Gender approaches in the COBAM project


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The COBAM project has made a point of ensuring its research in the Congo Basin about climate change and forests is gender-responsive. This presentation outlines the approaches used in the COBAM project to ensure that gender is taken into account, and presents some preliminary results from the study. This presentation was given during CIFOR’s Annual Meeting 2012, which was held on 1–5 October at the headquarters in Bogor, Indonesia.

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Gender approaches in the COBAM project

  1. 1. Gender approaches in the COBAM project Annual Meeting 2012THINKING beyond the canopy
  2. 2. Overview COBAM: Objectives and components Gender theories Main Research questions Approaches and methods Gender analysis Lessons THINKING beyond the canopy
  3. 3. COBAMCOBAM ObjectiveProvide policymakers, practitioners andlocal communities with the information,analysis and tools needed fordesigning and implementing policiesand projects for adaptation andREDD+ in the Congo Basin THINKING beyond the canopy
  4. 4. Gender theories What is known… Three-quarters of the food-crop farmers in Central Africa are women Molua (2010). Women = main managers of non- timber forest products, but are often denied the right of planting trees (Brown and Lapuyade, 2001). When doing the same activities (farming, foraging) the scale of those activities differ (Tiani et al. 2005) THINKING beyond the canopy
  5. 5. Main Gender Research questions  To what extent does climate change exacerbate or reduce existing gender inequalities?  What is the role of forests in reducing vulnerability of men, women and the disadvantaged groups in the Congo Basin?  What is the correlation between the forest status and the adaptive capacity of men and women? THINKING beyond the canopy
  6. 6. Approaches Participatory approaches: Focus group discussions (levels; social groups; men and women). Pebble games (scoring) and matrices (Colfer et al. 2000). Interview of key informantsGender sensitive variables:Natural resources; activities; sources of income, perception of vulnerability and responses, social capital and collective action, tenure and access rights. THINKING beyond the canopy
  7. 7. Gender analysis (in blue)Current state: Country and Observed trends in Vulnerability to climate- Adaptive capacityproject site the project site related disturbances in analysis the project siteDescription of current land use Description of change Analysis of differentiated Analysis of currentand socio-economic patterns at the vulnerability to climate- adaptive capacity basedconditions in the country national level related disturbances in on observed trends,(literature review and grey the project site current conditions andliterature) in the project site (perception analysis). coping strategies(mapping, FGA).Analysis of the main activities Analysis of past Impacts of climate-related Exploration of futureand livelihoods in the project disturbances in the disturbances (perception vulnerabilities to possiblesite project site (multi- analysis changes in future climate stress analysis). and other stresses.Analysis of the institutional Analysis of climate-relationships based on the related disturbancessocio-institutional network in the project sitemappingAssessing governance, socialcapital and collective action THINKING beyond the canopy
  8. 8. Other considerations Gender considerations when selecting local partners managing pilot projects. As result, two of the five pilot projects are carried by NGOs led by women This is an opportunity to study how effective NGOs led by women are compared those led by men and draw lessons as for the distribution of adaptation and development funds. THINKING beyond the canopy
  9. 9. Advantages Specific knowledge and priorities of men and women for forest and forest goods and services captured Differential access rights, capabilities and vulnerability to climate changes sorted out Needs and priorities of men, women and other disadvantaged social groups expressed Separate concerns of women and men discussed, then shared with each other Common agreements are easier to be reached… THINKING beyond the canopy
  10. 10. Lessons Our first results show that vulnerability to multi-stressors including climate change and responses are gender sensitive, but whether men or women are the most vulnerable depend on various factors including income strategies (diversified vs. focus), type of forest, sensitivity of main activities to climate hazards or marge of maneuver of each group. Women proved to be more organized at the local level and men to be more present at the decision making sphere and more connected to outside, but the way women could take advantage of their social capital and hability for collective actions to strenghten their position when designing adaptation and development strategies is yet to be thought. THINKING beyond the canopy
  11. 11. Thanks for listening! THINKING beyond the canopy