< Global forests and forest communities are under great ecological stress and outright assault. Fires continue to blaze from the Amazon to Sub-Saharan Africa, and political leaders continue to impose neoliberal economic models that are dangerous and violent for people, forests, climate, and the planet. We are living on the edge of a tipping point, one where the decisions of a few are leading us all toward irreparable climate disaster. We know that keeping our forests intact, as well as defending and uplifting the voices of frontline forest defenders is crucial at this moment in time, and is an effective and central part of the solutions needed to resist current attacks and to build the future we seek.
Climate scientists are calling for the protection of forests due to their abilities to stabilize the climate, sequester carbon, and provide a home to unique bio-diverse ecosystems. In addition to other WECAN International programs, our “Women For Forests” program is critical for elevating the voices and solutions of women working on the frontlines of forest protection as we experience ecosystems worldwide under threat of destruction.
From November 11 – 15, a WECAN Indigenous Women’s Tongass Delegation will travel to Washington, D.C. to advocate for the protection of over 9 million acres of ancient old-growth forest, and the continuation of the Roadless Rule, an important measure to protect Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, which falls within the traditional territories of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Peoples.
The Tongass National Forest has been called “America’s Climate Forest” as it is the single most important national forest for carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation in the U.S. Recently, the Trump administration unveiled a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that will devastate long-standing protections against logging and road-building in the Tongass National Forest, which will further harm our global climate and threaten the livelihoods of Indigenous and local communities and the cultural survival of Indigenous peoples.