Pacific-wide conversation about gender and climate change

Deadline 21 August, 2012

The current ‘gender and climate change’ conversation on the Climate Change and Development (CCD) Community, of the Pacific Solution Exchange (PSE), is already attracting a wide range of Responses so Far to the Query. This Exchange facilitates knowledge-sharing across 1000+ members to help each other in our work by sharing ideas and lessons learned, avoiding duplication, and assisting in projects and policy development.

Do you have a personal experience, story or case study to share about how gender considerations were included, or excluded, in a climate change or natural resource management, development or disaster risk programme, and this influenced the outcome? Ideally this would include the involvement of women and/or men in each stage of the research and examples of decisions where they have made a difference? Responses may be included in the new Practitioner Toolkit for gender and climate change that’s being developed for the Pacific, by several agencies. This includes the next stage of the Toolkit’s preparation; an afternoon Workshop at the PSE Annual Forum on 11 September as detailed in the event Brochure (PDF): Annual

Forum_Registration Brochure_11Sept2012.pdf (PDF, Size 1.12MB)

To join the conversation – and to receive and contribute stories – please Sign-up as a Member (only takes 2-minutes):

Here are two examples of personal stories shared. The Pacific Solution Exchange website has more details about these Responses and the Full Query:

For Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) the “…move towards helping communities conduct more technical monitoring of MPAs has resulted in more women and youths getting involved in managing these areas. These sites are now doing the technical monitoring to back-up the anecdotal evidence of the positive impacts of the MPAs. This process started last year and will run for three years. The feedback from this monitoring has been provided to the Provincial Meeting and is getting positive responses from the community, as it clearly binds the relationship between the anecdotal feedback and the scientific data. It’s prompted a change in how MPAs are managed by the community from a “top down” to a new “bottom-up” approach and, in particular, with more women and youths getting involved in the management process.

There’s now more discussion across all levels of the community about their MPAs and how they’re best managed. For example, before it was typically the male leaders within a community who would manage MPAs, largely based on anecdotal data. Now with the monitoring there’s a combination of anecdotal and technical information being collected, and as a result more people in the village are getting involved including woman – who typically spend the most amount of time in the water and so they can give more information about what’s out there. This is good news as the women and the youths are offering a different view, with the women being more about education, health and the future conservation of the area for their grandchildren, versus the men who often think more about the “here and now.”

"... whilst this example does not relate to climate change specifically, this is a story I think demonstrates the challenges ahead. Some time ago I recall a small animal-breeding, farm-based project on an outer island here in the Pacific. Initially the men in the community ran the start-up and management of the project, and it got off to a great start. Then, after a while, interest in the project waned and the men became less involved in the daily chores and up-keep. As a result the women in the community began to help with the up-keep and, before long, were essentially running the project.  They managed it well, but soon the animals matured into healthy livestock ready for sale or further breeding, this success piqued the interest of the local men, who again became involved and also began using the livestock for ‘special event’ feasts in the community. Due to the dwindling stock the project was at risk of failure, now for the second time, but this time the women did not ‘step in’ to help rejuvenate the project, and soon the programme folded... this is a story of “before and after” and how gender considerations are far more complex than just ‘ensuring gender is a central consideration’, as there are also long term operational and hierarchical aspects at every step of a programme’s progress. I think the same type of consideration also needs to be given to the involvement of youth in community projects... "

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