Influencing global change on the environment

seagerJoni Seager, dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, will be leaving for Nairobi on Oct. 8 for 10 days to participate in several meetings at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters.

Right: Joni Seager

During the first half of her visit, Seager will serve as an “Expert Advisor” at the UNEP Global Women’s Assembly on the Environment. In this capacity, Seager will lead a workshop on “Capacity Building for Gender and Environment Education”. The meeting, which will bring together delegates from around the world, is being held this year in conjunction with the Conference of Global Network of Women Ministers of the Environment. Joint sessions of the assembly and the ministers’ meeting are focusing on issues such as the gendered dimensions of global environmental change, and the interlinkages of environmental degradation, gendered inequality, and poverty. “I hope this joint meeting will be an opportunity for policy-makers, activists, and academics to have small-group discussions on environmental challenges and the global role of women in forging sustainable environmental futures,” said Seager.

Following these meetings, Seager will then shift focus to continue a project she started earlier this year with UNEP’s Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA) on bringing gender analysis into its work.

DEWA is the UN agency charged with responsibility for being the primary rapporteur to the world’s governments on the state of the global environment. Over the last year, Seager has been working with DEWA to craft a plan for ensuring that gender-based environmental analysis is included in all of the assessments undertaken by DEWA.

In a working group session being planned around Seager’s visit, also in Nairobi at UNEP headquarters, experts from more than a dozen countries will work with her to draft a chapter on gender and environment for DEWA’s annual environmental report and to refine a strategy plan that Seager co-authored earlier this year with Professor Betsy Hartmann of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Seager says she will come away from the meeting “with comments on and fresh material for a first draft of my chapter for DEWA’s Annual Report which will be published in 2006.”