Wednesday, 10 July 2013


----Dr.Debesh Bhowmik

The importance of gender mainstreaming in environmental and poverty eradication policies has been reflected in several forums and global agreements signed over the last 20 years. Yet, despite this, gender has been unevenly integrated into international conventions and implementation mechanisms. UNEP has a unique role in efforts to integrate gender within the policies and activities of global decision making bodies. Since 1993, successive UNEP Governing Council decisions have called upon UNEP to integrate gender and women’s perspectives more closely in its activities and policies. In 2006, UNEP called upon IUCN and WEDO to develop a strategic Gender Plan of Action to work towards the full integration of gender issues and women’s perspectives, UNEP’s Gender Plan of Action establishes strategies and targets and proposes instruments to address gender concerns within the organization. A brief target of the four core areas of the Plan of Action are given below.
[i] Secure high level commitment towards gender equality and environment
[ii] Develop a gender policy for organization
[iii] Allocate sufficient resources
[iv] Ensure that all new policies are gender sensitive.
Preamble to the CBD recognizes “the vital role that women play in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and affirm[s] the need for the[ir] full participation at all levels of policy-making and implementation for biological diversity conservation”. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) and various decisions of Conferences of the Parties (COP) also highlight women’s practices, knowledge, and gender roles in food production. However, while women’s participation in activities under the Convention is identified as important, gender equality is not directly addressed. the Secretariat of the CBD developed a CBD Gender Plan of Action (GPoA) in May 2008. Based on consultations with staff from the Convention, the UN and other organizations, this Plan of Action seeks to define the role of the CBD Secretariat in efforts, both in-house and with partners at the national, regional and global levels, to overcome constraints and take advantage of opportunities to promote gender equality. it has four strategic objectives: to mainstream gender into implementation of the CBD and work of the Secretariat; to promote gender equality in achieving the objectives of the CBD; to demonstrate the benefits of gender mainstreaming in biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and benefit-sharing from the use of genetic resources; and to increase the effectiveness of the work of the CBD Secretariat.
This initiative enabled the development of the first road­maps on Gender and REDD+. An essential point of depar­ture – and a central driving principle throughout – was to ensure that both women and men are fully recognized as important forest stakeholders: that they are afforded equal opportunity to learn about the initiatives, build the required capacity, and that they are able to meaningfully participate in-, contribute to-, and henceforth also benefit from for­estry and climate change policies, programs and funds.Women across the developing world are primary users of forest resources and their sale of non-timber forest products is vital to help cover household expenses and tide them through the leaner times of the year. Their heavier dependence on forests also means that women have more at stake than men when forests are degraded or forest access denied. Yet the needs and concerns of women are often neglected and the ownership of forests and the sale of valuable forest products are largely under the control of men.
Some of the targets are given below under the broad themes.
 Ensure equitable distribution of benefits:
1 Assess benefits sharing schemes to identify opportunities and constrains for women
2. Adapt benefits sharing schemes (or create new) to promote opportunities and address constrains for women
 3. Train women on benefits sharing schemes negotiation techniques
4. Prepare a gender sensitive evaluation to determine revenue distribution, utilization and monitoring fallouts. Ensure equitable distribution of benefits between women and men
To guarantee that women’s access to funds:
1. Create a forest conservation and women protection fund and secure resources (Tree Fund, private sector)
2. Train local women on fund acquisition procedures
3. Reflect on options to make fund acquisition process easy and affordable to women Ensure that women receive compensation, incentives, benefits and revenues
To ensure that gender considerations are fully integrated in forest sector and REDD+:
1. Institutionalize gender sensitive benefit sharing schemes, MRV system, forest management, AF systems, and information and communication system through: review lessons; taking note of best practices; guide lines and criteria identified during pilot schemes; where necessary, review policy and legislation; update monitoring and evaluation schemes

To support the establishment of a gender and forest task force:
1. Identify representatives from: women NGOs; national level women networks; organizations working on specialized topics (i.e. land tenure rights, domestic relations); national women mechanisms; women parliamentarian; gender focal points of development partners
2. Appoint a full time coordinator 3. Mobilize resources to support the activities of task force4. Identify decision-making bodies and processes where women need to be represented5. Advocate for women inclusion in decision-making bodies and processes Capacity building for women and women’s organizations
To build and strengthen women’s- and gender focused organization’s capacity on REDD+ issues:
1. Develop training materials on sustainable management of forests and REDD+ accessible to women
2. Conduct a sensitization campaign that pays special attention to women’s media preferences
3. Conduct trainings for local women on forestry and REDD+ issues Meaningful consultation and effective participation of women in design of REDD+
 To ensure effective consultation and participation of women in the design of the national strategy:
1.      Develop a methodology that promotes the consultation and full and effective participation of women which includes: assessment of barriers that limit women’s participation; mapping of target groups; organization and support of women platforms; actions that take into consideration community consultative meetings

To enhance participation through formal/informal education for women and girls in forestry sector:
1. Identify training institutions and conduct gender trainings for staff
2. Identify/create REDD+ relevant courses
3. Develop scholarship schemes and identify interested and qualified women4. Motivate women to remain in the forestry sector Meaningful consultation and effective participation of women in pilot projects
To guarantee women’s participation in REDD+ demonstration activities (pilot projects):
1. Identify good practices and actions to fully and effectively integrate women and replicate in pilot projects
2. Encourage the participation and involvement of women through the provision of resources (e.g. per diem)
3. Build the capacity of local women to participate and/or coordinate activities of pilot project
4. Provide women and men equal access and control over tools, equipment, technology and resources Gender is mainstreamed in policies reforms associated to REDD+
To support the mainstreaming of gender considerations in current revisions of policies:
1. Identify current policies under revision
2. Define mechanisms needed for women representatives to participate in these revisions
3. Facilitates consultations at the local and regional levels
4. Women representatives disseminates revised policies to their constituencies Collection of sex-disaggregated data and inclusion of gender analyses
To conduct gender-sensitive baseline studies and monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV):
1. MRV system generates sex disaggregated data on ownership, use, management, and access to resources
2. Identify activities carried out by women that could contribute to the data collection in MRV
3. Capacity building sessions for women on MRV methodologies and tools
4. Involvement of women in REDD+ MRV
5. Identify gender-sensitive practices and promote their implementation at a broader scale.

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