In the lead up to the Nairobi Summit and the UN’s Climate Change Summit in September 2019, UNFPA convened a three-day symposium, focusing on programmatic, partnership and financing opportunities linking ICPD, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender and climate change resilience.
Welcome addresses set an urgent tone for the need to accelerate the integration of SRHR, gender and climate change. Youth climate change activist, Yola Mgogwana, sent a powerful message to participants about a future that many fear but one that already exists in her community of Khayelitsha in the Western Cape. Doctor Julitta Onabanjo, Regional Director for UNFPA ESARO stressed that climate change is an pressing issue and one that needs to be addressed in order to realize the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), Agenda 2063, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)s. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of Women, Youth and People with Disabilities, Republic of South Africa, stressed the importance of identifying the financial costs to implement actions relating to climate change and reducing vulnerabilities, and also highlighted the central role women play in generating climate resilience.
Discussions around ICPD and climate change highlighted that people living in the poorest countries, who have contributed the least to global emissions, are already experiencing major crises and will likely feel the impacts of climate change most severely. The ICPD Programme of Action offers a platform for recognising the centrality of solutions driven by and supporting women and girls, young people and marginalized groups, who are already bearing enormous burdens of climate change and environmental degradation. Investing in universal access to SRHR, gender equality, population and development are essential components of climate resilience