Pacific women hone climate change negotiation skills

Twenty-two women from several Pacific nations are developing their leadership and negotiations at a workshop in Suva this week.

The focus of the course run by the global advocacy group, the Women's Environment and Development Programme, or WEDO, is on preparing women to take a greater role in climate change negotiations.

WEDO's Bridget Burns said often women are shut out of the discussions.

She said the training aims to establish a body of Pacific women able to really engage in climate change negotiations in the international arena.

"We wanted to make sure that for such a critical negotiation, such a critical issue, that there was capacity, support and a focus on building women's leadership so that their voices could be heard in the negotiations," she said.

A Cook Islands government official, Melina Tuiravakai, from the Office of the Prime Minister, is one of 22 women taking part in the workshop.

Ms Tuiravakai said Pacific women must have a voice to press for urgent action on climate change.

She said the training is valuable.

"It helps them with developing their skills and diplomacy. This training is also great for giving us opportunities to learn to do drafting texts and, you know, any opportunity that you can upskill yourself we should really take advantage of it," she said.

'The Pacific Womens Climate Change Negotiating Conference' has been facilitated by the Pacific Islands Forum and the Australian Government.


Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (The effects of climate change are challenging for nations like Kiribat)i.