Women’s Forum

The international Women Forum for an International Court of the Environment

Women work for the Environmental protection is stated worldwide, and showed in several contexts, both local and international.

At the UN Conference on environment and development in Rio de Janeiro, 1992, was underlined the impossibility to think about a sustainable life on Earth without the full cooperation of women.

5-7 May 1995: An international Seminar on environment, whose topic was “Women, Justice and Environment”, was held in Venice.

This seminar was integrated into a bigger international research that wants to achieve an ecological and social justice, and a sustainable life on the Earth, for human beings and any other living species. The Seminar gave a great support to the initiative for the creation of an International Court of the Environment, whose aim is the protection of the sustainable life on Earth.

After the Summit of the Earth in Rio de Janeiro, becomes more and more urgent and necessary to strengthen both the participation of the civil society, particularly women, for the protection of the Environment, and the role of the institutions that defend the environment at every level. The Seminar was attended by women who were highly committed with the protection of the environment and the defence of the victims of the ecological disasters. During the two days of the meeting, international experts analysed real cases happened in several fields: industrial (Bhopal), nuclear (Hiroshima, Chernobyl, Pacific Islands), food (India, USA), toxic waste (Albania, Poland, Indonesia, Nigeria) in front of an international Jury. Were presented some experiences highlighting the control mechanisms and the legal tools existing for the Protection of the Environment. There was a special simulation of judgements rendered in the most relevant cases of environmental damages in different continents.

The final judgement of the Jury was shown to politics, entrepreneurs, trade union representatives, environmentalists, in order to find altogether operative tools for the restoration of environmental damages and to protect the sustainability of life on Earth. The document was presented at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, in September 1995 in Beijing.

The Seminar was organized by: a) the Permanent Forum: “Participation of the civil society for an ecological democracy”, one of the five forums organized by the International Court of the Environment Foundation (ICEF), that promotes the initiative for an International Court of the Environment. b) the association “Pianeta Donna” that supports the “Action Plan for the 21st century” drawn up during the Summit on Earth in Rio de Janeiro.

The promoting group (Pinuccia Montanari, Jutta Steigerwald, Doriana Giglioli, Deidre Exell Pirro) worked intensely, seeking for the highest consensus to the initiative.

Despite the limited availability of economic resources, was possible gathering a group of world famous experts, at the Palazzo C.N.R (National Research Council), they gave a high moral, cultural, social profile to the phenomenon.

Took part to the meeting:

  • Indira Jaising, Judge of the Indian Supreme Court, founder-member of and works for the Lawyer’s Collective
  • Mira Shiva, Doctor and Physician, India. Coordinator of the “All India Drug Action Network” (AIDAN)
  • Vandana Shiva, Physician India. Director of Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology , Alternative Nobel Prize;
  • Andrew Kimbrell, Attorney, USA, Policy Director at the Foundation for Economic Trends;
  • Rosalie Bertell, Doctor, Canada, President of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health Alternative Nobel Prize;
  • Esperanza Martinez, President of the “Acciòn Ecologica” – Ecuador;
  • Marilena Uliescu, Romania;
  • Roxana Salazar, Costa Rica;
  • Ketty Tabakov, Replastic;
  • Gabriele Zanetto, Councillor for the Environment, Townhall of Venice;
  • Gianfranco Dalla Porta, Director of the CNR- Venezia;
  • Adalberto Malliani, Doctor, University of Milan e member of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War;
  • The Mayor of Venice, Prof. Massimo Cacciari, in his speech, underlined the great interest of cities for the environment, and the need for new models of juridical and political protection at international level, among these the creation of an International Court of the Environment. The international Jury was chaired by the judge Amedeo Postiglione.

Declaration of the International Jury

The most recent Initiative of the International Women’s Forum for an International Court of the Environment, is its contribution to the international Conference titled “The protection and Sustainable Development of the Mediterranean and Black-Sea Ecosystem”, held in Venice from 24 to 26 May, 2007, and organized by the ICEF.

During the meeting was presented a document drawn up by the International Women’s Forum for the creation of an International Court of the Environment”, keynote personalities are part of the forum, they have strongly contributed with their work to the protection and safeguard of the environment, see: Francine Cousteu, Deirdre Exell Pirro, Mira Shiva, e

At the end of the opening session, it was presented the official document of the Forum, signed by all the women attending the meeting, who were for the greater part judges, attorneys, high diplomatic. Women of the Forum made some particular requests to all the Countries represented at the Conference, so that they could promote through the organism of their government, national environmental policies, and support the ICEF project for the creation of an International Court of the Environment.

Attended the meeting: UNEP/MAP, UNCESCO, European Commission, IUCN, European Forum of Judges for the Environment and several Italian and European Universities. Thus the message of the Forum and of ICEF could reach all the Countries overlooking the Mediterranean and the Black-Sea, Countries that are sharing an ecosystem under a strong environmental risk.

At the end of the Meeting was drawn up the “Carta di Venezia 2007” (Venice Paper, 2007), which gives a series of commitments and appeals in order to solve the most urgent issues affecting the ecosystem of the Mediterranean and Black-Sea basin.

Venice Statement