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Women's Major Group -Sustainable Development Goals and the Post 2015 Development Agenda

WECF representation in international and UN policy processes

International “Nesting” programme – A Healthy Environment for Healthy Children

Women and Gender Constituency at UNFCCC

Gender E3 Working Group in the European Parliament

Breast Cancer: Policy and Prevention

Safe and Sustainable Sanitation for Women and Girls

Asbestos: a silent killer on a global scale – substitute it now!

WECF offers training programmes and capacity building

EDC Free Coalition Public Consultation

WHO European Environment and Health Process (EEHP)

Sustainable Sanitation- the five year drive to 2015

Women and Gender Constituency at COP20 Lima, Peru

Women Economic Empowerment & the Green Economy

UNECEs 5th MOP to the Aarhus Convention, Maastricht 2014

Nuclear Power is not a solution to climate change – plug into renewables

WECF at the COP19 in Warsaw: Climate Finance and Gender Equality

International ‘Safe Toys’ Coalition – toxic free children products

Online discussion group INTERA

UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 - Rio +20

Toxic free beauty - safe cosmetics

Networks for Healthy Food

Climate Justice – mitigation and adaptation for vulnerable groups

Commission for Sustainable Development

The Golden Nuclear Fuelrod Award

ToNi-Finder - WECF's Map for Sustainable School Toilets and Nitrate Levels

2010 - International Year of Biodiversity

Children's Environmental Health Award 2010

International Year of Sanitation 2008

Children's Environmental Action Plan for Europe

REACH - Eliminating Toxic Chemicals in the EU

Join Women on the Road to Rio+20

UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 - Rio + 20

14.12.2010 | WICF Campaign

Countries: international
Partners: VAM - Voices of African mothers; WEDO, ENERGIA; WOCAN, Global Forest Coalition, Earth Care Africa, Earth Day Network and many other regional and global networks
Duration: 06/2010 - 06/2012

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or 'Rio+20') will take place June  2012, in Rio de Janeiro, 20 years after the historic Earth Summit. Women's participation in the process and input on the themes and objective are crucial to a successful outcome. WECF is co-organising partner, together with Voices of African Mothers, for all input from women worldwide. WECF and VAM coordinate all activities closely with the Women's Rio+20 Steering Committee.

More Information

The Women’s Major Group/Rio+20 Steering Committee is facilitating ways to make the links among the many women, men, organizations and movements from all corners of the world taking action for a gender-responsive Rio+20.

Sign the Women's Rio+20 position statement
The Women's major group has submitted its policy recommendations for Rio+20 to the United Nations on the 1st of November. Over 70 organisations and numerous individual contributors have signed on to the Women's major group submission. Go to this website and sign onto the Women's position statement, the more support the better! http://www.womenrio20.org/

Be Part of the Official Process
Join the Listserv for Women’s Major Group Rio+20 Steering Committee. The listserv is for anyone interested in planning for the official process for Rio+20. The group schedules monthly teleconferences; circulates information about meetings, conferences, position papers; and discusses ideas and activities. To join, send an email to chantal.vandenbossche@wecf.eu

Join our monthly conference calls
Join the Women's Rio+20 steering committee monthly conference calls. Contact: 

Follow and Like

Follow updates on Twitter and Facebook! And remember, spread the word! Tweet “I’m joining Women on the Road to Rio+20 @Women_Rio20 #RioPlus20 #UNCSD”


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12.07.2012 | WECF News

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06.07.2012 | WECF International

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28.06.2012 | Sascha Gabizon

Rio+20 Outcome Document Undermined by Human Rights Opponents
The global summit's final document falls short on corporate accountability and reproductive rights
28.06.2012 | Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and CIEL

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28.06.2012 | WECF

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During the Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, women’s contribution to sustainable development was highlighted by the Women's Rio+20 Good Practice Award
26.06.2012 | WICF Project

RIO+20: From the Future We Want to the Future We Need
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25.06.2012 | Statement Women's Major Group

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24.06.2012 | Statement Women's Major Group

Rio+20: Women “Disappointed and Outraged”
Women’s Major Group Releases Final Statement on the Outcomes of Rio+20: "We believe that the governments of the world have failed women, future generations and our beautiful but fragile planet earth"
24.06.2012 | Women's Major Group Press Release

RIO+20: Von der Zukunft, die wir wollen zu der Zukunft, die wir brauchen
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24.06.2012 | WECF Deutschland

Rio +20 Women: "Teleurgesteld en Verbolgen"
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Sascha Gabizon, Executive Director of Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) speaks at the UN Women Leaders Forum ahead of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
24.06.2012 | WECF news

Intervention by Hala Yousry from Egypt during the Opening Plenary at Rio+20
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Women's Rio+20 Good Practice Award
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22.06.2012 | WECF news

Grassroots women from around the world receive prestigious "Women's Rio+20 Good Practice Awards"
Grassroots women from around the world receive prestigious "Women's Rio+20 Good Practice Awards" from eight women Ministers in 21 June Ceremony and Reception at Rio Centro
22.06.2012 | WECF Press Release

Gro Harlem Brundtland censures Rio+20's gender equality outcomes
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22.06.2012 | The Guardian

RIO+20: Promised Green Economy Was a Fake, Say Activists
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Rio+20 Agreement a major disappointment
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Rio+20 Conference, 20 - 22 June

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18.06.2012 | WECF news

Powerful stories by Powerful Women who decry lack of real progress since 1992
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17.06.2012 | Claire Greensfelder and Bridget Burns on behalf of the WMG

Rio+20: Final Statement of the People's Summit
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Rio+20 - WECF sponsors June 15th Forum on Phase-Out of Nuclear Energy by 2020
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15.06.2012 | WECF Press Release

Press Release UN Women at start Rio+20: A world in balance requires gender equality, says UN Women
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14.06.2012 | Press Release UN Women

Staking claim to our future
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13.06.2012 | WEDO Press Release

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13.06.2012 | WECF Press Release

WECF says “no time to lose” as Rio+20 summit negotiations begin in Brazil
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Women Mobilize at Rio+20: Demanding a Just and Sustainable Future
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13.06.2012 | Women's Major Group Rio+20

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02.06.2012 | Chantal van den Bossche

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02.06.2012 | Women's Major Group

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01.06.2012 | WEDO & WECF

Interventions During the ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations in March – April, 2012
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20.05.2012 | WECF

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05.05.2012 | WECF news

Apply NOW! Women Rio+20 Good Practice Award: Women’s contributions to Sustainable and Equitable Economies
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02.05.2012 | WECF News

Steun vrouwen wereldwijd op weg naar Rio+20!
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01.05.2012 | Chantal van den Bossche

Dutch Discussion on Sustainable Development, Gender, and SRHR and the International Development Agenda
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24.04.2012 | Amanda Peterson

WECF and WEDO join hands in Call of Action letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
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24.04.2012 | WECF news

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16.04.2012 | Inter-Press Service

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14.04.2012 | WICF Project

Rio+20 Women Major Group befürchtet Weltabverkauf
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12.04.2012 | WECF

iPetition: Human Rights at Risk at the United Nations
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12.04.2012 | Rasa Jaruseviciute

Open Letter from the High Commissioner for Human Rights to Member States Regarding Rio+20
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11.04.2012 | Rasa Jaruseviciute

Rio+20 Preparatory Regional Conferences in Arab and French Speaking Countries
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10.04.2012 | WECF

100 Days until Rio+20: Women’s Priorities for Sustainable Development
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30.03.2012 | Rasa Jaruseviciute

Sascha Gabizon speaks on behalf of the Women's Major Group at UN press conference
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Women Perspective on the Green Economy: Side Event Rio+20, 27 March
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27.03.2012 | WECF

Human rights council of the United Nations recognizes importance of environment and human rights by installing independent expert
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27.03.2012 | Anke Stock

The Road to Rio - Interview with WECF director Sascha Gabizon
Interview with WECF director Sascha Gabizon, co-chair of the Women's Major Group for the UN conference on Sustainable Development (UNSCD) 2012 process
26.03.2012 | The Road To Rio - NGLS newsletter for Civil Society

Gender Dimension in the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda
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26.03.2012 | WECF

Special Raport on the Side Event: The Role of Technology in the "Green Economy"
Presented by the WECF, ETC Group, Consumers International, La Via Campesina, and Centro Ecológico
26.03.2012 | WECF

Women Travel Grants Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference Brazil, June 2012
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12.03.2012 | Sascha Gabizon

Waarom is Rio +20 belangrijk voor vrouwen?
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07.03.2012 | WECF Pers

International Women's Day 2012: Why is Rio+20 important for women?
WECF, organising Partner Women’s Major Group for Rio+20 states: the “Green Economy” needs Gender Equality
07.03.2012 | WECF Press Release

Rio+20 Zero Draft - Recommendations Women's Major Group
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05.03.2012 | Sascha Gabizon

Sascha Gabizon Contributed to UNEP Year Book 2012
Sascha Gabizon, WECF executive director, has contributed to the UNEP Year Book 2012 by reviewing the chapter Closing and Decommissioning Nuclear Power Reactors
02.03.2012 | WECF

Women’s Vision for Sustainable Development at UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, February 2012, Nairobi, Kenya
Sascha Gabizon, WECF executive director and co-chair Women’s Major Group, presented the Women Priorities for the Rio+20 Zero Draft at the meeting of the Network of Women and Leaders for the Environment
01.03.2012 | WECF

Gender Equality and Environmental Rights for All
WECF Publication: Gender as cross-cutting issue within WECF’s work

Rapport du Groupe Majeur Femmes, CNUDD Rio+20, 1er Novembre 2011
Document de positionnement pour Rio+20 - Résumé

Intervention by the Women’s Major Group on the Zero Draft Meeting for Rio+20
Azra Sayeed from Pakistan presented the women's vision on the "zero draft" Rio+20 ministerial declaration at UN Headquarters in New York on the 26th of January 2012.
30.01.2012 | WECF

Women’s Major Group: Rio+20 Position Statement - Summary
Summary of the Women’s Major Group Statements for UN Conference on Sustainable Development

WECF congratulates the winner of the 2011 SEED Gender Equality Award, "Solid Waste Management and Community Mobilization Program" from NEPAL
The SEED Gender Equality Award was created this year for the first time on the initiative of SEED, UN Women and the Women Rio+20 Steering Committee.
09.01.2012 | WECF Press Release

Women’s Intervention towards Rio+20: 5 Priority Actions
Anita Nayar, on behalf of the Women’s Major Group, presented 5 priority actions towards Rio+20 on 15-16 of December 2011.
02.01.2012 | WECF

Side Event at United Nations on 15th December: UNWomen, WECF and Women's Major Group
WECF is co-organising a side event entitled 'From 'Brown' Economy to 'Equitable' Economy - Women's priorities for Rio+20".
12.12.2011 | WECF

Sanitation and Gender Are Core Issues of the Nexus Approach
WECF contributed to the conference “The Water Energy and Food Security Nexus – Solutions for the Green Economy” held 16 to 18 November 2011 in Bonn
06.12.2011 | Sascha Gabizon

From 'Brown' Economy to 'Care' Economy
Women's priorities for Rio+20, Side Event at the UNECE Rio+20 conference, Geneva, 2 December
17.11.2011 | WECF

Women's Major Group for Rio+20 Position Presented at Meeting Organized by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A meeting on gender and women priorities for Rio+20 at the Foreign Ministry in Paris, 7 November in Paris
14.11.2011 | WECF

Youth case studies on Environment and Health - deadline extended to December 15
UNEP Tunza youth network calls for "good practice" case studies by Youth
14.11.2011 | WECF

Gender Prioriteit voor Rio+20
Op 11-11-11, de dag van de Duurzaamheid organiseert het Nationaal Platform Rio+20 samen met WECF, WOMEN Inc, WO=MEN en anderen een bijeenkomst met als titel: "Gender Prioriteit voor Rio+20".
11.11.2011 | WECF Press Release

Gender and Climate Justice Tribunals: Featuring Mexico and Peru
Women's tribunals on gender and climate justice were organized on 10 November, 2011, in collaboration with partners around the world in the lead up to COP 17 and Rio+20.
11.11.2011 | WECF

Nexus Conference: Initiating integrated solutions for the Green Economy, Bonn 2011
Nexus Conference: Initiating integrated solutions for the Green Economy will take place in Bonn on 16 - 18 November 2011.
03.11.2011 | WECF

Rio+20 - Women Worldwide Present Recommendations and Statements
More than 70 women's organizations from over 40 countries from around the world present their recommendations for Rio+20 - next year's United Nations conference on Sustainable Development
03.11.2011 | Sascha Gabizon

UNEP Tunza Youth meeting on Green Economy and Rio+20
60 youth representatives from 27 countries of the EU, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Southern Europe participated in the “UNEP Tunza European Youth Conference” which took place on the 6th and 7th of September 2011 in Bonn.
19.10.2011 | Sascha Gabizon

VAM, WECF and WEDO workshop Bonn on Gender and Green Economy, 4 September 2011
Voices of African Mothers, WECF and WEDO co-organise workshop on Gender and Green Economy as part of the preparations for Rio+20, during the UNDPI conference in Bonn, on 4 September 2011.
19.10.2011 | Sascha Gabizon

Major Groups: Farmers Statement
“Agriculture: The Centre Link of Sustainable Development Trinity”
14.10.2011 | WECF news

Women statement at UNEP global consultation on Rio+20 in Bonn, 1-2 September 2011
Representatives of the women's Rio+20 steering committee from Africa and Europe took part in the UNEP major group and stakeholders global consultation on Rio+20 in Bonn, 1-2 September 2011.
12.10.2011 | Sascha Gabizon

Rio+20: French Women Contact Group for Gender and Sustainable Development
Presentation of the French Women Contact group contribution for Rio+20
11.10.2011 | Sascha Gabizon

Women Major Group preparing submission on Rio+20 to UN
The women Rio+20 steering committee is calling for input for a global position of women on Rio+20 to be submitted to the UN before the deadline of 1 of November 2011.
11.10.2011 | Sascha Gabizon

WECF director calls for urgent measures to halt water pollution from uranium mining tailings in Central Asia at Environment for Europe Conference in Astana.
WECF director Sascha Gabizon – co-chair of the European Eco-Forum – addressed ministers of environment of the 56 countries of the UNECE region in her plenary address at 7th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference in Astana, Kazakhstan
25.09.2011 | Chantal van den Bossche

Women Economic Empowerment & the Green Economy
WECF’s engages through its activities to increase women’s economic empowerment, in particular of women in low income rural and peri-urban areas
14.09.2011 | WICF Campaign

The Heart of Green Economy Must Be Based on Social Equity
Interview with Sacha Gabizon, the executive director of WECF, on the United Nations Radio, 2 September 2011.
05.09.2011 | WECF

WECF active at global and regional Rio+20 consultations in Bonn, September 2011
WECF is actively involved in a number of international and regional Rio+20 consultations which are taking place in Bonn, Germany between 1 and 6 of September 2011

WECF co-signed: Letter regarding todays' ENVI debate on Rio+2
Civil Society Organizations offer comments and supports for the draft resolution for the ENVI committee in the European Parliament in the preparation for next years RIO+ summit
12.07.2011 | Sascha Gabizon

CSD 19: Women Major Group Statement: Multistakeholder Dialogue
The Women Major Group calls for the 10 year framework on SCP to support initiatives in which women and youth have clear and decisive access points to all levels of programme development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as funding mechanisms
11.05.2011 | Sascha Gabizon

A thousand economists tell G20 and Bill Gates: ‘Time for a Robin Hood Tax’
A thousand economists have called on G20 governments to agree on reducing speculative short term financial operations

The Madrid dialogue on Rio+20 with the High Level Panel on Global Sustainability
WECF director Sascha Gabizon moderated the session on Rio+20 Policy Outcomes during the Madrid Dialogue organised by SustainLabour and other partners in Madrid on 12 of April 2011

European Hearing on Rio+20
WECF director spoke at the „Greener Europe – Greener world“ meeting in Brussels
25.03.2011 | Chantal van den Bossche

Nigerian Ambassador hosts Rio+20 women ministers and leaders meeting on International Women's Day
WECF supports UNEP secretariat in organising an informal meeting of the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment (NWMLE)
09.03.2011 | Sascha Gabizon

Rio 2012 web site launched: www.uncsd2012.org
The Secretariat of the Rio 2012 Conference has launched an updated website, accessible at www.uncsd2012.org

International Women’s Day
On the 100th anniversary of international women's day WECF presents statement to the United Nations preparatory conference on Sustainable Development
08.03.2011 | WECF Press Release

WECF actively involved in at UNEP’s Global Forum and Governing Council, in Nairobi, Kenya
140 ministers of environment meet at the United Nations Environment Programme in preparation of Rio+20
25.02.2011 | Sascha Gabizon

Women Ministers and leaders discuss Rio+20 at 26th UNEP Governing Council Meeting, Nairobi
Possible policy outcomes for Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 in Brazil
24.02.2011 | Sascha Gabizon

'Green' Economy: inclusive and equitable
Women Rio+20 Steering Committee presents "Gender and Green Economy" position paper at the 26th UNEP Governing meeting on February 23 in Nairobi
24.02.2011 | Sascha Gabizon

Joint Statement EC and UNEP on priority areas on environment presented in Nairobi
The EC released a joint statement on cooperation on priority areas on environment at a press conference held on Wednesday, 23rd February 2011 in UNEP, Nairobi
23.02.2011 | IPEN Network

Towards Rio +20: The Role of Civil Society - Panel Presentation by Christine von Weizsäcker
Panel Presentation by Christine von Weizsäcker, President of WECF's Board of Trustees from the GMGSF 12 in Nairobi, Kenya
21.02.2011 | Christine von Weizsaecker

Women’s perspectives marginalized at Rio+20 Intersessional Meeting
Women's Major Group disappointed that women's perspectives were largely missing in discussion at first day Rio +20 interssessional in New York
18.01.2011 | Sascha Gabizon and Gail Karlsson

Nominations for International Environmental Governance process UNEP
Nomination forms for members of th Major Group and Stakeholder Advisory Group on UNEP's high level International Environmental Governance process (IEG)
08.07.2010 | Sascha Gabizon

Call for Women’s Participation in Rio+20
The United Nations General Assembly has decided to hold a follow-up to the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro (which is commonly known as the 'Earth Summit). Brazil has again agreed to be the host. The follow-up will be the 'UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012', and it is being called informally 'Rio+20'
15.06.2010 | Sascha Gabizon

Women call for equitable Green Economy agenda for Rio+20
WECF executive director Sascha Gabizon presented the women's major group position for an equitable Green Economy agenda for Rio+20 during the preparatory meeting on the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), focussing on the needs to create decent and safe jobs also for women.
15.06.2010 | Sascha Gabizon

The official report of the Rio+20 preparatory meeting at the United Nations
The "Chair's Summary" is the official report of the Rio+20 preparatory meeting at the United Nations which took place from 17 - 19 of May 2010 in New York
15.06.2010 | Sascha Gabizon

Women's Statement Rio+20 Prepcom
Women statement on strengthening global governance for sustainable development, 18 May 2010
15.06.2010 | Sascha Gabizon

More Information

The 1992 Earth Summit brought the need for sustainable development to the global agenda, led to a number of key Conventions designed to reduce environmental degradation and limit the impacts of climate change, and to move the world towards fair and green development and eradication of poverty. The Earth Summit also led to Agenda21, in which women were - for the first time - defined as one of the nine major groups  with a critical role to play in the formulation and implementation of policies for sustainable development.

Many of the women-led environmental and development organisations which were created in preparation for the 1992 Earth Summit, or to respond to its requirements, are now joining forces to work together to create a global women’s movement for equitable and green development, with women as leaders and catalysts for change.

What is at Stake at Rio+20 in 2012?

Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising those of future generations. The 1992 Earth Summit led to worldwide recognition that the current development model is not sustainable - that we need to decouple economic and social development from resource depletion and environmental pollution, and also restructure inequitable systems that perpetuate poverty. The Earth Summit led to historic Conventions, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). But global environmental and development governance has been fragmented and thus too weak to ensure real change, especially in terms of implementation of agreements. Global trade agreements and financial institutions have had more influence on development than Agenda 21, and lack of adequate national legislation and frameworks for sustainable development have also contributed to the lack of progress so far in achieving the aims of the Earth Summit.

Rio+20 will need to reform our global environmental and development governance, to ensure that sustainable development becomes the leading paradigm for international, national and local policy makers. It will need to produce international agreements to implement sustainable development, based on green, just and equitable economic indicators and tools. Rio+20 will also need to upgrade public participation, allowing and supporting civil society organisations to participate meaningfully in the discussions and negotiations, with women’s full engagement and leadership.

What women are planning for Rio+20 so far:

International preparations:

We are inviting women organisations from all sectors and regions to join in the preparations for the Rio+20. We are setting up a coordinating group to steer our activities towards Rio+20 and have set up a list-serve to share our plans and documents.

We will organise a women’s best practice fair during the prepcom for Rio+20 in 2011, and share our experience through best-practices publications.

We will coordinate with media organisations and organise media events and press contributions, including through new media.

National and regional preparations

We encourage women to become active in the national and regional preparation processes for Rio+20. Together with other major groups, governments, local authorities, parliamentarians, sustainable development councils and media organisations, we want to come up with creative and innovative recommendations and let our policy makers know that we expect transformative results to come from Rio+20.

How can you get involved? 

We call on women from local government, parliamentarians, women entrepreneurs, academics, unionists, artists, scientists, and all types of women’s organisations to think and plan with us and develop common recommendations. Send us your ideas, join our regular coordination conference calls, add your name and logo, spread our call and link to our websites!

Contact us via secretariat@wecf.eu or contact chantal.vandenbossche@wecf.eu if you want to join our listserve

Contact one of the organising partners or steering committee members:

WECF, Sascha Gabizon (contact person for relations with the UN) secretariat@wecf.eu

VAM, Nana Fosu Randall , nanamo2000@hotmail.com

ENERGIA, Gail Karlsson,  gkarlsson@igc.org

WEDO, Eleanor Blomstroem,eleanor@wedo.org