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Helping Indigenous women from Guyana protect their lands

Immaculata Casimero, of the Wapichan nation in Guyana, is an Indigenous leader who empowers women in her community.
Photo taken at COP 26. Credits: © UN News / Laura Quiñones

The Women’s Voice and Leadership Caribbean project provides multi-year support to the Wapichan women’s movement in Guyana. This has helped Indigenous women play a greater role in protecting their land and natural resources, retaining their cultural identity and addressing the social issues affecting their rights

For instance, the project enabled Immaculata Casimero, a Wapichan nation leader, to advocate for Indigenous women’s rights at COP26. At the conference, she shared how climate change is affecting the land where 21 Indigenous communities in Guyana live.

At the meeting, she spoke of how the lack of government regulation for mining activities is resulting in:

To address these problems, her organization is advocating for climate justice and actively working to gain legal ownership and control of these lands. While participating in the “Indigenous Caucus” at COP26, Immaculata emphasized the importance of including women-led organizations and feminist movements in all climate finance strategies.

“I keep advising community leaders that when government leaders come to our communities, we must ask them what is happening to our lands … And if the men cannot do it, well then, the women will do it.”

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