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Gender and state climate change action plans in India


Project Reference: RSAS-0015

This policy research on gender and climate change adaptation was triggered by a growing understanding that India’s adaptation policies must be gender-responsive, given that adaptive capacities and vulnerabilities to climate change are different for men and women. While this is acknowledged in India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), which outlines mitigation and adaptation strategies for dealing with climate change, the Plan fails to accommodate a gender dimension. On the road to implementation, the NAPCC is translated into State-specific plans, called State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCCs). The development of these State level plans presented an opportunity to incorporate considerations of gender in India’s approach to tackling climate change.

At the start of the CDKN project, some States had shared public drafts of their SAPCCs and these too, like the NAPCC, had failed to include gender dimensions. This project therefore set out to make State-specific plans more gender responsive, based on (i) analysis of current policies, including public provisioning; and (ii) evidence from adaptive farming interventions from selected agro-climatic zones, recognising that agriculture and allied activities provide the livelihoods of at least two thirds of India’s population (according to the 2011 Census). This carried forward earlier work initiated by Alternative Futures on gender and the NAPCC.

This research aimed to:

  • Influence four State-level governments in India to mainstream and articulate gender and inclusiveness in their SAPCC
  • Demonstrate that adaptation policies need to promote climate-resilient low-input agricultural practices and address gender-based differences
  • Unveil the truth behind adaptation-related gender budgeting in the four Selected States
The project focussed on the States of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
Activities

Incorporating gender components in State-level Climate Change Action Plans (SAPCCs)

Analysis of selected draft SAPCCs and the programmes and schemes within the plans, and meetings with bureaucrats at the State and national levels, informed an assessment of their adaptation focus and gender responsiveness. Policy roundtables and policy briefs were used to inform officers in departments dealing with planning and implementing the different components of SAPCCs.

The project was designed to ensure that policy change was owned by the nodal department of the SAPCC in each State. Thus, as the first step, inter-departmental policy roundtables were hosted where the nodal officer for the SAPCCs invited officers from all collaborating departments working on agriculture and allied activities. This was done in 3 States – Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. In each State, Alternative Futures collaborated as the knowledge partner.

The output was a gender framework for the SAPCCs.

Read a Policy Brief to the Government of India for the conclusions of this process, and a summary of why gender matters for climate policy in India.

Undertaking primary research to highlight the gender dimensions of adaptive practices in agriculture

Primary research was undertaken on organic farming as an adaptive agriculture practice in selected agro-climatic zones. In each zone, a comparative study was done between conventional and organic farmers working in adjoining villages in a district. Gender-disaggregated data was collected for agricultural inputs and outputs, crop resilience, time spent on various activities, workload and tools used as well as decision-making roles. Data was collected through surveys, face-to-face discussions, focused group discussions and participant observation by the field staff of partner organizations working in each of the selected districts. This was the first time farm-based adaptive interventions were studied from a gender perspective.

This was drawn together in a policy brief on ‘tackling higher adaptation workloads of female farmers’.

Simultaneously, best practices collected from the field were scrutinized through a gender lens and a policy lens, based on learnings from policy analysis and the field as well as using gender concepts. Read the final Best Practices Collection to learn more.

Examining state budgets for allocations to adaptation sectors and to gender within them

For each of the four states, state budgets were scrutinized for their spending on adaptation-responsive sectors based on the categorization used by the Indian government in the NAPCC. This spending was then further examined for through a gender lens, to understand where women were benefited and by how much.

Read the briefing note on gender budgeting in the states to learn more.

Impacts

Impact at the national level – India’s approval committee for SAPCCs at the nodal Central Ministry of Environment and Forest has asked all State governments to “highlight the gender component….with their special needs in the context of climate change as well as (ensure) their involvement in the implementation process”, as recorded in the Minutes of the April 2012 meeting of the Expert Committee. This mandate resulted from active engagement with the Central ministry and submission of the first research-based policy brief recommending ways in which State governments can incorporate a strong gender component in their SAPCCs.

State government climate plans reflect research findings and acknowledge Alternative Futures’ intervention – The latest versions of the Uttarakhand SAPCC and the Madhya Pradesh (MP) SAPCC include specific research-based gender inputs and acknowledge the role of Alternative Futures in its Foreword. The Uttarakhand SAPCC (or UAPCC) mainstreams gender in several places and includes as Annexure the detailed outcomes of the State-level policy roundtable. Based on recommendations in a policy brief for MP, the MP SAPCC includes making of gender-responsive ‘local action plans on adaptation (LAPAs)’ by village Panchayats (local self-governance institutions) as an adaptation strategy.

Government ‘ownership’ of the evidence-based policy advocacy process – All policy roundtables were hosted by the State governments with invite letters sent to different department by the SAPCC nodal officers. The Minutes of the Expert Committee include gender as one of the many listed areas to be addressed by all SAPCCs.

Some research output submissions have been included in India’s submission on gender to UNFCCC: Some of the research outputs submitted to the Central Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) have been used in the official submission made by India to UNFCCC on the 18th Conference of Parties (COP) decision on the goal of advancing gender balance in bodies established to the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. One of the points has been included verbatim – ‘Monitoring, evaluation and reporting on all climate- responsive programmes must be undertaken using gender-responsive indicators and involving gender experts.’ Other areas included relate to gender budgeting, gender sensitization of policy makers and creating an enabling environment for women to become active agents in climate solutions and decisions regarding these.

Read a Summary Report of the project activities, outputs and results to learn more, as well as a complete list of Publications and Workshops

CDKN Funding: GBP 150,000

Project Manager: Kashmala Kakakhel

 

Picture Courtesy treehugger

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