In these past two years of work for a coalition of NGOs, Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations and social movements defending social justice and the rights of forest peoples in forest policies, I have been able to gain better understanding of the important role that civil society can play in shaping policies that will ultimately affect them. In fact, during the different intergovernmental processes I went to, I encountered that there was not enough representation from the civil society in areas that are key for sound environmental management, climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as poverty alleviation, to name but a few. In addition, key issues such as gender have long been neglected when they need to be considered as a crosscutting issue.
My aim, through communications and advocacy, is to enhance participation of civil society in policy making with a particular interest in international forest policy, to strengthen our network and articulate work around important campaign themes, and to promote community empowerment towards constructing autonomous and resilient communities. In 2012, I participated in the Rio+20 process and the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. These experiences have provided me with important tools for future and more active engagement in processes where I would like to bring civil society voices to all different stakeholders involved in intergovernmental decision-making processes.