Mill Valley
United States


Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network International (WECAN)

September 30, 2018 Scott Fletcher Bowlsby
July 26, 2018 Scott Fletcher Bowlsby
July 26, 2018 Claire Buchanan
June 6, 2018 Claire Buchanan
Mill Valley
United States

Mission and Purpose

WECAN’s public mission statement is:

The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International is a climate justice-based initiative established to unite women worldwide as powerful stakeholders in sustainability solutions, policy advocacy, and worldwide movement building for social and ecologic justice.

WECAN International engages women grassroots activists, Indigenous and business leaders, scientists, policy makers, farmers, academics and culture-shapers in collaboration with the goal of stopping the escalation of climate change and environmental and community degradation, while accelerating the implementation of just climate solutions through women’s empowerment, advocacy at international policy forums, trainings, on-the-ground projects, advocacy campaigns, and political, economic, social and environmental action. [i]

Origins and Development

WECAN International was established in 2013. It was originally developed as an initiative of the Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC), which is a non-profit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. WECAN International was developed at the 2013 WECC International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit. This summit brought together more than 100 women leaders from around the globe who were looking to collaborate on climate change solutions. At the summit, it became clear that there was a need for a long-term, diverse mechanism for women’s climate justice. This was how WECAN International was born.[i]

Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding

WECAN International was founded by Osprey Orielle Lake. Lake continues to be the Executive Director of WECAN International. Daily operations are run by the WECAN team, who are paid staff. WECAN has a U.S. Women’s Climate Justice Initiative Steering Committee that helps with decision making. In addition, WECAN International has an Advisory Council that helps provide overall vision. Notable members of the WECAN International Advisory Council include Jane Goodall, Naomi Klein, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Melina Laboucan-Massimo, and Larry Schewiger.[i]

WECAN International has a strong network of volunteers and interns who work alongside paid staff. 

Specializations, Methods and Tools

WECAN International specializes in participatory approaches involving women. WECAN is dedicated to ensuring women are at the forefront of all action to address the global climate crisis. Women are more adversely impacted by climate change and environmental degradation because of historic and continuing impacts of gender inequity and reliance on natural resources for survival. Women are also indispensable actors and leaders of just and effective solutions for climate change. WECAN International is part of an international people’s movement that demands revolutionary change and protests climate destruction. All work completed by WECAN focuses on empowering women. [i]

Direct Action -

Women’s CJ Online Course -

Major Projects and Events

WECAN International has worked on numerous projects. A complete list of WECAN International projects can be found here. Below is a sample of some of their major projects:

WECAN Regional Climate Solutions Training

This project provides both online and on-the-ground climate solution training. It focuses on creating place-based actions plans to address local socio-ecological need, develop climate solutions, and support women in their role as key environmental stakeholders. The project offers inspiration and a new framework for collaborative efforts.

Women for Forests and Fossil Fuel/Mining/Mega-Dam Resistance

This project aims to support a diverse constituency of international women to rise up and help protect forests. Additionally, the program aims to reduce, prevent, and shut down resource extractive industries. The program currently has three primary focuses: Amazon rainforest, Congo rainforest, and Tongass rainforest.

The project was started to address concerns surrounding the high rate of deforestation that is occuring in the three primary focus areas. Additionally, the project is exploring the environmental impact of rapid deforestation. Consequences such as increased greenhouse gas emissions and reduced carbon sequestration are primary concerns. 

Analysis and Lessons Learned

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WECAN has numerous publications that can be found here 

See Also


[i] WECAN. “About WECAN International.” Accessed April 3, 2018.

[i] WECAN. “About WECAN International.” Accessed April 3, 2018.

[i] WECAN. “Why Women.” Accessed April 3, 2018.

[i] WECAN. “Who We Are.” Accessed April 3, 2018.

External Links

Official Website 


Lead image: Women's Voices for Climate Justice