Gender and REDD+ learning exchange - technical workshop summary report



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Over three days, 13-15 May 2014, in Washington, D.C., the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) joined with the Global Gender Office (GGO) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to organize and host a technical workshop on gender and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). To develop a substantive and forward looking agenda, and to facilitate a dynamic workshop program, USAID and IUCN brought together and relied upon a Steering Committee of leading partners, including the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), the REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards (SES) initiative, the UN-REDD Programme and the pro-poor and cobenefits REDD+ initiatives of IUCN.

A learning exchange for fifty-two participants from more than twenty countries, the workshop convened leading experts, government representatives, and practitioners from international, national and subnational levels to engage in dialogue, identify lessons and best practices, and map concrete steps forward to advance the gender and REDD+ agenda. Participants came from some of the first and most innovative programs and projects on REDD+ from around the world, highlighting rationale, tools and strategies for integrating gender considerations. Among country- and participant-specific identification of priorities and commitments to action, workshop results include a call to establish an informal working group on gender and REDD+ issues, as well as the identified need for an easily accessible knowledge platform of existing and evolving tools for gender mainstreaming in REDD+ processes.

Over the last five years, governments and stakeholders from different regions have increasingly recognized that effective solutions to climate change require gender-responsive policies, programming and funds. With respect to REDD+, global agreements now request that gender considerations clearly be part of REDD+ national processes: the 2010 UNFCCC Cancun Agreements included the need to consider gender concerns in the development and implementation of national plans and strategies, and the 2011 Durban Outcomes indicated specific need for addressing and integrating gender considerations in safeguards. At regional, national and sub-national levels, various organizations and agencies have initiated activities that identify relevant gender issues in the context of REDD+ and further demonstrate how ‘gender considerations’ can be incorporated toward effective—and even enhanced—REDD+ programming. Different initiatives have provided technical support and capacity building to address gender considerations in REDD+ programs or projects as part of the efforts to strengthen the readiness phase and prepare countries for gender responsive implementation.

Bringing together representatives from these initiatives was the main purpose of this three-day technical workshop, offering a unique platform for direct exchange-of-experience across countries and contexts.