Promoting gender-responsive and inclusive state climate change plans in India
Project reference: RSAS-0015
Compared to men, women are affected differently, and often more severely by climate change and associated natural disasters such as floods, droughts, cyclones and storms. This is largely because men and women are bound by distinct socio-economic roles and responsibilities that give rise to differences in vulnerability and ability to cope with these climate change consequences.
An excellent case study of the extent and how gender concerns are being integrated into the planning process is India. Each state has been mandated by the centre to prepare State Climate Change Action Plans (SCCAPs) and that these be ‘inclusive and sustainable development strategy that protects the poor and vulnerable sections of society from adverse effects of climate change.’ State Climate Change Action Plans are expected to include impacts and vulnerability assessments as well as adaptation and mitigation options with funding avenues.
Initial research by Alternative Futures (AF) indicates that that both gender concerns and concerns of the socially and economically marginalized communities like lowest castes and minorities are not being factored into the plans. The vulnerability studies being done are looking primarily at natural resource crisis from only the physical angle, not the social angle, not from the users’ angle.
However, AF also stress that best practices do exist, but these have tended to be led by civil society, and are not well documented.
As part of a CDKN project AF is advancing global understanding on this issue, and is assessing four State Climate Change Action Plans through a gender and rights-based lens. The project will also engage with officials, legislatures and the public to raise awareness of the gender dimension of climate change.
It includes the following components:
1. To analyse and understand four SAPCCs from the two-fold perspective of gender equality and inclusiveness.
2. To add to the knowledge on climate science by scientifically documenting, with gender analysis, approximately six emerging and viable adaptation models in three vulnerable agro-climatic zones – flood, drought and cyclone-prone – and some climate-resilient traditional knowledge which is often owned by women. These models will be taken from civil society group initiatives and government’s research institutions.
3. To advocate and influence four State governments to incorporate gender and inclusive components into their adaptation plans, based on evidence from best practices and learnings from this research. The gender and inclusive lens will seek answers to questions like (a) is there gender disaggregated data on impacts of climate change? (b) Are the gender differential impacts of adaptation measures understood and addressed? (b) Do the adaptation programmes reach poor women? (c) Are the ‘additional’ financial resources for women and men? (d) Are women present in the decision-making structures in climate-sensitive areas? (e) Is there recognition of rights/entitlements for poor women and men in adaptation programmes?
4. To engage with elected legislators in order to make them more gender-responsive and able to move from gender-neutral or gender-sensitive policies to making gender-just policies and programmes.
5. To initiate a public debate on gender and climate change, including catalysing more research on the subject and wide dissemination of the outputs of this research through niche scientific journals and popular media, including the new media.
CDKN Funding: GBP 150,000
Project Manager: Kashmala Kakakhel
The four State Climate Change Action Plans which will be studied have been selected: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttarakhand. For all, the State Governments have shown their willingness to partner and learn from the project.
Picture Courtesy treehugger