Fostering rural women’s entrepreneurship with solar energy solutions

Description of the project: India produces large quantities of fruits and vegetables, but more than 50% of this is wasted. The project aims to: 1) demonstrate the commercial viability of solar drying of fruits, vegetables and condiments, and convert them into profitable products on a micro enterprise scale; 2) equip rural poor women with solar dryers and train them on proper use. Sthree Sakthi Mahila Samajam installed solar powered air dryers in 2017 under the Socio-Economic Program of AIWC. The technology of dehydration gave several benefits such as minimizing food waste and facilitating higher income to rural women. Cereal grains, vegetables, fruits, etc., can be dried in solar dryers under clean conditions in reasonably short time.

Climate impact: Using solar energy has a direct mitigation benefit and reduces dependence on fossil or bio fuels. With one solar dryer, about 1 t. of liquid and 2.6 t. of semi-liquid raw materials can be dehydrated annually to produce mango bars, fruit candy, etc. This saves 1.2 t. of firewood per year. Additionally, it reduces rotting of fresh fruits, minimizing methane emissions by approximately 20 kg/ton. About 5-6 t. of material can be composted, sequestering 1 t. CO2 more.

Gender impact: In the present project, a self-help group of 12 women operate two dryers in rotation. At any point, four women work on one dryer. Women trained in solar drying prepare hygienic value-added products from local produce. Economic gains include income of Rs.500-800 or Rs.1800-2000 per month (depending on the season and product). Other gender-gains or advantages are reduced work time (2 hours per day), and more time for household work and for other income generating activities.

Scalability / replicability: In 2005-2007, AIWC trained 50 women to start solar drying as an entrepreneurship, and a manual for Solar Food Processing was developed. As a follow up, AIWC introduced a scheme where branches could access assistance under a socio-economic project with one dryer given as grant and a soft loan given to the branch for a second dryer. With two dryers, trained women could start income generating activities by selling the solar dried products on the local market.

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Circular economy and women’s entrepreneurship in Burkina Faso

Description of the project: The project supports 100 microsmall and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), with a focus on feminized sectors, to adopt sustainable production and management methods. Technical support is provided on resource efficiency and clean production (ERPP), industrial symbiosis (IS), and energy auditing. Economic and environmental benefits have been evaluated. The impact for at least 80 MSMEs includes saving energy and primary materials, conserving natural resources, reducing/ eliminating polluting waste and diversifying and creating jobs. National and regional platforms are put in place for scaling up.

Climate impact: By reducing the use of natural or extractive raw materials (oil, gas, coal) and the downstream production of polluting and emitting waste (CO2, methane), ERPP and the IS methodologies contribute directly to climate mitigation, while promoting transition to a circular economy: more efficient production but also the recovery of waste produced within a virtuous circle. A first evaluation including 30 target entreprises shows that 12,000 t. of CO2 have been saved, 500 t. of waste recycled, and 63 t. of virgin materials have not been extracted.

Gender impact: Targeting specific sectors and voluntarily promoting equal opportunities in apprenticeship allowed the strong participation of women entrepreneurs (45%). Alternative manufacturing processes also aim to reduce the drudgery of tasks and improve safety and security, especially within hazardous or polluting operations often delegated to women. Examples: the HAFFAAC oil mill replaces wood combustion with cashew hulls from ANATRANS (pyrolysis system); PTMSA exchanges its maize leaves and stems for manure from Atelier EC, a non-polluting and safe fertilizer.

Scalability / replicability: Scaling-up and replication are based on recognized ERPP and IS methodologies used in international cooperation. The national platform created and led by WEP has launched green business clubs in Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso. A white paper on IS is being developed to promote a conducive policy framework and national regulations, e.g., to facilitate the safe transport of waste, or raise awareness. The ambition is to popularize the approach for all businesses in Burkina Faso.

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Recovery of water hyacinth and its transformation for environmental purposes

Description of the project: The project focuses on reducing degradation of the Niger River ecosystem, raising public awareness and strengthening the capacity of women’s organizations. It strives to prevent colonization of water hyacinth to local water bodies and exploitable lands by organizing the recovery of plants, and composting in a dedicated site by a group of 53 women, supported by youth and members of the Village Management Committee. They developed gardens and diversified and improved the quality of vegetable production. Women’s organizations were established and strengthened through training in community life and composting techniques.

Climate impact: Preserving the Niger River ecosystem from the impact of water hyacinth is crucial, as this invasive plant suffocates streams and prevents the collection of water for irrigation. By supporting the use of water hyacinth-based organic fertilizer, village organizations are cleaning up the water, producing their own chemical-free fertilizer, regenerating soils through the use of natural compost, and improving their income and quality of life.

Gender impact: Women’s empowerment is one of the key elements of this project associated with income generation from vegetable production, enhanced by land reclamation and the use of natural fertilizer. The structuring of women’s organizations trained in community life and economic management, and sensitized to the environmental impact of water hyacinth, helps to strengthen women’s rights, particularly for land acquisition and participating in local life and decision-making processes.

Scalability / replicability: The problems caused by the invasive water hyacinth, river pollution and land degradation impact the rural populations of the Niger Basin who depend mainly on fishing and off-season crops. The project can be adapted to any environment confronted with these problems. Its benefits (sanitation and water treatment, income generation, improved health) have been recognised and the project was awarded a prize as one of “100 Innovations for Sustainable Development”, organized by the French authorities.

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Integrated solar power rural development in Barbujat

Description of the project: This project aims to empower over 6,800 rural women by improving their access to solar energy for home and production uses. The solar lighting systems, solar cookers, grinders, refrigerators and mobile charging sockets enable women-owned businesses to significantly raise their income. The units are installed and maintained by locally trained beneficiaries, i.e., 29 women and 17 men; the sustainability of the services is ensured by a network of suppliers. A community revolving fund and 8 women-led saving groups allow very low-income persons to access the new technologies and maintenance costs to be covered. A training center ensures equal access to capacity building and learning tools.

Climate impact: Using clean, safe solar energy instead of high emitting kerosene, diesel or biomass reduces the adverse impacts on climate and health. In year one, 100 solar lanterns were installed, saving about 49 tons of CO2. Their scaling up is expected to save another 99 tons of CO2 by 2019. Introducing solar mills to replace old diesel ones will reduce about 3 tons of CO2 emissions per year. In Darfur, where the sunshines over 12h/ day, solar energy brings a high potential for social and sustainable welfare.

Gender impact: The new technologies reduce burdens and hazards faced by women and girls (e.g., indoor air pollution, fire hazards, gender based violence). Time saved is used to engage in income generation and community activities, or attending school or adult classes with an environment enhanced by solar lighting. Targeted technical and management trainings, conducted in the established center, foster women’s entrepreneurship and their collaboration in groups and committees.

Scalability / replicability: The implementation of the project, along with the established revolving fund, will be handed over to the Rural El-Fashir Development and North Darfur Women CBO network to ensure sustainability. Linkages have been developed between private sector solar companies, government, financial institutions, other relevant stakeholders, and service providers through a participatory market development system. This will facilitate future continuity and scaling-up of the solar energy service and promote policies for its sustainability.

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SISAM: strengthening women’s access to Improved Solar Irrigation Systems in West Africa

Description of the project: SISAM project is an innovative solar irrigation solution (local, sector, affordable, renewable, adapted to the constraints of family farming) that meets the needs of 100 market garden farms, mostly managed by women who have little access to water. A local production line and distribution of pumps, known as “minivolanta”, have been built, as well as access to local microfinance (micro leasing). Activities include production, financing, distribution, maintenance of pumps and irrigation installations. The project contributes to the increased income of market gardeners, as well as freeing up time.

Climate impact: The development of local solar pumping solutions ensures a 100% renewable response to addressing water needs. The project allows market gardeners to ensure production in the dry season and provides training in good water management practices aimed at combating further drying-up and degradation of arid zones. By mitigating the carbon impact through technology that limits CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and international transport, and enabling adaptation and food self-sufficiency, the project aims to have a concrete impact on
climate change.

Gender impact: Women’s involvement is ensured at all stages of the project by taking into account gender specificities, setting up separate meetings and childcare, and dedicated trainings, and enabling participation in management. The priority targets are the farms managed by women. Although women make up the majority of market gardeners in sub-Saharan Africa, their access to resources and funding is limited. Gender impacts include improving women’s incomes, building their capacity, easing their workload, and empowering them.

Scalability / replicability: SISAM plans to reinforce and disseminate this action beyond the first 100 beneficiary farms. Regional and national authorities are involved in the consultation process leading to the signing of conventions. An impact assessment and capitalization process is planned in order to determine the modalities for upscaling. An information campaign on the effectiveness of SISAM solutions for food security and irrigation improvements, the development of the local economy, and a better quality of life for workers and households will be conducted.

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E-FAITOU: accelerating the energy transition by providing solar mobile services to women farmers

Description of the project: E-FAITOU facilitates access to solar energy for women farmers in Senegal through an innovative and inclusive concept of mobile multi-service trucks offering rental of solar equipment and post-harvest processing equipment (dryers, mills, refrigerators), charging stations, and digital platforms. Women farmers’ chores are alleviated through mechanized processing of their harvest, facilitated access to market information and education. They can increase productivity thanks to productive solar equipment and access new income generating activities through direct access to online services. This original pilot project, started in Senegal, is expected to develop across all of West Africa.

Climate impact: Solar technologies are well developed and increasingly affordable. Because of their strong potential for climate mitigation and economic development (Rural Electrification Alliance report), they should be widely disseminated. The amount of kW and CO2 mitigated through use of the productive solar stations and electricity production (solar generator on the trailer) is estimated at more than 3000 tons over 5 years.

Gender impact: Supported by 4 French-Senegalese women entrepreneurs who put the empowerment of rural women at the heart of their vision, this project significantly alleviates the burden of women’s agricultural work while increasing their productivity and opening up new opportunities for creative income generation. Access to online services strengthens financial inclusion and access to information and education, thus empowering micro-entrepreneurs and strengthening the rural economy.

Scalability / replicability: E-FAITOU works in close collaboration with local agencies supporting the beneficiaries -be it groups or micro-entrepreneurs- to identify their needs in planning the route of the service vehicle fleet. After phase 2, covering the rural areas of Senegal, E-FAITOU plans to expand to Benin during phase 3, thanks to a strong entrepreneurial economic model that was awarded by the CTCN / ECOWAS and PFAN.

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Women processing fish on the path to a circular economy at Guet Ndar, Saint-Louis of Senegal

Description of the project: In Saint-Louis, Senegal, fish smoking, a women’s activity, still uses expensive, high-emitting and polluting sources of energy. This pilot project proposes a sustainable, economical and ecological energy solution for a Group of Collective Interest (GIE) consisting of 700 women fish-processors. By recovering waste from their activities through composting units (organic fertilizer) and methanization, this innovative technology brings sustainable ecological and economic benefits to a highly feminized and low value-added business sector.

Climate impact: Saint-Louis is threatened by rising waters. It is crucial to mitigate climate impacts in this region. The installation of 6 biodigestors feeding 10 cooking platforms can neutralize 12 t. of methane and 252 t. of CO2 per year. Also, wood fuel savings and the composting of halieutic by-products into organic fertilizer greatly reduces the climate footprint of this process. A wide expansion of the process is planned throughout Saint-Louis, within the framework of the National Biogas Program.

Gender impact: The project takes a gender approach from design to implementation to evaluation. The benefits are multiple: hard work (collection of wood) is considerably reduced, as well as the negative health impact of wood burning; the cost of energy decreases and the production of digestate (sold as fertilizer) creates added value; and revenues from product processing are significantly improved. In total, the project empowers 700 women workers through decent income generation and sustainable development.

Scalability / replicability: The involvement of beneficiaries in the construction and management of methanization through an autonomous management structure ensures ownership of the project and its sustainability. The economic model is viable through the sales of excessive biogas and compost, which allows long-term maintenance of the facilities. This pilot, which involved local authorities, was designed to promote the transferability of technical knowledge and the replicability of the intervention method.

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Social enterprise empowers women refugees to master efficient cooking and solar technologies

Description of the project: SAFEnergy Enterprises Uganda, a social enterprise, empowers refugee and HIV positive women with technical skills on energy efficient cooking technologies and entrepreneurship. 47 group leaders in refugee settlements have been trained to construct Rocket Lorena and shielded cooking stoves and to create their own small businesses. They have transferred their knowledge to 500 more women in the Arua camp and Karamoja host community. The 47 women led registered enterprises also market certified solar lamps to ensure sustainable income. Acquired leadership and managerial skills, as well financial autonomy, help resolve household conflicts over resources, improve women’s roles in decision making and reduce domestic violence.

Climate impact: Rocket Lorena stoves reduce fuel-wood consumption by 50-70%. Solar lamps and solar home systems replace diesel or kerosene. This saves CO2 emissions and prevents deforestation. Up to 1200 ha could be protected in the target areas. The technologies also reduce indoor pollution by 98%, an important health benefit for targeted local nurseries and schools. Construction is done with locally sourced materials that have a lower climate footprint and lower costs.

Gender impact: This project promotes gender equality and women’s rights through economic empowerment. Additional and stabilised income enables women to access health care services, immediate family needs and sometimes land property. Trainings integrate modules on rights and leadership. This results in women demanding more equitable resource sharing in the household and community and gives them the ability to resolve conflicts peacefully and avoid gender-based violence.

Scalability / replicability: This project is based on the use of widely spread, certified low-tech solutions that are easily replicable and can be applied anywhere with locally available materials. The entrepreneurship model is made accessible to very poor rural women as it does not require capital and ensures regular income from the sales of affordable, cost saving energy solutions. The women leaders groups ensure scalabilty and sustainability.

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Bhungroo – small women farmers owning and developing an innovative rainwater saving technology

Description of the project: Erratic rain and irrigation scarcity contribute to food insecurity, financial losses and indebtedness for small farmers in India, especially in coastal areas. Bhungroo®, a locally developed rainwater management technology, saves farmers’ crops from waterlogging during monsoons and ensures adequate irrigation during dry seasons. The project relies on trained rural Women Climate Leaders (WCLs), who promote the technology and deliver fee-based agriculture expert advice. The co-ownership model has facilitated access to irrigation and farming facilities to smallholders, with each one ensuring food-security to 30-100 rural poor, and generating income of approximately USD $5700+ per year.

Climate impact: Gujarat State, India is prone to heavy flooding during monsoon and severe droughts the rest of year. Rainwater harvesting system Bhungroo®, supported by WCL services, brings back two harvests a year in areas that had become wastelands. The technology protects groundwater via a filtration system and increases soil fertility by reducing salinity, warding off desertification. With 30-year life-span, each unit conserves 1- 4 million liters of runoff water and saves 5-10 acres from water logging during wet seasons, while irrigates 22+ acres each winter.

Gender impact: Women form their own ownership groups, learning how to construct, install, and maintain Bhungroos and provide these services to other farmers. They adapt to climate change by being able to collect, store and distribute irrigation water as needed. This enables them to increase their revenue threefold. Becoming nutritionally and financially self-sufficient improves women farmers’ social status and helps them obtain formal land ownership, participate in village governance, and invest in the education of their children, including girls.

Scalability / replicability: Since 2011, over 3500 units of Bhungroo® have been constructed in 7 provinces of India as part of India’s rural development policy, but also in Bangladesh, Vietnam and Ghana. Replicability is ensured by the local sourcing of materials and the end users’ personal involvement in construction and maintenance. Expansion and up-scaling is based on the WCL model, where these first beneficiaries and users of Bhungroo have been trained and are now passing on their technical knowledge and understanding of climate adaptation.

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Advocacy for the implementation of the UNFCCC gender action plan (GAP)

Description of the project: This project was implemented in the Oyo, Ogun and Lagos states. It raised awareness and capacity of relevant policy makers, ministries, departments and agencies as well as local women’s organizations on integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment in climate policies. It also advocated for the full and equal participation of women in climate actions. Awareness raising meetings with local women were further used as a platform to conduct “Talanoa Dialogues”, where they freely shared their stories of climate struggles and offered solutions that can shape global policies to raise ambition in reaching the 1.5 degree temperature limit.

Climate impact: The interactions among heads of climate relevant sectors such as energy, environment and women affairs at the trainings has opened up an avenue for integrated and common agenda approach to addressing climate change issues across the Nigerian states. Civil society organizations are acting as pressure groups in the implementation of the Gender Action Plan using online media to expand their outreach and accelerate the process.

Gender impact: The importance of mainstreaming gender and women’s equal participation in climate change policies has been recognized in the current review of the Lagos state climate plan. The project has helped to strengthen gender responsive provisions n policy making and in practical implementation through integrating gender into Lagos state climate scenario building workshop, with action being undertaken both on and offline.

Scalability / replicability: The project has attracted subnational level government in Lagos state, with plans to train officers of relevant departments, community development associations and community based women’s groups on gender and climate change, GAP and how it can be implemented in the local governments. This clearly indicates that the project is scalable especially at the subnational and community levels where the impacts of climate change are being felt most.

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Gender-responsive land rights framework for climate action

Description of the project: With increased pressure on land exacerbated by climate instability, women’s secure land rights can be an accelerator for achieving the goals of multiple global agendas. The Strengthening Gender-Responsive Land Rights project aims to increase the capacity of civil society and policymakers to integrate gender and land tenure perspectives into their programmatic, policy and advocacy work and create linkages across the relevant climate frameworks to strengthen global norms on women’s land rights that can influence national and local policies and programs.

Climate impact: Studies have demonstrated the potential for gender-responsive tenure security to enhance the likelihood of women, men and communities to invest in and make use of land in ways that strengthen adaptive capacity and help mitigate climate change. Strengthening women’s land rights, as well as the rights of men and communities, is also imperative for disaster risk management and the overall management of climate-induced migration and displacement.

Gender impact: Since 2015, Landesa has conducted analyses, awareness and advocacy programs for integration of gender-responsive land rights frameworks into climate discourse and commitments. UNCCD COP13 agreed to mainstream gender dimensions into efforts to stop land degradation and develop a gender plan of action – critical gains for progress in the work of UNCCD. Similarly, national reviews increased recognition that giving women access to land tenure improves SDG 15 – life on land – related actions.

Scalability / replicability: When gender-responsive land rights frameworks are integrated and adapted into climate change agendas, it influences policies at scale where subsequent shifts at the national and sub-national levels can support hundreds of millions of people. Gender-equal land rights and clear tenure security have the potential to decrease poverty and food insecurity; empower women and decrease gender inequality; and enhance sustainable land management and sustainable communities and cities.

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Participation is power: women demand gender-just climate finance

Description of the project: Co-led by WEDO and Both ENDS, this initiative strives to build capacity and knowledge to track, monitor and influence the projects and financial flows of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). With the hope of mobilizing resources and support, the initiative is funding the direct participation of feminist and women’s rights activists in the work of the GCF, supporting regional feedback channels, working with women’s funds on strategies for direct access, and hosting a webinar series to take a deep dive into important aspects of the climate financing architecture. We aim to ensure that money reaches local women’s groups and that projects are designed to respond to the needs of communities.

Climate impact: The GCF, part of the UNFCCC’s financial mechanism, was created to provide funds for developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change, with 50% of the funds to be distributed in support of adaptation. It aims to promote a shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development. With an initial resource mobilization of over $10 billion, the GCF has an undeniable ability to shape action. A key aim of this initiative is to orient the flow of GCF funds toward gender-just climate solutions.

Gender impact: This project has supported women activists as regional monitors. They attended the 19th, 20th, and 21st GCF Board meetings and created regional coordination groups for those interested in gender and the GCF to come together to discuss and review proposals’ gendered impacts and gender action plans, among other activities. Five webinars on women’s rights and climate finance attracted over 250 attendees, and over 800 later viewings. Both ENDS is supporting the accreditation of a women’s fund.

Scalability / replicability: This initiative can be scaled up across its multiple activities. Improving civil society’s capacity is vital to effective monitoring and/or influence, and the regional gender groups could be further coordinated through capacity-building and strategic planning meetings, translation services, and organizational
support. With additional funding, regular, translated, topic-specific webinars can be designed and delivered, and more women’s funds supported in navigating the accreditation process.

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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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Women solar engineers crossing frontiers to spread clean, affordable energy solutions in rural communities

Description of the project: This South-South cooperation between grassroots communities of India and Cameroon builds women’s capacities as solar engineers that provide energy solutions adapted to local needs around agriculture, household electrification and education. Thanks to the Barefoot College in India, 20 women in the Fako district of Cameroon have been trained to install solar panels, lamps, dryers and mills, benefiting 400 families. As educators and engineers of sustainable solutions, rural women are effectively empowered in their community and within a worldwide pioneering movement.

Climate impact: Replacing fossil fuel and firewood with decentralized solar energy in rural households and villages bears an immense potential for climate mitigation, income generation and social welfare in the global South. 250 kerosene lanterns, each emitting approximately 200kg of CO2/year, were replaced by solar lamps, reducing 50 t. CO2. Further solar energy solutions installed in 400 households saved another 80 t. CO2. Such local impact can be scaled up nationally.

Gender impact: This project tackles gender inequality in the rural South via solidarity-based intercultural exchange. Four grassroot “grandmas”, trained by the Barefoot College in India to become solar energy experts and agents of change, have trained 20 rural women in Cameroon to spread clean energy solutions in their communities. All have enhanced their right to access vocational education and equal opportunities; they have improved their social status and decision making power at the community level.

Scalability / replicability: Barefoot College is a long established grassroot movement that has disseminated an exemplary model of local appropriation and successful replication in over 70 countries. Building on this South-South cooperation, the Rural Women Development Center aims to scale-up this program by building a rural training center and doubling the number of beneficiaries.

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LivMundi – promoting sustainability through festivals and local initiatives

Description of the project: LivMundi promotes sustainable, inclusive behaviour and actions in Rio de Janeiro, raising awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals, via a yearly festival and community initiatives. The festival covers topics such as climate change, social innovation, eating habits, circular economy, mobility. With 2 editions it reached out to 22,000 people of all ages. LivMundi mobilizes citizens to drive change and boosts local actions, for example a “mutirão” or solidarity initiative that helped school children from the slums improve their living environment via a crowdfunding campaign.

Climate impact: LivMundi is an exemplary project of public awareness and public participation for climate and SDGs, as it educates all kind of audiences on solidarity, ecology and habitable cities, such as empowering citizens to preserve the Tijuca National Park, the world’s biggest urban forest. Simple and practical changes in people’s daily habits transform the city into a better place, gradually reducing their carbon footprint and engaging in a virtuous, scalable circle.

Gender impact: The founder of LivMundi is a woman and she prioritizes women community leaders to select the festival themes and women-led organizations to launch initiatives. 70% of the speakers and 90% of the moderators were women in the last festival. This deliberate strategy aims to counteract observed gender discrimination and violence against women in Brazil, especially environmental activists, empowering them to transform their city for the next generations.

Scalability / replicability: LivMundi works bottom-up, encouraging citizens’ own initiatives, but working with multiple partners from associations to local producers and public institutions. Local leaders can act as multipliers, building a virtuous and learning cycle based on practical and successful experiences. The movement has gained recognition among citizens, civil society organisations, educative institutions and the media.

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GREEN Rebellion – Generating Resources Engagement for the Environment and Nature

Description of the project: Since 2007, Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH) has run a comprehensive set of initiatives targeted at reducing its environmental footprint and capacitating isolated communities on disaster response and climate adaptation. The hospital has served over 6,000 beneficiaries with medical and surgical missions focusing on maternal care, performs free reproductive health surgery and delivers disaster response support based on consulted decisions. The program is funded by the income generated from recyclables. The communities are now self-reliant in the delivery of primary health care and recycling, with a scheme to replicate MDH’s recycling processes at household level.

Climate impact: The program is managed by the hospital’s ENVI Committee and the CSR office, involving investments in energy saving equipment and solar energy, reducing plastic and hazardous waste, enacting strict procurement rules for environmentally friendly materials, etc. This has saved a total of 10.33 tons of carbon emissions. The recyclables program also supports MDH’s efforts to preserve the last forest park in Manila, where the hospital operates.

Gender impact: GREEN rebellion targets vulnerable populations that are affected by climate change, and focuses on maternal healthcare, as well as sexual reproductive healthcare. 78% of their beneficiaries are women and youths. MDH’s gender program, fostering male involvement, has also created specific, rewarding roles for women as community health leaders, healthcare workers and river warriors, strengthening their status in their communities.

Scalability / replicability: This projects builds on the appropriation of initiatives by the hospital’s management and staff as well as by the beneficiary communities, as they take ownership over their health and response to disaster. It relies on sustainable income from the recyclables program (USD 102,400 since 2006). Documented implementation guidelines make this program easily replicable for other hospitals and easily adjustable for non-healthcare  institutions. MDH is already sharing its experience with other practitioners in the country.

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Women introduce new climate-adapted fishing technique on Lake Togo and gain foot in a male dominated sector

Description of the project: This initiative enhances women’s place in Togo’s fishing sector while conserving endangered mangroves, through the introduction of a new technique mastered by women. Across 230 villages, 1,750 women have been trained to master a new fishing technique using ropes and bait tied to mangrove trees, instead of nets. This practice enables women to stay closer to home and fish during the day, while safeguarding mangroves from being cut. Children’s nutrition has been improved via the inclusion of fish in their diet. Welfare Togo adopts a comprehensive approach to the challenges faced by target communities by engaging in positive education on different health, social and economical topics.

Climate impact: Thanks to this sustainable fishing technique, which does not require the use of motorized boats nor fishing nets, women preserve the fragile ecosystem of the mangroves in Lake Togo. Additionally, they have organized themselves in community mangrove watch groups that engage in reforestation actions and monitor planted areas. Launched in 2015, this initiative will have planted 200,000 mangrove trees by 2025.

Gender impact: Welfare Togo challenges gender inequalities in the male dominated fishing industry through a technical innovation led by women. Approximately 270 female market vendors receive regular income from the new fish catch. Participating single mothers, widows, and street girls are economically and socially empowered, with a goal to reduce unwanted pregnancies and forced marriages, and ultimately encourage engagement in social and political activities.

Scalability / replicability: This project is replicable and scalable in similar environments thanks to a simple and cost effective technology as well as efficient governance. All operations of the project are run at the community level by women and girls themselves, organised in 15 groups that care for a balanced representation of the various ethnics and faiths. Established steering committees can serve as models for additional groups. Over 4,000 members support the initiative with an annual fee of 20 USD, ensuring its sustainability.

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Keeping afloat: gender responsive climate action in Cambodia’s floating villages

Description of the project: Sustaining the endangered ecosystem of lake Tonlé Sap is a matter of survival for 8,000 Cambodians and of crucial regulation for the entire Mékong area. With an integrated approach targeting emissions reduction via fuel-efficient fish processing and women’s economic and social empowerment – via trainings to improve environmental knowledge, hygiene practices, packing, marketing, and pooling of sales, this project transforms traditional fish smoking methods that have become unsustainable into climate resilient livelihood activities. By changing the perception of women’s roles, it challenges patriarchal structures to ensure gender just decision making that promote ecological conservation initiatives.

Climate impact: Fuel efficient stoves reduce carbon emissions and and wood consumption, helping protect the fragile ecosystem of the of lake Tonlé Sap, based on flooded forests, an exceptional natural fish nursery. Education in the communities about specific climate change impacts on the Tonlé Sap and possible ways to mitigate these threats is backed by the development of financial buffering through increased revenues for women. The creation of saving groups enable investment of the loans’ interest into conservation projects, strengthened by the implementation of protected areas.

Gender impact: Gender equality and women‘s empowerment is promoted in many ways, alleviating women’s burdens through efficient smoking technology. Girls’ school enrolment is up 60%. With sales increased by 32% without adding pressure on the fisheries, women’s economic power and self-confidence has been raised. Sixteen saving groups in seven villages foster women’s entrepreneurship. This results in informed and outspoken women participating in decision-making processes in the fishery committees, which benefit from the saving groups investments and must report about their priorities and conservation activities.

Scalability / replicability: This integrated conservation and development model builds on existing community efforts and is being expanded to other villages of the Tonlé Sap, with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Sustainability and expansion are favored by the communities’ ability to negotiate directly with the private sector and distributors based in Phnom Penh. Conservation International is also sharing lessons learned with 10 local NGOs and communities from the Mekong and around the Tonlé Sap.

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Weather-informed agriculture and fisheries strengthen disaster risk reduction and climate resilience

Description of the project: The program enhances 15,000 farmers’ sensitivity and knowledge about weather and climate patterns. It helps them anticipate heavy rains and typhoons and interpret weather information for decision-making on farm adjustments and crop contingency plans. Localised, automatic weather stations were set-up, and 150 local government staff have been trained to interpret and post weather data and farming advice to publicly-accessible collection points. Climate resiliency Field Schools (CrFS) are established to train farmers in ecological agriculture methods to help them prepare for and cope with adverse short- and long-term weather patterns and climate change.

Climate impact: This emergency quick response program supported by 30 informed municipalities alleviates climate-related damages or losses in farmers’ livelihoods and assets. Additionally, the program rebuilds biodiversity with new, organic seed varieties and organic fertilizer made from compost, and integrated pest management brings back beneficial insects. Low emission technologies such as Rice Intensification using alternate wetting and drying reduce methane emissions by 50% and help retain carbon in the soil.

Gender impact: The Climate resiliency Field Schools follow open enrolment, including women and youth. The learning program is done on site, enabling participation of home bound women. The learning modules also promote diversification of income and food sources and capacitate women on activities traditionally dominated by men (i.e. fisheries). This helps increase their knowledge toward shared decision-making on family assets and livelihoods.

Scalability / replicability: The program is already replicated in 30 local governments thanks to documented manuals on Localization of Climate Services and modules for CrFS, reaching over 100 barangays and 15,000 farmers. Precise budget evaluations are available to install the program in municipalities and affordably integrate it in their local annual budgeting process. A minimum of 3-5 years of mentoring is required to achieve local appropriation.

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Women’s formal access to land rights contributes to the fight against deforestation

Description of the project: CFLEDD strives for the recognition of women’s land and forest rights in the provinces of Equateur and Maindombe of the DRC, with the aim to strengthen their effective participation in reducing deforestation. An advocacy tool has been built and is used in dialogues between local and indigenous women, customary chiefs and provincial authorities. Recommendations resulting from these dialogues have led to the adoption of 2 provincial edicts that guarantee land and forest rights for women. This transforms the country’s patriarchal framework, while strengthening the role and decision-making power of women in DRC’s forest  management policies for climate action.

Climate impact: Halting deforestation is a key issue for effective climate action, thus all members of society should be able to contribute to it. For indigenous and pygmy indigenous women, traditionally in charge of farming in the forest, and therefore of protecting of this endangered ecosystem, the recognition of their land and forest rights is an essential condition of their active participation in forest governance, and therefore in the fight against climate change.

Gender impact: According to a study conducted by CLFEDD in 2016, 70% of women in the DRC do not have access to land and forest titles. Their capacitation via training in advocacy and leadership and the formalization of their rights through legal texts, enable local and indigenous women to play an active role in forest governance. All power levels, customary chiefs, administration, legislature, executive, and judiciary, are aware and have committed through legal texts to guarantee gender equality and to protect the rights of women.

Scalability / replicability: The concept of peaceful dialogues as an advocacy tool, supported by female leadership, form the basis of a replicable model. Women leaders, trained and mobilized, become actors of transmission and sustainability. CFLEDD Focal Points provide on-the-ground follow-up, working closely with local authorities and provincial assembly presidents. Information and awareness raising is broadly relayed by community radios.

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