Around the world, men and women use natural resources differently. As a result, they are affected differently by changes to these resources. 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 equitably benefit from, conservation and livelihoods initiatives.
Why is it important?
- Growing evidence points to better governance and conservation outcomes when fisheries and forests are managed collaboratively by women and men
- Gender-equal access to agricultural resources could increase the average woman farmer’s crop yields by up to 30%.
- More equitable involvement of men and women in forest management leads to significantly greater improvements in forest conditions, research shows.
- Nations with higher proportions of women in legislatures are more likely to ratify environmental treaties than other nations.
If women come together, they can have more impact than any agreement, than any negotiations, because we know that the future — it’s coming from us.
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Conservation International Indigenous Fellow
We seek to understand gender considerations in conservation and use this knowledge to improve conservation effectiveness as well as inform policy that responds to the different needs of men and women.
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.
Women’s Leadership in Conservation
Women play a key role in environmental stewardship, yet persistent barriers including land and resource rights, 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: Climate change challenges for indigenous women and men in rural Chad
- Watch: Give a Woman a Fish to learn about our innovative work with women fish processors in Cambodia
- Read about our work with Peru’s indigenous Awajun women to revive traditional knowledge
Influencing policy and best practice
Using our field lessons, 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 our Women + Climate Change Facebook Live event
- See how the Global Environment Facility’s ambitious new gender policy aims to close gender gaps
- Read: Men and Women as Conservation Partners in Conflict Settings
© Benjamin Drummond
© OCHA/Mayanne Munan
© Marc Samsom/Flickr Creative Commons
© CI/photo by Tim Noviello
© CI/photo by Andrea Wolfson
Webinar: Empowering women to address climate change
Learn how our Emerald Circle community is working across all levels, from the Paris Climate Agreement to on-the-ground field work, to empower women to address climate change.
What can you do?
The Global Environment Facility’s Open Online Course on Gender and Environment touches on biodiversity, water, and climate change.
Spread the word about the importance of recognizing gender in conservation efforts.