This new publication by the UN-REDD Programme, entitled "The Business Case for Mainstreaming Gender in REDD+", sets out to demonstrate how integrating gender considerations in REDD+ planning makes good business sense. The “Business Case “ examines what gender equality and equity mean and entail for stakeholder engagement, land and resources tenure, multiple benefits of forests, benefit distribution systems, anti corruption efforts and inclusive growth and development. The report also examines why integrating gender considerations may increase efficiency, efficacy and sustainability, and proposes initial recommendations on how to do so.
The report, a working copy of which was released at COP17 in December 2011, highlights brief case studies showing, for example in India, how women’s participation has positively affected forest regeneration and the control of illicit grazing and felling; and how women’s engagement as decision-makers in executive committees, as is shown in an example in Nepal, can lead to increase in forest carbon stock, increased sequestration of carbon dioxide, as well as increase community income. Giving considerations to gender equality in REDD+, the report concludes, makes good business sense.
Recommendations are structured around how to build the evidence base, build capacity and ensure that monitoring and evaluation plans include gender-sensitive indicators. These recommendations also point to various actions for different phases of REDD+.
Taking into account men and women’s different needs and knowledge will be key in promoting gender equality, and will require a willingness to experiment, a commitment to share best practices and lessons learned, and the opportunity to scale up. The UN-REDD Programme, in collaboration with UNDP’s gender group and other partners, will support these efforts.
The draft decision agreement on REDD+ resulting from the Durban UNFCCC negotiations in December 2011 notes the importance of "respect[ing] gender considerations" in systems to provide information on how REDD+ safeguards are respected.
Women and men’s specific roles, rights and responsibilities, as well as their particular use patterns and knowledge of forests, shape their experiences differently. Failure to understand these differences could lead to incomplete information on which to design REDD+ policies, and should be avoided through effective and meaningful participation of women. Gender equality is a human right, as set forth in the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and other international instruments.