Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA)
Uniting women’s and environmental rights activists worldwide
Both ENDS, together with Mama Cash and lead organisation Fondo Centroamericano de Mujeres (FCAM), is taking part in an exciting new strategic partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs: the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA). This 5-year program brings together the women’s rights and environmental justice movements. Both ENDS is convinced that 1 plus 1 equals more than 2: advocates for women’s rights and environmental justice can build on each other’s strengths to help bring about a world where women can exercise their rights to water, food and a clean, healthy, and safe environment.
The grassroots level is the starting point of GAGGA’s multi-layered programme. In Mongolia, for instance, a training was organised for environmental and women’s rights groups, including female shepherds from the country. They discussed the impacts of the mining boom in Mongolia on the lives and health of women. The participants also learned how to file complaints with the investment banks that fund the uranium and copper mines. It was the first time that both groups sat together and exchanged strategies. Training to strengthen their advocacy and leadership skills will follow in 2017. The ideas and evidence gathered through this kind of local dialogue and training is used to put pressure on the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to improve their gender and environmental safeguards. These ‘safeguards’ are the policies meant to guarantee that projects the IFIs fund do not harm the environment and livelihoods ofwomen and local communities. The NGOs that organised the training in Mongolia, CEE Bankwatch and OT Watch, bring in lots of hands-on experience with monitoring safeguard policies. In this way, GAGGA sets out to link grassroots realities to national and international policy processes, like Both ENDS has done before on so many other topics.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GRASSROOTS FUNDS
GAGGA’s activities and strategies start from the interests and demands of local communities. GAGGA works with 16 grassroots funds covering 30 countries worldwide. The lead partner of GAGGA, FCAM, is one of such funds. It provides tailored and flexible financial support to local women’s groups in Nicaragua and other Central American countries. Grassroots funds are very efficient and effective in making a big, real impact in women’s lives. Both ENDS has been arguing that the small grants funds should therefore get direct access to international funds, such as the Green Climate Fund. GAGGA will step up Both ENDS’ ongoing international advocacy to make this happen.