Women and Climate Change

I recall a curriculum re-development meeting several years ago in which the head of Aboriginal Education held up a piece of paper and attached a post-it note to the corner.  He said something like: “You’re trying to take an existing system and tack on a bit of something new to make it all relevant to Aboriginal students.  We need major reform.”

I am often reminded of that meeting when I watch the development of metrics to measure success.  They tend to be developed by those in power in the contexts of what they understand:  a very human process.

What do we measure when we think about climate change?  Our first inclinations may be to look to scientific studies and data about carbon emissions, temperatures, or melting ice.  Those measure are important, but should quite different measures come to mind quickly as well?

In a recent interview with the 1 Million Women Campaign, Pasang Dolma Sherpa emphasized that women have played key roles in sustainable natural resources management, livelihoods, and transfer of knowledge to the new generations.  It is interesting to see relationships, knowledge and knowledge transfer implicit in this statement.  We know these things are important, and appear to be particularly important to women, but how often do we see them in lists of metrics?

Pasang2I met Pasang when she participated in a park system leadership development program I facilitated with the Canadian Parks Council.  She was part of the 2008 cohort  (pictured here sharing insights from her global work) and we have kept in touch since as she continues he quiet and powerful activism around Indigenous peoples, women and sustainability.  Do you know women—or are you a woman—passionate about reducing our impacts on the planet?  If so, you might enjoy the full interview with Pasang and the 1 million women campaign in progress.

As a P.S., here is an article from Nepal about Pasang’s work with climate change.


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