When 27-year old Alina Saba steps up to the podium at the United Nations Climate Summit on 23 September, she will be the voice of a generation of Asian women demanding governments address both global warming and inequality. Saba is one of the 4 chosen civil society speakers drawn from an open application process that attracted more than 500 applications. As the only speaker from Asia she will bring attention to the destructive impact of climate change in the region but particularly to the impact on the most marginalized – Indigenous women.

“Climate change threatens our lands, our livelihoods, our culture, and our very existence” emphasises Saba. She comes from the indigenous Limbu people of eastern Nepal, and as a young researcher she has focused on the most marginalised Mugal women in the remote Northwestern region and their struggle to address the impact of climate change amidst landslides, floods, changing rain patterns, isolation and scarce resources.

“Indigenous women across the world, particularly in least developed countries like Nepal, are the least audible, most excluded and seemingly the most expendable when the world is focused on maximizing profits and consumption” Saba adds.

Saba will also be speaking at the People’s General Assembly, a gathering of civil society from around the world who advocate for Development Justice, a model for development that aims to reduce inequalities of wealth, power, and resources between countries, between rich and poor, and between men and women.

“For us, the answers to climate change are simple and were promised decades ago. The answers are not the creation of markets for carbon — the answers lie in human rights and equality. The gargantuan threat of climate change should force us to re-think global systems that are disastrous for the planet and deeply inequitable.  Our survival is dependent on governments making binding and drastic commitments to reduce emissions. But it is also dependent on a commitment to finally deliver on human rights promises and provide Development Justice to all.”

The UN is a world away from Saba’s usual world “Two weeks ago I was in a remote village with no electricity, no phone access, siting with women who didn’t understand why landslides are increasing and snow is less frequent and melting. Now I’ve arrived in a county where the wealth and consumption is beyond anything I could imagine.”

Alina Saba’s research on climate change is supported by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development.

Alina can be contacted for an interview while in New York via

Kate Lappin(315) 925-9047

Lean De Leon510-586-8799