Promoting gender equality in global forest conservation and climate change mitigation

On the heels of last week’s global Forest Landscape Restoration Forum, IUCN highlights its projects around the world that are helping make forest landscape restoration and REDD+ more gender responsive

Woman with baby at local water well, Zambia.

Women around the world disproportionately suffer the consequences of depleting forest resources because of their dependency on natural resources as farmers, foresters and household providers. At the same time, they systematically lack rights to land ownership and land use decision making. For these reasons and many more, gender equality remains a matter of fundamental human rights and social justice, as well as a pre-condition for sustainable development, forest conservation and climate change mitigation.

IUCN’s Global Forest and Climate Change Programme and Global Gender Office, along with other partners and donors, work on a range of initiatives to support gender mainstreaming in forest programs, including forest landscape restoration (FLR) and efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) worldwide. From national-level workshops and blog series, to country-specific Gender and REDD+ Roadmaps, dozens of projects and resources now exist as (successful) examples of gender-responsive approaches in forest conservation, as well as broader climate change and biodiversity policies.

Gender Equality for Climate Change Opportunities initiative

Since 2013, IUCN has been collaborating with USAID on a five-year, multi-million-dollar initiative, Gender Equality for Climate Change Opportunities (GECCO). One of the objectives of GECCO is to develop and implement gender-responsive climate change and gender action plans at the national level, which include forestry as a priority sector.

In close collaboration with IUCN’s on-going REDD+ projects funded by Denmark and Germany, some of GECCO’s key activities to date include:

  • Co-hosting a Gender and REDD+ Learning Exchange in May 2014, which brought together 52 participants from more than 20 countries;

A suite of 6 case studies highlighting best practices for mainstreaming gender into REDD+ policies and programs at all levels around the world

  • Supporting the development of ccGAPs for Peru and Zambia, informed by IUCN’s expertise and experience from the earlier development of 17 regional and national ccGAPs;
  • Pursuing research on gender and low-emissions development strategies in order to support the energy sector to be gender responsive by filling knowledge gaps for integrating gender into the energy sector through sharing existing practices and encouraging documentation of experiences and new knowledge creation.

Gender on the REDD Desk online platform

IUCN’s Global Gender Office and the Global Canopy Programme (GCP) launched a partnership in June 2015 to integrate gender into the GCP’s REDD Desk platform, one of the world’s largest online collaborative resources for REDD+ information, news and analysis.

The gender feature profiles REDD+ activities related to women’s empowerment in more than 20 developing countries, as well as providing overall tools and analysis for mainstreaming gender equity into REDD+ programming and policy.

Supported by IUCN’s on-going REDD+ projects and USAID’s GECCO initiative, gender information added to the REDD Desk includes:

  • A gender equality Encyclopedia page;
  • Up-to-date information on gender equality added to each country overview; and
  • Targeted resources on gender equality, which include knowledge products and IUCN’s country-specific REDD+ Gender Roadmaps.

“By integrating gender themes through the REDD Desk platform, we are leveraging advancements in women’s empowerment and gender equality to provide an array of support options for national, regional and global REDD+ activities,” says Lorena Aguilar, IUCN’s Senior Global Gender Adviser.

IUCN’s Gender and Forest Landscape Restoration project

The goal of IUCN’s collaborative project on Gender and Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) is to enhance women’s empowerment and gender equality in the restoration of degraded forests and landscapes. The project works at the national and global level to ensure gender equality does not get lost among the many issues to consider in the design and implementation of FLR initiatives, as well as broader climate change and development plans.

In 2014, IUCN launched a first-of-its-kind Gender and Restoration case study series to explore gender issues in FLR. Presented in concise blog posts, this on-going series aims to raise awareness about incorporating gender consideration into restoration assessments to ensure that women and men have a voice and benefit equally from the restoration of degraded lands.

The series includes case studies on:

IUCN is also developing three case studies on FLR examples in different regions of the world that are paying attention to the differentiated issues, impacts—and results, when women and men are included. They highlight different themes including independent public monitoring of forests in Armenia, communal restoration farming in Uganda, and restoration and preservation of traditional/indigenous tree species in Brazil. These will launch at the Global Landscapes Forum in December 2015.

More resources on gender, REDD+

Get in touch on gender!

  • To contribute a unique perspective, story or experience to IUCN’s on-going Gender and Restoration case study series, write to [email protected].
  • Contact IUCN’s Global Gender Office at [email protected].
Work area: 
Climate Change
Climate Change
Forest Landscape Restoration
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