Geneva has many inspiring women working for a better environment

BRS and GEN mark International Women’s Day by celebrating some of the inspiring women working on environment in Geneva

On the occasion of 8 March 2016, International Women’s Day, the BRS Secretariat and the Geneva Environment Network (GEN) launched an exhibition and awards ceremony to recognize inspirational women in Geneva working to protect the environment. 

The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has played a strong part of the efforts to advance the status of women worldwide. While it is essential that gender equality is promoted and ensured through internationally-agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals such as the SDG number 5, the greatest impact is achieved through the daily on the ground work that both men and women do.   

With this notion in mind, a call for nominations of inspirational women in Geneva working to protect the environment was made in February 2016. As a result, a total of 160 submissions were received all of which deserved to be recognized. 20 nominees were selected by the committee to be part of an exhibition celebrating their achievements. The majority of them originally come from Europe and Northern America, however all UN regions were represented.

These 20 inspirational women represent a rich diversity of organizations, sectors, functions and nationalities. Some of these dynamic and enthusiastic women are from intergovernmental organizations: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Secretariat of the Aarhus Convention, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN REDD+), United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), International Trade Center (ITC), International Organization for Migration (IOM), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Civil society is represented by passionate and dedicated women from the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF International), International Institute on Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Hard working, motivated women are also from the private sector, namely World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Transparency. The committee also acknowledged the important contribution of hardworking and insightful visionaries from the University of Geneva and the Swiss Parliament.

Here is the list of awardees:

  1. Ann-Kathrin Zotz, International Trade Center
  2. Berta Pesti, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation/United Nations Development Programme
  3. Cristina Buetti,  International Telecommunication Union
  4. Dina Ionesco, International Organization for Migration
  5. Elena Manaenkova, World Meteorological Organization
  6. Emily Bradley, United Nations Institute for Training and Research
  7. Fiona Marshall, Secretariat of the Aarhus Convention, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  8. Isabella Marras, Sustainable UN Facility,  United Nations Environment Programme
  9. Isabelle Boutillon, World Intellectual Property Organization
  10. Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, University of Geneva
  11. Lisa Mazzone,  Verts genevois,  Swiss Parliament
  12. Maria Mendiluce, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  13. Maria Neira, World Health Organization
  14. Monika Linn, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  15. Nathalie Bernasconi, International Institute on Sustainable Development
  16. Nawal Ait-Hocine, Transparence SA
  17. Sarah Price, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification
  18. Sheila Logan, Chemicals and Waste Branch, United Nations Environment Programme
  19. Silja Halle, Post Conflict and Disaster Management Branch, United Nations Environment Programme
  20. Susan Brown, Worldwide Fund for Nature

As a result of its success, it is hoped that this initiative will become an annual event to celebrate dedicated, hard-working and passionate women working to protect the environment. 

For more information about the exhibition, please visit the GEN homepages: http://www.genevaenvironmentnetwork.org/?q=en/women2016