From Ghana to Uganda, WEDO is leading the way in creating a dialogue around women, climate change and forestry. Over the course of the last month, WEDO Project Coordinator Andrea Quesada has been traveling around West Africa, leading and facilitating workshops on gender and REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). The workshops are part of a new initiative that WEDO and IUCN are jointly implementing that will deliver roadmaps to guide the design the implementation of gender-sensitive REDD+ strategies in Ghana, Cameroon, and Uganda.

In each of the three countries, the process is kick-started by a three-day workshop for representatives from women’s organizations and gender experts, followed immediately by a two-day workshop for national level decision makers. Workshops were conducted in Ghana and Cameroon during September and will occur in Uganda in early November. Ghana saw the participation of forty-one women from civil society organizations and twenty-seven policy makers, while in Cameroon participation was thirty-one and twenty-seven respectively.

The roadmaps will be presented at COP17 in Durban in December 2011. However, Andrea is taking a long-term view, “You don’t achieve parity for women in forest-related decision making processes overnight. This is just the beginning.” The gender and REDD+ roadmaps are the first steps to ensure that both women and men are recognized as important forest stakeholders, guaranteeing equal opportunity to learn about REDD+ and other forestry initiatives, build the needed capacities, participate, contribute, and henceforth benefit from the forestry and climate change policies, programs, and funds.

Click here to download a factsheet on some initial outcomes of the above work on Gender and REDD+.

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