Today, on International Women’s Day, we look at the inspirational achievements on women’s rights and gender justice in conservation. Frederique Holle, environmental justice and gender expert, reflects on this year’s theme: invest in women. ‘It is exciting to see our partners’ various approaches addressing structural power inequalities and gender gaps. The impact they have on the lives of people of all genders, promoting equal opportunities and rights in their specific contexts, is an inspiration to us all. Happy International Women’s Day!’ Read about this diversity of approaches below.

Header photo: © FCDS

Dr. Grethel Aguilar: ‘We have to walk the talk’

A strong supporter of this year’s International Women’s Day theme is dr. Grethel Aguilar, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In her work, Aguilar has helped communities to access clean water, advocated for environmental justice, assisted Indigenous peoples in obtaining rights to their natural resources and championed gender equality in environmental governance. Her new position as Director General is a new opportunity for her to work towards gender equality: ‘I have the responsibility to do things well so that other women on this planet feel proud and see the possibilities for them. I also must ensure, with my actions, that women get a seat at the table and that their voices are heard.’

Gender transformation in rural Uganda

Sustainable land use benefits both people and nature. In many parts of the world, however, women do not have equal opportunities to the ownership and use of land and its resources. MoMo4C works on business enterprise development in six landscapes in Africa and Asia that face a large variety of threats to their biodiversity and climate resilience. Our Ugandan partner ECOTRUST applies the integrated GALS approach to bridge the gender gap between men and women in rural communities. ‘GALS enables us to show people that they can be agents of change, starting with both women and men visualising their future.’

Green Livelihoods Alliance

Women and girls, in all their diversity, are at the frontline to protect our planet. Their solutions and perspectives are critical to address the crises. The Green Livelihoods Alliance is dedicated to the full inclusion and meaningful participation of women and girls in safeguarding tropical forests. Watch our video to learn more.

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Gender dynamics and deforestation in the Colombian Amazon

Deforestation affects all life in the Amazon rainforest, from fish to birds and from fungi to mammals. Throughout the Amazon region, the way of life of Indigenous peoples and local communities is threatened by deforestation and degradation of ecosystems. Related (illegal) destructive activities, such as mining and growing illicit crops, affect women and men differently. How does deforestation influence gender dynamics? And how do Amazonian women move in contexts of deforestation and environmental crime?

PIDDA: inclusive protection of environmental defenders

Women are often at the forefront of defending nature and environmental human rights. They are also more at risk. Peru is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for environmental defenders, ranking ninth in the 2021 Global Witness report. In Madre de Dios, we work together with Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental (SPDA) and two local organisations to strengthen the work of environmental defenders, especially women and youth. We do this primarily by strengthening the country’s protection.

More information?

Frederique Holle
Expert Environmental Justice