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CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (CRP-FTA), Gender cross cutting theme – Newsletter No.3

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Dini Raras


Working together for change: A celebration of International Women’s Day

This issue of our newsletter commemorates International Women’s Day and shines a light on the work of our partners in inspiring change across various domains in forestry and agroforestry.

Over the past two years, our centers have worked together to more fully and meaningfully integrate gender dimensions into research, policies and practices in forest and tree landscapes. Through this collaboration under the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, we have leveraged knowledge, resources and partners in ways that would not be possible for individual organizations. In particular, we have explored gender relations in order to contribute in real and meaningful ways to improving men’s and women’s lives in various arenas: rights and access to forests and trees, decision making in land use and management, benefits capture in value chains, and more.

With our partners across the globe, we have strengthened capacities for gender-responsive participatory research and collection of sex-disaggregated data by scientists and their delivery partners. We have shared our cutting-edge approaches to advance gender equality in the forestry and agroforestry sectors in international forums and among local resource managers worldwide, both women and men. In addition to scientific publications, we have developed tools and methods as guides to support gender integration and have translated them into Indonesian, French and Spanish to extend their reach. Most of these are freely available for download from our websites.

Our efforts toward achieving transformational change in gender relations would not have been successful without the tremendous engagement and achievements of our partners — the NGOs, community-based organizations and government agencies that are on the front line, working for and with men and women at grassroots level in different parts of the world. We invite you to celebrate this International Women’s Day with us as we learn from the important progress of our partners.

Peter Holmgren
Tony Simons
Ann Tutwiler
Ruben Echeverria


Call for contributions to an international photo competition: “Forest–Agriculture Interface through Gender Lens”

CIAT’s Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) gender integration program is taking a different look at science by publishing a photo book. The photo book will reproduce the best 100 photos and accompanying storylines submitted to the 2014 International Photo Competition, titled “Forest–Agriculture Interface through Gender Lens”. Science has a stronger impact when we communicate our research findings — both successes and failures — to a wider audience, which we can reach by using a range of media. We believe that photos break down language barriers and connect people, whether they are farmers, middle-class urban families, public enterprises, donors or policymakers. In our photo book, we will acknowledge and showcase your extraordinary efforts in capturing images that reveal successes and failures in integrating gender into forestry, agroforestry and smallholders’ activities. Entries are free of cost and open to all. Entries close 31 May 2014.

Celebrating gender and forest: “Presenting Recent Research Findings”, Yaoundé, Cameroon, 7 March 2014
By Alba Saray Perez Teran, CIFOR Cameroon

CIFOR is celebrating gender and forests in research with an event on 7 March, to mark International Women’s Day. With our CGIAR partners, universities and other research centers, we are embracing the United Nations theme of “inspiring change” by sharing our findings from gender research with master’s students. Students from Dschang University’s Regional Center for Specialized Education on Agriculture (CRESA-Forêt Bois) and the Higher Institute for Environmental Studies (HIES) will participate in a debate and panel discussions in which experts explore the importance of considering gender in the following areas: non-timber forest products and food security, governance and land tenure, climate change and agroforestry. Students are also invited to enter an essay competition on gender and change. To inspire even greater change, we have invited officials from Cameroon’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife. The event will be broadcast on Cameroon National Media.

Discussion session: “The Gender Dimensions of Applying Agroforestry Innovation”, World Congress on Agroforestry, Delhi, India, 10–14 February 2014
By Anna Paez Maria Valencia, ICRAF

ICRAF’s discussion session on “The Gender Dimensions of Applying Agroforestry Innovation” included five research presentations on the gender implications and dimensions of agroforestry practices in India, Mali, Indonesia, Malawi and Nepal. Presentations illustrated gender differences in access to land and resources such as technology, and to benefits derived from resource exploitation. The researchers pointed out that addressing gender goes beyond merely observing men and women. Rather, it also involves analyzing the relationships between the genders and the differences between categories of women and men defined by age, marital status and social circumstances, among others. Presenters noted a need to develop and apply methods that capture these complexities, as well as those related to decision making at the household level. The case studies from Mali and Malawi suggest that there are seldom clear patterns in making decisions about forestry and agricultural activities, and that the prevalent tendency to treat the household head as the primary decision maker is an oversimplification of reality. Addressing these challenges is a priority if we are to produce quality knowledge that informs policies on agroforestry and gender equality.

BLOGS on gender research

Our key activities for 2014

Bioversity International

  • Bioversity International held its first staff-wide gender session, “Gender and Participatory Research at Bioversity: Looking Back, Leaping Forward”, on 28 February. Participants discussed in concrete terms the institution’s commitment and plans for mainstreaming gender in the organization and its research.
  • The five Fellows participating in the Gender Research Fellowship Program will consolidate and compare their findings across projects and regional contexts. They will participate in a closing write-shop to make further progress in writing their articles for a special issue on gender and forests.
  • Bioversity FTA will hold a gender and participatory research training workshop in Kyrgyzstan for staff and partners.
  • Bioversity FTA will assess the impacts on gender relations of a long-running collaborative project by Bioversity and its partners on home gardens in Nepal.

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

  • Three technical sessions on gender and forestry at IUFRO World Congress 2014, Salt Lake City
    1. “Forest Tenure from a Gender Perspective” will explore the complexities underlying forest tenure reform from a gender perspective, drawing on experiences from Africa, Asia and Latin America.
    2. “Gender and Forestry Value Chains” will shine a light on the role of women in changes in the value of forests in the face of forest loss and uncertainties generated by ever-increasing demands for ecosystem services in a globalized world.
    3. “Gender, Participation and Climate Change” will look at the challenges, opportunities and outcomes of securing women’s participation in forest governance and link these with issues and experiences in climate change adaptation and mitigation.
  • The “Program of research and action on gender and value chains” will study the relationship between FTA value chains and gender to better understand and tailor interventions in FTA value chains to alleviate gender dimensions of poverty, ensure social inclusion and gender equity, enhance food security, nutrition and health for women and men, and promote the sustainable management of FTA resources.
  • The research project on gender and oil palm examines whether and how investments in oil palm production are changing gender norms and the economic choices that women and men in rural areas face. It also examines the implications of these changes for gender equity. The research contributes to a larger undertaking within the CGIAR to carry out globally comparative, cross-CRP case studies on the role of gender norms in economic decision making on agriculture and natural resource management.
  • The research project on gender, migration and forest governance is a part of a larger research undertaking supported by the UK Department for International Development, titled “Trends in Migration, Urbanization and Remittances and their Effects on Tropical Forests and Forest-Dependent Communities”. Carried out in partnership between CIFOR and the Social Baha, Nepal, it is examining the implications of transnational migratory flows for gender equity and resource sustainability in Nepal.

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

  • Uganda workshop on “Gender Integration”: A three-day workshop is planned for Uganda (November or December) and tentatively for Nicaragua (October), for (selected) research staff from CIAT and partners. Workshop participants will look at how to integrate gender, from research proposal to indicators for outcomes.
  • Social Science Writeshop in Cali, Colombia (July): Researchers working in Latin America will be invited, based on their full research papers, to contribute to a special peer-reviewed journal issue on “Forest Tenure and Access to Small Farms in Latin America: Gender Dimension”.
  • Photo book on “Forest–Agriculture Interface through Gender Lens” (May): A multidisciplinary panel will select the 100 best photos and accompanying stories submitted in a competition. Six winners — two from each of three thematic categories —  will receive awards. Entries open to all at no cost, until 31 May.
  • IUFRO World Congress (October): Lead gender panel #91, titled “Impact of Tenure Arrangements on Forests, Livelihoods and Gender Dynamics”. In addition, the photo book (see previous item) will be launched in a side event at the congress venue, open to all participants.
  • Drylands and Gender Symposium on World Day to Combat Desertification (17 June): The symposium will be held either in the Netherlands or in Kenya (depending on the sponsors). The aim of the symposium is to attract researchers working on drylands and highlight findings from the forthcoming book edited by Bose and van Dijk, titled “Dryland Forests in Asia and Africa: Management and Gender Dimension”.

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

  • Gender awareness and analysis training for ICRAF staff and partners in Lima, Peru, in April, and in Mali in July.
  • Two gender-focused studies will get underway this year:
    • Understanding dynamics and impacts of decision making in farming systems by female-headed households as a result of temporary migration in Indonesia
    • Understanding gender, space and security in Indonesia.
  • A writeshop for the global baseline study on gender and land-use decision making will be held in the Philippines from 30 April to 2 May.
  • A gender mainstreaming guide for ICRAF scientists will be developed, building on current efforts and experiences from FTA partners. The aim of the guide is to improve gender mainstreaming efforts in ICRAF and FTA activities.

Research projects and publications from our partners

CGIAR Research Program on Climate change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)

Breaking through gender barriers one survey at a time
Only by interviewing both men and women will we be able to identify gender differences in climate change vulnerabilities and in the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices. Intra-household surveys are important tools for ensuring that the perspectives of both genders are equally recognized and represented.

Forthcoming paper: Multilevel climate change policy and action: A case study in Cauca Department, Colombia
This pilot study identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the institutional activity and outreach in the Río Piedras region, and makes recommendations for improvements to these services so they can reach men and women equally. This research also contributes to the development of a gender methodology for use by CCAFS in future projects on gender and climate change adaptation in Cauca and other regions throughout the world.

For more information, please contact Mariola Acosta at

ForestAction Nepal

Gender and REDD+: The implications of forest policies for women in Nepal
When Benimaya Gurung of Taungiya village in Bara district learned that forest officials were conducting searches for illegal timber, her sons moved to the adjacent village of Nijgadh. As she had two logs as building materials, she feared the officials would accuse her of illegal harvesting, so she left her house and stayed with nearby friends for a couple of days.

This is a common example of the victimization of women in settlements near forests.

Deforestation and forest degradation have long been central to forest policies in Nepal. Concerns are increasing about resource dependency and forest degradation and loss given the need to mitigate the impacts of climate change. ForestAction Nepal has been studying gender roles in forest management and use, links between gender and deforestation and forest degradation, and implications for REDD+ outcomes. The focus of the study is on the Terai region of Nepal, with the aim of understanding the range of factors that cause women to be seen as agents of deforestation.

In most cases, women assume the role of household head when male household members migrate to other countries for employment. In other cases, men spend their time in more productive work while women, who have few employment opportunities, carry out household chores, particularly fuelwood collection. Women spend around six hours collecting fuelwood, which they either sell in the market or use in their houses. This length of time increases their risk of being caught by forest officials. Some women also need to travel to adjacent forests, usually government forests, to meet their demand for fuelwood. In households without male members, women are at greater risk of legal action. This context creates the risk that women will be wrongly identified as agents of deforestation and forest degradation, and therefore be subject to new policy measures that reduce their access to critical livelihood resources. Compounding this is that forest officials hold discretionary powers and men dominate forest policy and governance structures.

Although REDD+ is not mature enough for anyone to confidently identify the implications of REDD+ for women’s access to forest resources, the current structure and progress in forest policies suggest that women will ultimately bear the costs of climate mitigation schemes such as REDD+.

For more information please contact Rahul Karki at

RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests
By Bhawana Upadhyay, RECOFTC Gender and Rights Program Officer

RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests has completed a 12-month project on mainstreaming gender into forest policies in developing Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) member countries. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific funded the project. The aim was to promote gender equality in the national forest policies of eight countries, including by strengthening the capacity of policymakers and stakeholders.

Project activities included assessing the integration of gender into national forest policies, providing policy recommendations, and producing knowledge and materials for the development of a training manual for mainstreaming gender in policies and practices. Other activities were a regional workshop to build the capacity of policymakers on gender mainstreaming, dissemination of assessment findings, and publication of policy briefs drawing on country cases and lessons learned.

The project concluded with a regional expert workshop on gender mainstreaming in forest policy, held in Bangkok. The aim of the workshop was to strengthen the capacity of policymakers and stakeholders by sharing knowledge and experiences on mainstreaming gender in forest policy. As the workshop was attended by representatives from eight APFC member countries (Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Fiji, Sri Lanka and Nepal), it provided a platform for cross-country learning and sharing. The workshop used interactive sessions and group work to identify concrete steps and strategies to mainstream gender-sensitive approaches in the development and implementation of forest policy.

Participants in the regional expert workshop viewed forest issues through a gender lens to identify the following challenges and opportunities:

  • Forest governance is often fragmented and there are often competing interests in forest management. Therefore, many critical forest problems require synergistic approaches involving a gender-sensitive lens to strengthen women’s position in forestry involvement.
  • Complex forest challenges with gender and governance raise several issues that must be addressed. The approach to advocacy and education should vary according to national capacity, policy styles and culture.
  • Traditionally, donors support shorter-term projects, but the short timespan makes it difficult to demonstrate results, particularly behavior change.

For more information on this project, please contact

Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN)

A guidance note to integrate gender in implementing REDD+ social safeguards in Indonesia
This guidance note lists recommendations for both policies and projects, including the following:

  • Ensure that women participate effectively and meaningfully in the development and implementation of REDD+ policies.
  • Develop a roadmap for gender mainstreaming in REDD+.
  • Develop gender-responsive monitoring.
  • Strengthen women’s organizations, networks and self-help groups.

Case study: An assessment of gender and women’s exclusion in REDD+ in Nepal
WOCAN and the Himalayan Grassroots Women’s Natural Resource Management Association (HIMAWANTI) Nepal conducted this assessment in February 2012 to provide a review of REDD+ policy, processes and pilots in Nepal from a gender perspective. The study also sought to highlight the extent to which these have included or excluded women at national and local levels. It offers recommendations on how REDD+ initiatives can more effectively include women and address gender issues.

Gender and REDD+: An assessment in the Oddar Meanchey Community Forestry REDD+ site, Cambodia
Cambodia’s Forestry Administration, the international development NGO Pact and several other partners have been developing the Oddar Meanchey Community Forestry REDD+ project in an effort to access sustainable financing for forest protection through the international voluntary carbon market. Using the Harvard Analytical Framework as a conceptual methodology, Pact initiated a gender assessment of the project to identify ways to effectively mainstream gender during the project implementation. A Japanese institute provided funding and WOCAN provided technical support. To collect data, researchers conducted in-depth interviews and focus group discussions in four of the 13 community forestry sites in the project area in April 2012.

Integrating gender into REDD+ safeguards implementation in Indonesia
This report provides a country-level situation analysis of gender in the forestry sector and analyzes the extent to which gender has been integrated into REDD+ policies in Indonesia. Drawing on lessons learned from the UN-REDD Indonesia Programme, particularly in Central Sulawesi Province, the report identifies entry points for strengthening gender aspects in REDD+ policies and programs and the implementation of REDD+ social safeguards.

Scoping study of good practices for strengthening women’s inclusion in forest and other natural resource management sectors
This report was produced by Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN), the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF) project for the Joint Regional Initiative. The aims of the study were to examine the challenges and barriers that prevent the inclusion of women and the integration of gender perspectives in REDD+ in Asia Pacific, identify practical entry points, analyze existing good practices and share knowledge through multi-sectoral and stakeholder dialogues for the replication of successful outcomes.

WOCAN policy brief: How bringing gender perspectives into REDD+ policies could enhance effectiveness and empowerment
For more information, please contact Nisha Onta at

National and sub-national partners

Selected global partners and websites

Contact us

For more information about the CRP-FTA gender program, please visit our website or contact us directly:

Esther Mwangi
Program coordinatorCenter for International Forestry Research
Jl. CIFOR, Situ Gede, Sindang Barang
Bogor Barat 16115
Bimbika Sijapati Basnett
Gender resource personsCenter for International Forestry Research
Jl. CIFOR, Situ Gede, Sindang Barang
Bogor Barat, 16115
Marlène Elias

Bioversity International
PO Box 236
UPM Post Office, Serdang
43400 Selangor Darul Ehsan

Purabi Bose

International Center for Tropical Agriculture
A.A. 6713, Cali, 4450032

Delia Catacutan

World Agroforestry Centre
No.8 Lot 13A, Trung Hoa road, Cau Giay District, Hanoi

For subscription and questions about the newsletter, please contact Yen Mai at

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