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Land restoration to enhance gender equality in Burkina Faso

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FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

Widows who are members of a women’s self-help group have been allocated collective land to improve their livelihoods. Photo by Marlène Elias/Bioversity International

Not all farmers are able to adopt or benefit from landscape restoration practices equally. A research initiative highlights how inclusive initiatives have the potential to improve both the environment and the lives of women and their communities.

Gender disparity in landscape restoration 

Amid degradation of their natural resources, farmers in Burkina Faso’s Oubritenga province, in the country’s central Plateau, are adopting various practices to restore their lands. Landscape restoration enhances soil fertility and facilitates the establishment of trees that can provide benefits for human well-being as well as the environment.

The techniques include the creation of stone barriers to slow water flow and prevent runoff, agroforestry techniques, assisted natural regeneration of valued trees in fields, and the creation of small zaï pits to retain water and soil nutrients for crop growth. The problem is that not all farmers are able to adopt or benefit from these practices equally.

New research conducted by Master’s students from the University of Ouagadougou cosupervised by Bioversity International and other partners from Burkina Faso considers the various barriers women face in restoring their lands and landscapes to support their equitable participation in restoration initiatives for the benefit of the entire community.

Entrenched gender norms make it difficult for women to obtain the same opportunities as men to implement restoration practices. Gender plays an important role in determining who does what, who makes decisions, and who has access to resources and other assets, including benefits from restoration initiatives. Gender, however, is not the sole factor that determines who will implement and potentially benefit from landscape restoration practices. Whether a woman is married, where her husband resides, whether her husband has allocated her plots that are large enough to adopt agroforestry practices, and even whether the woman has adult male children can all greatly influence the probability of a woman implementing restoration practices and gaining some of the benefits.

In the study sites, farmers need to vouch for each other and women tend not to be considered eligible participants. Yet, not all women face the same exclusions. Women farmers who have a male head present in their household may be considered eligible, and can obtain access to material and financial resources, as well as training to apply restoration practices. This means that, unless they have an adult son, widows and wives of migrated husbands are particularly disadvantaged.

Read more: Gender at the center of Bioversity International’s research

Zai pits are dug to improve soil fertility and water retention. Credit: Adidjata Ouédraogo/Université de Ouagadougou

Inclusive initiatives go beyond trees

By studying the approach of Association Tiipaalga – an NGO that has been supporting restoration in the country since 2006 – Master’s students from the University of Ouagadougou are identifying good practices from restoration initiatives trying to promote gender equality. The NGO is working to secure access to land for women’s self-help groups, composed primarily of widows and young women. It is helping these groups fence off their land to promote natural regeneration and plant certain species of trees and crops that can offer the women income-generating opportunities.

Moreover, it is organizing exposure visits for women and men farmers to visit villages in other parts of the country where restoration practices are being implemented, allowing farmers to learn from each other. The initiative is also supporting women in building improved cookstoves that require less fuelwood – saving women’s time collecting the fuelwood and reducing forest degradation – and to access microcredit to pursue income-generating activities such as trade, horticulture, and processing of non-timber forest products. Most importantly, collectively having access to land is enabling women to strengthen their social ties, cultivate vegetables and increase their incomes.

In addition to material gains, women have also built greater confidence and have become more vocal when it comes to accessing or managing natural resources in their village. During village meetings, for example, they are stating their opinions, and may even express ideas that contradict those of the men – which was something unheard of in the past. Women are also reporting having a greater say within their household on what to grow and what agricultural techniques to adopt in their fields as a result of their participation in restoration initiatives. Moreover, the provision of tools and equipment has freed up some of the energy and time, which the women can now invest in activities that foster their personal development. Many have chosen to learn to read, others are learning about family planning, sanitation and keeping their households healthy.

As one of the participants, Ms Kabore Minata puts it, “Thanks to these efforts, we women were able to have land, even if only on loan, and tools to cultivate crops. Were it not for these interventions, this would be only a dream because [as a woman having married into this village] I am considered a stranger here. Aside from a small parcel of land for growing condiments, what else could a woman like me have had otherwise?”

This article was originally published by Bioversity International


The University of Ouagadougou, Association Tiipaalga, and Burkina Faso’s National Tree Seed Center partnered with Bioversity International on this initiative.

This research was carried out by Adidjata Ouédraogo and Safietou Tiendrebeogo, Master’s students at Université de Ouagadougou, in the context of the project ‘Nutrition‐sensitive forest restoration to enhance adaptive capacity of rural communities in Burkina Faso’, led by Bioversity International. This research component has also received the support of Association Tiipaalga and the Centre National de Semences Forestières. The project is funded by the Austrian Development Agency.

This resesarch was conducted as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, and is supported by contributors to the CGIAR Trust Fund.

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  • Thinking of tomorrow: Women essential to successful forest and land restoration in Africa

Thinking of tomorrow: Women essential to successful forest and land restoration in Africa

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FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

Women prepare okok seedlings in Minwoho, Cameroon. Photo by O. Girard/CIFOR

African community leaders know that women play essential roles in restoring land and forests, even though it is not always easy for them to contribute.

However, do high-level decision makers grasp the unrealized potential of women’s leadership? Taking cues from grassroots experiences can help regional restoration initiatives improve their chances of success.

Late last year, African community leaders put together a manifesto that underscores how important communities are for successful restoration. It also provides cues on how to accelerate restoration in Africa, with two points explicitly calling out the need to include women on equal footing with men.

Strengthening women’s tree and land tenure rights as well as ensuring equitable distribution of benefits from forests will be crucial, according to the manifesto. Its recommendations build on 12 success stories collected from women and men working to reverse degradation across the continent.

The notion of equality as crucial for progress resonates as International Women’s Day on March 8 draws near, with this year’s theme encouraging us to think equal and build smart. But how can community experiences help build smarter restoration initiatives?

Read also: Communities restoring landscapes: Stories of resilience and success

Women show leadership and commitment

The AFR100, the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative that seeks to recover 100 million hectares of currently degraded land in Africa by 2030, is one effort that could benefit from grassroots experiences. Esther Mwangi, the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) and Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) scientist who collected the 12 success stories, explained:

“Many regional or global policy processes, like AFR100, risk missing the point because they are top-down, often defined by governments. Governments are important, but what matters for restoration is what happens on the ground. The stories document what communities already know about what tends to work.”

Many of the stories portray women who display outstanding leadership in restoration, which is interesting as women lack the tenure rights that would give them access to long-term returns.

One reason for women’s commitment is that impacts from forest or land degradation often hit them the hardest, leaving them no choice but to act. This is the case on Cameroon’s eastern coast where, as one story recounts, mangroves are being exploited for fuelwood and timber, mostly by men. For women, this has meant losing access to fish, fruit and nuts used for food or income.

Aiming to restore these past benefits, women are willing to invest in replanting trees, even though only men can own the land on which the mangroves grow. Without land rights, women can only hope that the restored mangroves are eventually inherited by their sons.

That women are arguably more organized than men and better at collaborating on restoration is another lesson to be learned. A case in point is Kenyan woman Zipporah Matumbi who has a decade-long track record of mobilizing women in her community to protect and restore forests. When she launched her efforts, many women were initially reluctant to plant trees in case it was interpreted as putting a claim on land that customarily belongs only to men.

However, over time, Matumbi managed to normalize the idea that women can plant trees, and today women are able to capitalize on their efforts, for example by selling tree trimmings as fuelwood and spending the income on educating their children. Matumbi said that is why women are planting trees – because they are thinking of tomorrow.

Read also: Local communities a driving force behind recovering Africa’s landscapes

Mixed-use land is seen in Kenya’s South West and West Mau Forest. Photo by Sande Murunga/CIFOR

Empowering women to contribute

While the stories show that there is huge potential for women to lead successful restoration efforts, not many women are able to contribute to or benefit from such initiatives.

“When the community leaders wrote that manifesto, they were right on target,” said Mwangi. “It is like [former US president Barack] Obama once said, about having a whole team, but only letting half of them play. That doesn’t make sense. When you bring in women, you’re bringing in the other half — knowledge, skills, motivation and leadership.”

The problem is that empowering women to contribute is not always simple. Women’s lack of land tenure and rights, as illustrated by some of the success stories, are one challenge. Policies that give women rights equal to those of men are important. Otherwise, hardworking women are easily exploited by contributing to reforestation and restoration efforts without access to the benefits.

That being said, rights are not the only critical factor. Many other entry points exist for improving women’s opportunities.

For example, providing water and sanitation facilities can free up women’s time to plant and look after trees and attend meetings and training. Training women on how to negotiate with men can give them access to benefits and reduce the amount of time spent on household chores (which are often allocated by men), giving women opportunities to demonstrate their leadership skills, which can change how men see them.

Working with men can also help to address crucial gaps in managing restoration initiatives, such as monitoring to keep seedling predators at bay or apprehending the unsanctioned harvesting of grown trees. Additionally, providing viable, long-term livelihood alternatives can enable women and men to ease pressure on forest and land resources.

AFR100 and similar initiatives can greatly benefit from understanding how such actions can start to shake up gender norms, slowly allowing women to play a greater role and thus increasing the chances of long-term restoration success.

Read also: Can research be transformative? Challenging gender norms around trees and land restoration in West Africa

Communities give directions for road ahead

Communities’ experiences can also serve as a starting point for more research on the complex dynamics between gender and restoration.

“For me as a scientist, these stories give me a really good starting point. They provide research questions I can ask and hypotheses I can test – for example on women-targeted incentives or on leveling the playing field. That means I might eventually be able to share more rigorous evidence on what difference women make to restoration, and that can inform future initiatives,” Mwangi said.

The stories reinforce FTA’s priorities to improve gender equality by focusing on structural barriers and drivers of change. When well understood, such barriers can be overcome and changes made, allowing women to meaningfully participate in restoration, access benefits and contribute to decisions about how forests and land are used.

Through the manifesto and stories, communities are showing how to equitably expand opportunities for both men and women to restore and benefit from forested landscapes.

By Marianne Gadeberg, communications specialist.


This research is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). FTA is the world’s largest research for development program to enhance the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in sustainable development and food security and to address climate change. CIFOR leads FTA in partnership with Bioversity International, CATIE, CIRAD, INBAR, ICRAF and TBI. FTA’s work is supported by the CGIAR Trust Fund.

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  • Thinking of tomorrow: Women essential to successful forest and land restoration in Africa

Thinking of tomorrow: Women essential to successful forest and land restoration in Africa

Women prepare okok seedlings in Minwoho, Cameroon. Photo by O. Girard/CIFOR
Posted by

FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

Women prepare okok seedlings in Minwoho, Cameroon. Photo by O. Girard/CIFOR

African community leaders know that women play essential roles in restoring land and forests, even though it is not always easy for them to contribute.

However, do high-level decision makers grasp the unrealized potential of women’s leadership? Taking cues from grassroots experiences can help regional restoration initiatives improve their chances of success.

Late last year, African community leaders put together a manifesto that underscores how important communities are for successful restoration. It also provides cues on how to accelerate restoration in Africa, with two points explicitly calling out the need to include women on equal footing with men.

Strengthening women’s tree and land tenure rights as well as ensuring equitable distribution of benefits from forests will be crucial, according to the manifesto. Its recommendations build on 12 success stories collected from women and men working to reverse degradation across the continent.

The notion of equality as crucial for progress resonates as International Women’s Day on March 8 draws near, with this year’s theme encouraging us to think equal and build smart. But how can community experiences help build smarter restoration initiatives?

Read also: Communities restoring landscapes: Stories of resilience and success

Women show leadership and commitment

The AFR100, the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative that seeks to recover 100 million hectares of currently degraded land in Africa by 2030, is one effort that could benefit from grassroots experiences. Esther Mwangi, the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) and Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) scientist who collected the 12 success stories, explained:

“Many regional or global policy processes, like AFR100, risk missing the point because they are top-down, often defined by governments. Governments are important, but what matters for restoration is what happens on the ground. The stories document what communities already know about what tends to work.”

Many of the stories portray women who display outstanding leadership in restoration, which is interesting as women lack the tenure rights that would give them access to long-term returns.

One reason for women’s commitment is that impacts from forest or land degradation often hit them the hardest, leaving them no choice but to act. This is the case on Cameroon’s eastern coast where, as one story recounts, mangroves are being exploited for fuelwood and timber, mostly by men. For women, this has meant losing access to fish, fruit and nuts used for food or income.

Aiming to restore these past benefits, women are willing to invest in replanting trees, even though only men can own the land on which the mangroves grow. Without land rights, women can only hope that the restored mangroves are eventually inherited by their sons.

That women are arguably more organized than men and better at collaborating on restoration is another lesson to be learned. A case in point is Kenyan woman Zipporah Matumbi who has a decade-long track record of mobilizing women in her community to protect and restore forests. When she launched her efforts, many women were initially reluctant to plant trees in case it was interpreted as putting a claim on land that customarily belongs only to men.

However, over time, Matumbi managed to normalize the idea that women can plant trees, and today women are able to capitalize on their efforts, for example by selling tree trimmings as fuelwood and spending the income on educating their children. Matumbi said that is why women are planting trees – because they are thinking of tomorrow.

Read also: Local communities a driving force behind recovering Africa’s landscapes

Mixed-use land is seen in Kenya’s South West and West Mau Forest. Photo by Sande Murunga/CIFOR

Empowering women to contribute

While the stories show that there is huge potential for women to lead successful restoration efforts, not many women are able to contribute to or benefit from such initiatives.

“When the community leaders wrote that manifesto, they were right on target,” said Mwangi. “It is like [former US president Barack] Obama once said, about having a whole team, but only letting half of them play. That doesn’t make sense. When you bring in women, you’re bringing in the other half — knowledge, skills, motivation and leadership.”

The problem is that empowering women to contribute is not always simple. Women’s lack of land tenure and rights, as illustrated by some of the success stories, are one challenge. Policies that give women rights equal to those of men are important. Otherwise, hardworking women are easily exploited by contributing to reforestation and restoration efforts without access to the benefits.

That being said, rights are not the only critical factor. Many other entry points exist for improving women’s opportunities.

For example, providing water and sanitation facilities can free up women’s time to plant and look after trees and attend meetings and training. Training women on how to negotiate with men can give them access to benefits and reduce the amount of time spent on household chores (which are often allocated by men), giving women opportunities to demonstrate their leadership skills, which can change how men see them.

Working with men can also help to address crucial gaps in managing restoration initiatives, such as monitoring to keep seedling predators at bay or apprehending the unsanctioned harvesting of grown trees. Additionally, providing viable, long-term livelihood alternatives can enable women and men to ease pressure on forest and land resources.

AFR100 and similar initiatives can greatly benefit from understanding how such actions can start to shake up gender norms, slowly allowing women to play a greater role and thus increasing the chances of long-term restoration success.

Read also: Can research be transformative? Challenging gender norms around trees and land restoration in West Africa

Communities give directions for road ahead

Communities’ experiences can also serve as a starting point for more research on the complex dynamics between gender and restoration.

“For me as a scientist, these stories give me a really good starting point. They provide research questions I can ask and hypotheses I can test – for example on women-targeted incentives or on leveling the playing field. That means I might eventually be able to share more rigorous evidence on what difference women make to restoration, and that can inform future initiatives,” Mwangi said.

The stories reinforce FTA’s priorities to improve gender equality by focusing on structural barriers and drivers of change. When well understood, such barriers can be overcome and changes made, allowing women to meaningfully participate in restoration, access benefits and contribute to decisions about how forests and land are used.

Through the manifesto and stories, communities are showing how to equitably expand opportunities for both men and women to restore and benefit from forested landscapes.

By Marianne Gadeberg, communications specialist.


This research is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). FTA is the world’s largest research for development program to enhance the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in sustainable development and food security and to address climate change. CIFOR leads FTA in partnership with Bioversity International, CATIE, CIRAD, INBAR, ICRAF and TBI. FTA’s work is supported by the CGIAR Trust Fund.

  • Home
  • Thinking of tomorrow: Women essential to successful forest and land restoration in Africa

Thinking of tomorrow: Women essential to successful forest and land restoration in Africa

Posted by

FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

Women prepare okok seedlings in Minwoho, Cameroon. Photo by O. Girard/CIFOR

African community leaders know that women play essential roles in restoring land and forests, even though it is not always easy for them to contribute.

However, do high-level decision makers grasp the unrealized potential of women’s leadership? Taking cues from grassroots experiences can help regional restoration initiatives improve their chances of success.

Late last year, African community leaders put together a manifesto that underscores how important communities are for successful restoration. It also provides cues on how to accelerate restoration in Africa, with two points explicitly calling out the need to include women on equal footing with men.

Strengthening women’s tree and land tenure rights as well as ensuring equitable distribution of benefits from forests will be crucial, according to the manifesto. Its recommendations build on 12 success stories collected from women and men working to reverse degradation across the continent.

The notion of equality as crucial for progress resonates as International Women’s Day on March 8 draws near, with this year’s theme encouraging us to think equal and build smart. But how can community experiences help build smarter restoration initiatives?

Read also: Communities restoring landscapes: Stories of resilience and success

Women show leadership and commitment

The AFR100, the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative that seeks to recover 100 million hectares of currently degraded land in Africa by 2030, is one effort that could benefit from grassroots experiences. Esther Mwangi, the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) and Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) scientist who collected the 12 success stories, explained:

“Many regional or global policy processes, like AFR100, risk missing the point because they are top-down, often defined by governments. Governments are important, but what matters for restoration is what happens on the ground. The stories document what communities already know about what tends to work.”

Many of the stories portray women who display outstanding leadership in restoration, which is interesting as women lack the tenure rights that would give them access to long-term returns.

One reason for women’s commitment is that impacts from forest or land degradation often hit them the hardest, leaving them no choice but to act. This is the case on Cameroon’s eastern coast where, as one story recounts, mangroves are being exploited for fuelwood and timber, mostly by men. For women, this has meant losing access to fish, fruit and nuts used for food or income.

Aiming to restore these past benefits, women are willing to invest in replanting trees, even though only men can own the land on which the mangroves grow. Without land rights, women can only hope that the restored mangroves are eventually inherited by their sons.

That women are arguably more organized than men and better at collaborating on restoration is another lesson to be learned. A case in point is Kenyan woman Zipporah Matumbi who has a decade-long track record of mobilizing women in her community to protect and restore forests. When she launched her efforts, many women were initially reluctant to plant trees in case it was interpreted as putting a claim on land that customarily belongs only to men.

However, over time, Matumbi managed to normalize the idea that women can plant trees, and today women are able to capitalize on their efforts, for example by selling tree trimmings as fuelwood and spending the income on educating their children. Matumbi said that is why women are planting trees – because they are thinking of tomorrow.

Read also: Local communities a driving force behind recovering Africa’s landscapes

Mixed-use land is seen in Kenya’s South West and West Mau Forest. Photo by Sande Murunga/CIFOR

Empowering women to contribute

While the stories show that there is huge potential for women to lead successful restoration efforts, not many women are able to contribute to or benefit from such initiatives.

“When the community leaders wrote that manifesto, they were right on target,” said Mwangi. “It is like [former US president Barack] Obama once said, about having a whole team, but only letting half of them play. That doesn’t make sense. When you bring in women, you’re bringing in the other half — knowledge, skills, motivation and leadership.”

The problem is that empowering women to contribute is not always simple. Women’s lack of land tenure and rights, as illustrated by some of the success stories, are one challenge. Policies that give women rights equal to those of men are important. Otherwise, hardworking women are easily exploited by contributing to reforestation and restoration efforts without access to the benefits.

That being said, rights are not the only critical factor. Many other entry points exist for improving women’s opportunities.

For example, providing water and sanitation facilities can free up women’s time to plant and look after trees and attend meetings and training. Training women on how to negotiate with men can give them access to benefits and reduce the amount of time spent on household chores (which are often allocated by men), giving women opportunities to demonstrate their leadership skills, which can change how men see them.

Working with men can also help to address crucial gaps in managing restoration initiatives, such as monitoring to keep seedling predators at bay or apprehending the unsanctioned harvesting of grown trees. Additionally, providing viable, long-term livelihood alternatives can enable women and men to ease pressure on forest and land resources.

AFR100 and similar initiatives can greatly benefit from understanding how such actions can start to shake up gender norms, slowly allowing women to play a greater role and thus increasing the chances of long-term restoration success.

Read also: Can research be transformative? Challenging gender norms around trees and land restoration in West Africa

Communities give directions for road ahead

Communities’ experiences can also serve as a starting point for more research on the complex dynamics between gender and restoration.

“For me as a scientist, these stories give me a really good starting point. They provide research questions I can ask and hypotheses I can test – for example on women-targeted incentives or on leveling the playing field. That means I might eventually be able to share more rigorous evidence on what difference women make to restoration, and that can inform future initiatives,” Mwangi said.

The stories reinforce FTA’s priorities to improve gender equality by focusing on structural barriers and drivers of change. When well understood, such barriers can be overcome and changes made, allowing women to meaningfully participate in restoration, access benefits and contribute to decisions about how forests and land are used.

Through the manifesto and stories, communities are showing how to equitably expand opportunities for both men and women to restore and benefit from forested landscapes.

By Marianne Gadeberg, communications specialist.


This research is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). FTA is the world’s largest research for development program to enhance the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in sustainable development and food security and to address climate change. CIFOR leads FTA in partnership with Bioversity International, CATIE, CIRAD, INBAR, ICRAF and TBI. FTA’s work is supported by the CGIAR Trust Fund.

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  • Promoting nature-based solutions for gender equality

Promoting nature-based solutions for gender equality

Posted by

FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

Bamboo charcoal can be a lucrative source of income. Photo by INBAR

As a clean-burning source of energy in the home, and a lucrative means of income, bamboo is helping to bring income and social standing to women across the world.

For Gloria Adu, bamboo has brought big changes to her family. “Bamboo has done so much in my life. It has changed me completely. I’m so happy we now have women in the industry in my country.”

Gloria is from Ghana, a country where demand for fuelwood and charcoal accounts for around 70% of annual forest loss. During a training course facilitated by the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) in 2001, which she described as an “eye opener”, Gloria learned about several diverse types and uses of bamboo, and was taken on tours to see bamboo plantations, arts and crafts in different parts of China. The training course inspired Gloria to set up her own company. Global Bamboo Products Ltd. makes custom items on demand, and is now beginning to focus on the production of bamboo briquettes and charcoal.

In recent years, the company has gone from strength to strength. It now boasts a 300-hectare bamboo plantation and has won several local and international awards. Gloria has used Global Bamboo Products to teach other people: she estimates the company has trained some 400 people in alternative livelihood activities, and over 10,000 farmers in the cultivation, management, and primary processing of bamboo and bamboo charcoal. Gloria’s company is an example of what women can do with bamboo.

According to Gloria, “Bamboo charcoal is crucial for women.” The grass plant grows locally to many rural communities across the tropics and subtropics, and is often excluded from local forest protection laws. This means it can be harvested legally, within close proximity to a community. Converting bamboo to charcoal requires few set-up costs – some technologies even use converted oil barrels as kilns – and the resulting charcoal burns with little smoke, and has a similar calorific density to other commonly used forms of biomass.

These are not bamboo’s only benefits. Fast-growing, light and easy to process, cultures around the world have used bamboo for millennia as a source of housing, fodder, furniture and tools. Integrating bamboo into farming systems has been shown to improve yields and restore soil health. And products made from bamboo can fetch quite a price: rural households in parts of Africa can earn over US$1,000 a year from cultivating and converting bamboo into charcoal and other products.

Mira and her employees are now the primary breadwinners in their households, thanks to working in the lucrative bamboo incense stick sector. Photo by INBAR

Gloria is one of the many women who know that bamboo changes lives. Mira Das, a bamboo incense stick maker from West Tripura, India, describes a complete transformation in her family’s lifestyle: “Before training in the bamboo sticks business, our family income was meagre, and I had no rest or leave from my domestic support job.”

Following a training course in bamboo incense stick production by INBAR and the Centre for Indian Bamboo Resource and Technology (CIBART), Mira’s family has experienced “a huge increase in household income”, which has given them a sense of financial security. “Now, I have some savings in my account, and we use the additional amount to buy household assets: good clothes, a mobile phone, a gas stove.”

Earning an income from bamboo – often, for the first time – has other, less tangible benefits. According to Mira, running a small enterprise has developed her qualities as a leader – “it’s definitely helped me gain both a sustainable livelihood and more self-confidence.” In 2017, she gave a speech at a Kolkata summit on ‘Transforming Women’s Lives’.

And for Giraben, a bamboo furniture maker in Gujarat, India, the success of her bamboo company has given her “not just income, and but also respect. Now, members from our community and other communities have approached me for my advice on social matters, and my husband and I get invitations to social functions, festivals, cultural events and marriages.”

Encouraging women to use bamboo can go a long way to realising the UN’s fifth Sustainable Development Goal: achieving gender equality. Using bamboo gives women access to a potentially lucrative economic resource, and can help secure women a place in decision-making in political, economic and public life. Involving women in decisions about land use, forests and tree resources can also help create more sustainable development solutions, which makes it a key part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), in which INBAR is a partner.

At its most successful, the bamboo industry has produced some inspiring international women leaders. Cynthia Villar, another beneficiary of INBAR training, is now a senator in the Philippines and vocal supporter of bamboo’s potential; meanwhile Bernice Dapaah, executive director of Ghana Bamboo Bikes, has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader; and in China, the founder and CEO of bamboo tissue manufacturer Vanov, Shen Genlian, has shown how successful a women-led bamboo enterprise can become.

There are considerable obstacles to upscaling INBAR’s work to empower women to use bamboo. Aside from technology transfer and training, there are often systemic problems and socially entrenched marginalization which make it harder to sustain women-run enterprises. But this has not stopped many of the thousands of women who INBAR has trained.

A woman in a bamboo grove in Madagascar. Photo by Lou Yiping/INBAR

Approaches seeded by INBAR and a range of development partners include a collective of women’s self-help groups in India, which produce higher value-added incense stick products and have created 150,000 jobs, and an initiative in Tanzania that has created 100 bamboo nurseries, the creation of micro-enterprises, and training opportunities for some 1000 people in a specially-created Bamboo Training Center.

INBAR’s training programs also prioritize approaches that play to women’s strengths and skills in the production process – emphasizing design, for instance, which in many traditional societies is the responsibility of female producers, and focusing on technologies and techniques which can be used in the home. And INBAR has conducted research which focuses on structural barriers and drivers of gender change in tree-based and forested landscapes, as part of its partnership with FTA.

With more training, greater awareness, and the development of a vibrant bamboo and rattan economy, INBAR believes these plants can continue to create jobs, and independence, for women across our 44 Member states.


Originally published by INBAR. This article is based on a seminar on ‘Women, bamboo and rattan’ held at the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress in June 2018, as well as interviews conducted by The Centre for Indian Bamboo Resource and Technology (CIBART) in India.

INBAR is a strategic partner of FTA, the world’s largest research for development program to enhance the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in sustainable development and food security and to address climate change. FTA’s gender research contributes to the development of tools, approaches, and measures that can support young men and women’s capacities, interests, and opportunities in natural resource management. FTA’s work is supported by the CGIAR Trust Fund.

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  • Women’s hidden harvest: the AmaXhosa women and traditional culture survival practices 

Women’s hidden harvest: the AmaXhosa women and traditional culture survival practices 

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FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

Imifino expert Mama Nonethile Fosanda examines a leaf in Cwebe Forest, South Africa. Photo by R. Vernooy

On the occasion of International Day of Rural Women, Dr. Katie Tavenner takes us on a visual journey to Hobeni village with the photobook Women’s hidden harvest: Indigenous vegetables and amaXhosa cultural survival in Hobeni Village, South Africa.

Published by Bioversity International, the book is based on Tavenner’s research on rural women’s struggles to protect their traditional knowledge and harvesting, culinary and spiritual practices attached to imifino, known locally as “women’s vegetables”, in a protected area near the Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve.

Could you tell us how the idea for a photobook was born?

Ever since publishing my dissertation in 2016, I’ve wanted to tell the story of the AmaXhosa women’s struggle for cultural survival in a creative way, so that their experiences in protecting imifino could be more accessible. My research used a participatory photography approach, so telling the story through photographs that could bring the people and places of Hobeni to life seemed like a natural fit.

Read more: Women’s hidden harvest: Indigenous vegetables and amaXhosa cultural survival in Hobeni Village, South Africa

What is imifino, and what does it mean for the women you met?

Imifino is the IsiXhosa word used to describe green leafy vegetables that grow wild in forests, and in fallowed and cultivated fields. Considered weeds in many parts of the world, in Hobeni village imifino play an important nutritional role as a free and healthy food source. Imifino are special to women, who guard the traditional knowledge on plant identification, harvesting, and use in culinary traditions.

These plants also have importance in female cultural rites of passage. When young girls can independently collect imifino from the forest, they become women. Imifino knowledge and traditions came under threat when colonial and then apartheid authorities imposed a ban on harvesting natural resources from the nearby forest. Anyone caught harvesting inside the forest under the ban could be charged fines, taken to jail, and abused and harassed by park rangers. Remarkably, traditional imifino knowledge has endured through the stories, actions, and resistance of local women. 

You mention comanagement. Is it possible to protect these forest areas while acknowledging women’s traditions?

For more than a century, colonial and apartheid-era governments forcibly removed Hobeni residents from the forest in the name of ‘environmental protection’. The communities won a land claim battle over the forest in 2001 and a comanagement forestry agreement was signed. It has, however, not been implemented and recent attempts by the parks board and local community to enter into a comanagement agreement have not been successful due to disagreements and delays. A wire fence still surrounds the forest, and local people do not have secure access rights to resources, including a variety of forest foods. 

To protect the sociocultural heritage around imifino, there needs to be a shift in the conservationist thinking of authorities and equitable relations between them and the communities who use local natural resources must be established. Management should respect the AmaXhosa system of resource use and integrate women’s indigenous knowledge into forest management plans, because allowing forest harvesting can restore the full cycle of plant knowledge and use. The park rangers and local management I spoke with are ready and helpful, but leadership is needed at the national-level management system to legally uphold the prioritization of sociocultural traditions in environmental protection.  

What would you like for the readers of this book to be the most important take-away message?

Two imifino experts and lifelong friends, Nonethile Fosanda and Nothintsile Nyalambisa, walk alongside the Mbashe River in Hobeni village. Photo by K. Tavenner

Imifino are an important forest food resource for the Hobeni community that provides special connections between young and old women and their traditional AmaXhosa culture – connections that are in grave danger of being broken forever if access rights are not secured long-term.

Denied access to natural resources at the Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve means grave cultural, economic, and spiritual losses for the Hobeni community. The erosion of women’s local ecological knowledge of forest foods has resulted in lower rates of consumption and availability for rituals and cultural practices.

As a cultural symbol of a girl’s journey to womanhood, a traditional culinary dish, and a nutritional resource, the continued use of imifino is critical to maintaining the system of indigenous knowledge bound to the resource. Now is the time to recognize women’s knowledge in the management of plant biodiversity to ensure this cycle endures. 

Read also: Restoration initiatives must consider how gender relations shape control over land

Are you hopeful for positive change for the women and girls in Hobeni village?

The cultural survival of the traditions surrounding imifino is now in the hands of a few dedicated and resilient elderly experts. However, there is not much time left: Immediate interventions supported by national-level conservation bodies and local NGOs are needed to ensure these cultural traditions and the associated knowledge system will not disappear forever. This book is a testament to Hobeni women’s and girls’ strength in keeping their traditions alive despite considerable challenges. These women will continue to actively protest and resist current management policies at great personal risk and fight laws that deny their cultural rights and responsibilities. It is my hope that this book spreads their message to a wider audience, and that their message is received and heeded by those in power. 

By Giulia Micheletti, Bioversity International.


This work forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, which is supported by the CGIAR Trust Fund. 

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  • Restoration initiatives must consider how gender relations shape control over land

Restoration initiatives must consider how gender relations shape control over land

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FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

A woman applies manure to a field to restore soil fertility in Nepal. Photo by M. Elias/Bioversity International

Marking International Day of Rural Women, Giulia Micheletti and Marlène Elias of Bioversity International discuss a framework for understanding how forest landscape restoration can promote gender equality.

It does so by safeguarding and advancing women’s land rights, encouraging their meaningful participation, and recognizing their expertise and priorities in restoration activities.

For many rural women, fulfilling everyday responsibilities such as agricultural production and home gardening, as well as collection of fodder, fuelwood, water and forest products have become more difficult due to environmental degradation. This adds to women’s heavy labor burdens, for example as they have to venture farther from home to gather these products.

Read more: Gender matters in Forest Landscape Restoration: A framework for design and evaluation

Yet, while the need to restore degraded lands and landscapes is pressing and gaining global attention, restoration initiatives often overlook rural women. As rural men typically have more public authority than women and are considered heads of their households, interventions that work with rural communities tend to favor them when it comes to choosing the areas and species to restore. In fact, gender inequality is an important but under-appreciated factor hindering restoration and the fair distribution of benefits from the process.   

A new framework to promote socially just and equitable interventions in forest landscape restoration has been published by gender researchers from Bioversity International, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF). Developed within the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), the framework explains that restoration initiatives must consider how gender relations shape access to and control over land and its use, and how changes in land use that may result from restoration can disadvantage women if their rights to resources, priorities, and contributions of labour and knowledge are overlooked. 

Read also: What do gender norms, innovation and trees have to do with each other?

Forest landscape restoration

Forest landscape restoration aims to regain the ecological integrity of deforested and degraded lands while simultaneously improving the wellbeing of forest-dependent communities. A critical issue in forest landscape restoration is safeguarding communities’ rights and access to their lands. On the one hand, community members with informal or insecure land rights can lose access to lands claimed under restoration initiatives. Adequate safeguards, grievance mechanisms and fair compensation must be in place to mitigate against such risks. 

On the other hand, if carried out in an inclusive way, forest landscape restoration can be a vehicle for strengthening the rights of marginalized groups. In this way, it can help reduce inequalities based on gender or other factors of social differentiation.

A woman walks toward the village of Gangarampur, Khulna, Bangladesh. Photo by D. Chandrabalan/Bioversity International

Everyone’s needs count

Different members of communities inhabiting the areas to be restored often have different views on degradation, priorities for the type of vegetation or density to be restored, approaches used to restore them and the kinds of benefits they want to gain from the restored lands. For example, women and men from different socioeconomic, generational and ethnic groups may have distinct preferences for plants with medicinal or nutritional properties, or for those that provide mulch, food, fodder or income.

The local ecological knowledge and expertise of these different community members needs to be recognized, and their active participation in decisions fostered to ensure that they benefit equally from restoration initiatives.

Read also: Improving livelihoods, equity and forests through sustainable management of NTFPs

As women and men have different capacities (assets, time, knowledge and so on) to participate in these initiatives, different measures are needed to encourage their participation. For example, community meetings should be scheduled at times and in places that are easy for women to reach and allow them to complete their chores and take care of the children, and participate. Strengthening women’s capacities to voice their interests in public forums and challenging norms that limit their influence in community affairs are also required to foster their active participation.

Benefits from forest landscape restoration can range from income-generating opportunities, improved ecosystem services, enhanced knowledge and skills on farming or resource management techniques to security of tenure. Forest landscape restoration initiatives must recognize how gender differences affect the capacities of both women and men to access these benefits and place both genders on an equal playing field to improve the livelihoods of all. 

By Giulia Micheletti and Marlène Elias, originally published at Bioversity International


References

Basnett, B.S., Elias, M., Ihalainen, M. and Paez Valencia, A.M. 2017. Gender matters in Forest Landscape Restoration: A framework for design and evaluation, CIFOR Report, Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor.

Vira, B., Wildburger, C. and Mansourian, S. (Eds.) 2015. Forests, Trees and Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition. A Global Assessment Report, IUFRO World Series 33, IUFRO, Vienna.


This work forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, which is supported by the CGIAR Trust Fund. 

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  • Gender equality and forest landscape restoration infobriefs

Gender equality and forest landscape restoration infobriefs

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Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) aims to achieve ecological integrity and enhance human well-being in deforested or degraded landscapes. Evidence shows that addressing gender equality and women’s rights is critical for addressing this dual objective. Against this backdrop, CIFOR and a number of partners hosted a Global Landscapes Forum workshop on FLR and gender equality in Nairobi, Kenya in November 2017. The objective of the workshop was to identify and discuss experiences, opportunities and challenges to advancing gender-responsive FLR in East African countries, as well as to join together various stakeholders working at the interface of gender and FLR as a community of practice. This brief set is a tangible outcome of this collaboration, featuring a number of useful lessons and recommendations rooted in the experience and expertise of partners in civil society, multilateral organizations, research community and private sector – all working in different ways to enhance the gender-responsiveness of restoration efforts.

Brief 1: Enhancing effectiveness of forest landscape programs through gender-responsive actions

Brief 2: Role of capital in enhancing participation of women in commercial forestry: A case study of the Sawlog Production Grant Scheme (SPGS) project in Uganda

Brief 3: The impacts of gender-conscious payment models on the status of women engaged in micro-forestry on the Kenyan coast

Brief 4: Mobilizing indigenous and local knowledge for successful restoration

Brief 5: Gender-responsive Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM): Engendering national forest landscape restoration assessments 

Brief 6: Enhancing Women’s Participation in Forestry Management Using Adaptive Collaborative Management: The Case of Mbazzi Farmers Association, Mpigi District Uganda

Brief 7: What women and men want: Considering gender for successful, sustainable land management programs: Lessons learned from the Nairobi Water Fund

Brief 8: Understanding landscape restoration options in Kenya: Risks and opportunities for advancing gender equality

Brief 9: Building farmer organisations’ capacity to collectively adopt agroforestry and sustainable agriculture land management practices in Lake Victoria Basin

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  • Playing a bigger role in global monitoring of SDGs

Playing a bigger role in global monitoring of SDGs

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Women take part in a mapping workshop in Nyangania, Ghana. Photo by Axel Fassio/CIFOR

UN Women’s 2018 flagship report on gender and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offers a framework to monitor each of the 17 SDGs from a gender perspective, and takes stock of their performance to date. 

The report calls for greater collaboration between researchers, governments and women’s organizations to realize the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

Bimbika Sijapati Basnett, gender coordinator for the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) gender scientist, recently published a brief evaluating the report.

In this second installment of a two-part series, she analyzes the report and its implications for the CGIAR gender research community, reflecting upon entry points for CGIAR to respond to this call.

According to Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, gender specific Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 5, and the mainstreaming of gender across the 17 other goals, is evidence that: “gender equality is a goal in its own right and a powerful force for upholding the main promise of the 2030 Agenda: to leave no one behind” (UN Women 2018, 2).

However, in its newly released flagship report monitoring each SDG from a gender and social inclusion perspective, UN Women finds that only six out of the 17 goals are gender sensitive (SDGs 1, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 16); five goals are gender sparse (SDGs 2, 19, 11, 13 and 17) and the remaining six are gender blind (SDGs 6, 7, 9, 12, 14 and 15). The available gender data presents gaps. There is inadequate investment and funding for additional or quality data collection. Data collection methodologies (e.g. censuses, labor surveys) present deep biases which prevent them from collecting reliable, gender disaggregated data.

Read more: What’s in it for gender researchers when it comes to UN Women’s gender and SDGs report?

According to the report, such monitoring is essential to: translate global commitments to results; offer space for public debate and democratic decision-making; determine each stakeholder’s (governments, citizens, civil society organizations, private sector) roles and responsibilities and strengthen accountability for actions or omissions (UN Women 2018, 24-25).

As a reminder, UN Women calls for greater and concerted effort among governments, researchers and women’s rights organizations to realize the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. How so? By tracking progress against the goals, identifying achievements and gaps, and highlighting implementation challenges and opportunities.

As a global collective focusing on agriculture and natural resource management research in multiple countries and contexts across Africa, Asia and Latin America, the CGIAR gender research community is uniquely positioned to contribute to such endeavors.

In this blog, I reflect upon how the CGIAR gender research community can contribute more significantly towards future global efforts to monitor the SDGs from a gender and social inclusion perspective. This is the second part of a two-tier blog, the first of which unpacks the report and highlights its strengths and limitations.

Read more: UN Women’s evaluation of gender in the SDGs – What’s the role for the CGIAR?

A team works together during a REDD+ workshop in Peru. Photo by Marlon del Aguila Guerrero/CIFOR

Limited contribution of CGIAR gender researchers and research publications

The UN Women report does not significantly showcase CGIAR gender researchers and research publications. This is remarkable, considering the impressive number of academics, practitioners and policy makers, both within and outside the United Nations system, who have played a role as team members in writing the report, background paper authors, advisory members and reviewers. The report also features a comprehensive reference list combining both foundational and recent publications.

A quick search through the report returned only one CGIAR gender researcher (Sophia Huyer), acknowledged for her contribution as a report reviewer. Prominent CGIAR gender researchers are scarcely referenced: Cheryl Doss is referenced twice; Agnes Quisumbing once; Carol Colfer, Cynthia McDougall, Lone Badstue, Anne Larson, Esther Mwangi, Margreet Zwarteveen and Paula Kantor receive no mention. All of these authors are among CGIAR gender researchers who have contributed high quality publications on topics that are relevant to SDGs from a gender perspective – i.e. poverty, food security, inequality, land and water.

That said, direct participation of researchers and/or citation of their work may not be an effective way of measuring CGIAR research’s influence. Although Ruth Meinzen-Dick is not directly cited in the report, one of her well-recognized arguments that women’s land rights must be measured in terms of a ‘bundle of rights[1], Meizen-Dick et al. 2014; Meizen-Dick et al. 2018; Ribot and Peluso 2003) is included, under the sub-section on ‘Spotlight on women’s equal rights to land’ (111).

As a gender researcher from CIFOR, working on FTA, I was particularly drawn to the report’s coverage on SDG 15 – ‘Life on Land’. One of CIFOR and FTA’s flagship publications on the gender dimensions of palm oil expansion in West Kalimantan, Indonesia (Li 2014, 2018) is featured as Case Study Box 3.3. This publication also contributes to the report’s broader argument that SDG implementation cannot be left to the private sector, and that governments need to drive the agenda, with civil society organizations supporting these efforts and holding government representatives to account.

However, the CIFOR study is (mis)presented in a way that pits local women against men. The report wrongly suggests that the deforestation and dispossession resulting from palm oil expansion in West Kalimantan have harmed local women and benefitted local men. The differentiated effects of palm oil expansion on diverse categories of women (painstakingly documented in the CIFOR publication) are not mentioned at all. This is unfortunate, given that Chapter 3 (‘Moving beyond averages’) examines the intersection between gender and other social difference axes in order to get to the roots of marginalization.

Suggestions and future: ‘strategic entry points’ and ‘getting house in order’

The CGIAR gender community could intervene in various areas.

CGIAR research can be leveraged to monitor against multiple SDGs. CGIAR research programs indeed focus on climate action (SDG 13), water (SDG 6), land and forests (SDG 15), fisheries (SDG 11) and energy (SDG 7). And all CGIAR research programs share Poverty (SDG 1), food security (SDGs 2 and 3), inequalities (SDG 10), employment and livelihoods (SDG 8) as cross-cutting concerns.

Guidance notes and training products developed by CGIAR gender researchers can be used to transform existing data collection methods to better capture lived realities of women. This could include the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets’ ‘Standards for collecting sex-disaggregated data’ (Doss and Kieran 2014); FTA’s ‘Practical tips for conducting gender responsive data collection’ (Elias et al. 2014); and the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems’  publications on measuring gender transformative change (Hillenbrand et al. 2015).

Women from the Mattu community of practice harvest cow pea leaves. Photo by Ake Mamo/ICRAF

Innovative, cross-CGIAR research methodologies (such as the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) and GENNOVATE) and their research results can complement the data presented.

Emerging research on intersectionality can help better target policies and efforts.

Current data collection and collation initiatives (including through the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture) may help identify broader patterns of gender inequalities and reform opportunities.

CGIAR gender researchers could play a role in generating synergies between SDGs and other global initiatives, such as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) among others.

CGIAR gender researchers may also consider different ways of working so as to play a more prominent role in the 2030 Agenda, for example through:

  • Actively seizing opportunities to inform future reports, including through a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN Women team that produces such reports;
  • Capitalizing on relationships with governmental agencies, national statistics offices, and women’s organizations in the countries where we operate, so that we are routinely consulted on national efforts to monitor the SDGs;
  • Demonstrating how our current research contributes to the SDGs, through mapping if, to what extent, and how CGIAR gender research contributes to each of the SDGs;
  • Going beyond binary analyses of ‘women versus men’ to also account for differences within groups of women and men — and broadening our gaze to consider disabilities, sexuality and masculinities in CGIAR gender research;
  • Moving beyond the confines of our specific sectors (agriculture, forestry, water) or commodities (rice, maize etc.) to inform cross-sectoral and national/regional/global efforts;
  • Consolidating and harmonizing our research, research methodologies and findings to have a bigger voice and effect.

In summary, the CGIAR community is uniquely situated to respond to UN Women’s request for greater collaboration among researchers, governments and women’s organizations to realize the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. As our first step in that direction, the CGIAR community could prioritize CGIAR-wide deliberations as to if and how they could play a more meaningful role. This blog contribution offers some ‘food for thought’ for embarking on such a deliberation.

By Bimbika Sijapati Basnett, originally published by the CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research

[1] comprising documented ownership, ability/right to sell land and ability/right to bequeath land to others.

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  • Understanding gendered innovation processes in forest-based landscapes: Case studies from Indonesia and Kyrgyz Republic

Understanding gendered innovation processes in forest-based landscapes: Case studies from Indonesia and Kyrgyz Republic

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FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

An estimated 1.6 billion people depend in part or in full on forests and trees outside forests for their livelihoods. Yet, there are important inequities in the distribution of the benefits forests, trees, and agroforests yield to local people. Gender relations and norms, as fundamental organizing structures across cultures and societies, contribute to shaping the opportunities and constraints of women and men in these (agro)forests, and their ability to benefit from, and contribute to, positive development and environmental change processes. Drawing on data from Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan, this report focuses on how gender norms and agency shape innovation processes in forest, tree, and agroforestry landscapes. The capacity to creatively adapt and innovate to build resilience through natural resource-based livelihood practices is unevenly distributed amongst men, women and young people within communities, and may be constrained by shrinking opportunities in the context of wider structural economic and environmental changes. This aim of this report is to provide a better understanding of how men and women might be supported in exercising their agency in pursuing livelihood goals, independently or with others, in the context of rapidly transforming forest and tree-based landscapes.

The case studies reported here form part of ‘GENNOVATE: Enabling gender equality through agricultural and environmental innovation’; a qualitative comparative research initiative engaging 11 of the Phase I CGIAR Research Programs to examine the gender dimensions of innovations – new agricultural and natural resource management technologies, institutions, and practices. Despite significant historical, socio-political and environmental differences, the five case studies in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, and the case from southwest Kyrgyzstan exhibit pronounced and rapid changes in the relationship between people and forests. Both country contexts are marked by shifts in the relationship between rural and urban livelihood opportunities, forest livelihoods increasingly linked to migration and remittances, and commodification processes intensifying people’s integration into tree-based value chains. In the Indonesia cases, recent transformation is being driven by large scale commercial oil palm investment, which is bringing new wage work opportunities, whilst displacing other forms of livelihoods and resource access. In Kyrgyzstan, integration into the market economy and changing forest tenure regimes are resulting in new opportunities and challenges for different groups of forest dwellers.


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