Biodiversity preservation: women‘s role in mangrove restoration

Description of the project: In Aceh, in a poor coastal village, men go out to sea for days to catch fish, while women add to the family income by collecting oysters around the village. Through training and awareness raising of local women on the importance of restoring mangrove forests, the project manages to secure increased household income and mitigate climate change. With a long-term focus, the practical training looks at seedling techniques, planting and sustaining ecosystems. Through community participation, the project contributes to food security and nutrition, improving the lives of 1270 inhabitants. Situated in a conflict prone area, economic resilience can reduce the possibility of future conflicts.

Climate impact: Continuous exploitation and external impacts are affecting oyster habitat; thus affecting the income of those dependent on their availability. Mangrove ecosystems have a potential to reduce carbon emissions by sinking it to the ocean floor. Planting mangroves improves air and water quality, enhances biodiversity, and reduces local temperature. With right restoration method and cheap mangrove tree (€0.15-0.20 each), the community can benefit in long-term, environmentally and economically.

Gender impact: Almost 90% of the rural women in Aceh are oyster farmers. The work is strenuous and affects their health. The project trains the women in sustainable mangrove restoration. To avoid adding to the women’s workload, they are given a daily allowance during the training period. Women in Aceh struggle to be included in community decision-making, however, the project provides the women space to participate in local decision-making on environmental issues, which affect their lives adversely.

Scalability / replicability: By cooperating and setting targets with the local community, this project could be a reference for replicability for the Aceh government. It can also be replicated in other poor coastal areas where income is dependent on coastal resources. If mangrove ecosystems are restored, the availability of fishes and other aquatic animals will increase in the future. This contributes to food security and nutrition as well as generating income and mitigating climate change.

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Not without us! Climate and gender justice in international climate politics

Description of the project: “Not without us” was launched in 2017 to promote the integration of gender justice in international climate policies and within the global climate justice movement. The aim is to support selected activists and gender experts from environmental groups and women’s organizations from Ecuador, South Africa and Indonesia in their attempts to connect local struggles for climate and gender justice with the UNFCCC process, enabling networking with other actors. As ‘multipliers’ they will also be able to translate the international climate discourse back into their own organizations and local contexts.

Climate impact: National and international climate policies have proven to be more effective when gender is taken into account. In their respective communities, the participants are dedicated to different topics such as forest, agriculture, etc. On the international level, they have identified the corresponding focal topics where their local issues are negotiated. By participating in events and discussions, the women advocate for gender just climate solutions and showcase local examples of best practice.

Gender impact: Selected female activists are empowered to advocate for gender justice in their local contexts, as well as in national and international spheres. Additionally, the project aims at identifying the impacts of international climate policies on gender relations at local level. It addresses the lack of data on gender and climate change. Local stakeholder workshops, networking and exchange within and among organisations have increased awareness and knowledge about gender, climate change and UNFCCC.

Scalability / replicability: The project can increase outreach to a wider range of stakeholders within the target countries and their communities, thus, potentializing inter-organisational learning. It can also be scaled up to cover more participants from other countries. Both developing and developed countries should be taken into account, as skill-sharing within the global South and between global South and global North is a co-benefit. Webinars and trainings can be replicated globally.

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Empowering women’s groups in disaster prone areas through community based sustainable water management

Description of the project: The Gemawang, Kaloran & Temmangung districts in Central Java are threatened by water scarcity and landslides due to deforestation. This project empowers women’s groups to identify and implement adaptation strategies within their communities. The women conduct field assessments and feasibility studies with village authorities and water experts and select appropriate water management technologies to adapt to a changing environment. They use water saving solutions, water infiltration techniques and ecological sanitation, thus improving livelihoods in their communities.

Climate Impact: Massive deforestation in the Central Java area has significantly reduced groundwater supply and led to a severe drought. The changing function of the forest has also caused serious damage to the land and increased the risk of landslide. The women’s groups and people in the sub-villages have worked together to develop sustainable water management systems, preserve important old trees and re-plant young trees around the water sources to prevent landslide, as well as maintaining water supply through infiltration and preserving a balanced ecosystem. These measures are effective climate adaptation strategies.

Gender Impact: The project was initiated by women. The women’s groups are actively involved in decisions on water management technology and they do advocacy both at local and regional level. 10 members of the women’s group Muncar Lor’s were involved in the regional authority’s field assessment on water. Gender equality is also strengthened by income generating activities through the sale of water technology. This new income can be used for maintaining facilities, setting up social funds, and ensuring self-development.

Scalability /replicability: Replicability is ensured by the use of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) in identifying capacity and vulnerability of the community. Scalability can be reached by an organized structure within the women’s groups, with three members acting as main coordinators (head, secretary, and treasurer). Capacity building is conducted via trainings.

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