Gender-Based Violence and Environment Linkages
This Center is a platform for gathering resources and tools, mobilizing learning, and forging action, together.
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The evidence is clear. We're taking action.
Gender-based violence affects all communities, cuts across contexts, and impacts all sectors. Neither human rights nor environmental sustainability can be achieved without addressing it.
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Advocates for change.
The Gender-Based Violence and Environment Linkages Center (GBV-ENV Center) is the world's premiere platform for understanding how gender-based violence is linked to environmental sectors, themes, and activities. The GBV-ENV Center is a strategic action hub hosted by Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT), a partnership between the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The GBV-ENV Center was established based on landmark research findings by IUCN documenting and demonstrating the ways in which gender-based violence is used as a means to systematically maintain and exert gendered power dynamics over natural resources, environmental roles – affecting and restricting human rights as well as environmental action and outcomes.
IUCN works with USAID and other partners, including diverse IUCN Members, to build information, awareness, capacities and innovative approaches to address gender-based violence and environment linkages.
The GBV-ENV Center is coordinated under Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT), a ten-year 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).
Advocates for change. Global leaders.
The Gender-Based Violence and Environment Linkages Center (GBV-ENV Center) is the world’s premiere platform for understanding how gender-based violence is linked to environmental sectors, themes, and activities. The GBV-ENV Center is a strategic action hub hosted by Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT), a partnership between the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The GBV-ENV Center was established based on landmark research findings by IUCN documenting and demonstrating the ways in which gender-based violence is used as a means to systematically maintain and exert gendered power dynamics over natural resources, environmental roles – affecting and restricting human rights as well as environmental action and outcomes.
Establishing the global knowledge.
The landmark research.
In 2020, IUCN published Gender-based violence and environment linkages: the violence of inequality, which collates data and case studies from over 1000 sources and documents the extensive direct links between environmental pressures and gender-based violence. The study was the first global effort to understand and document whether and how gender-based violence is affected by environmental contexts and vice versa. You can read the study and its summary versions as the foundations for the GBV-ENV Center here:
We didn’t stop at the foundation of knowledge that we built, we’ve continued to develop tools specific for climate and biodiversity policymakers, guidance and manuals for environmental practitioners, and more. See our growing list of tools produced by the GBV-ENV Center here and download our two newly launched manuals on non-violent masculinities and GBV prevention (only available in Spanish, English translation forthcoming):
A webinar series. Building knowledge and capacities.
The GBV-ENV Center webinar series presents research and key findings from the IUCN-USAID study, features partners’ and peers’ interventions across sectors, and spotlights promising practices to inform conservation and sustainable development policy, programming, and practice. A space for sharing knowledge and approaches among diverse conservation and sustainable development actors, speakers and participants alike form a crucial part of a GBV-ENV community of practice. Each webinar aims to:
- Build awareness of GBV and its relevance to environment-related work and goals
- Review GBV-environment linkages as evidenced by sector-specific research and experience
- Offer mini-case studies of specific contexts
Highlight promising practices, including drawing lessons from non-environment sectors
Explore our past webinars here and sign up for news to receive invitations to upcoming events:
Blogging progress. Highlighting steps.
The GBV-ENV Center contributes to blogs that share additional insights on people, initiatives, projects, and efforts to close the gap on gender-based violence and environment linkages:
Visualizing data. A free resource.
Visual information is an important learning tool. The GBV-ENV Center not only build and curates tools, it also produces infographics that are available for download and use to help practitioners make the case in their own presentations on why and how gender-based violence affects human rights and environmental action. We periodically upload new graphics so access our library now.
Through its research process, IUCN reviewed over 1,000 resources. We’ve uploaded a curated selection of the most informative and insightful resources to our online catalogue of resources. Since that time, we have continued to add the latest helpful resources, so check regularly for tools organized by sectors.
Refine even further your search results in our library!
Driving institutional changes.
Between 2020 and 2022, the GBV-ENV Center has received over 400 requests from UN agencies, academia, environmental organizations, civil society, governments, and more for more information, knowledge resources, tailored technical support, and policy and advocacy support. We’ve fielded filled the vast majority of requests, supporting environmental organizations to develop new tools and policies to prevent gender-based violence risks in conservation and climate programming. You can read the work of selected organizations we’ve supported to build their own institutional change.
Driving international policy.
One framework at a time.
The GBV-ENV Center’s research and advocacy has generated support towards high-level commitments from around the world, acknowledging for the first time that environmental degradation drives gender-based violence – as reflected in statements from the former President of Ireland, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, and the Women’s Caucus to the Convention of Biological Diversity.
To-date, the GBV-ENV Center supports diverse international policy processes to explore, acknowledge, and act for the first time on gender-based violence and environmental linkages. Today, the Gender Action Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity has an objective (1.5) dedicated to gender-based violence and conservation links, 28 countries have national climate plans that acknowledge interlinkages, and the agreed conclusions and recommendations of the 66th Commission on the Status of Women extensively establish the ways in which the climate crisis exacerbates gender-based violence.
Click to explore some of the policymakers resources we’ve developed to help drive and underpin these changes:
Profiles for change
Leadership from around the world.
Ripples of change.
The GBV-ENV Center profiles leaders from around the world who are pioneering advocacy and action towards addressing gender-based violence and environment linkages. Their stories, motivations, and creativity are inspirations:
Influencing dialogue. Tapping global news.
Since its inception, the GBV-ENV Center has been a source of expertise for global media outlets, who have increased their attention and coverage of gender-based violence and environment and climate linkages. To-date, global coverage has tapped a combined media audience of over one billion in average monthly readership. Coverage ranged from international mainstream media to national news from Australia, Colombia, Croatia, France, Germany, India, Japan, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Kenya, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and more. The publication has also sparked attention on linkages – from TIME magazine Pulitzer reporting to National Geographic reports. Click to explore past media coverage:
Taking action. Guiding progress.
Across the globe, the GBV-ENV Center is guiding and supporting largescale environmental initiatives and standards to develop and incorporate measures to identify and prevent gender-based violence risks. Click through to explore some examples of stories of change and related tools.
Funding new partnerships. Pioneering promising practices.
The GBV-ENV Center hosts the Resilient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Environments (RISE) grants challenge. Funded by USAID and managed by IUCN, the RISE grants challenge pioneers change by calling on environmental programs to collaborate with community-based organizations and those with experience addressing gender-based violence. Together, they craft context-specific strategies to prevent and/or respond to gender-based violence and environmental linkages, such as:
- Exploitative ‘sex-for-fish’ practices;
- The use of physical, sexual, and/or psychological violence to prevent women’s engagement in environmental activities and natural resource governance;
- The use of violence and threats to silence and prevent women’s defence of nature;
- and other intersections.
The GBV-ENV Center not only funds RISE grants challenge winners, but also builds a community of peer learning among grantees, who become leaders that guide promising practices across the globe.
The application window for the RISE grants challenge is currently closed.
Every quarter, the Gender-Based Violence and Environment Linkages Center (GBV-ENV Center) publishes a bulletin with the latest news and resources – including RISE updates.
Don't forget to sign up for our periodic e-bulletins and event invitations