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Gender and Community Forests in a Changing Landscape: Lessons From Ban Thung Yao, Thailand

Climate change, energy and food security issues have brought emerging challenges in forest resource management. This study analyzes men’s and women’s specific roles in the context of a community forest in Ban Thung Yao village of Northern Thailand. It looks at their responsibilities and rights by identifying the levels of participation in using, managing and governing resources. The study found that empowering activities such as taking initiatives, being involved in conflict resolution and actively engaging in training were often undertaken by the men of the community while women were heavily engaged in nominal, passive and consultative process of participation. While highlighting the importance of looking beyond gender representation merely in terms of ‘the number of men and women,’ the study concludes that the development of forest policies and programs should ensure a fair sharing of benefits, rights and sustainability.