Developing Gender-sensitive National Implementation Strategies for Climate Change

06 December 2010 | Article

Updating Session for UNFCCC Government Delegates: Developing Gender-sensitive National Implementation Strategies for Climate Change

Presented by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as part of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), in partnership with the Government of Mexico, the Government of  Finland, and the Arab League.

Saturday, November 27, 2010 Sixty government delegates, representing twenty-nine countries from all regions of the world participated in the updating session on new dimensions of gender and climate change in Cancun, Mexico. Undersecretary for Environmental Regulation Mexico, Sandra Denisse Herrera Flores and Resident Representative UNDP Mexico Magdy Martinez-Soliman provided welcoming remarks stressing the importance of including women in climate change policy making.

IUCN Global Senior Gender Adviser Lorena Aguilar described the current situation, where gender issues are under-represented in existing studies and are most likely to be left out of the national climate change programs. Ms. Aguilar stressed that it is necessary for successful climate change policy making to consider and understand differences between men and women in use of resources and skills. "Women are agents of change for climate change solutions and their leadership is crucial," Ms. Aguilar said.

With the funding from the government of Finland, IUCN supported three first ever gender-sensitive climate change strategies at the national level in Mozambique and Jordan, and at the regional level in Central America. Aira Kalela from Ministry of the Environment Finland announced that the funding will continue in 2011.

Marilia Telma Manjate from Ministry of Coordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA), Mozambique described the process in her country, where gender was incorporated in all areas of climate change activity undertaken by the government to bring women's voices and concerns into an arena of high national priority.

Fidaa Haddad, IUCN West Asia - Regional Office (ROWA) explained the process of development and implementation of the Jordan national plan of action on gender and climate change, with cooperation from different Ministries. The Plan includes objectives, activities, and indicators in four priorities sectors: water, energy, agriculture and waste. 

Haydeé Castillo, Foro de Mujeres para la Integracion Centroamericana (FMICA), described the process of developing Central American regional strategy on gender and climate change, working with women groups, the the Women Forum for the Central American Integration, and Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD) representatives.

The session concluded with an integrative discussion highlighting best practices, opportunities, challenges, and concrete strategies for inclusion of gender considerations in climate change policies. Delegates identified capacity building, access to resources and decision making, funding, and increasing the participation of women on delegations to negotiations as key areas. 

With the negotiations on climate change starting in Cancun this week, many parties feel that national level strategies and action can pave the way for the international agreement. 

More work remains to be done. IUCN received fifteen requests to support governments on development of national strategies on gender and climate change throughout 2011, starting with Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Egypt, and Bahrain.