Integration of Gender in REDD+: A Training of Local Resource Persons

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Women, the poor, and marginalized and disadvantaged groups have historically been involved in forest management activities in Nepal. The country’s Master Plan for Forestry Sector, which gives importance to social inclusion though the Forest Act, 1993 and Forest Regulation, 1995, remained silent in this respect. Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI) was later addressed as one of the pillars of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2002–2007). 

The GESI approach challenges existing power relationships, structures, and institutions by seeking social, political, and economic transformation at household, community, market and state level. In recent years, there have been numerous changes to policies and procedures that historically nurtured discriminatory social practices. Inclusive provisions and laws, regulations and plans have been devised and several sectoral ministries have prepared GESI strategies, including the Ministry of Forests and Environment (MoFE), Government of Nepal. 

Through political commitment at global fora —the Beijing Platform for Actions (BPFA) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW))—and its national plans, policies, and programmes—the Constitution of Nepal 2073, the Tenth Plan, GESI strategies, representation policies, and gender focal points —Nepal has tried to establish itself as a gender-balanced country. It has sought to establish balance in terms of rights, responsibilities, and power. Despite this, the country still faces problems in implementing its laws, policies, and international agreements. 

The forestry sector has one of the best inclusive policies for forest management and benefit sharing that other development programmes can take as examples. But the quality of the inclusion is questioned. A review of the GESI strategy showed poor implementation of various aspects of GESI and recommended some intervention areas for its effective implementation. A report on Lessons Learnt and the Way Forward for Mainstreaming Gender Equality and Social Inclusion in Nepal’s Forestry Sector states that GESI criteria and responsibilities should be incorporated in the terms of reference of government staff. The necessity of capacity building among government staff at various levels is also noted as an important area of intervention by the report. Thus, a training workshop was planned for gender sensitization among local resource persons (LRPs) to make them aware of the principles of GESI and help them work in a safe working environment. Moreover, the training aims at making the participants fully aware of the legal aspects of inclusion in the forestry sector so that they can help in qualitative social inclusion at the field level. Participants of this training will include LRPs from three districts—Chitwan, Dolakha and Gorkha—where ICIMOD and its partners have been implementing the REDD+ Himalaya project.  

Objectives

To sensitize participants regarding gender issues in the forestry sector, including current strategies and laws regarding gender. To identify field-level issues and help participants integrate gender in REDD+. 

Expected Outcomes

Local REDD+ personnel are trained in incorporating gender inclusion in the implementation of REDD+.