In acknowledgement of the urgent need for more effective and interlinked regional feminist responses from the economic south involving and in support of women advocates working in areas of gender and development, DAWN is organising a series of regional consultations and training institutes on “Strengthening Policy Analysis and Advocacy on Gender, Economic and Ecological Justice” in three regions - the Pacific, Africa and Latin America - in 2010 and 2011.
This advocacy is part of DAWN’s on-going effort to help promote awareness on and resolution to three major challenges highlighted in global governance debates: The first challenge is the existence of double standards in the response to the triple crisis. An unequal playing field in key policy areas is a major obstacle to coordinated response. The second challenge is the search for a sustainable model of economic recovery, growth, and development. The focus on financing climate change mitigation and adaptation is too narrow given the significant resource flows needed for developing countries to shift from high carbon, fossil-fuel energy to low carbon, renewable energy sources; to address the food crisis exacerbated by extreme and frequent climate events, floods, droughts, storms, loss of arable land and biodiversity; and to provide social protection for groups most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change including disease, landlessness, migration, poverty, and much more. Thus, far solutions to all these challenges have tended to be market- or technology-oriented and driven by corporate interests, which have created new inequalities between the North and the South. The third challenge is the inconsistencies between international trade rules (both WTO and regional trade mechanisms) and international environmental agreements.While economic south governments and civil society acknowledge some of these converging crises, as in other regions of the globe the inter-linkages between them are often ignored.
This project brings together actors working in various spheres of the areas of gender, economic and climate justice in the three regions of the Pacific, Africa and Latin America, in settings where people can raise difficult questions and political challenges in an atmosphere of trust and collective reflection. Specifically, participants include researchers and analysts from academia and civil society; policy makers from government, inter-governmental and regional institutions; and young and local women activists. The training institutes and consultations aim to provide venues for sharing information on a range of global and regional responses to the world multiples crises, including new initiatives that challenge hegemonic thinking and systems in finance, trade and monetary, and environmental policymaking, as well as for mapping current measures, mechanisms and programs at national and regional levels; and discuss possibilities, constraints and contradictions. The women’s rights activists from local and regional organizations will have their own facilitated input process.
Through the process, DAWN also hopes to encourage young feminists and women’s rights advocates to increase their engagement in transforming global economic and climate change governance structures; build capacity in policy analysis and advocacy on key gender, economic and climate justice issues, and their interlinkages; and encourage solidarity and support to contribute to policy proposals and social movement activism toward and during regional and global policy advocacy targets including the Tarawa Climate Change Conference (Kiribati, Nov 9-12 2010), CBD COP 10 (Nagoya, 27-29 October 2010), UNFCCC COP 16 (Mexico, Nov 29-Dec 10, 2010), Rio+20' Earth Summit (New York, May 2012), UNFCCC COP 17 (South Africa) and others.*
The GEEJ series began in the Pacific last September 2010, followed by Africa in November 2010, and to be continued in Latin America in March 2011.
CSOs Engage with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat on Conflict, Peace Security and Wider Sustainable Development Issues
Representatives from DAWN, DIVA for Equality (Fiji, LBT), Fiji Women's Rights Movement (Fiji), Punanga Tauturu (Cook Islands), Pacific Disabilities Forum and others were among civil society organisation (CSO) representatives from across the Pacific who were part of a 5 day meeting in Suva Fiji from 6-10 May 2013 to discuss human rights issues centred sustainable development, good governance, peace, conflict and security in the region.
CSOs networked and built stronger coalitions for a louder, substantive and diverse civil society voice in the region as well as providing concrete input into the Pacific Islands Forum Regional Security Committee processes and the Pacific Plan review.
CSOs called for immediate action to end the acts of torture and extra-judicial killings related to witchcraft and sorcery in Papua New Guinea. They also put out an urgent action call on the effects of climate change on small island states, including ensuring that any climate-change induced migration is based on human dignity, and commensurate with the inherent human rights of the person.
Also present at the meeting were representatives from PNG Eastern Highlands Women's CSO, 'Voices for Change'. Leentjie Be'Soer was part of a DAWN-facilitated team to CSW57 earlier this year, where they carried out international advocacy and lobbying work on the torture and extra-judicial killing of women and girls in Papua New Guinea under the guise of eliminating witchcraft and sorcery. Lily Be'Soer of Voice for Change and other PNG women advocates are also part of the wider GEEJ Pacific, and newly forming Pacific Feminist SRHR coalition.
DAWN's Noelene Nabulivou (Fiji) said, "Thanks largely to the long and tenacious work of PNG and Pacific feminist and women's groups, including Voice for Change, Pacific Women's Network against Violence against Women, and the emergent Pacific Feminist SRHR Coalition we are now finally seeing a certain degree of raised public awareness. But it is nowhere near enough. Now we have to work even harder to translate increased awareness into concrete results including specific actions by the PNG state and others, as raised in our Outcome document."
"We also call on all development partners and UN agencies to take up strongest voice and strategic action - with local PNG and Pacific women's groups as guides of this joint work", she also said. CSOs at the regional meeting called for the 'overall adoption and integration of a human rights-based approach in all national and regional development processes, and for 'structural transformation toward for economic, social and ecological sustainability'.
The CSO Dialogue was jointly convened by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community Regional Rights Resources Team (SPC RRRT) in partnership with Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS). The diverse national and regional CSOs in the room were from Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. They work on areas such as national disaster and relief, disability, health, education, humanitarian assistance, climate change, environment, mining and fisheries, economics, law, gender equality, SRHR, SOGI and sexual rights, young people, good governance, peace and security, and community media.
Clicke HERE to view the article from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) website
Click on the DOWNLOAD button below for the Regional CSO Outcome Document
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Pacific Feminists and Activists: Re-framing, Re-articulating and Re-energizing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights!
An inaugural gathering of women and trans* people from key Pacific civil society organisations (CSOs), networks and alliances was held in Nadi, Fiji from the 12-15 February 2013, to take stock of the progress in SRHR made over the past 20 years by State and non-State actors.
Thirty two participants from Chuuk Federated States of Micronesia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu critically analyzed, mapped and strategised towards more effectiveadvancement of SRHR in the Pacific region. They then met with key allies from UN agencies, regional and global development and human rights institutions, to strategise on ways to take this Call forward. This regional meeting was co-convened by Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN); Fiji Women's Rights Movement (FWRM); Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA), for Equality; and Pacific Youth Council (PYC). We acknowledge the global feminist solidarity work that has informed this process, including from those of us working on the Women's Rallying Call on ICPD@20, 'Our Rights, Our Lives: Women’s Call to Action Toward Cairo+20'.
THE PACIFIC SRHR FEMINIST STATEMENT INCLUDED AN URGENT CALL TO ACTION AS FOLLOWS:
Papua New Guinea State to repeal the Sorcery Act and investigate and prosecute all criminal cases to prevent further torture and extrajudicial killing of women and girls under the guise of eliminating witchcraft and sorcery. There must also be concerted efforts by States and regional and global institutions to ensure that the seriousness and frequency of these crimes are acknowledged and that these responses are immediate, strong and effective;
Rights to legal and safe abortion for all Pacific women and girls;
Address the alarming levels of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)*
*amongst Pacific women and girls;
Recognition that lesbian, bisexual and trans* rights are women's
rights and human rights, and to fulfill those rights;
Repeal of all laws and policies in Pacific island states that
criminalise same-sex relationships, and recognise all people with
non-heteronormative sexual orientation and gender identity as full and
Decriminalision of sex work and elimination of the unjust application
of non-criminal laws and regulations against sex workers;
The immediate ratification of CEDAW by Palau, and Tonga;
Regional leaders to prioritise an immediate end to small arms trade
and trafficking and the militarization of states that serve to perpetuate
and reinforce patriarchal forms of power and control.
For a full copy of the Outcome statement please go Click HERE to Download
To Download the Final Report Click HERE
To Download the Regional CSO outcomes Click HERE
WE WELCOME FURTHER INDIVIDUAL AND ORGANISATIONAL ENDORSEMENTS:
Please send your name, organisation/affiliations (if applicable) and your community group/state/territory to: **firstname.lastname@example.org** **by **Thursday
28 February 2013.
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DAWN GEEJ Asia Activists
(Left Photo: Sun Jing, Right Photo: Sophea Chrek)
1. What issue-based advocacy have you been involved in since you were in the GEEJ-Asia workshop?
Sun Jing: My responsibility in Eco-Women is to contribute to the reduction of highly hazardous pesticide use and its risks. I do this through education, policy advocacy, as well as, actively promoting ecologically sound agriculture. Women and children are considered as high-risk groups as far as the ill effects of pesticide use in China is concerned. This is so because they have now become the principal labor force in the rural areas, as men increasingly migrate especially in the cities. I particularly target women’s knowledge and skills to improve their participation in the reduction of pesticide use, using a framework of sustainable and equitable development. We partner with them in understanding the risks on their health and well-being, as well as on their economic empowerment
Sophea: ASEAN Grassroots People’s Assembly (AGPA) is a platform from where we, the communities’ activists and feminists, demonstrate our human rights violation and demand real democracy in the ASEAN nation. “Making Human Rights and Democracy Real in ASEAN” was the main slogan we all are fighting for. We also demand t place “People’s Over Profit”. This slogan is designed to emphasize our feeling toward the current development agenda, which works in favors of private corporations and only a few powerful people. We are fighting to bring back our rights to livelihood, housing, access healthcare and education, to name just a few.
2. Have you been contact with any of the DAWN women or participants in a DAWN training? Or even in contact with some DAWN materials and resources, like the website? Has this been helpful to your continuing advocacy? In what ways?
Sun Jing: By participating in the DAWN GEEJ-Asia training in April 2012, I met young activists from China and other parts of Asia. Since then I continue to keep close contact with the DAWN women via DAWN GEEJ-Asia listserv, through which we share information and updates on analysis and advocacy. We also continuously receive DAWN publications and informaton. As GEEJ-Asia alumina, I was also invited to speak at a DAWN panel " Gender, Economic Ecological Justice in a Fierce New World: Perspectives of Young Women from the South" at the AWID Forum 2012. The above activities and exposure help me and my colleagues at Eco-Women to understand the dynamics of the international women's movement and link us with more feminist groups and partners.
Sophea: I have communicated with some DAWN participants, mostly through facebook and email. I feel personally close to some of them. Yes, I had visited DAWN websites several times. It is helpful, especially with the training preparation on women and globalization and campaigning at the global level.
3. Have you been involved at all in regional or global advocacy even outside of DAWN? How did DAWN help you achieve an understanding of local-global understanding of issues?
Sun Jing: I contribute to policy advocacy on reduction of use of highly hazardous pesticide both at the international and national levels. For example, I share research results with the Pesticide Action Network and conducting awareness raising training on the issue in the rural communities, and etc. Engaging in the DAWN training and advocacy helped me to better understand the inter-linkage of gender, economic and ecological justice in the global context and establish the contacts with the feminist activists across global South.
Sophea: I had been involved with a few regional alliances such as Focus on the Global South and the People’s Health Movement (PHM). With Focus on the Global South, the collaboration has been strong because of the AGPA network. Participation with DAWN provided me an opportunity to engage in the broader political discussions and negotiations. My first experience was getting involved in the global negotiation on Sustainable Development Conference or Rio + 20 in June 2012 and the Post 2015 Development Agenda Asia Pacific regional consultation in Bangkok in November 2012 that was convened by DAWN and UN Women.
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Neo-extractive Realities, Post-extractivist futures: Pacific Women and Feminist Development Alternatives
Post-Extractivism in the Pacific: Development Possibility or Myth?
In some South states, there is already policy discussion on a post-extractivist development. Latin American States, for example, have already moved to official counter-positions on extractivism with their new constitutions. Such are the cases of Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela. However, the extent to which post-extractivism is fully conceptualised in States and realised in policy and practice, is debatable. Indeed, some south ecologists and feminists point to such shifts as yet 'neo' rather than post-extractivist, with major negative impacts on local communities and now state defended as 'anti-neocolonialist' and 'people-oriented development'.
In the Pacific, despite strong political presence in climate change meetings and rhetoric in Rio+20 sustainable development tracks, regional policy language is still firmly fixed on 'green' growth - and while the reality on the ground, decidedly ‘extractivist brown’. Policy-wise, there is not that much that is yet transformative. Of late, there had been recent increased references to 'caution', 'balance' and 'regulatory preparations'. Unfortunately, thus far this had meant EEZ Marine Parks and MPAs as offsets to ocean mining sites, deep-sea mining regulatory frameworks, and post Rio+20 references to commitments to 'blue-green economies' and 'sustainable mining'.
While it is somewhat curious that the 2011 Pacific Leaders Waiheke Declaration on Sustainable Development is entirely silent on mining  in this Pacific boom period, it is also understandable. Mining has historically been present through Pacific colonial, postcolonial and neo-colonial eras, and the environmental and social impact has been significant. It has become standard fare to blame State governance, corruption and militarism for the chaotic, dirty and exclusionary state conditions of extractive development. But transnational corporations (TNCs), north states and donors, Pacific elite and other development cowboys and dysfunctional regional politics, are as much at play in the mess that is today's Pacific mining.
Nor is mining the only extractivist industry in the region. The recent Western and Central Pacific Commission (WCPFC) meeting in December 2012 ended with a temporary measure that allowed big fishing nations to continue to overfish bigeye tuna at 40% above sustainable levels. So the extent to which Parties to the Nauru Agreement  will be politically and technically supported to defend regional fisheries is shaping up as a major test for Pacific and global sustainable development. Will Pacific fisheries continue in an extractive and unsustainable way, or can the largest fishing nations be made to reduce quotas, for long-term good?
Gender, Economic and Ecological Justice (GEEJ): Pacific feminists leading regional change
In all regions of the economic South – Asia, Arica, Latin America and Pacific, DAWN and its allied women advocates assert that State prioritisation of extractive industries promotes an agri-business focus, and resultant neglect of subsistence agriculture. They are demanding more sustainable economic development policies and programs. In a recent declaration, Asia Pacific women point out that this underscores the fallacy of automatic links between economic growth and improved development outcomes. Many at the GEEJ-Pacific meeting agreed, and showed particular resistance to Pacific aid and development assistance models that they say, enable these externally-focused economic paradigms which only serve the geo-political agendas of north states. These include the ubiquitous fly-in youth volunteer and intern schemes, leadership programmes, steady stream of development experts, and all connected through international consultancies and aid agencies that paid vast sums to advise local communities, including in mining, forestry and agricultural districts. Relatedly, since the 2007-8 global financial crisis, activists noted that ODA is increasingly channelled through origin-country 'boomerang' private contracts, so that benefits to receiving states in effect are far less than their stipulated dollar value. This blurring of private and public development regimes brings slippery and contradictory State policies, as Island states and CSOs weave their way through these complicated landscapes.
As part of a response, Pacific feminists are more explicitly situating bodies into all structural arguments and policy options. They insist that individual and community rights cannot ever be bargained away when states negotiate wider economic, trade and environmental agreements in guaranteeing social reproduction such as health, education, water, and livelihoods. The conceptual seeds of post-extractivist development are here, but bringing these futures into reality will be more fraught and slower than hoped, when considering the stressed state of the earth and its ecosystems.
They are increasingly demanding that states must protect and promote the rights of women, men and transpeople to control their bodily autonomy and integrity, gender identities and sexualities, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. They point to the very poor regional performance on rates of women in national legislature at a static 2.5% since 1995, and that an alarming seven in 10 Pacific women report experiencing intimate partner violence. A less acknowledged form of state and societal violence is against Pacific women and trans*people with non-heteronormative sexual orientation and gender identity, demonstrating urgent need for more interlinkage work on gender, economic, ecological and erotic justice.
Most of all, Pacific feminists and women's rights advocates are now challenging labels such as 'anti-development', 'anti-indigenous' or 'anti tradition and culture'. They are no longer shying away from raising the sensitive issues linked to their human rights, nor anymore prepared to work in siloes. Rather, they are carefully and pragmatically building ties with other social movements, and looking for transformative levers to move work on gender equality, economic, ecological and erotic justice - in global spaces, and especially in the Pacific.
 Gudynas, E. Quoted in Marrero, C.R. 'The New Latin American “Progresismo” and the Extractivism of the 21st Century' http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/4025
 Phosphate (Nauru, French Polynesia and Banaba); Gold (Fiji); nickel (New Caledonia); copper (Bougainville - where the mining tensions resulted in a PNG/Bougainville civil war that killed tens of thousands), and manganese (Vanuatu). In Solomon Islands there was gold until the forced mine closure in 2000. In Papua New Guinea the size and diversity of mining is regionally unmatched with 50% of export value, perhaps more today. There is also mining in Indonesian-governed West Papua, where resistance groups carry out a 40+year struggle for independence of this Melanesian society. Primary causes for continued presence of Indonesia are richness of mines, and Pacific and other global political silence due to Indonesia's geo-political role in the region. The UN has been muted in response, perhaps due to the ironically named, 'Act of Free Choice' UN facilitated Referendum (1969) handing control to Indonesia.
 PNA Members are Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.PNA controls around 30% of the global tuna supply.
 The Future Asia Pacific Women Want: Outcome Statement from women’s and civil society networks and organizations present at the Regional Dialogue on Sustainable Development and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Convened by DAWN and APGEM in collaboration with UNWomen Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. 3-5 November 2012, Bangkok.
 Nabulivou, N, Spence, R, Tuitoga, A and Tagi, S. Diverse Voices and Action for Equality (DIVA) Collective - Fiji Constitutional Submission. 2012. Suva, Fiji.
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International Law Supports Moratorium on Experimental Seabed Mining
International law supports moratorium on experimental seabed mining
Monday 27th August 2012
Pacific civil society organisations today launch a legal opinion on the application of the precautionary principle to deep sea mining in the Pacific Region. Given the considerable risks and uncertainties surrounding the environmental impacts of mining activities, "the correct interpretation of the precautionary principle leads to only one plausible result ‐ a moratorium on deep sea bed mining."
Maureen Penjuli, Coordinator of PANG says "This legal opinion comes at a very important time when Pacific Islands Forum Leaders (PIFLs) are meeting in the Cook Islands to discuss our future. It is clear that we do not know what the impacts of seabed mining will be on our vitally important ocean environment and international law makes clear our responsibility to proceed with unprecedented caution in this area. "
In a 10-‐page legal opinion, The Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW)1 concludes that the application of the precautionary principle supports a moratorium on seabed mining until the risks of harm to the marine environment and coastal people are better known and understood.
The precautionary principle dictates taking a cautious approach in matters that affect the environment when there is scientific uncertainty about the negative impacts. The principle is widely used in international environmental law and has been applied in the courts in areas such as climate change, hazardous waste, fisheries and sustainable development.
"The precautionary principle is clearly cited in the Rio Declaration," says Effrey Dademo, Program Manager for ACT NOW!, "and there is a clear obligation on all States to widely apply the principle". This includes the need for an open, informed and democratic process involving all potentially affected parties and this is something that has just not happened prior to the introduction of experimental seabed mining. The Northern Territory Government of Australia, took the precautionary approach, in issuing a moratorium on seabed mining early this year."
According to legal opinion, "The significant risks and uncertainties surrounding deep seabed mining implicate strict application of the precautionary principle. Little is known about seafloor mining technology, its efficacy, safety, and the impacts that may arise from the process. In addition, the deep sea environment is a unique and diverse realm that has not been extensively researched and is not well understood. Both of these uncertainties warrant unprecedented caution and attention before proceeding with full-‐scale development of deep seabed mining."
"We need wisdom and political leadership. Do not undermine the Pacific," says Maureen Penjueli.
For media enquiries contact:
Serah Aupong – Media Liaison Officer
1 ELAW is a worldwide network of more than 300 advocates working in 70 countries who promote environmental protection through law and science in order to promote justice for their communities.
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