Climate Change: Gender, Food Security, Human Security, & Development-Overview


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This presentation provides some of the complex dimensions of climate change including the gender dimension of climate change and provides broader overview of food and human security, and development. This presentation was not meant to be exhaustive of these complex themes, but provided a broader context of analyzing the impacts of human-induced climate change.

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Climate Change: Gender, Food Security, Human Security, & Development-Overview

  1. 1. Food, Gender, Human Security, & Development Course: Climate Change, Energy, and Development Jenkins Macedo Marissa Gallant Ariel Maiorano Samuel Morrison November 8, 2013
  2. 2. Development & Climate Change Marissa Gallant
  3. 3. Challenges of Development  What is sustainable development?  We have different views on progress  We disagree about climate change because we understand development differently Source: Sustainable Development
  4. 4. Sustainable Development Discourses Reformist ● Market environmentalism ● Ecological modernization ● Environmental populism Source: Radical ● Neo-Malthusian ● Eco-anarchist Source:
  5. 5. Climate Change and Poverty Radical vs. Reformist Source:
  6. 6. Millennium Development Goals 1. Eradicate extreme hunger 2. Achieve universal primary education 3. Promote gender equality 4. Reduce child mortality 5. Improve maternal health 6. Combat HIV, AIDS, Malaria etc. 7. Ensure environmental sustainability Sources: The Millennium Development Goals Report, 2013 8. Develop a global partnership for development
  7. 7. Climate Change and Population  Chinese government ○ One child policy since 1979 ○ 300 million avoided births ○ 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided ○ 5% of global emissions  MDGs may not be achieved with current levels of growths  What about basic human rights? Source; The Reporter, 2009
  8. 8. How do we Proceed? Does an unequal, unjust, and unsustainable world present serious obstacles to negotiating climate change that must be resolved first; or is climate change the most important issue to tackle? Source:
  9. 9. A Gendered Analysis of Climate Change Vulnerability in Bangladesh Samuel Morrison
  10. 10. Climate Change / Risks  Livelihood threats  Human health and safety threats  Gendered access to land and resources  Adaptation may contribute to or lessen inequality  Poor communities may represent especially vulnerable populations  women adversely effected. Source: Andrew Biraj in Reuters, 2011.
  11. 11. Factors Affecting the Vulnerability of Women  Less acess to resources  drought and deforestation make subsistence activities harder  More women in agricultural and informal sectors in the developing world.  Reprodouction and associated vulnerabilities  Some customary norms prevent women from migrating  Women tend to be calorie deficient in the countries studied Source: Dave Amit in Reuters, 2010.
  12. 12. International Legal Frameworks  2008 UN Human Rights Council  Study on climate change and human rights  1992 UN Conference on the Environment in Rio de Janeiro  1992 Convention on Biological Diversity  Agenda 21  UN Conference on Humans and the Environment  UN General Assembly, Sept. 2007  National Plans of Action submitted by 30 of the 50 LDCs
  13. 13. Bangladesh: A Case Study for Vulnerability  Widespread flooding, ciclones  Increase in rainfall from 815% by 2030  55% of Population lives within 100km of coast  80% of women live in rural areas CIESN, 2007
  14. 14. Risks in Bangladesh  Female death rates higher after floods and ciclones  Water sources salinated  Death of livestock and crops  Limited acess to market as a result of infrastructure damage  Desturction of assets Source: Pushpa Kumara in Associeted Press, 2008.
  15. 15. Adaptive Capacity  Migration  Saving assets  Dietary adaptations  Energy saving technologies  Change agricultural practices Source: Rafiq Maqbool in Associated Press, 2007.
  16. 16. Gender Dimension of Climate Change Jenkins Macedo, ES&P ‘14
  17. 17. WHAT IS GENDER? GENDER: the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones). Source:
  18. 18. Global Gender Gap Index The Global Gender Gap Index: World Economic Forum in 2006 as a framework:  captures the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities and track progress.  It benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education, and health criteria.  It provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups, and over time.  It is designed to create greater awareness among a global audience of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them.
  19. 19. Global Gender Gap Index by Regions, 2006-2012 Source: Global Gender Gap Report, 2012
  21. 21. UN MDGs Goal 3: • Promote Gender Equality & Women Empowerment • Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education, no later than 2015. Sources: The Millennium Development Goals Report, 2013
  22. 22. MDGs 3: ANY PROGRESS? YES! Sources: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013, United
  23. 23. Gender Inequality, 2012 Global Gender Gap Index, 2012 Source: Global Gender Gap Report, 2012
  24. 24. WHY SHOULD CLIMATE CHANGE BE SENSITIVE OF GENDER DISPARITY? Source: Women’s Environment and Development Organization, 2012.
  25. 25. Senior Gender Specialist Nilufar Ahmad, a citizen of Bangladesh has worked on poverty, vulnerability, and social inclusion most of her life and is committed to social justice and equity. Her expertise includes empowerment, local governance, community driven development and participatory processes. She has facilitated partnerships with NGOs and other civil society organizations in South and East Asia for scaling up innovative practices within the World Bank's portfolio. She currently works in the Social Development Department based in Washington, D. C. as the senior gender specialist, supports and monitors the implementation of the Gender Action Plan within the Sustainable Development Network. She also supports local governance operations in South Asia, focusing on demand side accountability and enhancing the "voice" of the excluded groups. (Source: Nilufar Ahmad (2012). “Are Women more vulnerable to Climate Change? How can Institutions help reduce gender gaps in Adaptation program? Study findings from Bangladesh.” World Bank funded project (Source:
  26. 26. River Flood Prone Flash Flood Prone Drough t Prone Drainage Congestion Prone Control Salinity Prone Cyclone Prone Landslide Prone Sea Level Rise Prone Tidal Surge Prone Source: Nilufar Ahmad, 2012 posted in
  27. 27. Women have less control over all types of capital, that reduces their adaptive capacity sample – 420 women and 420 men. Financial Capital 90 80 70 60 50 40 Natural Capital 30 Social Capital 20 Male 10 0 Female Physical Capital Human Capital Source: Nilufar Ahmad, 2012 posted in
  28. 28. Women face specific difficulties, more in urban areas sample -420 men and 420 women in rural . 180 men and 180 women in urban Urban Rural Male Faced difficulty in bathing and sanitation Reduced food consumption 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Faced difficulty in firewood collection Female Children withdrawn from school Suffered from diseases Faced difficulty in water collection Faced difficulty in bathing and sanitation Reduced food consumption 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Faced difficulty in firewood collection Children withdrawn from school Suffered from diseases Faced difficulty in water collection Source: Nilufar Ahmad, 2012 posted in
  29. 29. Egalitarian norms in indigenous communities strengthen the adaptive capacity of women: supported by Rangamati data (sample 420 women and 420 men) Barguna 1.0 0.8 Comilla Coxs’ Bazar 0.6 0.4 Adaptive capacity of male 0.2 0.0 Rangamati Gaibandha Rajshahi Netrokona Source: Nilufar Ahmad, 2012 posted in Adaptive capacity of female
  30. 30. CLIMATE CHANGE & FOOD SECURITY Ariel Maiorano
  31. 31. “Our Coming Food Crisis” • Issue – Unprecedented heat wave affecting Midwestern U.S. – More water and energy input needed to maintain reasonable supply of crops – Farms require crop insurance to compensate for product losses due to climate • Some farmers collected more money from federal insurance than in profits in 2012 • Long-term technical and policy improvements could be made
  32. 32. “Our Coming Food Crisis”  Suggestions from author Gary Paul Nabhan:  Shift to perennial agriculture  Increased federal spending on native seed research for durable, profitable plant species.  Policy reform regarding private gray water management. •  Local composting: urbanagricultural systems approach Biomass digester at Jordan Dairy Farm in Rutland, MA • source nergy/program/clean-energy-results-studies-andsucessess.html • Video link:
  33. 33. Agricultural Waste Digester Model Source:
  34. 34. UN Post-2015 Development Agenda  Comprehensive formulation and accountability framework in progress  DCF provides venue for dialogue between different actors.  UN Systems Task Team responsible for analytical work to inform the ECOSOC Council.  UN Economic & Social Council collects information to plan for, implement, and continue future development agenda Source:
  35. 35. UN News: Ban urges greater action in Africa to meeting anti-poverty sustainability goals UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announces release of Report Life and Dignity for All Disturbed by malnutrition and general disadvantage of women. Expressed need for capacity building for women Human development (anti-poverty) Proposals for sustainable development goals contributed by UN Open Working Group Citizen participants in global survey Source:
  36. 36. Discussion Questions 1. What factors contribute to climate change related vulnerability in Bangladesh and other parts of the world? 2. If we have a responsibility to mitigate ‘dangerous’ climate change, do we have authority to regulate population growth as China has done? Is this moral and just in the face of climate change or does it impinge upon our basic human rights? 3. What is the best route to sustainable development? Do you side with the radicals or reformists? Can climate mitigation efforts serve to alleviate poverty or do we first have to overthrow the capitalist world to make any headway? 4. Both articles discuss necessary political change in order to respond to climate change at an appropriate magnitude, and the Nabhan article suggests comprehensive technical solutions. Which approach (political or technical) is a more effective first step on a large scale? 5. What are benefits to long-term change like the UN Development Agenda is on a large scale? What are the benefits of small-scale technological or political solutions in a region? 6. Are “imperative” issues subjective? The My World Survey shows that all demographic groups value education over better healthcare, some value job opportunities over a transparent government, etc. What motivates people to value certain development goals over others for themselves? 7. What do you think causes the lack of interest amongst climate change scientists about the gender dimension of climate change?
  37. 37. Additional Resources The Gender Dimensions of Food and Nutrition Security in the context of Climate Change - YouTube Poverty & Equity Data | Home | The World Bank Source:
  38. 38. Bibliography University of Florida. (2010). What is Gender? URL: Accessed: 11/01/2013. Hausmann, R., Tyson, L.D., and Zahidi, S. (2012). Global Gender Gap Report. World Economic Forum, Insight Report, URL: Accessed: 11/02/2013. United Nations. (2013). Millennium Development Goal Report. Compiled by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on MDG Indicators led by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, URL: Accessed: 11/02/2013. UNICEF. (2007). Global: Evaluation Of UNICEF's Supply Function. URL: Accessed: 11/04/2013. Harris, R. (2012). Women Making the Case for U.S. Action on Climate Change. Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), URL: Accessed: 11/05/2013. EEA (2010). Projected impact of climate change on agricultural yields. European Environment Agency, Copenhagen, Denmark. Last modified September 5, 2011. URL: Accessed: 11/06/2013. Denton, F. (2002). "Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts, and Adaptation: Why does Gender Matter." Gender and Development 10(2): 10-20. WEDO 2008. Gender, Climate Change and Human Security, Lessons from Bangladesh, Ghana and Senegal, Women's Environment and Development Organization. Nilufar Ahmad (2012). “Are Women more vulnerable to Climate Change? How can Institutions help reduce gender gaps in Adaptation program? Study findings from Bangladesh.” World Bank funded project (Source: URL: Accessed: 11/06/2013.
  39. 39. Bibliography Huffington Post. (2013). We Must Confront Climate Change to End Poverty. URL: Accessed: 11/06/2013. New York Times. (2013). China’s Brutal One-Child Policy. Ma Jian. URL: Accessed 11/06/2013. Ecosocialism or Barbarism: There is No Third Way. Climate and Capitalism. (2012). Global Capitalism and Climate Change. Simon Butler. URL: Accessed 11/06/2013.