October 11, 2019. In the Hall of Honor of the Former National Congress of Chile, in Santiago, the seminar Latin America and Climate Change: Biodiversity and Gender was held on October 9. It brought together more than 200 people who listened to international experts in the environmental and gender areas, with the aim of developing proposals that will be delivered to decision-makers at COP25, to be held in December, in Chile.
Lenin Corrales, researcher at the Ecosystem Modeling Laboratory of CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), was part of the experts who participated in the event.
The ceremony was attended by the president of the Upper House, Senator Jaime Quintana, and his counterpart, Guido Girardi, president of the Commission Challenges of the Future, who emphasized the realization of the meeting.
The opening session, entitled Biodiversity: an unavoidable pillar for climate action, was attended by nearly 200 people and was led by Exequiel Ezcurra, an academic and researcher at the University of California, USA.
In his presentation, the Mexican highlighted that today there are many women who are conducting scientific research for the care of the environment and are leading the challenges of the present and future generations.
Itzá Castañeda, consultant on gender and environment, in her session Gender equality as an engine of change for resilience, commented that women are lagging behind in terms of public policies assuming gender equality as a central axis and that there are only seven countries in the region with action plans in this sense.
On the other hand, in the session Communities, Vulnerability and Disasters, Sarah Bradshaw, from Middlesex University, UK, pointed out that instead of focusing on how we use nature to benefit people, it is first necessary to understand how people understand nature. "We can't assume it's built as a good for us," Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw also stressed that vulnerability is what puts people at risk from natural hazards, but at the root of vulnerability are power inequalities.
Francisca Tondreau, executive director of The Nature Conservancy Chile, explained that the COP 25, to be held in Chile, will give the possibility to talk about solutions to climate change in a language that is not scientific, but closer.
Liesbeth van Deer Meer, vice-president of Oceana Chile, stressed that much of the environmental problem is that we have a disconnect between public policy and communities. Local knowledge, of the communities, has generated great changes.
The Prime Minister of the Environment of Chile, Ana Lya Uriarte, on behalf of the Horizonte Ciudadano Foundation, thanked the numerous organizations that joined the effort to make climate action, and affirmed that it is a key minute, not only for Chile, but for the planet, in what has been called an environmental emergency, given the situation facing climate change.
The proposal of the seminar was framed within the guidelines established in the international framework of the agreements of the Conference of the Parties (COP) on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Sustainable Development Objectives of Agenda 2030.
Ecosystem Modeling Unit Leader
Forests, Biodiversity and Climate Change Program