MONROVIA (March 3, 2013)-– Today as we celebrate Africa Environment Day and Wangari Maathai Day,  WEDO team members Andrea Quesada and Eleanor Blomstrom have arrived in Liberia for the start of a three day training on land, forest tenure & climate change in Africa.

In commemoration of International Women’s Day, 8 March, REFACOF (African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests), the Foundation for Community Initiatives, and the Rights and Resources Initiative are holding the Third Regional Workshop on Gender, Climate Change, Land and Forest Tenures in Africa in Monrovia, Liberia, which will bring together more than 50 participants from 16 African countries along with donors, development partners, and issue experts. After the conference, a rally and parade including over 150 women from across the Liberian countryside will be greeted by Liberian President Sirleaf, who will also receive the outcomes from the conference as well as a Letter (currently collecting signatures) asking President Sirleaf to Stand by your promise to Liberian women. Secure women’s rights to land.

WEDO is pleased to join partners in this workshop to support the promotion of women’s rights via capacity-building on issues of gender, land and forest rights in Africa in the context of climate change, notably REDD+, land and forest reforms in Africa. Sharing recent research on gender-responsive standards and safeguards for REDD+, as well as WEDO’s work on international policy, the workshop will address gender considerations that REDD+ must address and propose actions to ensure that REDD+ national processes are gender responsive.

ABOUT Rights and Resource Initiative

The workshop will also build upon a recent report by the Rights and Resource Initiative entitled Lots of Words, Little Action– which reported a slowing of recognition for community land rights: “We had hoped to report good news, to trumpet the rising tide of support for community forest land rights around the world in 2013. But while there were many encouraging pronouncements last year—from courts, governments, and some of the world’s largest corporations —unfortunately, progress on the ground remains very limited. And worse, new research reveals a slowdown in the recognition of community forest land rights in developing countries over the last six years. Despite some high-profile wins, less new legislation has been passed since 2008 than in the preceding six years—and recent laws are weaker than before. None of these laws recognize land ownership, and the amount of forest land secured for community ownership since 2008 is less than 20 percent of that in the previous six years.”

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