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Empowering Women in The Conservation of the Environment and Fighting Climate Change
*Image Source: Pixabay
Environmental destruction and climate change are issues to reducing poverty and in achieving the SDGs. These unwanted duo greatly influence food security, health, nutrition, production, and people’s livelihood. Women’s traditional role in agricultural production such as cooking fuel, fetching of water, and other household resources give them prime significance in the fight against climate change and the conservation of the environment. Thus, women can take the challenge in the fight against climate change by conserving the environment.
Here are evidence-based solutions in empowering women in this environmental advocacy:
Involve Women in All Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Efforts
Women have special roles in the impact climate change has on the productive assets they depend upon. Achieving sustainable development involves acknowledging, valuing, and incorporating women in this endeavor.
Environmental goals can be achieved by involving women in politics and decision-making forums. There has been some progress in the last five years in the representation of women in political and decision-making bodies. However, there are only 22% of parliamentarians who are women.
Case Study: The Africa Adaptation Program (AAP)
Women’s roles in climate change in Nigeria is addressed in the Africa Adaptation Program (AAP). This program enhances women’s skills and knowledge in connection with financing, impacts, and negotiations in climate change. This also develops women’s leadership in key government roles in relation to climate change. Nations involved in the AAP program from 2008 to 2012 worked on their financial budgeting in relation to gender-specific needs of the women in relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Support and Promote Sustainable Food Production Efforts Led By Women and Targeted to Women
Women are responsible for fuel collection, food growth, and food preparation. Thus, it is significant that their expertise in resource management is valued and recognized. Women are often barred in making decisions regarding the use of common lands as well as their management of resources.
Women generate a majority of the food produced. This is around 45-80% of the world production. However, women have less land ownership compared to men. Despite this legal impediment, women still have a greater comprehension of the impact of climate change in the local environment. Their role as key providers of food at the household level often makes them traditional knowledge keepers of natural resource management. With these premises, women should be given an active role in decision-making in the process and implementation of climate change mitigation, impacts, and adaptation.
Women can participate in fair trade organizations to support sustainable food production. Women who participate in these trade fairs support global development as well as generate income.
There are only 22% women farmers who are registered as members of certified fair trade small producer organizations, as of 2015. Businesses are encouraged to equalize this gender gap by conducting gender analyses of their supply and value chains and develop an action plan and gender equality policy that they can share with producer organizations.
Case Study: Kenya’s Climate-Smart Agriculture
Kenya implemented a pilot project in 2011 that focused on female small-scale farmers and dairy farmers. These women incorporated Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) as a medium of improving well-being, income, and yields. Women who farm in the Kamotony region underwent training in CSA practices and collectively decided to begin a tree nursery. These women were determined to obtain economic stability. This tree nursery offered a new source of income from tree cuttings and the sale of seedlings. These women also invested in dairy production with the income generated from this program. Moreover, they were able to apply CSA techniques that improved their dairy production. Currently, these women have improved in their nutrition, household food security, and income due to CSA practices. They had additional sources of funds in terms of health care and education of their children.
Women are a great potential in the advocacy against climate change. Climate change is a result of the destruction of the environment. When women are empowered, their contribution to a better world is increased.