Women-led action research

Description of the project: The FPAR project was led by 9 grassroots women’s organizations from from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand to conduct research in their communities to document the impacts of climate change on their lives and to take actions to build a local climate justice movement. The participants are not objects of research but rather the subjects who participate in research process, and control the use of the outcomes. The research found that rising sea level, warming temperatures, erratic rainfall, extreme typhoons and false climate solutions like REDD+, are some of the major climate impacts in the Asia Pacific region.

Climate Impact: The implementation of FPAR in these Asia Pacific countries has increased the collective capacity and knowledge of women to take climate action. They have become the agent of change in their local community to fight climate change. This has not only contributed to dismantle traditional gender inequalities but has also introduced new techniques and skills to adapt and mitigate climate change. For example women in the Asia Pacific region have participated and led the implementation of adaptation and mitigation measures like livelihood diversification program, new cropping technique, disaster risk reduction programs, rain-water harvesting and garbage collections. The FPAR has proved that women play a central role in adaptation and mitigation to climate change and has helped them to become a leader of climate solution in their community.

Gender Impact: The FPAR project helped to raise women’s voices across the Asia Pacific region by strengthening women’s collective action in the targeted communities. FPAR is fostering change inside and outside of the communities.Through FPAR activities women developed their capacity to act as agent of climate solutions in local community. FPAR has helped the women of Asia Pacific to come together with collective intention of breaking the oppressive power structure of climate change; FPAR gave them the strength and the knowledge to demand climate justice. For example, women have been succeed in being included in local decision making bodies, local disaster risk reduction team and climate policy reviewing processes. These roles were traditionally considered exclusively for man.

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Bringing climate and gender justice together where it makes a difference!

Description of the project: Until now, gender issues have rarely been addressed in urban climate policy. In order to close this gap, this project explores options for integrating gender & social aspects into climate policies in several pilot cities. It seeks to build capacity at the local level and develop gender-responsive policy recommendations with the aim of strengthening citizens’ capacity to become involved in local government planning processes and implementation, and to enhance the effectiveness, inclusiveness and acceptance of mitigation & adaptation policies. It is a collaboration between GenderCC, All India Women’s Conference, Aksi! for gender, social & ecological justice (Indonesia), & GenderCC Southern Africa.

Climate Impact: Urban action on climate change is receiving growing attention, with cities increasingly considered to be key actors for the implementation of climate policy. As urban settlements expand rapidly in many parts of the world, many cities face the challenge of becoming more resilient to climate impacts and tackling rising emissions. Many cities are therefore currently developing and implementing strategies and policies to address climate change and its impacts. This project recognises that local governments therefore have a crucial opportunity to enhance their climate responses by integrating social issues such as poverty alleviation and gender equality, in order to make them more effective and viable, and to create social & environmental co-benefits. For each pilot city, key issues and priorities will be identified & local strategies developed.

Gender Impact: While progress has been made in addressing the nexus of climate change and gender, a lack of experience still exists when it comes to the specific challenges faced in urban contexts. To address this, the project partners are working together to develop a methodology to assess local policies on their ability to integrate gender aspects into adaptation and mitigation policies, seeking to identify areas that have to potential to bring together climate action and gender equality, such as providing access to clean and affordable energy and transport services. Activities conducted in the various pilot cities, including capacity building programmes and gender training for climate policy makers, will serve as a model for ongoing efforts to develop effective gender-responsive climate policies at local level.

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Women‘s equal participation in climate change decision-making is fundamental to just policies

Description of the project: Recognizing a need to support the participation and leadership of women in the UN climate negotiations, particularly from countries most affected by climate change, the Women Delegates Fund (WDF) was launched in 2009. The WDF works to enhance women’s participation in the climate negotiations in three key ways: 1) Travel support; 2) Capacity Building and Networking, and 3) Outreach and Advocacy. This is not a program aimed only at bringing women to the table, but in creating a stepchange in the power dynamics of the UN climate negotiations, and in all relevant bodies, towards one which encompasses women and men’s equal right to participate in decision-making.

Climate Impact: The impacts are both in terms of policy and political leadership of those supported. The period of the WDF programme has seen wide-ranging decisions on gender-responsive climate policy taken under the UNFCCC. Additionally, many WDF delegates have translated knowledge and experiences to the national level. For example, after participating in negotiations with the WDF, Anniete CohnLois of the Dominican Republic designed a project for women’s empowerment under her mission at the Vice President’s office. The project promotes women’s entrepreneurship in climate vulnerable areas of the Dominican Republic, supporting them in skills development, capacity-building and financial inclusion.

Gender Impact: Since 2009, the WDF has supported 218 trips for 54 women across 40 countries to attend 25 sessions of the UNFCCC. Among these, over 40% of funded delegates were the only women on their national delegations. During these sessions, nine ‘Night Schools’ have been held and a further 270 women have been trained in technical language and negotiations skills. In the last seven years, the number of total women delegates has increased from 31% to 35% in this time frame, and women Heads of Delegation has risen from 16% to 26%.

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More than just green – towards a low-carbon and just economy

Description of the project: A sustainable economy respecting the planetary boundaries, based on human needs, global justice and gender equality must be part of the solutions to combat the climate crisis. Women’s business and start-ups play a progressive role in dealing with these problems. Most of them are small or micro-enterprises, like 96% of all enterprises in Germany are. Yet, while many want to manage their enterprises in a sustainable, fair and caring way, they often don’t know how, particularly given the often limited time and financial resources available in their small business. The project supports these women entrepreneurs in becoming pioneers for an economy that cares for the people and the planet.

Climate Impact: In order to combat climate change it is fundamental to change our current production and consumption patterns. Sustainable economy is more than an ecological modernisation of production, resource efficiency or new technologies. It has to acknowledge care-work as such and the principles of care as the basis for all our economic activities. And it has to address the issue of sufficiency. In this understanding, the economy is part of a far-reaching socio-ecological transformation. Entrepreneurs and start-ups have substantial responsibility as well as opportunities to actively contribute to a just, fair and sustainable future. They are crucial for a transition towards a zero carbon society by reducing drastically the carbon footprints of their enterprises itself and by offering real alternatives for consumers.

Gender Impact: The project supports women entrepreneurs in contributing to a sustainable, fair and in particular a caring economy. Given the situation that it is still mainly women caring for children, elderly or sick persons it provides information, guidance and good practices on how to manage an enterprise in a way that helps to reduce these double burdens for the women entrepreneurs themselves as well as for their employees. By advocating for a business model that is based on caring for others, for nature and for future generations a good life for all is envisioned. The project is implemented in cooperation with the women’s entrepreneur centre WeiberWirtschaft eG., who are nominated for the “startup4climate”-award for their consultancy-activities for women startups concerning both, resource-efficiency and social aspects and fairness.

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Climate resilient agricultural schools and building priority-planning footbridges

Description of the project: CARE’s Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP) has been developed since 2009 in Papua New Guinea, where people have limited or no access to income, basic services, markets, transport and experience seasonal food insecurity. The programme‘s goal is to bring about significant and sustainable improvement in the lives of women, girls and their families living in remote and disadvantaged areas. An independent external evaluation conducted in June 2014 confirmed the ICDP Pilot has brought about real progress: “The main conclusion of this evaluation is that ICDP is making a significant and tangible contribution to improving the wellbeing of disadvantaged communities living in remote areas of PNG.”

Climate Impact: The long term impact and sustainability of the interventions piloted through ICDP are yet to be proven. However, the initial results are encouraging. Improved ward level planning and targeted community support has resulted in changes to farming practices through the school’s climate resilient agriculture activity. As well, girls were able to use and transfer the knowledge gained to their mothers at home. The leveraging of national and local government budgets has funded necessary local infrastructure projects such as footbridges has enabled women from remote rural areas access to the local markets to sell their produce. As a result, the project provides an increase in household income, but most importantly more girls are able to cross fast flooding rivers to attend school. The footbridge has also significantly reduced the time it takes to reach basic services.

Gender Impact: CARE’s approach centres around building a supportive environment for rural service delivery by facilitating Ward Planning capacity and awareness, creating links between government, communities and local organizations, and modelling ways to support and deliver services and community development activities as identified in ward plans. A particular focus is women’s empowerment which is systematically advanced through all areas of its work with the aim to strengthen and better informed communities, government, and civil society organizations. Thereby working more effectively in partnership to identify, prioritise, address and advocate for development needs, improved access to basic services and improved, more secure and self-reliant livelihoods.

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Sustained advocacy on good governance, democracy and climate change

Description of the project: Voice of Women has continued to advocate about the importance of democracy and a good governance system to address climate change effectively. In particular, the negative effects on women who are disproportionately impacted. For three short years under the first democratic president, women were empowered. After the coup d’état that overthrew the democratic government in 2012, women collectively took to the streets in numbers never seen in the history of the country. They organized to call for fresh elections and continue to call to restore democracy in the country.

Climate Impact: Under very difficult conditions, VoW was the only NGO in the country that addressed climate change and democracy. VoW worked to make the issue a bipartisan issue and held the first event, “Women Organizing to Address Climate Justice“ in partnership with WECAN, an event that was attended by former President Nasheed and the current environment Minister who signed the WECAN declaration at the same table. VoW continued its advocacy work not only on the area of gender and climate change but also on protection of basic human rights and women‘s rights in the Maldives.

Gender Impact: Climate Change is a human’s rights issue for everyone, but we have seen that it puts a heavier burden on women than men. During the 2004 tsunami, we saw first-hand, the effects of women displaced and forced to live in temporary housing. These women were subject to sexual assaults, harassment and abuse; access to reproductive care such as safe facilities to give birth and take care of children were not available. Climate Justice is understanding that these inequalities add an unfair burden on certain groups of people as a result of climate change and tries to make arrangements to alleviate these burdens, taking these inequalities into account while taking adaptation measures. VoW continues its work to raise awareness on the issue both domestically and internationally.

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Incorporating and institutionalizing the gender dimension in India’s State Action Plans on Climate Change

Description of the project: This evidence-based policy research project addressed the missing gender dimension in India’s State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCCs), working closely with the Central Environment Ministry and four State governments. India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change recognised in theory the differentiated climate change impacts on poor women but this was not addressed in the actual Plans. The project undertook policy analysis, gender budget analysis and field research on adaptive farming. Policy briefs and policy round-tables with State governments helped incorporate and institutionalise gender perspectives and actions into the SAPCCs and the Central Ministry‘s approval process.

Climate Impact: Project showed that compared to conventional agriculture, integrated, organic farming is more resilient to climate-induced disasters in the Indo-Gangetic flood plains of Uttar Pradesh, arid Deccan plateau in Andhra Pradesh and coastal Sunderbans in West Bengal. Integrated, organic agriculture withstands climate uncertainties better, with higher and more diverse farm-based productivity than conventional agriculture. Integrated, organic agriculture leads to better food security and more income for smallholder farmers – over 85% of India’s 600 million farm-based population – who rely on highly climate-sensitive farming practices. These results have strengthened state-level adoption of integrated, organic agriculture and especially understanding the role of gender in climate resilience.

Gender Impact: 1. The integral link between women and climate change adaptation was recognized in climate planning by the Central, State governments. 2. Succeeded in reflecting concerns of 87% of India’s working women living off climatesensitive smallholder farming. 3. Field research showed adaptive agriculture also puts more labour and time burden on women compared to men, which led grassroots groups, agriculture scientists to review organic farming from a gender lens. 4. Prepared UNDP’s Gender Mainstreaming Toolkit for state governments to implement SAPCCs; inclusion of climate change in the government’s High-level Committee’s Report on Status of Women to guide gender policy in future. 5. Contributed to India’s official submission on gender to the UNFCCC subsequent to the decision of the 18th Conference of Parties on advancing the gender balance goal.

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Community-led relocation effort by the Carteret Islanders who face extinction from climate change impacts and extreme weather events

Description of the project: This project aims to prepare and work with three host communities on Bougainville to ensure that there is adequate land, infrastructure and economic opportunities to include Carterets people – work with 1700 Carterets people to prepare them for voluntary relocation on Bougainville through counselling, agriculture, income generation, education, health and community development training programmes – establish a conservation and marine management area for sustainable use of marine resources for Carterets Islanders – and increase awareness about the plight of Carterets people and the complexities surrounding their relocation to new communities.

Climate Impact: Due to climate change scientists predict that between 2020 and 2040, the island atoll of the Carterets will be completely submerged by the ocean. In the meantime, the inability to grow sufficient nutritious foods as well as island erosion caused by King Tides cannot be reversed even if all global CO2 emissions ceased today. In the absence of a coordinated government response, the Carteret Elders called on Ursula Rakova to lead Tulele Peisa and work with the community for a strategic plan to relocate to mainland Papua New Guinea.

Gender Impact: The Carteret Islanders, like other Melanesian peoples, are a matrilineal society. The women are the landowners. As awareness grows globally of Ursula’s skills and accomplishments in community relocation and sustainable development, despite incredible odds, she will join the ranks of Wangari Maathai and Sheila Watt-Cloutier, demonstrating the power and essential role of women’s leadership in effective climate change response. To ensure that the Carteret Islanders can survive in their new homes, Ursula has founded a cocoa cooperative of 640 small farmers in Bougainville, mostly women, to create a reliable stream of income to sustain both the Islanders and their new neighbors as they forge a future together.

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Minimum initial service package for Sexual and Reproductive Health services for women during post disaster

Description of the project: Minimum Initial Service Package in SRH Services is a post disaster adaptation strategy that includes coordination, services and planning. It ensures that women’s reproductive health needs are met, they have access to minimal health care services like prenatal care, assisted delivery, emergency obstetric care and avoid unsafe abortion. The initiative also ensures that districts and states have MISP integrated in every disaster management plan. Women leaders and volunteers from the community are selected for the Train of Trainers in MISP and encouraged to share their knowledge with wider networks.

Climate Impact: There has been significant increase in the number and intensity of disasters during the past decade as a result of increasing global warming, sea level rise and other seasonal changes. Within India, there are regions facing drought and flood in the same year due to the impacts of climate change. These unforeseen disasters take special toll on women and girls. It is estimated that in any displaced population, about 4% of the population is pregnant, of which, 15 % of the women experience obstetric complications risking their lives. Unfortunately, prenatal and emergency obstetric care is often unavailable to the survivors and disaster management services barely take the needs of women into account.

Gender Impact: Climate change adaptation plans need to be gender responsive, have a participatory and transparent approach as well as take into account the needs of vulnerable groups. Studies have revealed that women and children suffer the brunt of the chaos during most post disasters and reproductive health services are often unavailable. Quite a number of youngsters become more susceptible to HIV infection and sexual exploitation post disaster probably due to the lack of precautionary tools and depression caused by the situation. The MISP programme addresses most of the challenges women face during post disaster situation relating to sexual and reproductive health services.

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Training volunteers for door to door promotion of energy efficiency and alternative energy solutions

Description of the project: Clean energy and energy efficiency have been recognised as pragmatic means of mitigating climate change. The project aims to propagate clean energy and energy efficiency in the domestic sector by training young women through energy clinics across the state thereby reaching everyone in their community. In each clinic women visit households in the areas allotted to them and build capacity by educating the members of the households on the what, why, and how they can utilize clean energy in their homes through personal interactions. The aim is to motivate households to switch to clean energy for domestic requirements. Trained volunteers are paid a fixed sum per visit. Currently, energy clinic volunteer house visits are in progress in 9 of the 14 districts in Kerala.

Climate Impact: Project addresses mitigation through enhanced energy efficiency and clean energy appliances. It also provides income generation opportunities for poor women. The performance in terms of energy saved and number of green energy appliances adopted by the population will be judged in the final phase of the project.

Gender Impact: In the initial phase 100+ women were trained per district in 14 districts. Under the later phase thirty women are being trained per centre for household visits. Each woman will cover an average of 1000 households during the year. Beneficiaries will include 1400 trained women, 420 energy clinic workers and about 5000 members of the local population in one year. The trained women volunteers of the Energy Clinics will have a sustained income through house visits and agency for sale of solar appliances.

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The SEMEAR group works to add value to the forest, turning seeds and seedlings as forest product capable to generate ecological, political and social processes

Description of the project: This project empowers women, vulnerable groups, agrarian reform settlers, people in traditional communities and youth groups through conservation, forest restoration and sustainable management in permanent preservation areas. The sustainable use of seed as a non-timber product, promotes forest conservation standing and adds environmental value, provides farmers a source of employment, thus is an income generator, and also improves their quality of life The actions become generators of confidence as they organize their social groups. In addition to the empowerment of women and youth, there was income generation for sustainable use of seed as non-timber product. This process promotes forest conservation standing and adds environmental value; social and economic due seed harvest.

Climate Impact: Its main innovation is to generate management technologies and conservation of forests with the participation of communities and applying unconventional restoration techniques, both innovative that join the restoration and conservation with small producers. The subproject “Morizukuri – creating forests” applies innovative practices of forest restoration accelerating ecological processes and generating ecosystem services in 10 years, a process which normally would take 20 years. Restoration plantings in innovative models have a capacity of up to 50% higher atmospheric carbon rescue, greatly contributing to the control of carbon emissions near large urban areas.

Gender Impact: In the communities of Capão Bonito SP, Paraty-RJ and Cotijuba (PA) before the intervention of the SEMEAR group women, worked in domestic services while their husbands worked in the fields. After the training actions and participatory management, women began to work in the harvest and sale of seeds for seedlings production purpose and its management as non-timber product. In Xingu River, we helped organize a group of indigenous women as seed collectors.

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Defending Women farmers Rights for climate change adaptation and mitigation

Description of the project: This project aims to mitigate and adapt to the many gender related insecurities due to climate change in Georgia by supporting women farmer cooperatives. Our association’s topics range – from risks to opportunities for women to participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives, to women’s increased dependence on informal loans to ensure family food security, to the lack of mobility for women to avoid ‘disaster’ stemming from their domestic and agricultural responsibilities, and a lack of access to capacity building services such as education, credit, training, and health.

Climate Impact: One of the great challenges of the 21st century will be to feed a rapidly growing population. Current projections suggest the number of people on earth will outpace our ability to feed them by 2050. Food insecurity can lead not only to famine but also to political instability and violence. Our project, through a consortium of universities and a research institute, looks at how we can correct this imbalance through education, innovation, and advocacy by expanding existing educational programs and research priorities to place a greater emphasis on the post-harvest preservation of food.

Gender Impact: Drought, flooding and heavy rains are negative impacts of climate change and deeper analysis of our project highlights how climate justice for women focuses on the social vulnerabilities women face. The agricultural cooperatives we work with, holistically address women’s vulnerabilities in the context of climate change. The Georgian Women Farmers, for instance, directly responds to women’s climate and social vulnerabilities in their activities. Our project is connected with benefits to bring forth discourse around distinguishing between rural women, agricultural cooperatives, gender, and climate change and vulnerabilities associated with poor sectoral responses to the needs of the rural poor and the causes of women’s vulnerabilities and gender inequities in a climate change context.

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Empowering millions of women in rich economies to cut carbon pollution in their daily lives through behaviour change

Description of the project: 1 Million Women (1MW) was founded by Natalie Isaacs in 2009. She saw individual action as vital to a climate solution. Her behaviour change story resonates with women of all ages. Based in a wealthy economy with very high per capita carbon pollution, 1MW’s aims are to 1) engage women beyond the traditional ‘green belt’; 2) empower them to lead practical action in their households and communities; 3) unite them into a powerful collective voice, and; 4) ensure 20% of its members are girls under 20 (the next generation of consumers/decision makers). Historically public campaigns on climate rarely considered gender so 1MW set out to change that and enlist women as change agents. 1MW has 370,000+ members as of November 2015.

Climate Impact: Our “free-to-join” website enables a low carbon life, capturing real data on behaviour change. Our online Carbon Challenge has 50+ activities across energy, transport, food, shopping, finances and sharing. Women can audit their lifestyles, chose activities and calculate CO2 -emissions savings. They commit to cut at least 1 tonne of pollution from their daily lives, with 100 000+ pledging carbon savings of 156 801 tonnes of CO2 -emissions. Everything we do promotes a ‘less is more’ philosophy to women who live privileged lifestyles by global standards, as a direct strategy to counter a typical high-consumption, high-waste contemporary way of living that threatens the planet. All our projects, speaking and campaigns focus on cutting carbon pollution through the way we live. In 2013 we won an award from the UN Momentum for Change program for the work we do.

Gender Impact: Women in Australia have extraordinary consumer power, making up to 85% of purchases that affect the household carbon footprint. We empower women to change behaviour and decisions on everything from eliminating food waste and increasing energy efficiency, to divesting away from fossil fuel exposed investments and brands. Women feel connected, increasing happiness and wellbeing. We’re growing internationally. In 2016 we’re launching: 1) our global ‘Women Power’ app (under development) engaging women everywhere in daily climate action; 2) our ‘Goodwill Carbon Fund’ – collective savings from pledged daily climate actions – and financial support of on-the-ground initiatives empowering women on the front line of the climate crisis. Our mission is to connect women everywhere via the power of women’s climate action supporting women’s climate justice.

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Empowering women community leaders in rural Sri Lanka in climate resilient low-tech water resource management

Description of the project: The Jalavahini programme builds the capacity of women community leaders in climate change resilience via a series of interactive trainings. The capacity building activity introduces water-friendly approaches in climate change adaptation. So far, 15 programmes have trained 300 rural women leaders in seven regions all across Sri Lanka. They were trained on climate change adaptation and disaster risk resilience, enhanced food security through eco-friendly agriculture and non-toxic home gardening, and the use of modern and appropriate water conservation and agriculture technologies. The programme provides livelihood security for communities, especially female headed households.

Climate Impact: Sri Lanka oscillates between floods and droughts with extreme weather events taking a high toll on communities. High use of chemical pesticides and weedicides in agriculture leads to the loss of soil fertility which is compounded due to extreme events. The Jalavahini programs led to a pilot project targeting the development of a year round supply of food from home gardens through eco-friendly organic agriculture. Jalavahini promotes user friendly simple techniques to be carried out through the dry seasons. Droughts are combatted with simple irrigation techniques using buried pots. Simple drip lines simulate expensive drip irrigation systems. Enhanced knowledge leads to best crop selection and improves post-harvest management. Jalavahini’s yield is strong and empowers women which makes them game changers in community-level climate change adaptation.

Gender Impact: Jalavahini builds a two-way linkage channeling knowledge of women water professionals to support community women. The programme builds on existing skills and strengths of women leaders to develop and implement water and food/agriculture related activities, strengthen their leadership and organizational skills and ultimately improve their livelihood security in a climate threatened scenario. Supporting livelihood development and income generation, Jalavahini’s strategy recognizes that economic empowerment is intertwined with social and political empowerment: it requires interventions at different levels and with different actors. Jalavahini advocates with agency and policy makers to enhance opportunities for women leaders. Women are given financial management training and practical exposure to consensus building and to shared knowledge.

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A women-led permaculture global initiative for sustainable development

Description of the project: The project seeks to connect international actors participating (and willing to participate) in permaculture activities, while communicating human rights, peace, tolerance, and gender equality and, at the same time, acting on climate change. The project is comprised of three innovative basic concepts that are capable of securing healthy global partnerships and empowering women and local communities while addressing pressing environmental issues. The My Own Moringa design, as simple as it seems, is potentially capable of transforming agricultural innovation in the 21st century, achieving global solidarity and alleviating extreme poverty.

Climate Impact: Encouraging the global trade of Moringa and African superfood, is an ideal solution to several environmental problems. It provides an alternative local currency at times of crises that is capable of supplying the essential nutrients for poor communities and allows food exchange (Barter) within the community based on the supply of Moringa. Moringa can be dried and stored and can be used to make bread and animal staple food while it is also used as medicine and biofuel. It, however, is still underused. Moringa grows in arid and semi-arid soils and can tolerate salinity stress. On the other hand, it can be exported to other places of the world to aid in reducing the consumption of meat with all its harmful effects on the environment and the plant can also serve as a carbon sink.

Gender Impact: The engagement of women in planning and leadership adds another dimension to the project‘s impact on the environment and on innovation. Women and women’s groups are invited not only to participate but to take the lead. As the project grows, it will allow women to own land and influence food markets. IPNAMME takes a special focus on educating girls and training women in organic farming; empowering women through sports, networking and social media; and providing motivational support for girls and women to take control over their lives and wellbeing. Many enthusiastic young men and women, as well as community leaders from countries such as Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria and Uganda are getting interested and are joining in, either as educators/trainers or as farmers of both genders.

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Confronting disaster response in lagoon regions through women empowerment at community level

Description of the project: Affected by Confucian ideology, patriarchy remained dominant in Vietnam. It has been not only limiting to the development and social equality of women but also prevents them from taking part in disaster response and climate change adaptation even though they belong to the most vulnerable group. They are not considered eligible and often described passively as support recipients during disasters even though their experience and contributions are as valuable as men’s. Therefore, from 2014 –2015, Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) worked with 5700 women in 2 lagoon communes in central Vietnam to promote their voices and to include them in village rapid response teams as active contributors.

Climate Impact: The vulnerability of women has been increased in the context of climate change. They have found it extremely difficult to adapt and maintain life for themselves and for their families and their children. Through the project, 60 local women were added to the 12 village rapid response teams which previously only involved men. Furthermore, their participation is now recognized by local authorities as officially equal to men. It is encouraging to local women who can from now on have the same opportunity to go the trainings for capacity building in preparedness planning, first aid, communication, environmental protection, and adaptive livelihoods. Additionally, they have experienced trainings to enable them to reduce their vulnerability, to help the community be more responsive to disaster and to strengthen their community resilience.

Gender Impact: With women’s participation in the rapid response team, the perception of women by the men and by the community is positively changed. Women themselves feel more confident in speaking out in public and in participating not only in disaster response and climate change adaptation but also in many other activities in the community. Women are now highly appreciated by their families and society. They are mentioned as skillful and patient campaigners in disaster response and as creative and hardworking in climate change adaptation. Thanks to this, local men are now more aware of sharing housework with women than before. Women’s voice and position as well as decision making powers in the family and community are thus strengthened and leveraged.

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Empowerment and climate change resilience for tribal and Dalit women in India

Description of the project: Participatory planning at the grassroots level is introduced for effective management and development of natural resources with a focus on initiating an ecovillage. A particular effort is to strengthen 53 tribal previously initiated women’s organizations from ten districts of Orissa at the block level. These groups in turn carry out social and ecological initiatives. The project is implemented while keeping in view the empowerment of socially excluded tribal and Dalit women, addressing the issues of climate change and ensuring respect for indigenous practices and traditional knowledge for protecting natural resources.

Climate Impact: All tribal women’s organization’s leaders are under the umbrella of Orissa Nari Aamaj, the state level organizations federation, and plan the activities addressing climate change, and disseminating information and good practices of some of their counterparts. The women leaders were selected by the organizations and they are trained by THREAD to participating in self-autonomous local institutions’ elections. Activities for mitigating climate change like organic farming, systematic rice intensification, organic manure production (using cow dung and cow urine), tree planting, lobbying for a forest rights act and community forests for tribes have been the main focus during the past seven years. THREAD supported tribal women to create awareness on peak oil after training them in the “Transition Town” concept.

Gender Impact: Over 325 tribal women have been elected as village representatives, panchayat presidents and vice chairpersons of their block.120 000 individual forest land titles are provided to the women who are the main recipients and owners. THREAD and tribal women leaders are also directly involved in creating employment through effective implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and have mobilised 1,06 million person days of labour among the tribal and Dalit families of Odisha. A ‘Grow Your Own Food’ drive has positively impacted the health and nutritional intake of women. Tribal women have been trained in block brick making and in masonry skills to construct their own eco-friendly homes. Over 5000 tribal women have been trained in permaculture and ecovillage design education.

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Improving livelihoods in rural areas with safe and sustainable energy and sanitation – practical solutions

Description of the project: In the WECF energy and sanitation programme, decentralized solutions (solar water heaters, solar heating, solar fruit driers, biogas, insulation measures, sustainable sanitation solutions) are implemented by locally trained craftsmen and women, using local materials. By providing energy security in a sustainable way the project contributes to improved living conditions and health, reduces poverty and environmental degradation in rural areas in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Tajikistan and Uganda.

Climate Impact: The majority of the rural population in the project countries suffers from energy poverty and uses un-safe, fossil and traditional energy sources. By using fuel wood from unsustainably managed forests for heating, a rural household emits 6 -10 tons of CO2 annually. Technologies implemented by WECF and its partners provide safe, sustainable energy services, reducing household emissions up to 50%. Communities also become more climate resilient because there is less land degradation and deforestation. The programme also works on sustainable sanitation solutions that use less or no water compared with traditional alternatives.

Gender Impact: In the target regions, women have an unpaid labor burden in and around the house and have fewer opportunities to participate in economic and public activities. Women are traditionally responsible to produce heat and hot water and are exposed to indoor air pollution caused by the burning of unsafe fuel. Insufficient availability of warm water and appropriate sanitation for hygienic purposes likewise adversely affects women’s health. WECF fosters gender equality by 1. Reducing women’s and men’s unpaid labor burden, improving women`s health and comfort by reducing indoor air pollution; 2. Ensuring that men and women participate equally in all project aspects, that women’s needs are taken into account, and empowering women to become promoters of safe, sustainable energy and improved hygiene; 3. Empowering women and men economically by saving money for fuel and creating jobs.

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Building improved efficient stoves for women

Description of the project: The project consists of the fabrication of traditional efficient stoves for cooking food. They enable a 40% CO2 emissions reduction compared to previous stoves. And instead of using coal, these new stoves use wood pellets, from wood recycling material which further reduces CO2 emissions. The project is led by four women who are responsible for the fabrication of the cooking stoves. 700 stoves have been built and sold to 700 benefiting households until today and 400 are in order.

Climate Impact: The climate impacts of implementing local solutions for deforestation problems include the reduction of fuelwood consumption and reducing CO2 emissions. An improved stove can reduce 40% CO2 compared to existing household cooking methods. A further advantage of the stoves is that they use wood pellets, which have a longer burning process compare to regular wood.

Gender Impact: The project provides employment to four women, who sell their cooking stoves in the market. The programme also reduces women’s traditional time burden in cooking and providing food for the family. The efficient stoves allows women to save time in the kitchen, so they can better provide for other needs such as education and health, for themselves and their community. Women‘s health has also improved directly from the stoves as they inhale less coal fumes than before. The project has benefiting 700 women and families so far.

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Selling thermal baskets to keep food hot and reduce CO2 and waste

Description of the project: Association for Research Action Development and Environment in Sahel (ARADES) is developing and selling thermal baskets sold by women. This low-tech product enables households to save cooking fuel and reduce waste. This enhances sustainable development and civic behaviour. We hope to sell 44 000 thermal baskets per year, from which women can make an average revenue of US $220 per month.

Climate Impact: The energy context is characterized, for thirty years now by a strong energy demand with growth of 1.6% to 2%. This has led to more deforestation increasing climate change. However, the Senegalese area has considerable potential for biomass energy products like the thermal basket, an alternative energy source to traditional fuels, to enable further reductions of 50% in environmental impact, 50% in economic and 50 % in social costs. Given this situation, it is urgent to popularize the successful experiences of the value of thermal baskets. The community organizations have been a strong mobilizer of young men and women whose earnest desire is to bring a positive change.

Gender Impact: The ARADES network has eight member associations of women between Saint-Louis and Thies ranging from 15 to over 200 members each. They work in girl’s education, the protection of the environment, food processing, sewing, dyeing, selling biochar and improved stoves, solar cookers, and income generating activities. The managing committee is composed of environmentalists, lawyers in public law, teachers of home economics and, foreign languages, students in literature, cartographers, economists and facilitators in OCBs. The Impact is ARADES‘s challenge. It is to help the community to benefit from experiences by helping people throughout the social scale to take maximum advantage of scientific and technological progress while creating jobs and revitalizing their respective sectors.

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