Strengthening Environmental Women Defenders

The Strengthening Environmental Women Defenders Programme aims at strengthening grassroots women’s groups that struggle for their rights from a gender and socio-environmental justice perspective. We support groups led by women in the defence of water, lands, their rights and the rights of their communities and families. We weave together different strategies with indigenous, rural and urban women against environmental violence, which affects these women in a particular way. 

By strengthening women defenders of a natural, healthy environment, we are defending a life free from violence. This is made possible through the support which entails the accompaniment to help them increase their organisational and advocacy capacities. Besides, the follow-up contributes to reinforce networks and alliances and several support alternatives among the groups. All this work is done so as to monitor and produce information about these women’s situation: their socio-environmental rights are denied, especially from a gender-based perspective.

The programme is implemented through the following projects:

  • “Women Environmental Defenders Organised in their Fight for the Preservation of the Environment”.
  • “Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA)”, made up of organisations and feminist and environmental funds.
  • “Strengthening Environmental Women Defenders of the American Chaco”.

Women Environmental Defenders Organised in their Fight for the Preservation of the Environment

This programme, coordinated by the FMS as lead applicant together with Fundación Plurales (Argentina), aims at strengthening women environmental defender’s groups from in their fight to implement strategies for the advocacy, mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

With this programme, the FMS support grassroots groups that seek to make their networks wider and their work alliances broader, so as to develop advocacy strategies and action plans with a view to achieving the following goals: preserving fresh water springs in the face of water crises, resisting mega-mining companies; working for food sovereignty and security and developing recycling, waste management and renewable energy production strategies.

Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA)


In 2016, the FMS joined up with Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA), an initiative that provides support to women’s rights and environmental justice grass roots groups and social movements around the world, so as for them to get stronger and develop joint actions for awareness raising and incidence that help bring about social structural changes.

Through to this alliance, FMS provides support to groups led by women which promote respect for their rights to water, food security and a clean, healthy and safe environment.

GAGGA is an initiative led by Fondo Centroamericano de Mujeres (FCAM by its initials in Spanish) (Central American Women Fund), with Both ENDS and Mama Cash as partner organisations, and with World Resource Institute as strategic partner. At the beginning of its implementation in 2016, it was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

Strengthening Environmental Women Defenders of the American Chaco (2014 - 2017)

This project was developed by the FMS as lead applicant in alliance with Fundación Plurales (Argentina) and Centro Investigación de la Mujer Campesina de Tarija (Bolivia) as co-beneficiaries.

Through this programme, partners provided financial support to grass roots women environmental defender’sgroups that defend and promote their environmental rights and those of their communities. Theese women fight for the defence of their right to water, land and food sovereignty; and the recovery and the revaluing of their cultures and ancestral forms of wisdom. They strive to achieve women’s political participation in their communities and in the decision-making realms that affect them.

In this context, FMS provided support to strengthen the environmental women defender groups’ organisation and advocacy capacities.

The promotion of networks and alliances among the groups of women environmental defenders in the American Chaco was also one of the central axes of the programme, together with information production about the situation they face in which they are denied their rights, always from a sustainable development and gender perspective in the American Chaco ecoregion.