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Stella Gama Climate Diplomat and Gender Advocate

sTELLA gAMA IS A CLIMATE DIPLOMAT AND GENDER ADVOCATE AT THE UN CLIMATE TALKS. SHE HELPED CREATE A GENDER ACTION PLAN AS PART OF THE UNFCCC (united nations framework convention on climate change).

On top of her day job as Deputy Director of Forestry at Malawi’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment, Stella assumes multiple roles in the UNFCCC negotiations, work that requires year-round commitment.

She is currently lead coordinator on gender and climate change for the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group, LDC negotiator for technology development and transfer, UNFCCC negotiator for Malawi, and LDC representative to the UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee.

Discussions on the links between gender equality, women’s empowerment and climate change are still limited, and the development of policies that include gender-sensitive responses to address women’s and girl’s specific needs within this context are still in their early stages, but Stella is leading this issues at the international agenda.

'Addressing the gender gap is one of the most effective mechanisms for building climate resilience and reducing emissions. In LDCs such as Malawi, women and girls are disproportionately dependent on climate-sensitive resources for their livelihoods, and they are the ones who are most in need of support for climate actions, especially adaptation actions, , so it’s imperative that their voices are heard!' - stella
Stella shows concern for the need to move forward from programming that includes women as ‘numbers’ to achieve gender balance, to programming that empowers women as actors, as the agents of change. In the words of Wangari Maathai and Mary Robinson, “Climate strategies must be developed with women, not for them” (Huffington Post, 2010).
“Women’s expertise and knowledge can play a critical role in climate responses, and accessing climate finance would unlock new roles for women in LDCs.” - stella
Women are largely underrepresented in international climate negotiations, as displayed by the annual figures from the Women’s Environment and Development Organisation (WEDO).
Her first encounter with climate change negotiations was CoP17 in Durban in 2011. She represented Malawi during the creation of Redd+, a global forest restoration initiative to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. since then, she has assisted to every cop encounter that has taken place until today, and will continue representing her country and women´s rights regarding climate change.

Credits:

1. Scott Gregory; Malawi 2008-225; August 13, 2008; (CC BY-ND 2.0). 2. Alan; Malawi 23; April 17, 2010; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 3. IFPRI .IMAGES; Village market, Malawi; July 11, 2018; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 4. Josh; Malawi; June 9, 2006; (CC BY-NC 2.0). 5. Scott Gregory; Malawi 2008-19; August 10, 2008; (CC BY-ND 2.0).