Day 1 | Dec 6   17.30 - 19.00

Gender and resilience across the landscape: Lessons from Latin America, Africa and Asia

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), University of Missouri, International Potato Center (CIP), Ministry of Culture, Peru

Gender concerns are gaining increasing recognition in climate change negotiations. At COP20 there will be either a “Women and Climate Day” or a “Gender and Climate Change Day” to further stress the importance of gender-sensitive approaches across landscapes.

Although women are believed to be more vulnerable to climate change, data on this issue are scarce. Drawing on research on resilience of men and women in four different landscapes (the Peruvian and Bolivian Altiplano; the Ethiopian Highlands; the Kenyan ASALs; and Bangladesh’s lowlands), we will show that there are many disparities in men’s and women’s access to and control over key assets needed to cope with climatic shocks and adapt to long-term change.

The landscapes they inhabit are a key factor influencing their resilience, more so in contexts where where changes are driven by the intersection of climate change and markets. This means that how markets are or are not developed, will affect how climate change impacts vulnerable populations. The answers lie partly in social norms, which influence male and female participation in groups, their respective marketing strategies, and their access to information. But crop biodiversity also plays a role in building farmers’ resilience. The session discussed implications the findings have for policies, and analyzed how the results can be used to inform climate change negotiators.

Key questions addressed:

  1. How do perceptions of climate change and climate risk vary between genders and from landscape to landscape?
  2. Which strategies for adaptation to climate change are available to men and women in the four different landscapes, and which ones do they prefer? How can barriers be overcome?
  3. How are gender and vulnerability issues framed in climate change negotiations and how can new results feed into a re-framing based on policy implications from these landscapes?

Background reading:

Gender-differentiated Impacts of Climate Change on Assets

Climate Trends and Projections for the Andean Altiplano and Strategies for Adaptation

Valdivia, C., A. Seth, J. L. Gilles, M. García, E. Jiménez, J. Cusicanqui, F. Navia, and E. Yucra. 2010.  Adapting to Climate Change in Andean Ecosystems: Landscapes, Capitals, and Perceptions Shaping Rural Livelihood Strategies and Linking Knowledge Systems.  Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 100 (4): 818-834.

Valdivia, C., J. Gilles, and C. Turin. 2013. Andean Pastoral Women in a Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities. Rangelands. 35(6): 75-81.