Guest Speakers from UNEP Talk About Gender-Specifc Impact of Climate Change

Friday, 07 April 2017

gs_unep_6apr17_thumbnail.jpgOn April 6th, Dr. Ruchi Anand's class on International Environmental Policy hosted two guest speakers from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to talk about gender issues relating to climate change. The two speakers, Rahel Steinbach and Marie Jalabert, gave a presentation entitled "Climate Refugees: Gender-Specific Needs and Women Leadership".

Ruchi Anand gives the following summary of the talk: "Rahel and Marie's talk brought to the centre-stage the pressing need to adopt a gender-sensitive and gender-inclusive approach to issues of climate change and sustainable development. They clarified that the gender approach is not only about women but men as well. They discussed a range of different consequences for different stakeholders following impacts of climate change. According to them, the worst affected were the women. They used the example of 'climate refugees' to highlight this claim. 80% of the 22 million people displaced by climate- or weather-related events since 2008 are women. Their talk brought home the staring need for an approach to law, politics and environmental responses that embraces gender-sensitivity and responses. Alluding to the weaknesses of international law in updating itself to new realities, they pointed to the definition of the term 'refugee' in the 1951 Refugee Convention that does not include the idea of a 'climate refugee.' In an interactive talk, Rahel and Marie grappled with a range of student questions surrounding their subject matter as well as possible employment at the UN. A great talk that brought the practitioners to the home of the academics at AGS, a teaching approach that I highly recommend for today's students of political science and international relations."

Dr. Rahel Steinbach is an international development practitioner with expertise in sustainable development, climate change, sustainable energy, gender mainstreaming, and results-based management. She works as a Programme Officer at the United Nations Environment Programme in Paris, and also acts as the Gender Coordinator of UNEP's Economy Division. Prior to joining the UN system in September 2000, she served on a short-term basis as Legal Associate on Human Rights for the German Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She is an active advocate for sustainable development and gender equality, which has led her to lecture at various universities including Oxford University, University of Vienna, ISEG and the American Graduate School in Paris. She holds a PhD in Sustainable Development from the University of Vienna, Austria, a Master’s degree in Political Science from Sciences Po, Aix-en-Provence, France and a Master of Advanced International Relations from the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, Austria.

Marie Jalabert is an international legal practitioner with expertise in environmental affairs, sustainable development, climate change, sustainable energy, and gender mainstreaming. She works as a Consultant at the United Nations Environment Programme in Paris. She previously served as a legal consultant on marine pollution for the European NGOSurfrider Foundation Europe, which specializes in ocean protection and coastal development. She holds a Master’s degree in International and European Environmental Law from Aix-Marseille University's School of Law, and a Bachelor in Political Science and Law from the Catholic Institute of Paris, France.

 
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Brad Svenningson USA
M.A., School of International Relations
Class of 2005

If you take advantage of AGS, you can go very far. I am very happy with my decision to go to AGS and soak up Paris as much as two years will allow.

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