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Meeting of Regional Mangroves for the Future (MFF) Gender Advisory Panel

On August 27, 2014, Mangroves for the Future (MFF) met with IUCN senior managers and representatives from Sida and WOCAN at the IUCN Asia Regional Office in Bankok, Thailand, to discuss the establishment of a Gender Advisory Panel for MFF and IUCN Asia. The Gender Advisory Panel will work towards MFF’s principles of equality, participation, transparency, and accountability.

Following these principles, the panel will act to strengthen gender mainstreaming in MFF’s Phase 3 programme. Ms. Aban marker Kabragi, IUCN Regional Director, noted in her opening remarks that MFF’s mandate for gender integrated planning, implementing, and reporting makes MFF a vehicle for strengthening gender mainstreaming in the region.

Dr. Arzu Rana-Deuba, IUCN Regional Councillor, and Ms. Meher Marker Noshirwani, IUCN CEESP Regional Vice Chair, were elected co-chairs of the Gender Advisory Panel. Although unable to attend the meeting, leading gender practitioners from UN Women, IUCN Global Gender Office, and USAID LEAF confirmed their interest in the MFF Gender Advisory Panel.

The entry points and practical steps for the Gender Advisor Panel discussed include institutional, policy and strategy, capacity building, reports and publications, and monitoring and evaluation. The revised MFF Gender Framework and Action plan will be presented at the Eleventh MFF Regional Steering Committee (RSC-11) on October 25th-28th, 2014.

 

From Peru to the World: Ensuring a New Climate Change Framework that is Gender Responsive

From Peru to the World: Ensuring a New Climate Change Framework that is Gender Responsive

By: Lorena Aguilar, Global Senior Gender Adviser, IUCN Global Gender Office  

 

I find myself in Peru, one of the oldest civilizations of Latin America. Peru will be the host country, in December of this year, of the twentieth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 20).

 

From these shores and mountains , that keep and embrace one of the most megabiodiverse countries in the world, we are examining the links between gender and climate change.

 

In the context of ancient knowledge we are discussing with youth, negotiators, scientists, policy makers and women's groups how to develop an advocacy strategy that will allow COP20 to constitute a milestone to mobilize and strengthen the issue of gender equality.

 

The importance of gender considerations in climate change policy-making, programming and finance has gained significant recognition in recent years—and subsequently, 32 decisions of the UNFCCC have included substantive text on gender that primes Parties for gender-responsive action at national level.

 

The upcoming COP 20, will be an important opportunity to continue to build enabling elements of an effective, efficient, and equitable gender-responsive climate change framework. The Government of Peru, particularly as host of this vital COP, is in a position to take leadership on propelling progress in several areas.

 

Delegates to Peru will thus have the important opportunity to provide a mandate for developing a comprehensive framework including a two-year work program, for implementation of gender provisions.

 

A COP 20 decision can strengthen and substantiate progress on gender-responsive climate policy and implementation.  A time-bound framework for action can ensure that concrete steps are in place to turn words into action, with impact across all key issues and programs of the UNFCCC.

 

Peru the world will be watching you, you have in your hands the possibility of having an impact in the life of million of women around the world.

 

 

Bali is More than Paradise: newest entry of our Gender Senior Advisor´s Blog on gender, climate change and more

 

 

Bali hosts the 2014 Summit on Women and Climate. Lorena Aguilar gives us a scoop of what happened during this meeting. 

For four days, more than 100 people from these two funds have been discussing how to bring together the environmental agenda to the women's rights approach under the topic of gender and climate change. Our role representing IUCN's Global Gender Office has been to share our experience in this matter and guide the discussions.

 

This month my work has brought me to Bali, Indonesia. When I told people that I was coming to this beautiful island, they usually raised an eyebrow and said something along the lines of: "Oh yeah, poor you, going to Bali."
 
But it is true. I am here at a historic moment, a collaboration between two very important funds worldwide: the Global Greengrants Fund and the International Network of Women's Funds.
 
The Global Greengrants Fund is a charitable foundation that makes small grants (typically $500 to $5,000) to grassroots environmental causes around the world. These funds are used to support community-based groups outside the United States and Western Europe working on issues of environmental justice, sustainability, and conservation. Since its establishment in 1993, Global Greengrants Fund has made over 5,000 grants in 129 countries, giving a total of over $20 million.
 
On the other hand, the International Network of Women's Funds (INWF) is a group of women's funds from developing countries in the south and developed countries in the north that are committed to a world of equality and social justice. INWF is part of a global women's movement that, using a gender lens, is redefining the concept and praxis of philanthropy, one in which the most developed countries and the least are working as equals, and one in which the act of giving is not the privilege of just a few but of all.
 
This month my work has brought me to Bali, Indonesia. When I told people that I was coming to this beautiful island, they usually raised an eyebrow and said something along the lines of: "Oh yeah, poor you, going to Bali."
 
But it is true. I am here at a historic moment, a collaboration between two very important funds worldwide: the Global Greengrants Fund and the International Network of Women's Funds.
 
The Global Greengrants Fund is a charitable foundation that makes small grants (typically $500 to $5,000) to grassroots environmental causes around the world. These funds are used to support community-based groups outside the United States and Western Europe working on issues of environmental justice, sustainability, and conservation. Since its establishment in 1993, Global Greengrants Fund has made over 5,000 grants in 129 countries, giving a total of over $20 million.
 
On the other hand, the International Network of Women's Funds (INWF) is a group of women's funds from developing countries in the south and developed countries in the north that are committed to a world of equality and social justice. INWF is part of a global women's movement that, using a gender lens, is redefining the concept and praxis of philanthropy, one in which the most developed countries and the least are working as equals, and one in which the act of giving is not the privilege of just a few but of all.
 
Their commitment to the climate change agenda is very refreshing. When we leave Bali, if there is a green light to move forward, this will change the lives of thousands of women and men in developing countries.
 
The setting where this historic gathering is taking place has also been a catalyst. We found ourselves in the Green School Bali which was awarded the 2012 "Greenest School on Earth."
 

 

The school's buildings are built primarily from renewable resources including bamboo, local grass, and traditional mud walls. The primarily bamboo construction of the campus has been reported as an example of large-scale building potential of bamboo architecture. "The Heart of the School," a 60 meter long stilt-structure constructed with 2500 bamboo poles, has been the site of this important event. The school also utilizes renewable building materials for some of its other needs, and "everything -- even the desks -- are made of bamboo."
 

This blog entry is also available in the Huffingtonpost

Gender and Renewable Energy Workshop

Gender and Renewable Energy Workshop
By: Rebecca Pearl-Martinez, Senior Gender Officer, IUCN Global Gender Office
 
USAID and IUCN organized a Gender and Renewable Energy Workshop on September 3-5, 2014 in Arlington, VA. The event convened 45 experts on diverse topics under the umbrella of gender, large-scale renewable energy, and climate change mitigation. The workshop was geared toward building new knowledge and guidance on gender considerations in low emissions development planning and the renewable energy sector beyond the household level, with the following objectives:
 
  • ·       Increase awareness and understanding on gender and large-scale renewable energy and low emissions development planning
  • ·       Identify key entry points and opportunities
  • ·       Define future actions at the international, regional, and national levels
  • ·       Identify knowledge and capacity gaps and potential avenues for closing them
 
The impetus for the workshop was the Gender Equality for Climate Change Opportunities (GECCO) initiative, a new 5-year partnership (2013-2017) between USAID’s E3 Bureau and IUCN’s Global Gender Office. The purpose of GECCO is to leverage advancements in women’s empowerment and gender equality through, and for, the benefit of climate change and development outcomes. The initiative has been designed to provide an array of support options for national, regional and global activities that advance women’s empowerment and gender equality. This includes supporting the development of gender responsive climate change action plans and building capacity to implement gender responsive actions in developing countries. 
 
The workshop drew wide participation from the US government, including representatives of USAID, Power Africa, Department of Energy, State Department. It also brought together multilateral institutions, including World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), UNFCCC, Global Environment Facility (GEF), and utilities experts from Pakistan, Trinidad & Tobago, and Rwanda. The workshop produced action-oriented strategies in the areas of enabling policy, private sector investment, infrastructure for generation, transmission, and distribution, end users, and women’s advancement in employment, leadership, and entrepreneurship. These strategies will be implemented to build momentum at the intersection of gender and clean energy as part of the GECCO initiative.

Monthly accomplishments: News Roundup from IUCN Global Gender Office

 
August has come and gone, but some great work on the climate change and gender equality front was done. Here some amazing stories that our colleagues at the IUCN Gender office share  from around the world.
 
Colombia, Ecuador and Peru
The Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon (ICAA) is a long-term regional program created by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which brings together and integrates the efforts of more than 30 partner organizations, both local and international, to strengthen conservation of the Amazon biome in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Since January 2014 the IUCN Gender Global Office has been working on developing capacities of 31 stakeholders who are implementing the ICAA, leading the gender committee of Madre de Dios’s Consortium.   The IUCN staff work with different organizations, which are part of the Consortium, and are also participants of the IUCN-Gender Global Office Program on Gender and Conservation of Biodiversity.   They are developing institutional gender policies and elaborating institutional products that will contribute to the process of gender mainstream in diverse areas: climate change, water governance, and forest, among others. There are other participants in Ecuador and Colombia developing interesting products such as gender indicators in the context of adaptation, community mediators programs, gender-responsive regional climate change strategies, instruments to mainstream gender in the management of protected areas, and gender policies at the level of environmental institutions. Through this program, the Global Gender Office is contributing to create a critical mass of people who respond to the needs of women and men in the context of the conservation of the Andean Amazon region.
 
Bali
Senior Gender Advisor Lorena Aguilar participated in the 2014 Summit on Women and Climate in Bali at the beginning of August, and wrote a Huffington Post blog about this significant meeting. For four days, more than 100 people from the Global Greengrants Fund and the International Network of Women’s Funds discussed how to bring together the environmental agenda to the women's rights approach under the topic of gender and climate change. 
 
 
Are Governments Addressing Gender Parity in Environmental Decision Making? 
By Rebecca Pearl-Martinez and Melissa Luna
 
New data from the Environment and Gender Index (EGI) project of IUCN reveals that women make up less than a quarter of national government counterparts of the Rio Conventions, which are among the most important international environmental agreements. Across the three conventions on climate change, desertification, and biodiversity, 76% of national focal points are men and 24% are women. Women make up 29% of the biodiversity convention national focal points, and 27% for the climate change convention, while the desertification convention comes in lower at 19% women.
 
These figures for national focal points are slightly lower than the EGI’s analysis of ministers and international negotiators last year. As of June 2013, 27 of the 72 countries studied in the EGI (about 38 percent) had a female minister of environment or environment-related ministry such as agriculture or fisheries. And the rate of female participation in official government delegations to the Conferences of Parties was 36% for the 2012 biodiversity session, 21% for the 2011 biodiversity session, and 33% for the 2012 climate change session. These figures are usually lower for heads of delegations.
 
At the regional level among national focal points across all three conventions (see figure below), European countries have largely achieved gender balance, with 56% female national focal points in Eastern Europe and 46% in Western Europe. While the lowest percentages of female representation among national focal points are Asia Pacific (17%), Sub-Saharan Africa (16%), and Middle East and North Africa (13%).
 
National focal points play an important role in a country’s relationship to international environmental agreements. These individuals are the primary interface between their government and the Secretariat of the conventions, and they facilitate national implementation of convention agreements. National focal points are often called upon to fulfill additional roles beyond negotiators, such as members of the leadership “bureau” of Conferences of Parties of the conventions or subsidiary bodies of the conventions. They are usually representatives of a country’s environmental ministry or other national ministry.
 
Gender parity among national focal points and other environmental decision making roles is important—because it can bring different voices to the table that have historically been missing due to inequalities faced by women.  But gender parity can also unlock the potential of a country as a whole. The 2011 Human Development Report found that women’s participation in environmental decision making leads to improved environmental outcomes:
Countries with higher female parliamentary representation are more likely to set aside protected land areas, according to a study of 25 developed and 65 developing countries.
Countries with higher female parliamentary representation are more likely to ratify international environmental treaties, according to a study of 130 countries with about 92 percent of the world’s people.
Of the 49 countries that reduced carbon dioxide emissions between 1990 and 2007, 14 were very high HDI countries, 10 of which had higher than average female parliamentary representation.
Similarly, the World Bank recently documented the transformative impact of women’s empowerment on the economy, and FAO demonstrated significant agricultural production increases if women, who make up the majority of the world’s farmers, have access to technologies and assets usually reserved for men.
 
This analysis of national focal points is one of many variables being studied for the EGI global dataset on women in environmental decision making. While most governments have not achieved gender parity, it is hoped that this information will serve as a baseline for future progress. For information about the EGI visit environmentgenderindex.org, or sign up here to be alerted of updates and new research findings. 
 
 
Global Gender Office to Launch New Website
Stay tuned! The Global Gender Office team is completely renovating its website, updating all the ways in which we work, those with whom we work, and the extraordinary places we do that work!   The new comprehensive site will launch this autumn. The site will provide an invaluable resource to all those who are working on gender, environment and development issues. As part of our new website, GGO is digging into the archives and scouring partners’ libraries for the very best resources on gender and environment. The new annotated database will be a go-to source for research, factsheets, guidance notes and other useful tools on gender and specific sectors, including forests, coasts, drylands, agriculture, and much more, geared toward policymakers and practitioners, advocates and academia. Your contributions are most welcome! Send your materials for library inclusion to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.