Tibetan Women’s representatives in 2011 United Climate Change Conference

Two representatives from Tibetan Women’s Association, Tenzin Dolma (Joint-Secretary) and Tenzin Woebum (WED Desk), will join the Tibet 3rd Pole Group along with other Tibetan environment activists to participate in the 17th Conference of Parties (*COP 17) at Durban from 28th November – 9th December 2011. Our representatives aim to build alliances that will help bind the key issues of Climate Change and Human Rights.

In most parts of the world women are one of the most impacted groups on Earth by the climate crisis. Gender and Climate Change is thus a strong interest for TWA as a women’s NGO. We wish to network and collaborate with other women’s climate change groups in order to leverage the appeals of women affected by climate crisis, in addition to highlighting the challenges faced by women living inside Tibet.

Tibet 3rd Pole group will engage in campaigning activities and alliance-building beforehand. This will not only maximize the effectiveness and legitimacy of the campaign, but will build campaign capacity in the field of environmental justice for the Tibetan people, both inside and outside Tibet. Our involvement will also enhance alliance-building with NGOs from around the world, and further our longer-term goal of a sustained alliance of Tibetan and western NGOs working on core environmental issues on behalf of Tibet.

Our team will work with NGOs and representatives of affected peoples from mountainous, polar and grassland eco-regions similar to Tibet’s subsistence herding, farming and access to / control over water resources. TWA will also focus on NGOs that bring together women, environmental justice and environmental self-determination, highlighting issues of women and climate rights and climate refugees.

TWA’s President Kirti Dolkar Lhamo and Research & Media Officer Tenzin Dhardon Sharling participated in December 2009’s COP15 summit in Copenhagen. TWA’s representatives worked as a Tibet 3rd Pole group which is the Campaign Working Group under the ITN along with Environment & Development Desk (EDD) of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and Environment Desk of Dharamsala. The campaign centred on the plight of Tibet’s nomads, who are being dispossessed of Tibet’s grasslands, and called for urgent action to return stewardship of the fragile plateau under the grave threat from Climate change to those who have lived in a sustainable way and in harmony with the natural environment for generations. COP15 was a landmark for the group in taking Tibet’s environmental issues at such level. The team reached a significant number of delegates and negotiators, conducted numerous media interviews and held several well-attended public events. This conference has brought a lot of international and Tibetan media attention which was aired in Tibet as well.

With the milestone created by the Tibet 3rd Pole group at COP15 in Copenhagen, we hope to take this campaign further at the upcoming 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) at Durban.

*Since the UNFCCC entered into force, the parties have been meeting annually in Conferences of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change, and beginning in the mid-1990s, to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol to establish legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. From 2005 the Conferences have met in conjunction with Meetings of Parties of the Kyoto Protocol (MOP), and parties to the Convention that are not parties to the Protocol can participate in Protocol-related meetings as observers.

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