World Environment Day from a feminist perspective
June 5th is World Environment Day, an occasion on which to join our efforts to the increasing global demand for strong and explicit measures to curb environmental catastrophe and the deterioration of the different ecosystems that sustain life, livelihoods and cultures.
This demand is crucial because our planet is experiencing an environmental crisis, exacerbated by the pressure of the current capitalist economic model, deeply rooted in colonial and patriarchal mindset- with unprecedented consequences on our environment, as the generalized pollution (by carbon emissions, plastics, agrichemicals, extractive activities, among others), water depletion and pollution, climate change, droughts, and heavy rains. These environmental disasters exacerbate existing inequalities, being women in all their diversity, youth, children, elders and poor people with disabilities the ones who bear the brunt of the impacts.
It is time to change the anthropocentric approach that asserts that nature can be appropriated, controlled, and unlimitedly exploited, no matter how much you can damage or pollute. It is time that we assume and solve our responsibilities of polluting the environment and damaging our ecosystems and not translating these to other [southern] countries, via false solutions such as carbon/biodiversity offsets programs.
Therefore, World Environment Day should be a space to demand real solutions to the environmental crisis and give a place to Indigenous Peoples, local communities and women, as they have been champions in protecting local ecosystems for centuries. It is necessary to protect ecosystems through better governance and transformative gender practices, as these practices are also cost-effective ways to address the environmental and climate crisis.
Learn more about GFC’s Gender Justice and Forests Campaign.