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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

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.
 
 

On Gender and Restoration: A case study- blog series coming soon

Planning landscape restoration often means evaluating forest health, water flows, or the availability of choice seedlings. It should also mean talking to women.

 

By Lorena Aguilar

 

Women are the land users of the world. In most countries they play a large role in managing natural resources for their families’ and communities’ wellbeing.

In Tanzania, where men increasingly migrate for work, women herd livestock and manage family pasturelands.

In Nepal, they the select the crops for family farms.

In Mauritius, they replant lost mangroves.

 

Yet when large-scale, landscape-level decisions about land use are made, women’s needs and expertise are often not considered, their essential perspectives left out of final plans.

 

That why we are delighted to introduce a new blog series hosted by IUCN on gender and restoration. Forest landscape restoration is an important and innovative approach to bringing natural function back to degraded land in a way that benefits nature and people. But key questions need to be answered: can women's existing roles and knowledge be leveraged to advance the restoration process? Will a lack of rights to land or title mean women will be left out of this second natural revolution? Can the large and growing global restoration movement benefit women and men alike?

 
This blog series invites practitioners, academics, officials and land users to contribute new stories, ideas, and perspectives on this important issue. We’ll consider how we can:
 
- Advance restoration by incorporating women, together with men, into the process; and

 

- Ensure that women and men benefit equally from the restoration of degraded land.
 

This blog hopes to present real examples from around the world. For now, here are a few of the values we can see from bringing gender into restoration, as well as some of the risks we face by not doing so. If you have examples to share, please write to us at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and subscribe to our restoration newsletter for more analysis and stories. We will post a new blog right on IUCN site each month this autumn. Click here to got to our blog

 
 

Monthly accomplishments: The Global Gender Office highlights on our work around the world

July is up and we couldn´t spend another month without sharing the wonderful work we (and our partners) have done this past semester. We are so proud of everything we account for, and the great job of organizations and civil society working for a more gender equality-based society, one that has a key role on environment protection, climate change adaptation and knowlegde.

Here are our monthly accomplishments: 

1.     Mexico

·       Special Climate Change Program (PECC) 2014-2018. Published at the end of April 2014 as a result of the partnership between the UNDP, Alianza Mexico REDD+ and IUCN. It includes a section on gender and climate change in Chapter 1, eight gender specific lines of action, as well as 11 strategies and 35 cross-cutting lines of action which correspond to the National Program for Equal Opportunities and Non-Discrimination against Women (PROIGUALDAD 2013-2018.)

·       The National REDD+ Strategy (public consultation version – April 2014) includes 15 references to women and gender equality throughout the text and establishes 13 lines of action related to gender equality. The inclusion of gender lines of action in these public policies involved: analyzing the legal and policy framework regarding gender and climate change, proposing sectorial gender lines of action, conducting training workshops and work meetings, as well as taking part in a video conference on gender and climate change.

·       Legislative agenda related to gender, climate change and forests. IUCN, along with Alianza Mexico REDD+ (M-REDD+), the Environment Commission and the Gender Equality Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, carried out a forum to address the legislative agenda related to gender, climate change and forests. It concluded with an agreement with both Presidents of the Commissions to:

1.     Install a work group made up of experts to generate proposals to reform and include a gender perspective in the General Climate Change Law (LGCC) and the General Sustainable Forest Development Law (LGDFS), and

2.     Carry out a detailed study of how the federal budget has been applied to gender and climate change. This will be carried out by the Studies Centre on Gender Equality of the Chamber of Deputies (CEAMEG).

It is important to note that these achievements are also the result of the continuous effort and collaboration of government, civil society, academia and international organizations.

2.     Mozambique

Mozambique reaffirms commitment to gender and climate change; strengthens and validates national Climate Change and Gender Action Plan (ccGAP) in regional workshops while in the midst of political chaos. IUCN GGO facilitated a process in August 2013 in Maputo to support the government and its stakeholders in creating a national ccGAP. At the leadership of the Ministry for Coordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA) and with technical support from GGO, the multi-sectorial, multi-stakeholder ccGAP was the result of participatory workshops that generated key activities necessary across the national priority areas: Water, Health, Agriculture, Disaster Risk Reduction, Coasts and Fisheries, and Mitigation (including energy and forest-related issues like REDD+).

In partnership with the Africa Foundation for Sustainable Development, a GGCA member, as well as MICOA, the local IUCN office and key allies including Oxfam and UN Women, and with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), GGO was pleased to engage in the first of three regional workshops to enrich and validate the ccGAP. In northern Pemba, 32 stakeholders gathered to discuss key sectorial and cross-cutting issues and offer substantive technical feedback in the ccGAP, making it a more regionally appropriate and impactful plan for action. Two more regional workshops will follow in July and August, inputting key information in advance of the national approval process later in the year.

3.     GGCA joint programme

This month, with continued support from the Government of Finland, IUCN GGO launched the fourth and final phase of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) with implementing partners WEDO and UNDP. Having invested in awareness raising, capacity building and technical support in-country to more than a dozen countries over the last six years, GGO will concentrate on amplifying efforts in this phase (mid-2014 through mid-2016) in the following areas: updating the GGCA training manual on gender and climate change, conducting capacity building for a wide range of stakeholders including UNFCCC delegations, technical support to the UNFCCC Secretariat, advocacy on climate finance mechanisms, enhanced progress and implementation on 3-5 ccGAPs, and continued collaboration and coordination with the 100+ GGCA members from around the world.

4.     Side Event in Bonn

Following the May technical workshop on Gender and REDD+, IUCN GGO –together with IUCN Forests program, USAID, WEDO, REDD+ SES and UNREDD – organized an official side event in Bonn in June at the UNFCCCC intercessional. It showcased some of the key messages and results from the multi-stakeholder workshop. Among them, ensuring a gender approach to safeguards and approaches for a safeguard information system was prioritized as imperative for effective REDD+ across all countries. GGO plans to follow up on this key recommendation by reminding Parties of the important opportunity to influence REDD+ decision-making at global level in September. The UNFCCC will welcome submissions on safeguards until 24 September. GGO will offer technical support to ccGAP countries and those countries which participated in the REDD+ workshop to ensure crucial gender text is integrated in the next round of negotiations.

5.     Central America

The Regional Plan of Advocacy in Public Policy for the Access of Sustainable Energy in Central America is gender sensitive. This initiative, led by HIVOS in the region with the facilitation of the Centro Humboldt, has been a process where the national networks of gender and energy have contributed to incorporating the gender perspective at the national level and the GGO at the regional level. Now IUCN, HIVOS, BUNCA and one organization of each of the countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras) are partners and will work together to achieve the actions and goals established in the regional plan. During the regional analysis, the organizations found that inequities in universal energy access have not been a priority of the state for the formulation, adoption and/or implementation of public policies that do not consider the different forms of sustainable energy low power as a means to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development. The Regional Plan of Advocacy has an objective to integrate universal access to sustainable energy and energy efficiency, particularly in marginalized populations to reduce poverty and promote sustainable, equitable human development with sociocultural relevance, in the medium term.

6.     Environmental Gender Index

Earlier this month, the Environment and Gender Index (EGI) was featured at the 4th Gender SummitFrom Ideas to Markets: Excellence in mainstreaming gender into research, innovation, and policy.  The Gender Summits are dedicated to supporting and advancing excellence and effectiveness of research and innovation through the inclusion of gender, and this year’s summit was held in Brussels and hosted by the European Commission. The innovation of the EGI, as the first global measure of government performance on efforts toward gender equality in the environmental realm, was also honored with a nomination for the Katerva Award last year.

In her presentation at the Gender Summit, Michaela Saisana, who led the audit of the EGI methodology by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, noted that the EGI can facilitate discussion about best practices among the highest ranking OECD countries, and in the case of the countries at the bottom of the ranking, can help donors identify countries where they need to concentrate efforts. Saisana summed up the audit of the EGI as “statistically coherent, a good summary measure, and sufficiently robust to changes in the weights and missing data estimation.” The EGI has been well received online, often coming up as the 3rd Google search result for “gender index”, after the OECD’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) and World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report.

Key variables of the EGI are now being ground-truthed via global and national research projects that build on the country rankings published in November 2013. To keep up to date with the latest research results, or request technical support on gender and environment, sign up for EGI updates here.

 

For more information please click on the links below. We will be posting more of our work each month.

What has Gender got to do with Climate? Higlights on International Women's Earth and Climate Summit

Here are some highlights of the global conversation on women's role in climate change from women who attended the "Women's Climate Action Agenda at the International Women's Earth and Climate Summit in September 2013. 
 
The activity was moderated by Konda Mason, social entrepreneur and Pachamama Alliance ally, participants of this online conversation engaged in a real-time dialogue with founder of the summit and the Woman's Earth Climate Caucus, 
 
Founder of the conference, Osprey Orielle Lake, who was joined by Natalie Isaacs, co-founder of the 1 Million Women, an Australia-wide campaign of women taking practical actions to reduce waste and pollution in their daily lives, Carmen Capriles, co-founder of Reaccion Climatica, a non profit formed to advance the participation of Bolivian youth in finding solutions for climate change, and Jacqueline Patterson, Director, Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP.
 
You can learn more about the Pachamama Alliance at www.pachamaalliance.org and join the mailing list to receive updates about the monthly speaker series.