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Gender, Climate Change, Forestry: Building Resilience in a Changing Climate Catherine Mungai Partnership and Policy Specialist CCAFS-East Africa 3 October.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender, Climate Change, Forestry: Building Resilience in a Changing Climate Catherine Mungai Partnership and Policy Specialist CCAFS-East Africa 3 October."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender, Climate Change, Forestry: Building Resilience in a Changing Climate Catherine Mungai Partnership and Policy Specialist CCAFS-East Africa 3 October 2014

2 Key Definitions - But Do Not Be Boxed In Gender - Gender is defined by FAO as ‘the relations between men and women, both perceptual and material. It is a central organizing principle of societies, and often governs the processes of production and reproduction, consumption and distribution’ (FAO, 1997). Despite this definition, gender is often misunderstood as being the promotion of women only. Climate Change – Climate change in IPCC usage refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g. using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. This usage differs from that in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where climate change refers to a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

3 Background: Why Gender? Some Key Concerns According to FAO the concept of gender is one that is either not well understood or misunderstood in many institutions and societies in Africa. This is compounded by the cultural norms and patriarchy that render the socio- economic status of women low in Africa. According to various studies in African countries, women comprise between 50 – 51% of the population and yet they are excluded from leadership and decision-making positions that involve national development activities, all meant to benefit the entire population. The forestry sector has also been slow in providing equal opportunities for women, hence fails to benefit from the full potential of half of the population on the continent. African countries have established institutional mechanisms for gender mainstreaming. Yet, the institutions exist more in theory due to difficulties in implementation. Sustainable development, including forestry and forestry-related concerns, should focus on both women and men due to the explicit and implicit differences expressed in gender interests and needs.

4 Why Gender in Forests and Forest Policies  Forests are natural resources important to livelihoods, poverty, environmental conservation and reducing the impact of climate change.  Women are highly dependent on local natural resources for their livelihood  The full potential of forests may never be grasped without an understanding of gender differential in the use forest resources.  Despite their critical role - women and girls’ access to natural and social capital lags significantly behind.  Depletion of natural resources and agricultural productivity - places additional burdens on women’ health and reduce time to participate in decision-making processes on adapting to climate change

5 Gender, Climate Change, Forestry  Climate change often impacts the areas that are basis of livelihoods for which women have primary responsibility – food production, health etc.  Effects of climate change are disproportionately severe for the most vulnerable groups.  Need for gender considerations in global climate change policies that can affect women such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). Men and women relate to and use the forest differently and so may experience the effects of climate change and REDD+ policies differently.  Ensuring gender responsive adaptation and mitigation polices and strategies (within the forest and agro-forestry sector) at national level.

6 CCAFS - Integrating a Gender Approach in Building Resilience to Climate Change in the Forestry Sector  Women are not just victims but also agents of change and possess knowledge and skills  Understanding the risks and different impacts of climate change on men and women is key in achieving sustainable development and the MDGs  Ensure that women participate in all decision making related to climate change at all levels to build an effective alliance for community adaptation and mitigation  The Gender Approach is a working tool that should be integrated in the entire policy planning and implementation process, including:  Gender analysis  Disaggregating all data by gender.  Gender budgeting  Using gender responsive indicators to measure results, benefits and impact.  Building capacity and strengthening sustainable development strategies and institutional frameworks.  Documenting and dissemination best practices to continually promote learning and innovation.  Gender is not seen as a stand alone but part of a process

7 CCAFS – Assessing Gender Integration into Climate Change, Forestry and Agricultural Policies in East Africa National LevelLocal GovernmentHousehold/Individual level Does the government recognize the specific vulnerability of women and other marginalized groups to climate change? Is this knowledge and recognition translated into policy and implementation of programs? Do policies and programs support empowerment of vulnerable groups including women? Do vulnerable groups have advocates at national level? What social groups (men, women, old, young, etc) within the community are most vulnerable to climate change? Are local planning processes participatory? Do women and other marginalized groups have a voice in local planning processes? Do local policies provide access to and control over critical livelihoods resources for all? What are the other factors constraining adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable groups? Are men and women working together to address challenges? Do households have control over critical livelihoods resources? Do women and other marginalized groups have equal access to information, skills and services, equal rights and access to resources? Are there other social, political or economic issues which make particular people within the community more vulnerable than others?

8 Conclusions and Recommendations  Rural women have sound ecological knowledge however - “their voices are largely absent from the policy discussions and negotiations over global warming...” (Wangari Maathai)  Integrate women and other social groups economic empowerment programmes into forest management  Gender sensitive strategies ought to achieve win-win solutions for both men and women  Kofi Annan - Gender equality is a precondition for meeting the challenges of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance  Addressing climate change and forest management requires an integrated and gender sensitive approach – sector expertise

9 Interesting Resources  The World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), 2009 Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook. Washington D.C. The World Bank.  Gender into Climate Policy: Toolkit for Climate Experts and Decision-Makers file:///C:/Users/cmungai/Desktop/toolkit-gender-cc-web.pdf file:///C:/Users/cmungai/Desktop/toolkit-gender-cc-web.pdf  Website - The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) -  Website - FAO Resources on Gender - home/gender-resources/en/ home/gender-resources/en/  Website – CIFOR Forests and Gender Resources -  Website – ICRAF Policy Brief Addresses Gender in Climate-Smart Smallholder Agriculture - climate-smart-smallholder-agriculture/ climate-smart-smallholder-agriculture/

10 THANK YOU Women are agents of change !!!!

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