recognition to the crucial role played by women in addressing climate change.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, said: "Women for Results will focus on women because they are right in the nexus of water, food and energy, which is seriously impacted upon by climate change. If we can solve that nexus, we can solve climate change and women are global leaders and powerful agents of change," she told delegates.

A call for applications on success stories of women who can portray success stories in climate change innovation will be launched on March 8, 2013, on International Women's Day. "We are searching for any women who can make a major difference to climate change. The power is in the heart and determination of every single woman," Figueres said at the launch.

This could be an opportunity for women in countries such as Namibia that are severely affected by climate change, to show their innovative coping strategies to climate change and to share them with the rest of the world.

Heather Grady, Vice-President of the Rockefeller Foundation, who will assist the initiative financially, says women are disproportionately and differently impacted upon by climate change.

Grady said they would look at innovative, meaningful approaches, which build resilience against climate change.

A high-level roundtable discussion which included Helen Clark, a United Nations Development Programme Administrator, United Nations Women Deputy Executive Director, Lakshmi Puri, Mary Robinson of the Mary Robinson Foundation, and Terezya Huvisa, Minister of State in the Vice-President's Office of the United Republic of Tanzania, took place immediately after the launch.

The UNFCCC Secretariat has developed the concept of 'Momentum for Change' as a way to demonstrate the multiple benefits of addressing climate change and to transform misperceptions surrounding the taking of action on climate change.

The secretariat believes that highlighting and enhancing the positive developments in the field of climate change mitigation and adaptation will increase innovation, motivation, hope, passion and capacity for further change.

The first pillar of Momentum for Change, highlights public and private sector cooperation which benefits the urban poor. It was launched last year, during COP17 in Durban, South Africa. Namibia was among the nine countries, whose initiatives won an award for best coping strategies on climate change adaptation and mitigation, just three days ago, at the COP18, in Doha, Qatar.

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