Welcome

Gender inequality is acknowledged as a key driver of vulnerability in the face of climate change. Likewise, full, meaningful and equal participation of women and LGBTI people in all aspects of climate policy and action is vital for achieving long-term climate goals. However, the connections between gender, health and climate change are not yet being made by decision-makers or translated into concrete measures and actions.
 
Further deliberate, focused effort is needed to strengthen cross-sectoral collaboration and effectively address the intersection of climate justice, health equity, and gender and SOGIESC based inequality.
 

Please introduce yourself briefly (name, organization/area of work, country) and answer any or all of the below questions: 
 
For more guidance, please refer to the FAQs.
 
Priorities

  1. What are the priority issues in the intersection of climate justice, health equity and gender equality for your community/constituents/organizations? What 3-5 top advocacy issues would you want to tackle?

Relevant current efforts

  1. What partnerships/initiatives/programmes/projects/policies do you have or know of that are currently operating in this intersection of at least two of the issues (climate justice, health equity, gender equality)? What are the current activities?

 Entry points

  1. What promising good practices, initiatives, programmes or policies could be replicated in other settings or brought to scale?

 Evidence

  1. Where are the key gaps in data on climate change, health equity and gender equality?
     
  2. What information (e.g. indicators, cause-effect understanding) or capacity (e.g. health impact assessment, vulnerability assessment, cost-based policy comparisons (cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-benefit analysis)) would be most helpful to you?

Capacity and support needs

  1. What needs to be in place for your organization/community/constituents to have a meaningful role in tackling these issues? What support do you need to create positive change?


 

Comments (15)

Katri Kivioja Moderator

Dear Colleagues,

A warm welcome to the public consultation on ensuring integration of women and LGBTI people’s needs in health and climate change action in the Asia-Pacific! We’re looking forward to hearing from all of you over the next four weeks. This discussion will be open 24/7 until 19 March; please feel free to drop in at any time at your convenience and leave us your comments on one or more of the questions, or read what others are saying and respond.


The Covid-19 pandemic has been a painful reminder that in times of crisis those who are already at the margins bear the worst of the impact, and have the least support and resources to respond. If the pandemic has been a kind of dress rehearsal for the drastic impact climate change will have on human health and well-being on a global scale, it is clear we need to do better next time.

It takes time to build the kind of systems, policies, programmes, and mindsets that are truly inclusive and work for everyone. The time to act is now.

Health equity, climate justice, and gender and SOGIESC inclusion are all complex topics in their own right, and few of us are experts in three. Our work is too often siloed, and cross-sectoral collaboration challenging. However, collectively we have a wealth of information and experience and we believe that joint efforts can and will break the siloes.

What do we already know about the marginalization of women and LGBTI people that drives health-related vulnerabilities? How will climate change impact those dynamics? What have we learned about participation and leadership that is crucial for setting up the inclusive conversations that need to take place? What are we doing that is already working, and how can we add that extra dimension, be it consideration of the impact on climate change in health-related work, or taking a deeper look at gender dynamics and health in climate change action? What support, resources and information needs to be made available for our efforts to succeed? Where are the pain points, the absolute priorities that need to be tackled to make progress?

We invite you to dream big with us. What should a multi-sectoral collaboration on climate justice and health for women and LGBTI people look like if we were serious about moving the needle on these issues? How could UNDP help you make a difference?

Ryan Joseph Figueiredo Moderator

Dear colleagues,

Welcome again to this consultation!

We are so proud to be able to collaborate with UNDP on this. As Katri Kivioja stated, this 4-week, round the clock global consultation will allow a diverse set of actors to speak to one of the most pressing social justice issues of our generation. These conversations will help shape innovative solutions, forge strategic partnerships and truly ensure that no one is left behind in the SDGs - especially women and LGBTI+ persons.

Equal Asia Foundation is an LGBTI+ think tank and innovations incubator based in Thailand. Since August 2020, we have been engaging with a number of stakeholders to explore the intersection of LGBTI rights with Climate justice. With a small grant from UNDP, we were able to map stakeholders, review literature and develop advocacy products that demonstrate the impacts of climate change on LGBTI+ persons and communities in Asia. More importantly, we were able to articulate how climate change is a good entry point to speak to the multiple and intersectional vulnerabilities of LGBTI+ persons and communities. It is the queerness of this issue that is exciting and holds immense promise for recovering and rebuilding better.

Over the next few weeks, we will share insights from our own journey with respect to this project as well as how we coped with the pandemic. There are undoubtedly many lessons to learn from these seemingly related events. We hope you will come along with us on this adventure, trust us with your stories and share your resources and expertise with all of us.

 

 

Shane Bhatla

I definitely agree with you, Ryan, about the queerness of this issue. I read an article about why climate change is an LGBTIQ+ issue and we created an infographic about it. I'm sharing it below.

An infographic about why climate change is an LGBTIQ+ issue

Alexandra Johns

 

Asia Pacific Alliance is a regional civil society network that mobilizes action for fulfillment of SRHR.  APA prioritizes rights issues such as sexuality, comprehensive sexuality education, and access to safe and legal abortion, focusing on vulnerable and/or marginalized groups. 

The interconnections between SRHR and climate change are complex and dynamic. Deeply embedded harmful norms of gender inequality increase vulnerability of women and girls and LGBTIQ people in particular to the negative effects of climate change. Climate change worsens the cycle of poverty, and intersects with other forms of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, HIV and/or migrant status, amongst others.   While displaced, trading sex for money or precious resources may be the only way to support themselves and their families, and  the risk of sexual and gender based violence is exacerbated.


Furthermore women’s roles as primary caregivers and providers of food and fuel also make them more vulnerable when flooding and droughts occur due to climate change. As the financial resources of families dwindle, adolescent girls are forced to marry at younger ages, contributing directly to school drop-out, early pregnancies, maternal morbidity and mortality, and a life of domestic servitude. 

As the numbers of climate-related displaced populations increases, it leads to an increased number of people in need of SRHR services and/or protection from gender-based violence.

And increasing access to SRHR has been recognized as a prevention strategy, by increasing environmental sustainability and mitigating the effect of climate change.  When people have their SRHR fulfilled and have bodily autonomy, their capacity to engage in climate change adaptation actions is greater. They can make decisions to better manage risks, pursue new livelihood strategies, and this enables them to be more resilient to the impacts of climate and active contributors to climate solutions, including through local knowledge.  

Despite this, few governments in the region have harnessed the potential of SRHR and integrated it into climate change efforts such as National Adaptation Plans.  Efforts are often siloed, with separate ministries of the government working on SRHR, gender and climate change.   Civil society mirrors the divide, with few NGOs that work on SRHR addressing climate change, and vice versa.

The linkages between climate-related decision-making and rights-based approaches including SRHR, should be strengthened. This means ensuring that the voices of vulnerable groups and marginalized groups of LGBTIQ and women, indigenous people, amongst others, are included in decision making and policy development at all levels.   Ensuring bodily autonomy is respected and protected, and that people are able to make decision over their bodies, sexuality, and SRHR from coercion and discrimination and to access quality SRHR services, is an enabler to participation in climate action and achieving sustainable development.

Finally, a greater emphasis on policy coherence is needed and more strategic utilization of tools already in existence.   Development frameworks like the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action -  the first process to link human rights, gender equality and the sustainable development-  Agenda 2030 and Beijing Platform for Action are spaces to place  greater emphasis on this nexus and be used to ensure government accountability.   Likewise SRHR should be better integrated into processes like the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change .

 

 

 

 

Ryan Joseph Figueiredo Moderator

Good morning everyone and welcome to day 2 of the consultation.

Thank you Alexandra Johns for your intervention yesterday. Something that you mentioned yesterday really resonated with us. Last year during our desk review we came across this short documentary called 'One every second'. It documents the journey of 18 year old Pakhi who is a climate migrant and tells us the story of how the impacts of climate change pushed her into sex work.

I want to invite you to watch this 15-minute documentary to hear her story and understand the broader context of climate related displacement

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=SFizi7UTlPo

 

There is also a short interview by Lily Jalaluddin with the film makers Otto and Johannes so you can understand how they documented Pakhi's story

http://climatetracker.org/climate-displacement-pushes-girls-into-prostitution-a-brief-interview-with-the-documentary-makers/

 

For additional reading, I would like to recommend all of us to go to my colleague's Shane Bhatla profile and review the content he has been uploading since yesterday.

 

Ryan Joseph Figueiredo Moderator

Thanks Alexandra Johns  for bringing this to our attention

"Please find attached a new resource “THE LINK BETWEEN CLIMATE CHANGE AND SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS”  from Women Deliver.  This evidence review is designed to be used by decision-makers and climate change, humanitarian, and gender equality advocates to better understand the linkages between sectors and align efforts to generate effective policies and programs

 

Gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and climate change issues are inextricably linked. Climate change risks increasing social, including gender, inequalities. In addition, as global temperatures rise, extreme weather events like floods, droughts, and heatwaves particularly threaten the health and rights of girls and women. In turn, gender, sexuality, age, wealth, indigeneity, and race are all determining factors in the vulnerability to climate change. While growing evidence proves that climate change issues are not gender-neutral, there remain considerable gaps in related gender-disaggregated data and gender analyses in this space.9 More specifically, the linkages between climate change and SRHR have received little attention to-date. However, recognizing these links is key to creating an effective adaptive response to climate change, while also improving gender equality and access to SRHR services.

 

There is a second resource also attached which looks in more detail at the integration of SRHR into National Adaptation Plans"

Vanessa Monley

Hi Everyone, Vanessa from Youth LEAD here, the regional network on young key populations in the Asia Pacific.

Whilst the intersection of climate justice, gender, and LGBTI is something we haven’t fully explored yet, the COVID-19 pandemic has really highlighted how global disasters can impact the livelihoods and wellbeing of young key populations in the region, especially when it comes to accessing health care services. As such, we believe that organisations must be equipped with the skills to better prepare for emergencies and other disasters that may occur as a result of ongoing climate change.

Young people play a vital role, not only as effective advocators of climate change and health issues but also as drivers of action-oriented, long-term impacts on the ground. We’d like to see data on how climate change affects certain YKP groups, and how youth- led organisations can contribute to ongoing efforts to mitigate the effects on the most marginalised, including young key populations. I really look forward to following the conversation over the next few weeks and engaging with any experiences other youth-led organisations share.

Ryan Joseph Figueiredo Moderator

Thank you Vanessa Monley for your reflection.

Lack of data continues to be one of the major blindspots in this sector - especially when we want to understand the multiple and intersectional vulnerabilities of key populations and other vulnerable communities.

However, in the absence of data, we still have some powerful stories of young people at forefront of the climate justice movement in our region. Their voices help us understand how young people across Asia are making leaps of faith and imagination in addressing challenges posed by this climate crisis. Here is one such story of an LGBTIQ+ climate change activist in the region.

Marvin is also a member of the Pride team in Iloilo city!

https://www.greenpeace.org/philippines/story/3064/for-equality-and-climate-action-a-qa-with-2-filipino-lgbtq-and-climate-activists/?fbclid=IwAR13R5JaaAwJ15EZSK2yA0JF3KAU5rx2hlWb3_4YB7H9_MzmMTC4YGIzxuI

 

QueerclimateactivistsQueerclimateactivists

 

 

Ryan Joseph Figueiredo Moderator

Welcome to day 3 of the consultation!

Today I wanted to share with you a statement of from LGBTI and indigenous women affected by climate change.

This statement articulates the challenges that women, indigenous persons and LGBTI+ persons from Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines face. Also included are the people-centred recommendations that these organisatoins have proposed.

 

 

"That we experience/suffer discrimination and impacts from climate change.

We, women from the indigenous communities, who depend on natural resources for livelihood, have experienced loss and extinction of our traditional plant species, and our planting pattern indiscriminately altered by climate change. This causes crops failures that affect our food security. We, our children and the elderly in our communities, frequently get sick because of the changing weather system.

This situation has added more burden to us women, as our children are forced to migrate out of our communities to find work to help their families. This has restricted and lessened our time to be able to participate in community affairs including participating in climate change mitigation and adaptation actions in our communities.

LGBTI experience various forms of discrimination and risks when climate change crises happen. Since most ASEAN governments do not recognize LGBTI in their laws, they cannot access in support service for disasters and are not allowed to participate in adaptation and mitigation plans.

We deplore the way we are blamed for the disasters, and with this, hatred is built up against us, making us even more vulnerable to violence and marginalisation.

We deplore the way we are left out of decision-making processes, to an issue such as climate change which affects us in the same way as any other citizens in our countries. We are concerned that we are denied access to vital information about climate change and are left out of the conversation from our communities, and at the local, national, regional and global levels

We are concerned that our potentials to contribute to addressing climate change, through our practices and traditions are not tapped.

We lament that ASEAN government do not have a common negotiating position on climate change at the global level as this will weaken the delivery of  sufficient support to our countries for adaptation, mitigation and loss and damage;

We are concerned further that gender equality and human rights are not integrated in the negotiating position of ASEAN countries, and adherence to the basic principle of common but differentiated responsibility is not used enough to demand the accountability and obligation of developed countries to provide developing countries with the means of implementation (finance, technology transfer and capacity building) to address climate change.

Lastly that the development model of ASEAN countries, which is extractive, export-led and makes use of dirty energy such as fossil fuel and coal, continue.

It is in this context that we forward the following recommendations to the governments of  ASEAN:

  • Develop a common negotiating position for the adoption of the new Paris agreement that is based on strict adherence to the CBDR principles, and non-use of market mechanisms
  • Should include human rights and gender equality perspectives in all actions related to mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage and means of implementation of the new agreement.
  • Establish the Environmental Pillar as the 4th ASEAN Pillar and adopt a common position on climate change, commit to the elimination of all fossil fuel and the use of 100% renewable energy by 2050, undertake regional collaboration in terms of adaptation and mitigation, focus on the protection of food and natural resources, and increase use of renewable energy and provision of long-term finance, especially for mitigating loss and damage.
  • Support small-scale, locally owned and developed ecological responses ensuring food sovereignty and traditional knowledge, including indigenous knowledge
  • Retain, recognize and promote tradition and historical practices of indigenous and rural women that are friendly to the environment
  • Provide information on a regular basis on warnings on the onset of climate change events, for people to be prepared.
  • Include the most affected by climate change, particularly women and LGBT people, in decision-making processes at the local, national and regional levels.
  • Establish an accountability mechanism that binds both States and private actors, particularly for their responsibility in climate change.
  • Commit to a radical and just transition from extractive and profits based economies to people-centred models that are just, equitable, gender-sensitive and locally driven.
  • This transition should be based on the development justice model ensuring redistributive, economic, gender and social justice as well as accountability.

 

Signed

Togetherness for Equality and Action (TEA); Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, Climate Watch Thailand; CamASEAN Youth’s Future; (CamASEAN)

Ryan Joseph Figueiredo Moderator

Dear Colleagues - Welcome to Day 4 of the consultation.

Today, I wanted to reflect on the impact of climate change events on the mental health of LGBTI+ persons and communities. Much of the literature available focuses on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Associated Asia Research Foundation highlights the lack of research in other mental health conditions in these settings; ‘diagnosable depressive and anxiety disorders and substance misuse are under-represented in the published data. Most people’s psychosocial needs are met through their close relationships with their families, friends and communities’ (AARF, 2018). With this in mind, the increased social isolation and loneliness that LGBTIQ+ individuals face during a climate disaster would affect their mental health, as being made displaced means many are separated from their support networks. IGLHRC (2011) found the lack of safe spaces in Haiti after the earthquake impacted LGBTIQ+ individuals mental health; “When asked to identify the greatest impact of the earthquake on their lives, the majority of LGBT people interviewed for this paper indicated that it decimated the already limited physical spaces, social networks and support services available to them. According to one Port-au-Prince lesbian, “Loneliness, invisibility, and social isolation are persistent problems for us.”

This is exacerbated when individuals are faced with the LGBTIQ+ community being blamed for the disaster. This was documented in Haiti, post-hurricane Katrina and Fiji’s Cyclone Winston (Dominey-Howes, 2014). In Haiti, some gay and bisexual men were assaulted for ‘causing the earthquake’ (Dominey-Howes, 2014), whereas in Fiji church pastors claimed the cyclone was caused by (LGBTIQ+) ‘sin’ (EdgeEffect, 2018). In Brisbane after serious flooding, it was documented that the church refused to give out food parcels to gay relationships (Gorman-Murray, 2017).

Out of the limited case studies available on LGBTIQ+ impacts from disasters very few comment on the mental health impacts. Pincha (2008) does comment on the physical and psychological harm’ of aravanis but it fails to go into further detail or list any mental health issues they suffered.  Whilst studies show the increase of PTSD amongst disaster victims (AARF, 2018), (Grant, 2008), (Hechanova, 2008) no studies could be found that included the queer community.  Evidence shows how evacuees with a history of trauma are especially vulnerable to post-disaster stress reactions (Grant, 2008).

Considering this, the knowledge that LGBTIQ+ individuals have a heightened vulnerability during climate disasters and their vulnerability to mental health disorders prior to disasters, further research into this topic would be highly valuable.

Here is one study that might give us some insights about the Asia region

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325571399_Evaluation_of_a_resilience_intervention_for_Filipino_displaced_survivors_of_Super_Typhoon_Haiyan

Have a wonderful day and I am looking forward to hearing from you

 

mental health 1

 

 

mental health 2

Shane Bhatla

Hi Ryan,

I wanted to add another resource that is in line with what you wrote. A psychological study was done exploring the physical and mental impacts on three adolescent transwomen that experience flooding annually. It touches on their experience of PTSD, trans resilience and how the community supports each other even with limited access to resources.

 

https://www.academia.edu/31733787/Psychological_Resilience_and_Flooding_The_Case_of_Teenage_Transwomen_TTW_in_Quezon_City_Philippines

 

 

Ryan Joseph Figueiredo Moderator

Hello colleagues

I wanted to remind you about the 7th Asia Pacific Adapation Forum that starts next month.

Register here to attend some exciting plenaries and dialogues.

http://www.asiapacificadapt.net/adaptationforum2020/registration/

Hosted by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MoEJ), Government of Japan, together with the APAN Secretariat at UNEP, the 7th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum will be held virtually on 8-12 March 2021 under the theme: Enabling Resilience for All: The Critical Decade to Scale-up Action, sharing learnings from actions towards climate-resilient development. Resilience is the unifying theme of the Forum, which is structured around four thematic “streams” focusing on (i) inclusive resilience; (ii) nature-based resilience (iii) economic sector resilience; and (iv) communities and local resilience.

Resilience embodies the desired end-point of adaptation, applicable to natural, human, economic, and engineered systems. Adequate enabling conditions through which resilience may be built on, maintained, and strengthened are identified as a) climate governance; b) planning and processes; c) science and assessment; d) technologies and practices; e) finance and investments.

Dont miss this very exciting Inclusive Resilience dialogue (I've attached the speakers profiles below)

 

 

Alyson Brody Moderator

Dear Ryan,

Thank you for your insights on LGBTIQ experiences of climate change impacts, and for the examples of how mental health is a critical yet often ignored issue in the context of climate change human impacts. In my desk research I could find little to no research on the gender dimensions of mental health for those affected by disasters. I wondered if members of this community could comment on attitudes to mental health in their countries, and on available services. Where are the gaps and good practices? How gender and SOGEISC-sensitive are services, when they are provided? Any examples would be most welcome. 

 

Thanks also to Ryan for sharing the statement from LGBTI and indigenous women affected by climate change in the Asia Pacific region. Are there any examples of local or country-level initiatives to raise awareness of the issues and bring together voices and hearts from affected communities? 

Shane Bhatla

Hi Alyson,

I'd like to share some insight that we were able to get through our desk research. While there are studies done to understand the psychological impacts of disasters on survivors, there is little to none on impacts on the LGBTIQ+ community.

If you haven't had the chance to, I'd really like to recommend OUT 4 Sustainability's podcasts. They talk about issues LGBTIQ+ individuals face during relief plans in the US. There are case studies that are given, one of a transwoman who was arrested in a shelter for taking a shower and a case study of 2 gay dads of color having to drive for miles to find shelter that would accept them. The podcast also talks about impacts on mental health of LGBTIQ+ homeless youth when homeless shelters get destroyed due to disasters. Here's the link :

https://soundcloud.com/out4s/queer-and-present-danger

Some of their other podcasts are also really worthwhile to listen to. I'd like to share some links below for you that talk specifically to mental health during a climate crisis.

Meeting Mental Health Needs following a natural disaster : Lessons from Hurricane Katrina : 

https://www.academia.edu/1403219/Meeting_mental_health_needs_following_a_natural_disaster_Lessons_from_Hurricane_Katrina

Impact of Disaster on Mental Health in Asia :

https://www.academia.edu/37829561/IMPACT_OF_DISASTER_ON_MENTAL_HEALTH

Evaluation of a resilience intervention for Filipino displaced survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan :

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325571399_Evaluation_of_a_resilience_intervention_for_Filipino_displaced_survivors_of_Super_Typhoon_Haiyan

 

With that said, we have definitely seen a huge gap in studies on LGBTIQ+ mental health and climate crisis in Asia. Hopefully this is a gap that can be filled to gain better understanding of this issue.

Ryan Joseph Figueiredo Moderator

Welcome all to Day-5 of the consultation

Thank you to everyone who made time to comment and share. It was quite a hectic week for many of us. I will hand over the moderator baton to Divya Chandran who will take over next week. Equal Asia Foundation will continue to engage with all of you on the platform throughout this consultation and we look forward to hearing from more of you in the coming weeks.


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