Natuf Organization for environment and community development held a workshop entitled “rural women's role in dealing with the climate change in the Palestinian territories” last Tuesday 5 May 2015, which have been implemented in partnership with the Arab Youth Climate Movement, and with cooperation from Zero Waste MENA Initiative’s volunteers and members of the Women Earth and climate action. This workshop took place at Nidaa’ Falastine Society in Jabaliya with a generous funding from the Global GreenGrants Fund.
Engineer Ramy Hossain, Natuf Organization executive director has inaugurated the workshop with a welcome address to the participants, in which he mentioned how Natuf Organization is proud in convening this workshop which is the first of its kind in Gaza Strip, which aimed at empowering rural women to adapt to climate change by increasing their awareness about the seriousness of environment deterioration and exploring the best solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. And this workshop comes in implementation of Natuf Organization's strategy in the field of environment and its social responsibility towards climate change.
In her turn, Amal Shaikhah, the environmental programs coordinator in Natuf Organization has mentioned the importance of this workshop for women in all their roles as they’re responsible for caring of future generations and improving the livelihoods of their family, which will be threatened by global warming and climate change and the surest way to reduce the impacts of these risks is education by learning what it needs to know about climate change and disaster risk reduction. She added that climate change is not only a scientific fact but it’s also a morally obligation to work to combat it from all women and society members.
The workshop began with Ali Skaik’s paper, a member of the Arab youth climate movement (AYCM) where he talked about the founding of the movement three years ago in the 16 Arab countries as it seeks to establish a youth generation capable to address the climate change to reach a legally binding agreements to deal with the climate change within the international negotiations. And he talked about the most important campaigns, activities and projects that the AYCM- Palestine team has participated in during the last period.
Then, in the second worksheet, engineer Riham Abu Heiba spoke about the true meaning of the term climate change, its causes and its impacts from the rising of sea levels to uneven rainfall and its impact on agricultural crops and dry land. Then she turned to speak about the adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture sector due to close relation with rural women.
In the third worksheet, engineer Samar Khuzundar went through the impacts of climate change on public health, especially in the requirements of basic health such as clean air and drinking water, adequate food and safe shelter as the absence of these basics may leads to the spread of many diseases and make the existing conditions worse as a result of floods and drought problems. As a result communities become more vulnerable with weakness increase of fragile and sensitive groups especially children, elderly people and the poor, they are all at increased risk as a result of the health related effects of climate change.
Then she talked about the relationship between the gender and the division of the traditional roles of men and women and linked it to the economic empowerment of women, especially in the field of agriculture and their relationships to combat the effects of climate change.
In the fourth worksheet, engineer Eman Abu Zaher talked about the mitigation and adaptation to climate change in general thought the world and the policies and practices that designed to mitigate the effects of climate change and she mentioned the necessary steps that would help populations and communities to cope with the effects of climate change.
And in the fifth worksheet engineer Ala'a Saqer dealt with one of the adaption solutions to climate change which is the use of organic fertilizer (compost) and the benefits of using it on agricultural and environmental levels, the most important factors that affects the manufacturing of compost and its stages, and her presentation included the practical steps to manufacture compost with good specifications.
Maha Eichan in sixth worksheet spoke about the most prominent conventions on climate change, where she shed the light on how the world is approaching towards combating climate change after it was ignored for long time. And she raised the subject of women's role in addressing the climate change while she gave some examples of women who contribute to work for the climate change issue. And, she concluded her presentation with some media-related ideas to mobilize the energies and the exchange of experiences and information on the climate change.
At the end of the workshop, Ahmad abu Safieh, the national coordinator of the Arab youth climate movement chapter in Palestine, discussed the evaluation of the workshop and the women’s views about it. Where Ms. Raghda mentioned that she wasn’t taken the climate change seriously before this workshop but now she realized its priority, and now she’s more aware about how to use the information she got regards climate adaptation in her life like compost manufacturing and dealing with crops in a changing climate.
Um Nidal pointed to the huge benefits she had from this workshop where previously she knew nothing about climate change but only news on TV without a real understanding of climate change, she noted that it will carry this message to her children, her husband and her neighbors. And she made sincere thanks to the staff of AYCM and Natuf Organization.
Ms. Amena who’s working in the journalism, said that she had not seen such a workshop talking about the climate change in Gaza, and she expressed her admiration for the strong subjects that have been introduced in a fantastic manner. She added that despite her prior knowledge of climate change, but there are a lot of topics she was confused about and they were clarified during the workshop.
It’s worth mentioning that Natuf Organization will implement this workshop in other areas in the Palestinian territories throughout the next months.