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Championing Women’s Inclusion in Forests for Climate Change Action in Asia Pacific

Blog | Fri, 07 Feb, 2020 · 6 min read
Women in Sri Lanka

Over the years, the UN-REDD Programme has supported countries in integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment into the design and implementation of REDD+ actions. This support incorporates gender and women’s empowerment across REDD+ thematic areas, including stakeholder engagement, policies and measures, safeguards and governance. It is also an integral part of the technical support provided at the national and subnational levels. This holistic gender approach aims to ensure women, men and youth, across all stakeholder groups, can equitably and meaningfully engage, participate in and benefit from national REDD+ processes and actions. Ultimately, this support is about going beyond ‘doing no harm’, and instead, ‘doing better’ to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment for more sustainable REDD+ processes and outcomes.

To help illustrate the breadth of this support and the rich experiences that have resulted, the following gender and REDD+ case studies from the Asia-Pacific region have been put together and can be found online within the November 2019 issue of the UNDP Asia Pacific Gender Equality Dispatch.

Some of the case studies include:

  • Championing Women’s Inclusion in Forests and Climate Change Action - 11 Years of Lessons from UNDP’s Involvement in REDD+

  • Cambodia - Changing Institutional Culture through a National REDD+ Gender Group

  • Papua New Guinea - Ensuring Women Have a Say: Putting Gender at the Heart of Free, Prior and Informed Consent

  • Sri Lanka - Making Civil Society Inclusion in REDD+ Count for Women

  • Viet Nam - Unlocking the Entrepreneurial Power of Indigenous Women to Protect Forests

© Cori Wright, UN-REDD

This work has produced various good practices and lessons learned which can help inform other gender mainstreaming efforts being undertaken within REDD+ actions at national, sub-national and local levels. Some of these lessons include:

  • creating and fostering REDD+ Gender Groups that are formally recognized as part of national REDD+ institutional arrangements processes;

  • undertaking gender reviews and analyses to identify entry points for mainstreaming gender within REDD+ actions;

  • incorporating a gender perspective into the development and implementation of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) processes;

  • ensuring any grievance mechanisms aimed at handling complaints are specifically accessible to women;

  • ensuring the creation of national CSO REDD+ platforms that enable women to have a voice and representation at the policy level;

  • establishing strategic partnerships at the local level between women’s groups and forest-focused NGOs and state agencies in order to develop joint work planning activities in raising awareness and promoting women’s inclusion in forest management activities;

  • developing partnerships for natural forest-based economic models which support the active participation of women within cooperatives at the commune level;

  • conducting gender awareness-raising and capacity building workshops targeted at the national REDD+ bodies; and,

  • using public media to build a broader awareness campaign on REDD+ and gender.

The UN-REDD Programme has integrated these experiences and lessons into its work across the region in order to help ensure both women and men have a seat at the table and an equitable voice in REDD+ design, implementation and decision-making. This, in turn, creates a win-win scenario for both the forests and forest-dependent communities, wherein forests are protected and both women and men have a say in how their forests are managed and their livelihoods improved.