The IUCN CEESP Gender Specialist Group (SGG) aims to strengthen the understanding of and promote the full achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment in all areas of conservation and sustainable development policy and practice.

CEESP generates and disseminates knowledge, mobilizes influence, and promotes actions to harmonize the conservation of nature with the critical social, cultural, environmental, and economic justice concerns of human societies. CEESP is positioned to advise, and take an active role in the UCN’s Gender Programme.

The SGG is a new Specialist Group in CEESP, created after the IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) in 2016, in response to the growing recognition, and knowledge on Gender in IUCN’s programme. The Gender component within CEESP is being developed, through its programme and Mandate for 2017-2020, and based on the experience of members across the regions, and in coordination with the IUCN Global Gender office. 
Currently there are 44 member with expertise in Gender, and a separate list serve has been developed for engagement with the group. Increasing the membership of the SGG is an ongoing process as new members join the Commission. 

Main Areas of Work
The SSG’s main areas of work include; Biodiversity, Climate Change, Access and Benefit sharing, Social Policy Development, and Human Rights. The SGG’s activities include:  

  • Identifying potential areas for CEESP to engage in Gender issues within IUCN, and with CEESP members.

  • Explore engagement with the IUCN Global Gender Office, seek advice from the Global Gender Office on relevant issues, and support the Gender Office.

  • Explore points of collaboration in the Regional offices related to gender issues.   

  • Explore entry points into Gender Networks, and International Processes on Women’s issues.

Publications and Events
At the recent CEESP IUCN Communities, Conservation and Livelihoods Conference, in Halifax, Canada, a Panel discussion entitled The Importance of Women in Sustaining Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management, was also held which focused on the changing roles and issues related to women and the environment.   

A Session entitled From Rights to Resources—How Gender-Responsive Strategies can Enhance Conservation Outcomes was also held. The objective of this session was to bring together IUCN experts, partners, practitioners and community members to share experiences and strategies for promoting women’s empowerment and gender-responsive solutions to advance and enhance conservation and sustainable development on the ground.

A panel of experts from the IUCN Global Gender office, the Specialist Group on Gender, and Conservation International, discussed examples of projects and case studies of successful gender-responsive approaches in conservation projects from around the world, and conference attendees were invited to participate and share perspectives and experiences. This session highlighted key progress made in this field, sharing lessons learned and remaining challenges of relevance to communities, policy-makers, researchers and a range of organizations.

Presentations included the following topics:
IUCN supports government members and their stakeholders to turn gender and environment commitments into action, including through a cross-sectoral, participatory methodology to develop and implement ccGAPs—national or subnational Climate Change Gender Action Plans. IUCN will discuss varied ccGAP experiences from around the world, especially focusing on a recent process supporting the Comca’ac Indigenous People of Sonora, Mexico, to develop the first ccGAP in a protected area.

The Mangrove for the Future (MFF) Resilience framework works with local communities to identify and implement sustainable coastal resource management interventions that contribute to the advancement of gender equality. Case studies and results based on a Regional Gender study from 12 countries in South and South East Asia will be presented to illustrate research findings.  

Conservation International’s gender program focuses, in large part, on advancing gender-integrated conservation internally - within CI-led projects and programs at the community level. CI will share several real world examples of how field-based conservation practitioners have identified and addressed gender within a variety of conservation settings, ranging from the Philippines, Timor Leste, Cambodia and Peru.  

Links to relevant information can be found at:

​​​Why You Should Join SGG
The Specialist Group on Gender (SGG) is dedicated to understanding issues on gender within the work of CEESP and IUCN. A member of the SGG will engage with qualified researchers and practitioners to comprehend and experience the diversity of gender issues in the various regions of CEESP and IUCN.

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Meher Noshirwani

Meher Noshirwani

EXPERTISE: Gender equality