It seems that I have spent the last thirty years of my life engaging directly in the practice and praxis of observing, encountering, engaging, and inquiring about women, their bodies, their lives, their families, and their communities. It is exactly what I have seen, experienced, and facilitated of women’s relationships to nature, and how those relationships are expressed, that I feel compelled to explore in this blog. This curiosity comes directly out of my experience of being a cultural nomad and cultural observer. These peripatetic experiences have taught me that women as a category do not hold shared experiences or practices of nature or of life, but I am interested to know if they hold shared beliefs within what Marti Kheel calls, “movements of compassion.”
I am concerned about the differential impacts of global environmental change on women, the poor, the marginalized, and the peripheries of the globe. I am concerned with how the voices of those who are disempowered, impoverished, or marginalized will be heard and represented in the current policy debates on the solutions to what are described by adaptive management theorists as ‘wicked’ environmental problems. Ultimately, what is at stake is the urgent requirement to heed concepts of human and societal resilience from sources that are too often muted. The hope is that these ideas can be steps on the arduous journey of global transformation of human-environment relationships that most environmental theorists would agree lie close ahead for human society.
I am aware that indigenous and gendered global movements to effect and influence change run deep and strong – the communities at the margins of world society do not need anyone to speak on their behalf, and I would not presume to do so regardless of the amount of time I have spent as a cultural learner in so many peripheral societies and countries. I am also aware that indigenous communities, and especially women of these communities, hold on to views of nature and people that are different from those of the majority of current decision makers.
How will localized, different, and gendered environmental knowledges contribute to resilient solutions to global environmental and social challenges?
 “Environmental scientists describe these issues as being wicked problems, not in the sense of having malicious intent, but rather as obstinate or intractable dilemmas. From William P. Cunningham and Mary Ann Cunningham, Principles of Environmental Science. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002)