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The CTI-CFF Women Leaders Forum (WLF) emerged from the 10th CTI-CFF Senior Officials Meeting and 5th Ministerial Meeting in Manado, Indonesia in May 2014, where the CTI-CFF called upon Coral Triangle countries to actively engage and incorporate gender equality perspectives towards achieving its goals and targets. It encouraged all its bodies and its six member countries to integrate women as major stakeholders in its activities, and to document these actions to provide testament to, and serve as a model for, gender integration in marine resource management.
This Forum involves a wide range of partners, and functions:
as a peer-learning network for women who are playing key leadership roles in sustaining the marine resources of the Coral Triangle region,
to recognize the achievement of grassroots women leaders who are championing marine conservation in the six Coral Triangle countries,
to serve as a platform to build the capacity of women from the Coral Triangle to take leadership roles in preserving and sustaining the region’s unique marine and coastal resources,
to support the CTI-CFF in integrating gender principles in its activities under its Regional and National Plans of Action and thus, becoming a world leader in integrated, gender sensitive conservation and development.
Examples of Women Leaders Forum (WLF) Activities
CTI-CFF Women Leaders Peer Exchange to the United States
Working in collaboration with the US Department of Interior (DOI), with funding from USAID, CTC supported women leaders from across the six Coral Triangle countries to participate in a multi-faceted, peer exchange to the U.S. from April –May 2014. The program involved state-of-the-art leadership training, professional development opportunities, field-based learning, and collaboration with other women leaders. Following the study tour, participants have helped organize and develop the roadmap of the CTI-CFF Women Leaders’ Forum.
CTI-CFF Grassroots Women Leaders’ Small Grant Awards
As part of the CTI-CFF Women Leaders Forum launch, six grassroots women leaders were honored and awarded a small grant of US$3,000 to carry out marine conservation and sustainability project in their communities. CTC, USAID and DOI supported and managed the grants for Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste while the Asian Development Bank supported the grants for Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Panel Discussion on Women Leadership
A panel discussion was held in Manado, Indonesia, on May 2014 to discuss the various ways that women in communities, media, and the private sector can succeed in leadership roles. Various examples were put forward in an effort to encourage more women to actively pursue leadership roles in their own field.
CTI-CFF Women Leaders Forum Basic Training on the Principles of Marine Protected Area Management
In November 2014, sixteen women leaders attended a training event on marine protected area management in Dili, Timor-Leste. The training was specifically customized for women and used creative ways of knowledge sharing, focused on strengthening the capacity of women from government, community, and non-government organizations to take a more active role in preserving and sustaining Timor-Leste’s unique marine and coastal resources. The women also developed a national network that will help coordinate activities and raise the profile of women leaders involved in marine conservation and management.
Malaysia Jumpstarts Network for Women Leaders in Marine Conservation
The CTI-CFF Women Leaders Forum Earth Hour Awareness talk was held in Kudat, Sabah, Malaysia on March 28, 2015. Organized by WWF-Malaysia and supported by USAID, DOI and CTC, the talk had 40 participants and featured four women leaders from the proposed Tun Mustapha Park in Sabah, a globally significant priority conservation area in the Coral Triangle. The Womens Leaders Forum in Malaysia hopes to serve as a dynamic peer-learning network that shares best practices in marine resource conservation as well as a platform to build the capacity of women as environmental custodians.
CTI-CFF Women Leaders Forum Roundtable in Papua New Guinea
The CTI-CFF Women Leaders’ Forum Roundtable was held in Alotau, Milne Bay on March 24, 2015 where 25 women leaders from coastal communities in Papua New Guinea (PNG) committed to work together, share experiences, inspire each other, and find ways to strengthen their capacity in leading marine and coastal resource conservation projects during the first ever gathering of women engaged in marine conservation and sustainable fisheries. During the forum the women elected focal points and a secretariat for the WLF in PNG. The PNG Conservation and Environment Protection Authority, The Nature Conservancy, USAID-USDOI and CTC organized the forum.
Solomon Island Women Take Lead Role in Natural Resource Management
Environmental managers from the Solomon Islands gathered in Honiara on August 3, 2015 and agreed to form a network and develop a national work program that will foster closer collaboration among women, offer opportunities to share information, build capacity, and develop livelihood programs where women are supported and empowered to take a central role in environmental issues and actively support the marine conservation and sustainability goals of the Coral Triangle Initiative.
Women Leaders in Biodiversity Forum
The CTI-CFF Women Leaders Forum, in collaboration with USAID, US Department of Interior, CTI NCC Philippines, Conservation International and Coral Triangle Center, participated in the 3rd Forum on Women Leaders in Biodiversity Conservation held in Manila on July 21, 2015. The event highlighted the accomplishments of the women leaders to serve as inspiration in promoting biodiversity conservation and environmental law enforcement.
CTI-CFF Women Leaders Entrepreneurs’ Roundtable
Four women leaders from Indonesia participated in roundtable discussion at the sidelines of 4th CTI-CFF Regional Business Forum in August 27, 2015 to inspire and engage women entrepreneurs to successfully catalyze sustainable and environment-friendly businesses that support and sustain marine resources across Indonesia. By sharing lessons learned and highlighting best practices, the women leaders who have each built their sustainable businesses that promote marine and coastal resource conservation aimed to inspire more women to pursue sustainable businesses that conserve and sustain marine resources.
For more information, please contact lgallardo(at)coraltrianglecenter.org