Around the world, men and women use natural resources differently and are therefore affected in different ways when those are depleted. Moreover, research shows that the impacts of climate change — such as drought, floods, extreme weather events and reduced food and water security — frequently take more of a toll on women.
Yet too often, these differences are not understood or acknowledged. In many places, women are frequently denied access to resources, have limited power in decision-making and their knowledge and ideas are often discounted. Conservation International aims to ensure that men and women can fully engage in, and benefit from, conservation and livelihoods initiatives.
We are committed to advancing gender equality as part of our human rights-based approach — and to ensure more enduring conservation impacts. We elevate women leaders to understand their unique perspectives and priorities, and design projects that incorporate and respond to these.
Why it matters
Equal access to agricultural resources could increase the average female farmer’s crop yields by up to 30 percent.
Research shows that around the world, countries with more women in parliament are more likely to establish protected areas.
More equitable participation of men and women in forest management leads to significantly greater improvements in forest conditions, research shows.
Conservation International seeks to understand gender considerations in conservation and to use this knowledge to make our practices more effective and inform policies that respond to the different needs of women and men.
Effective conservation practice
Conservation International builds awareness and skills among staff and partners to understand and respond to the unique experiences, contributions and priorities of women and men with respect to conservation. We aim to position Conservation International as a model of effective, gender-integrated conservation, providing tools, skills and examples to shape conservation at-large.
- Guidelines for integrating gender into conservation programming: English + Spanish
- Lessons learned from gender + conservation field projects
- Overview of the Conservation International Gender Program
- Gender-based violence in conservation programming: English + Spanish
- Integrating gender into protected area management in the Philippines
- Unpacking the perceived benefits and costs of integrating gender into conservation projects: voices of conservation field practitioners
- Gender in Guyana's Artisanal, Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) Sector
- Assessing women's empowerment in Madagascar
- Gender on the Tonle Sap: assessing the influence of CI-Cambodia’s multi-pronged approach to women’s empowerment
Women’s Leadership in Conservation
Women are key environmental stewards, yet persistent barriers including a lack of land and resource rights, unequal access to formal education and exclusionary decision-making processes can result in conservation efforts that are inequitable and unsustainable. Furthermore, women are often the most vulnerable to climate change, natural disasters, and environmental degradation. We partner with women and their organizations to support women’s leadership in conservation decision-making.
- WATCH: Women leading conservation in Kenya
- WATCH: Give a woman a fish: Our innovative work with women fish processors in Cambodia
- In reviving their traditions, Peruvian women find their voice
Influencing policy and best practice
Using lessons from the field, Conservation International supports efforts to integrate gender into conservation policy, finance and global practice — ensuring that incentives and accountability are in place to fulfill the rights and needs of women and men.
- WATCH: Women + Climate Change Facebook Live event
- Men and Women as Conservation Partners in Conflict Settings
Latest conservation + gender news
Principles that guide our work:
Diversity, equity and inclusion
Respecting human rights