Guiding sustainable and climate resilient landscapes

Gender equality energizes climate action for sustainable, resilient and equitable landscapes

Cross-sector, multi-stakeholder, gender-responsive strategies. Sustainable, resilient results.

Among the world’s most pressing and complex challenges, climate change is not gender neutral: gender inequality – pervasive around the world – stands as a barrier to resilience for families, communities, countries and ecosystems.

Working with USAID’s Office for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GenDev), Sustainable Landscapes (SL) and Global Climate Change (GCC) teams, AGENT develops tailored cross-sector research, tools and strategies to meet interlinked sustainable development goals. By integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment as core components of mitigation, adaptation, and resilience efforts, climate outcomes are more effective, equitable and sustainable.

Why does gender-responsive climate action matter?​

It is an urgent matter
of human rights and
effective climate action.​

A half of every society, women contribute valuable differentiated knowledge, experience, and action to address the climate crisis.

Numerous projects and research efforts show that gender-balanced and inclusive sustainable development initiatives achieve significantly better outcomes for the environment and gender equality.

Yet, despite progress over the years to recognize these contributions, the full, effective and meaningful contribution of women in leadership and decision making roles that too many are too often left behind - with grim costs.

Around the world, women and children are 14 times more likely than men to die due to climate disasters and make up 80% of those displaced by climate change. Climate stress has also been linked to increased gender-based violence as the use and control over diminishing and degrading natural resources exacerbate tensions and negative coping mechanisms.

To protect our future,
gender equality is essential.

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Driving gender-responsive knowledge and collaboration towards sustainability and resilience building

AGENT strengthens knowledge and capacities for addressing climate vulnerability risks and interlinked gender gaps and guides cross-sector, multi-stakeholder partnerships to improve and implement their gender commitments. For example, the a resource guide on gender and social inclusion for the Tropical Forest Alliance distills best practices for how agribusiness commodities, civil society and governments can advance gender equality, strengthen sustainability and improve business and governance outcomes. 

Today, AGENT supports the NASA SERVIR program by building gender-focused knowledge, capacities and experience-sharing among regional hubs to improve governance support processes delivering GIS and earth monitoring data services to countries. AGENT also provides technical assistance to climate change adaptation and resiliency projects in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Continuing to investigate the most pressing climate change and gender impacts on environmental spheres in its most recent areas of work, AGENT also produces research geared for environmental programming interventions as well as tailored internal tools for USAID and broader environment programming.

Latest climate change research and tools

Exploring the triple nexus of gender inequality, state fragility, and climate vulnerability

Through a unique triple nexus indicator framework, the research examines data from 122 countries, finding statistical correlations that indicate that integrated programming is needed to ensure efforts to build gender equality, climate change resilience, and governance complement and strengthen one another.

Weather-related disasters can lead
to increased intimate partner violence:

After two tropical cyclones in Vanuatu, there was a 300% increase in new cases of domestic violence. Similar trends are seen throughout the globe.

Around the world, the violence of inequality is worsened by climate change

Climate change is fundamentally challenging the ways in which societies access, benefit from, and interact with natural resources and the environment. As natural resources become more degraded and scarce, so too do tensions and conflicts rise - which is driving gender-based violence around the globe.

The global COVID-19 pandemic is concurrent with our global climate crisis - impacting gender-based violence

Around the world examples show that the current pandemic not only rolls back gender equality, but compounds with climate change impacts that worsen gender-based violence across climate disasters, natural resource management roles, and food security crises.

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Multi-stakeholder gender-responsive national climate change action

With support from AGENT, IUCN has supported governments and their stakeholders to develop cross-sector, multi-stakeholder, participatory regional, national and subnational Climate Change Gender Action Plans (ccGAPs). AGENT supported ccGAPs in the Dominican Republic, Zambia, and Peru span priority sectors impacted by climate change and map key actions and complement each country’s existing climate change strategy by enhancing it with gender-responsiveness and women’s priorities agreed by governments, local women’s groups, and national civil society organizations. 

Not only a national tool towards achieving improved and more equitable climate goals, ccGAPs are also capacity building processes that champion women’s empowerment and gender equality for improved adaptation, mitigation and resilience-building across sectors.

To date, more than two dozen ccGAPs have been created around the world, propelling political commitment across sectors and catalysing innovative action.  Explore ccGAPs, each of which include sectoral gender analyses, below:

Additional key resources

From working with major commodity sectors on improving sustainability and climate goals, to advising and documenting the impact of integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment in efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation, AGENT has worked with diverse partners to ensure climate change goals are strengthened through gender-responsive action.

Other climate change related AGENT platforms

Gender and Renewable Energy (G-REEN)

Under AGENT, IUCN developed a platform for climate mitigation practitioners on sharing best practices and lessons learned in mainstreaming gender in renewable energy projects and policies. The platform supported a network of 100 experts and 900 practitioners from government, private sector, academia, and civil society. Together with AGENT, G-REEN has influenced national renewable energy policies and large-scale projects.

Gender-Based Violence and Environment Linkages Center (GBV-ENV Center)

Through AGENT and with other partners, IUCN strengthens awareness and capacities to address gender-based violence and environment linkages, critical to meeting interlined global goals - including those on climate change.

Women in African Power (WiAP)

Under its AGENT partnership, IUCN worked closely with Power Africa to incubate a network of over 1,000 members to support, elevate, and connect women with energy sector opportunities - with a focus on renewable energy.

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An IUCN-USAID partnership

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Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT) is a collaboration between the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GenDev) that was established in 2014. The purpose of the grant is to increase the effectiveness of environment programming through robust gender integration and improve gender equality and women’s empowerment outcomes in a broad range of environmental sectors.

Are you interested in engaging AGENT to filling knowledge gaps, programmatic and project cycle advice, or technical support to implementers and field projects?

Engage with AGENT coordinators for more details.

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