This blog post was originally posted on WRI Insights on March 11, 2015.
By Stephanie Ratté
Roughly 70 percent of women in Cameroon live in rural areas, relying at least in part on natural resources like forests for their livelihoods. However, women often face particular challenges in accessing the forests they need. Differences in the ways men and women understand and use forests mean natural resource policies can result in significant gender-differentiated impacts that oftentimes put women at a disadvantage. Women’s lack of secure access to forests can lead to a variety of inequities, including limited decision-making power; more vulnerability for women who are unmarried, divorced, or widowed; and greater likelihood that forest conservation schemes like REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) will not benefit women and men equally. As new programs seek to tackle deforestation in Cameroon, it’s imperative that these initiatives are not blind to gender differences in forest use and access.
This blog post was originally posted on WRI Insights on March 5, 2015.
By Celine Salcedo-La Viña
As the United States and other western countries shift from aid-based engagement in Africa to more trade and investment, it’s important to ensure that investments are environmentally and socially responsible. Investments in agriculture, infrastructure and energy can adversely affect people and the planet if the needs of local communities are ignored. Rural Africans frequently suffer displacement and lose access to vital natural resources as governments acquire their lands and allocate them to local and foreign investors—even in countries where laws recognize community land rights.
At the foot of the dark green mountains that surround Bogotá, Colombia, over 90 energetic access rights and forestry advocates spent three days learning from each other during the 2014 TAI Global Gathering. The Gathering created a space where new ideas mingled freely with established approaches, and veteran TAI members, new members and forest governance experts could build meaningful relationships. Held from October 29-31, 2014, the 2014 Global Gathering was the largest in TAI’s 13 year history and included participants from 42 countries.