I find myself in Peru, one of the oldest civilizations of Latin America. In December of this year, Peru will be the host country of the twentieth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 20).
From these shores and mountains, that keep and embrace one of the most mega biodiverse countries in the world, we are examining the links between gender and climate change.
In the context of ancient knowledge we are discussing with negotiators, scientists, policy makers and women's and youth groups how to develop an advocacy strategy that will allow COP20 to constitute a milestone which will mobilize and strengthen the issue of gender equality.
The importance of gender considerations in climate change policy-making, programming and finance has gained significant recognition in recent years--and subsequently, 32 decisions to date of the UNFCCC have included substantive text on gender that primes Parties for gender-responsive action at the national level.
The upcoming COP 20 will be an important opportunity to continue to build enabling elements for an effective, efficient, and equitable gender-responsive climate change framework. The Government of Peru, particularly as host of this vital COP, is in a position to take leadership and catalyze progress in several areas.
Delegates to Peru will thus have the important opportunity to provide a mandate for developing a comprehensive framework, including a two-year work program, for implementation of gender provisions.
A COP 20 decision, such as this, can strengthen and substantiate progress on gender-responsive climate policy and implementation. A time-bound framework for action can ensure that concrete steps are in place to turn words into action, with impact across all key issues and programs of the UNFCCC.
Peru, the world will be watching you, you have in your hands the opportunity to propel action that will have an impact in the lives of millions of women around the world.