Female empowerment through self-censuses in urban communities in Pará

Working on the topic of climate change through censuses in urban communities in the Amazon helps to discuss the topic in their daily activities, relating local situations to the global issue and bringing the discussion closer to questions of gender, income and race, since communities peripheral areas are the hardest hit by the climate crisis.

In the first half of 2023, the coalition “Urban Engagement in the Climate Agenda – Amazonian Voices” carried out a self-census in three urban communities: part of Terra Firme, in Belém, and Mapiri and Maracanã, in Santarém.

The self-census is a census carried out by the residents of a community. It includes information traditionally present in censuses and official records and data that the community decides to include. In this case, we also included issues related to climate change, the theme of our project.

In addition to the strengthening generated by the simple production of data by the community about itself, the self-census is an effective tool for mobilization and community engagement since it involves the community as a whole and provides its residents with participation in a process through which they discover themselves, recognizing their particularities, similarities, problems and potentialities. In other words, the self-census has the general objective of mobilizing and strengthening the community so that it can be a protagonist in the transformations of the place where it is and the lives of its residents.

Based on the results of the census, the communities will be able to define their priorities for action, including with regard to mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Another aspect of the censuses that has drawn attention is the role of women in these processes. In addition to always being the majority in the communities, 80% of the census researchers are women and are the ones who are assuming the leading role in the post-census community development processes.

And that’s how we work, bringing the climate agenda closer to the reality of communities and giving due space to female protagonism in community-strengthening processes. After all, it is no longer a talk for the future; climate change already affects life in our cities. It may not seem like it, but there is still time to react, revert some of its effects and avoid a much worse future.

For this, we need to inform ourselves, position ourselves, manifest and make those with decision-making power heard. Only then will we build fairer and more balanced ways of inhabiting the planet. Let’s go!


By Amazonian Voices Coalition: Urban Engagement in Climate Change

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