Women chart environmental agenda

Posted: 14 October 2004

Urgent investigation into the impact of toxic chemicals on women and girls was one of a number of recommendations made today at the close of a landmark UN Environnment Programme (UNEP) conference on Women and the Environment in Nairobi.

Other proposals, to be put to governments for action, include the development of information kits on issues such as indoor air pollution, targeted at women and translated into local languages.

The Women as the Voice for the Environment (WAVE) assembly also called for poor women's groups to be singled out for special funding for water, sanitation and poverty alleviation schemes.

Finance for ecosystem management projects, covering such areas as wetlands, forests and mangrove swamps, should also be focused on poor women's groups, delegates agreed.

Waste campaigns

Carbon sink projects, including forestry and grassland schemes designed to soak up emissions of global warming gases, should be promoted between women in developed countries and women in developing countries under the community carbon fund of the World Bank.

Waste awareness campaigns, involving poor women's groups in cities and local authorities, are also urgently needed, the Assembly agreed. These should be backed up with pilot sustainable rubbish disposal projects in the Central Asia/Eastern Europe region, Africa, Latin America and either the United States, Canada or Europe.

UNEP's Global Women's Assembly on Environment was held in co-operation with the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and attended by over 140 women from 60 countries including environment ministers from Iran, Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland and Sweden.These included Professor Wangari Maathai, the new Nobel Peace Prize-winner and Kenyan assistant environment minister.

For more information visit: UNEP