High Level Gender Forum: summary of proceedings
With the theme ‘Bridging the Gap: Gender Transforming Environmental Management’, the High Level Gender Forum was held on 15 February 2009. More than 200 participants attended, including Environment Ministers from 30 countries, government representatives, international agencies and non-governmental organizations.
The High Level Gender Forum was officially opened by the Minister for Natural Resources, Rwanda, HE Stanislas Kamanzi, on behalf of the President of Rwanda, HE Paul Kagame. In addition keynote addresses were made by the Deputy Minister for Environment and Tourism, South Africa, HE Ms Rejoice Mabudafhsai; Kenya’s Assistant Minister for Environment and Mineral Resources, HE Ramadhan Kajembe; Kenya’s Minister for Public Health and Sanitation, HE Ms Beth Mugo; the Director General, IUCN, Ms Julia Marton-Lefevre, and UNEP Executive Director, Mr Achim Steiner.
The Opening Session was chaired by UNEP’s Deputy Executive Director, Ms Angela Cropper. Following the opening, three sessions were held. Firstly, a plenary session set the pace for the day by discussing the GC-25 and GMEF thematic areas from a gender point of view. In the afternoon two vibrant parallel sessions engaged participants in addressing ‘Moving towards a green economy’ and ‘The role of governance in responding to challenges and capturing opportunities’.
Among the wide ranging topics covered were gender and the management of energy resources, food security and the impact of food prices on women, integrating gender perspectives into sustainable consumption and the employment and retraining opportunities for women presented by the shift to a green economy.
A further closed meeting of the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment, originally due to take place the same day, was postponed until later in the week.