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Debate

From Background Noise to Alarm Bells: Towards Inclusive Climate Action

  • Ralph Regenvanu
  • RoseAnne Archibald
  • Molly Kellogg
  • Anja Olin-Pape
  • Miguel van der Velden
Date
Friday 4 December 2020
Time
Address
Online

About the Event

On Friday 4 December at 11:30AM (CET), the Chair of UN Studies in Peace and Justice has organized a virtual event that focuses on contemporary challenges brought about climate change from the perspective of the UN’s lesser-known actors. 
At a time of global climate crisis, and during the worst pandemic for almost a century, the purpose of this event is to unpack and revisit the links between vulnerable actors, security challenges and climate change. While climate change impact is rarely the sole trigger of tension and conflict, it converges with other global pressures exacerbating existing security challenges and intensifying the political and socio-economic instability in societies. These concerns do not relate exclusively to climate change as a contributing factor to conflict, but concerns have also grown as many well-intended measures taken to mitigate climate change impact has proved to be harmful to local communities. Such increased level of insecurity does not only exacerbate conflict, it also forms an obstacle to climate action. As certain impacts of climate change have by now become unavoidable, there is a growing need to understand these linkages and to create awareness for its impact on grassroot communities, as well as the importance of indigenous environmental knowledge and expertise. Indigenous and rural communities, as ‘lesser-known actors’ within the international community, are disproportionally burdened by environmental degradation and climate change. On the other hand, tight physical and spiritual connection of indigenous communities with their traditional lands results in excellent observation and interpretation of changes to the environment.  Within the context of the increasingly aggravated climate change impact and the COVID-19 pandemic, the revitalization of traditional ecological practices has never been more important. During the event representatives of affected communities, global climate experts from the public and private spheres will discuss the views and first hand experiences of the UN’s lesser-known actors on the impact of the climate emergency and explore visions of a truly inclusive climate action through dialogue with activists, students and researchers.

Panelists

  • Hon. Ralph Regenvanu, Member of Parliament, Republic of Vanuatu
    Ralph Regenvanu has been the Leader of the Opposition in Vanuatu since a change in Government after the March 2020 general elections. He is currently serving his fourth term as the Member of Parliament for Port Vila, and has held a number of Ministerial portfolios over that time, including as Vanuatu's Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2017 until April this year. Ralph has a background in cultural heritage management, and served as Director of the National Museum of Vanuatu from 1995 until 2006. Ralph was Co-chair of the National Sustainable Development Plan Core Group which was responsible for developing Vanuatu’s ‘National Sustainable Development Plan 2016-2030’ which was launched in early 2017.
     
  • Chief RoseAnne Archibald, Ontario Regional Chief, Canada
    Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald of Taykwa Tagamou Nation, is a calm, respectful and heart centred leader, who has over 25 years of experience in First Nations politics. RoseAnne has dedicated all of her adult life to serving and striving to create a better quality of life and future for First Nations people. She represents a generational change, bringing diplomacy and encouraging unity in the First Nations political system, while breaking down barriers since the start of her political career, having been the first woman and youngest: Chief for Taykwa Tagamou First Nation (1990), Deputy Grand Chief for Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (1991), Grand Chief for Mushkegowuk Council (1994). She is also the First member of her community to complete a Master’s Degree.
     
    After a ground-breaking career in political leadership that spanned 25 plus years, RoseAnne began a successful consulting business in 2009, providing advice and guidance to First Nations leaders, and organizations, specializing in negotiations, facilitation. Archibald holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master’s Degree in Humanities from Laurentian University and has been awarded the prestigious “Canada 125 medal” for having “made a significant contribution to Canada” through Aboriginal leadership.
     
    As Ontario Regional Chief, she remains dedicated to empowering women and youth in seeking community based solutions that encourage capacity-building, leadership development and resiliency.
     
    Follow the Ontario Regional Chief via Twitter at @ORCRoseAnne and Facebook at @ORCRoseAnneArchibald.
     
  • Molly Kellogg, Gender, Peace and Security advisor, UNEP
    Molly is a Gender, Climate and Security advisor at the United Nations Environment Programme in Geneva, where she focuses on designing programmatic and policy solutions to address peace and security challenges associated with climate change, environmental degradation and gender inequality. Molly was a lead author on a recent policy report, “Gender, Climate and Security: Sustaining Inclusive Peace on the Frontlines of Climate Change” which offers a conceptual framework for understanding the linkages between climate change, gender inequality, and peace and security and provides a set of concrete recommendations for policy and programmatic action. Previously, Molly worked as a researcher focusing on how different actors – particularly women – participate in or are excluded from formal peace negotiations. She has several years of experience working on women’s empowerment and peacebuilding initiatives in conflict and post-conflict contexts, including in South Sudan, Uganda, and Ethiopia. Molly holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BA in History from the University of Michigan.
     
  • Anja Olin-Pape [TBC], Climate Governance Commission, Global Challenges Foundation
    Anja Olin Pape, 29, from Sweden is an expert on Youth & Policy development at the Global Challenges Foundation, where she works to advance global governance models to fit the needs of the 21st century and limit the risk of global catastrophes such as the climate crisis, ecological collapse and nuclear war. She leads the work of the foundations ambitions to increase youth involvement in international arenas as well as the UN reform track.
     
    Anja Olin Pape has a background in the Council of Europe where she chaired the Advisory Council on Youth, developing and strengthening youth policy, youth work and inclusive and peaceful societies in the 47 member states as well as within the Council of Europe. Her areas of expertise are topics concerning peace-building  shrinking space for civil society, gender equality and youth participation. 
     
    Professionally she has previously worked as a consultant on both national level and in a number of local municipalities focusing on the development of tools for young people’s possibility to take an active part in local and regional politics and democracy development, as well as human rights education and women’s rights issues. Anja Olin Pape is a graduate of the University of Gothenburg in European relations and affairs.
     
    Twitter: @anjaolinpape / @ChallengesFnd
     
  • Miguel van der Velden - Caribbean Regional Coordinator, World’s Youth for Climate Justice
    Miguel is the Caribbean Regional Coordinator for the World’s Youth for Climate Justice and a coordinator for the Caribbean Youth Environment Network. In these positions, he is working together with youth from across the world to come up with effective solutions for the climate crisis and the related generational and geographical impacts. Specifically, as coordinator for the WYCJ he is urging governments to ask the International Court of Justice for an Advisory Opinion on climate change. Previously, he has conducted cultural geography research with Inuit in the Arctic and attended the UNFCCC Conferences of the Parties in 2017 and 2019 to disseminate this research as well as establish working relationships with youth organisations and Indigenous representatives from around the world. He holds a BA in Sustainability and Journalism from the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Miguel comes from the island of Aruba in the Caribbean and traces his heritage to the Wayuu and Añú Indigenous peoples of Venezuela.

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Submit a question

If you would like to submit a question to the panelists please register and submit your question when prompted or send an email to unstudies@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

Recommended reading

Gender, Climate and Security: Sustaining Inclusive Peace on the Frontlines of Climate Change

UNEP, UN Women, UNDP, UNDPPA, and the UN Peacebuilding have published a report titled Gender, Climate and Security: Sustaining inclusive Peace on the Frontlines of Climate Change. A report that features 17 case studies and a contribution by Ms. Szilvia Csevár (a member of the Chair’s research group) which analyses the impact of climate change on the indigenous women in West Papua. The report and Ms. Csevár article describe the different ways climate change is impacting peace and security for women, men, girls, and boys across the world. As the devastating health and economic consequences of COVID-19 unfold around us. This report draws special attention to the critical importance of addressing multiple intersecting crises using an inclusive approach that leaves no one behind.

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