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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


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. 




Do you know what "Momentum for Change" is?

Momentum for Change is an initiative spearheaded by the UN Climate Change secretariat to shine a light on the enormous groundswell of activities underway across the globe that are moving the world toward a highly resilient, low-carbon future. Momentum for Change searches for innovative and transformative solutions that address both climate change and wider economic, social and environmental challenges.
These solutions are called Lighthouse Activities. They're some of the most practical, scalable and replicable examples of what people, businesses, governments and industries are doing to tackle climate change.
For more information check the UNFCC website. To check out some of the advisory panel members.

New members of "Momentum of Change Advisory Panel"

Just this past june, Mrs. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), finalized invitations to the new members of the Advisory Panel of the UN initiative "Momentum of Change"

The Momentum for Change Advisory Panel is responsible for selecting the Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities. The Advisory Panel also provides guidance on the selection process and the development of the selection criteria.
The Advisory Panel is made up of senior experts from various fields and countries. Each member has relevant professional experience with climate change and/or development projects.
Some of the members that joine the expert team are 


- Chinmaya Acharya, Chief of Programs, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation
- Ignacio Campino, Board Member, Desertec Foundation
- Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Ambassador, Embassy of Mexico to the Federal Republic of Germany
- Ramiro Fernandez, Director, AVINA Foundation
- Matilda Gennvi Gustafsson, Sustainability Director, Ericsson Group 
- Antonio Hill, Executive Director, Global Call for Climate Action
- Ian Inaba, Executive Director, Citizen Engagement Lab
- Malcolm Johnson, Director of Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, International Telecommunication Union
- Thierry Klein, Head of Green Research, Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent
- Heather McGeory, Director of Partnerships, Purpose
- Luis Neves, Group Climate Change and Sustainability Officer, Deutsche Telekom


- Angelica Valeria Ospina, Research Coordinator, Climate Change, Innovation and ICTs, the University of Manchester
Our very own

Lorena Aguilar, Senior Gender Advisor for The International Union fo the Conservantion of Nature has join the expert team. For more than twenty-five years of experience in projects and initiatives involving public policy development and the incorporation of social and gender issues into the conservation of natural resources, Mrs. Aguilar has consolidated the IUCN Global; has authored over seventy publications, including thirty books, on gender, the environment and anthropology and has become herself a keynote speaker at international conferences and congresses on gender, climate change and the environment.

Follow up heer work and the work of these extraordinary experts on here


Snapshots from Congo: Congo: A Priest, the Women, and an Orphan

This is Lorenas Aguilar´s, our own Senior Gender Advisor, latest post. you can always read more on Lore´s work on her blog or her contributions to the HuffPost.
I write this blog while I am still in Congo, before my memory loses the smallest of the details. I wish you could smell and feel what I have experienced and witnessed. But my words, I am afraid, are all I can share with you.
Read them slowly, since they tell the stories of real people. These are their lives. Treasure them, as they portray the voices of those who struggle every day to merely survive.
Congo, I write this for those I have met, and for those who will be in my heart for the rest of my life. I promise not to forget.
These are a few of the snapshots:
1. African pygmy people are an ethnic group that can be found in Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Angola, and Botswana, among other countries. Most Pygmy communities are hunters and gatherers. In 2003, the UN's Indigenous People's Forum received evidence that, during the Congo Civil War, the pygmies were hunted down and eaten as though they were game animals. Some groups still refer to them as "the bush meat that talks." Still today, other ethnic groups see them as inferior. While conducting a study on what they considered basic needs, pygmy women in particular pointed out that living without discrimination was one of their priority basic needs--with the same wage, education and access to decision-making as other citizens of Congo.
2. While in the Fauna Reserve of Letni, we saw a car with a cross and chalice on the doors, making it easy to identify that this was a "car of God." To my surprise, the car stopped and this very tall white man in fatigues came out stating he was a priest. From the back of the car three young men came out, all heavily armed. They unloaded their day of "religious work," killing monkeys and pangolins (also referred to as a scaly anteater or trenggiling). They claimed they had a license to lead a safari. While I watched this in astonishment I could only think, what in the world is a priest doing conducting a safari and killing innocent animals? All of this in the name of God?
3. There are many new religious sects, sprouting like mushrooms throughout Congo. Some of them teach incredible beliefs. Families regularly take under their care small children who are not part of their nuclear family, either from a previous marriage, or because the mother has died. Some priests are claiming that some of the disasters that these communities are facing, like droughts, or loss of crops, are due to this practice, and that "those kids" need to be thrown out of the house. I can only imagine how many orphans will result from the fact that climate change is bringing new unexplained disasters to this part of the world.
4. Heard from a priest's mouth: "If a woman is part of my sect she cannot be part of any community decision-making body. This is against God's ruling."
5. Everyone wants to work. In the road that connects Brazzaville with the rest of the country, there are children with shovels filling up the potholes with dirt and sand. The drivers provide them with coins for their service.
6. Congo is one of the few countries in the world where plastic bags have been banned; everywhere you are provided with free bags made of cloth. Incredible indeed. An example to follow?
As I finish this blog I can hear the voice of a woman who asked me: Where are the schools? The hospitals? Why does a woman have to see her children die of starvation? Is life only about work and death?