Waterloo, ON– On Wednesday, March 16th, MEDA co-hosted and participated in “Women at the forefront of action for climate-resilient food systems,” a panel at the UN Commission on the Status of Women parallel event. The session brought together women working in different parts of the agri-food market system to discuss the role climate change plays in agriculture. This event was co-sponsored by the governments of Canada and Côte d’Ivoire, in partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, MEDA, and SOCODEVI.
The panel included:
- Anita Vandenbeld, Parliamentary Secretary to the Canadian Minister of International Development
- Madame Namizata Sangaré, President of the National Council for Human Rights, Côte d’Ivoire
- Isabelle Ahou Fram Tano, Vice-President of the FAHO Cooperative in Côte d’Ivoire.
- Florence Nduku, the Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator for HERD, a Global Affairs Canada-funded project in southern Africa
- Pilar Martinez, co-founder and manager of Cosecha Partners, a Nicaragua-based social enterprise that supplies fine cacao, specialty coffee, and other organic ingredients to the food industry while growing sustainable incomes for smallholder farmers. Cosecha Partners is connected to MEDA’s Global Affairs Canada-funded Technolinks+ project in Nicaragua, which catalyzes the adoption of productive technologies among small farmers and agri-food processors.
- Céline Delhaes, co-owner of La Belle de Coteau-du-Lac, an agri-food company that produces dairy, organic market gardening, berries, and agrotourism activities in Quebec
- Arzeena Hamir, co-owner of Amara Farm, a 25-acre certified organic farm in Courtenay, BC.
The conversation was thought-provoking and produced many insights from the diverse panelists. It was the second side event at the Commission on the Status of Women Forum (CSW66) that MEDA supported, the first of which was called “Social Entrepreneurship, at the Gender Equality and Climate Change Nexus” session. That virtual event, hosted by MEDA, featured an engaging panel discussion that illustrated how women are at the forefront of creating sustainable climate change solutions and outlined what was needed to continue supporting them.
Women worldwide rely upon agriculture for their livelihoods and play a vital role in this sector. Yet, because they generally work on smaller plots of land, have fewer farming resources, and additional care work responsibilities, they are highly vulnerable to the negative impacts that climate change poses to food systems. Creating food systems that are climate-resilient and equitable for men and women will play an essential role in reducing poverty and creating more economic opportunities for all. They can further contribute to fulfilling the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
MEDA’s projects incorporate gender and environmental lenses to support our clients in building solid businesses and livelihoods while helping the food systems operate in an environmentally sustainable manner. Building sustainable and gender-equitable food systems is also a core aspect of MEDA’s strategic plan to create or sustain half a million decent jobs by 2030.
To watch the video, click below: