Susan Karuti: Gender, Forestry and Climate Change
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Susan Karuti: Gender, Forestry and Climate Change



Session paper presented by Susan Karuti, MDG Centre Nairobi

Session paper presented by Susan Karuti, MDG Centre Nairobi



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Susan Karuti: Gender, Forestry and Climate Change Susan Karuti: Gender, Forestry and Climate Change Presentation Transcript

  • Gender, Forestry and Climate Change: Analyzing Challenges and Opportunities for Rural Women and Adolescent Girls Sahelian Regional Workshop 4-8, May 2009 Bamako, Mali By Susan Karuti Gender Coordinator, MDG Centre, Nairobi
  • Why Gender in Forestry? Forests are natural resources important to livelihoods, poverty, environmental conservation and reducing the impact of climate change. Women are highly dependent on local natural resources for their livelihood The full potential of forests may never be grasped without an understanding of gender differential in the use forest resources differently.
  • Gender in Forestry cont… Despite their critical role - women and girls’ access to natural and social capital lags significantly behind Depletion of natural resources and agricultural productivity - place additional burdens on women’ health and reduce time to participate in decision-making and IGAs higher risk for worsening environmental conditions - increasing desertification and water scarcity exacerbate their workloads The accentuated feminization of poverty has dramatic impacts beyond the present generation
  • Environ. Degradation and Feminization of Poverty Example of exacerbated  cycle of poverty for  women Source: WEDO, 2008
  • MDG 3 & Forestry Gender equality -an integral and central element of any development interventions- a path towards achieving the other goals 1. Environmental degradation and girls in education 2. HIV/AIDS and Environmental Degradation 3. Disaster /environmental stress and time burdens 4. Women’s property and inheritance rights 5. Gender inequality in employment 6. Women in Decision Making 7. Violence against girls and women
  • Gender and Climate Change Climate change often impacts the areas that are basis of livelihoods for which women have primary responsibility Effects of climate change are disproportionately severe for the most vulnerable groups Discussions on action to alleviate the impacts of climate change - scientific debate – alienating rural women with low literacy levels Need to demystify climate change - to generate popular understanding and consensus
  • Climate Change cont.. Poor rural women economies depending entirely on exploitation of natural resources and climate Women are responsible for 70–80 percent of household food production- drought and intermittent rainfall patterns directly affect production of staple food lack of skills on climate change adaptability and disaster management - vulnerability
  • Social & Economic Impact of Climate Change Impacts on women The Impacts of Climate Change on  CROP FAILURE Household food provision; Women Increased agricultural work Household fuel provision; FUEL SHORTAGE food‐fuel conflicts Household water provision; SHORTAGE OF SAFE, exposure to contaminated  CLEAN WATER sources Climate Change Economic drawbacks; lack of  land tenure; resource‐ RESOURCE  SCARCITY dependent livelihoods; school  dropouts, early marriage Greater incidence of mortality;  NATURAL  DISASTERS reduction of life expectancy Lack of access to healthcare; DISEASE  increased burden of caring for  young, sick and elderly Loss of livelihoods; lack of  adequate shelter; conflicts DISPLACEMENT Loss of livelihoods and lives;  sexual violence and trauma CIVIL WAR / CONFLICT WEDO 2008
  • Adaptation & Mitigation: Women’s role Effective gender sensitive adaptation and mitigation measures builds capacities and reduces risk women are the most vulnerable - they are also the best positioned to curb the effect of climate change They have a strong body of knowledge and expertise However, they’re underrepresented in decision- making - impedes their ability to contribute their perspectives and expertise on climate change
  • Women’s coping strategies: ___________________________________ ____ Financial coping strategies Agricultural adaptation strategies • Engage in off‐farm work • Practice crop diversification • Wives and other family members  look for other sources of income in  • Plant crop varieties that are  country and abroad resistant to droughts, floods and  pests • Take out loans from money  lenders, relatives and friends • Plant fruit trees and root crops • Sell off livestock • Cultivate at higher levels • Seek government financial  • Practice contour farming assistance • Construct temporary drainage or  • Reduce food consumption canals
  • MVP Interventions “…without climate change, we would need an African Green Revolution…with climate change, we need an African Green Revolution even more urgently…” (Glenn, D., 2008). Women’s leadership is critical in environmental management, forestry, and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures
  • Energy Interventions: (For cooking and environment) Agroforestry - Provide Fuelwood and Decrease Labor •Improved cookstoves and ventilation •Electrification
  • Water and Sanitation Rainwater harvesting and storage tanks •Rain water harvesting tanks Water treatment
  • Conclusion & Recommendations Addressing desertification and land degradation requires an integrated and gender sensitive approach to agriculture and environmental management Gender analysis of all budget to ensure gender sensitive investments and programmes Collection of gender-disaggregated data and language in policy. research and development interventions Reducing the burden of housework through infrastructural investments
  • Conclusion and Recommendations cont… Rural women have sound ecological knowledge however - “their voices are largely absent from the policy discussions and negotiations over global warming …” (Wangari Maathai) Juxtapose women economic empowerment programmes into environmental management Gender sensitive strategies to achieve a win-win solutions for both men and women Gender equality a precondition for meeting the challenges of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance (Kofi Annan)