Our natural environment covers and protects us. It is our source of life and the entirety of our life is dependent on it, for growth and development. Daily, the natural environment declines in quality and quantity, affecting both living and non-living components. Utilization of resources in our natural environment is over-burdening these resources and the planet, causing various problems relating to loss of biodiversity, food security, climate change and pollution. Thus, there arises a need for critical review, in order to propose options that allow resources to be used wisely. There is a clear recognition that environmental actions and responses can only be sustained and just, if gender equality and human rights are taken into account.
Women need to be equally and actively involved in processes to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity, because they play critical roles as primary land managers and resource users. We are key in building community resilience and responding to climate related disasters. Natural resource conservation cannot progress sustainably, without tackling the issue of women’s access to land and other resources, neither water management nor disaster preparedness, without considering women’s rights and privileges as well as their welfare. The involvement of women in the protection of the environment is a great boost for societies to develop the much-needed sense of responsibility needed to maintain a good balance between humans and the earth’s resources.
From this, women are celebrated every year on March 8, a day set aside as International Women’s Day when the global community comes together to celebrate the achievements of women, in the past, present and future. It is also a day for highlighting the inequalities and challenges which still need to be addressed, regarding women’s involvement in all sectors of societies.
Thus, a group like the WSE is essential in ensuring the sustained involvement of women, and consequently children, in addressing issues of natural resource conservation and environmental sustainability.
For us at WSE, we stand as a beacon, encouraging and projecting the voice of women, in the quest for sustainable environment.
“The world’s women are the key to sustainable development, peace and security”Ban Ki-moon (UN Secretary-General, 2007-2016)