Advancing responsive forest landscape restoration
WHAT: Gender equality, rights and ancestral knowledge in the context of forest landscape restoration, a session hosted by the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and partners on the sidelines of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, will generate dialogue on the experiences, opportunities and challenges of addressing gender equality in forest landscape restoration (FLR). It will also identify contextual and empirically grounded approaches to advancing gender-responsive forest landscape restoration. Additionally, the session will explore how the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process can better integrate women’s rights and gender-responsive strategies into climate policies of the Paris Agreement.
WHEN: Nov. 13, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. CET
WHERE: Sitzungssaal, German Development Institute’s Interconnections Zone, Tulpenfeld 6, 53113, Bonn, Germany.
WHO: Speaker Anne Larson, (Principal Scientist) at CIFOR. Bimbika Sijapati Basnett (Scientist, Gender Coordinator) and Markus Ihalainen (Research Officer), gender researchers at CIFOR, to host session.
Partners include: Bioversity International, World Agroforestry Centre, CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF), ConnectinGroup International, Mohammed VI Foundation for Research and Preservation of the Argan Tree
CIFOR gender researchers Markus Ihalainen and Bimbika Sijapati Basnett will lead discussions on how to ensure that global commitments to FLR safeguard the rights and enhance the wellbeing of local women and men.
FLR has received unprecedented global attention in recent years. For example, the Bonn Challenge was launched in 2011 as an expression of international effort to restore 150 million hectares (370 million acres) of deforested and degraded lands by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.
“Forest landscape restoration departs from traditional ideas of restoration,” Ihalainen said. It goes beyond restoring ecosystems against a historical reference point and adds an emphasis on enhancing human wellbeing.”
“The idea of multifunctional landscapes is thus central to forest landscape restoration: well-planned initiatives can provide climate mitigation benefits, while also enhancing soil health, improving food security and providing enhanced livelihood opportunities for local communities,” he added.
Due to its ability to generate benefits on multiple fronts, FLR resonates well with other global commitments, such as the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or the Paris Agreement. However, past experiences demonstrate that reconciling social, economic and environmental goals is not always easy.
“Another key aspect of FLR is the process of bringing stakeholders together to voice their preferences and concerns, as well as to negotiate compromises,” Ihalainen said, adding that not all stakeholders are equally powerful and not all voices are equally heard.
Offering women incentives to participate and contribute can enhance the efficiency and long-term sustainability of FLR. Men and women often use and manage resources in unique ways, observing and experiencing degradation differently. Drawing on gender-differentiated sets of knowledge and ensuring the meaningful participation of women and men helps to more accurately determine the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, and to design appropriate interventions to address them.
Past initiatives have shown that if restoration activities are gender blind or exclude women, the work burden for women, who are often responsible for farming, childcare, collecting water and firewood for such household needs as cooking, can actually increase. Additionally, their access to land and resources can be further restricted, and gender inequalities further heightened.
“We need restoration initiatives to support global efforts to improve women’s rights to land, recognizing them as important and legitimate stakeholders, rather than ignoring or reversing their access,” Sijapati Basnett said.
“Past experiences have shown that gender-blind restoration can add to the burden of labor for women without benefiting them. For example, planting trees, but not having rights to them when they grow. But what we’re trying to understand is how women’s rights should be safeguarded under different forest landscape initiatives and how these initiatives can provide opportunities for women to benefit from FLR.”