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Posted in Uncategorized on December 1, 2010
Indigenous people’s rights have increasingly come to the forefront of REDD+ projects. However, one dimension that has been neglected has been gender and women’s rights.
At a side event organized by Norway on Monday, indigenous women talked about the importance of including women in the crucial decision-making process on the future of REDD that is currently underway. The urgency of the issue is due to the fact that a decision on REDD is expected by the completion of the COP16 negotiations next Friday. Lorena Aguilar, the Global Senior Advisor on Gender for IUCN, announced the launch of the Global Initiative of Women and REDD happening during the COP16 in Cancun.
An indigenous woman from Nepal spoke about the exclusion of women in the crucial decision-making process that will decide the future of REDD+ which is currently underway. According to her, the focus of implementing organizations is on technology, monitoring, and other such logistic-type issues, and not so much on making it equitable by including women as key right-holders. She expressed concern that if women are not present when the key decisions are made, they will be left out when the communities begin to reap the financial benefits of REDD+ programs.
A representative from the Asian Indigenous Women’s Network spoke about the role of indigenous women in managing forests to ensure their continued health and survival. According to her, in indigenous communities throughout the world, it is the women’s job to fetch water and find firewood for fuel. Because of this, indigenous women are traditionally the stewards of the forest and carry the ancestral knowledge on the best forest management practices. She emphasized the need to include a gender dimension in any REDD+ framework; women are not mentioned at all in the current language of REDD+ frameworks and negotiations.
The presentation ended on a cautiously optimistic note, and a call to action: women are a critical component of REDD+ and their voices need to be heard- they need to be in positions of leadership at the decision-making table so that benefits may be shared equitably. When REDD first began, there was no mention of indigenous people’s rights to their culture and traditions. After a surge in activism, they begun to be incorporated into the framework. The hope of the Global Initiative of Women and REDD is to achieve such a level of civil participation to bring the issue of women to the forefront of REDD negotiations so that women’s participation may be an integral component of REDD.
Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2010
Less than a day away from the official start of the insanity that is the COP, many things come to mind about the days ahead.
So, what is the importance of COP16? To the people who were disappointed by results of the COP15 (and they are in the majority) the COP16 might not seem very promising at all. However, some see it as one of the three important conferences which will determine the future of international action on climate change following the Kyoto Protocol: COP15 in Copenhagen, COP16 in Cancun, and next year’s COP17 in South Africa.
What happens in Cancun will be crucial to the next decade of climate negotiations and treaties.
So, what is being discussed?
Unfortunately, emission reductions is an extremely divisive issue, and no one can seem to get an agreement on how much each country should reduce and how it should be implemented policy-wise. It is looking increasingly difficult for an over-arching treaty such as the Kyoto Protocol to be achieved, but instead a more varied patchwork of policy will be pursued.
Because of this, the focus is shifting away from prevention and mitigation (which is what emission reduction is, essentially) and towards more pragmatic solutions, such as adaptation, clean energy technologies, and REDD+.
This shift in focus represents an acknowledgment of the immediacy of action: it is too late for only preventive measures, we must now act to contain damage and adapt.
Of course, emission reductions are and will continue to be an important topic, but now they will share the center stage with other emerging issues.
Note: This article was written on Nov. 28, 2010