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Gender and Climate Change: Gender Experiences from Climate-Related GIZ Projects

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has made gender-specific challenges and responses to climate change a priority. The Ministry’s Development Policy Action Plan on Gender (2009–2012) calls for the elaboration of gender-sensitive and gender-differentiated strategies for adaptation to climate change, as well as improvements in the provision of related information. This 2011 briefing paper is based on an analysis, conducted by the GIZ Programme Promoting Gender Equality and
Women’s Rights, of good practices in gender approaches and experiences in GIZ’s climate-related projects and programmes. For this purpose ‘climate-related’ was broadly defined, reaching beyond the projects explicitly working on climate change adaptation. The gender approaches presented in this paper are geared toward enriching the efforts of development professionals, especially project directors and planning officers in charge of climate change projects, as well as academia and civil society.

Gender-sensitive approaches from diverse global contexts and thematic areas are documented. Areas included are:  the gender dimensions of nature conservation and combating desertification in Morocco; resource management in the Dominican Republic; watershed management in the Mekong Basin; knowledge management in the Himalayan-Hindu Kush region. Good practice examples include the case of the Mekong Basin watershed management training programme that systematically involves women. The paper concludes that there is a need for continuous gender integration at all stages of programme development and analysis in climate-relevant projects, including the use of gender-sensitive instruments for combating and coping with climate change. It argues that effective application of these approaches could help prevent climate change from exacerbating gender inequalities and ensure that responses promote gender equality.