By Laura Paskus
Thursday, December 9, 2010
At the annual United Nations climate change talks, women are demanding a seat at the table on an international program aimed at reducing deforestation through carbon-credit trading.
As a REDD pilot project, HIMA could revolutionize the carbon-trading process by saying that only communities that can demonstrate they are gender sensitive will be allowed to sell their credits.
"You can actually say to someone: 'If you aren't gender sensitive, you won't sell your carbon credits'," said Raja Jarrah, climate change advisor for CARE International, a nonprofit humanitarian organization focused largely on poverty that is one of the HIMA partners.
It's essential that indigenous women--who play an important part in wood gathering and burning--be involved in the planning and execution of these projects, says Jeannette Gurung, director of Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, a nonprofit organization of international forest, agriculture and natural resource managers based in Washington, D.C.
Gurung says women have yet to be recognized as stakeholders in the deforestation carbon-reduction talks, even though women provide up to 90 percent of the food in forest-dependent communities and are running an increasing number of households in rural places where men have left to find work in city centers.
"Women need to be at the table, they need to be a part of the dialogue" she said. "Otherwise, it will be impossible for them to share a part of the outcome."
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Laura Paskus is an independent writer and editor who is reporting from Cancun, Mexico, as an Earth Journalism Network Climate Media Fellow.
International Union of Conservation of Nature:
Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management:
CARE International's Climate Change Information Centre:
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