Strengthening gender considerations in adaptation planning and implementation in the least developed countries

Submitted by Julia Barrott | published 13th Oct 2016 | last updated 19th Jun 2017
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Introduction

Adapting to climate change is about reducing vulnerability to current and projected climate risk while vulnerability to climate change is determined in large part by people's adaptive capacity. Climate hazards do not affect all people within a community or even the same household equally because some people have greater capacity than others to manage the crisis. The inequitable distribution of rights, resources, power and norms constrains many people's ability to take action on climate change. This is especially true for women and vulnerable groups. Therefore, gender is a critical factor in understanding vulnerability to climate change.

This paper* provides views and experiences on strengthening gender consideration in adaptation planning and implementation in the least developed countries (LDCs). It draws on the experiences gained from the national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs), and other initiatives, with a view to informing future adaptation efforts by LDCs and collaborating partners in the formulation and implementation of national adaptation plans (NAPs).

The paper discusses gender in the context of adaptation to climate change, presents sample tools in integrating gender into adaptation planning and implementation, provides experiences in and lessons learnt from the integration of gender into adaptation planning and implementation, and addresses the integration of gender considerations in the process to formulate and implement NAPs.

* Download the full report from the right-hand column.

Key Recommendations

There is a need for a concerted process that focuses on creating an enabling environment for gender by creating gender-sensitive policies, strengthening women’s networks and generating political will, capacity and knowledge. These pillars need to be considered in all the stages of the formulation and implementation of NAPs. This can help to ensure that a foundation is established upon which the appropriate technical support, financial resources, and political support can be built. Furthermore, countries can undertake a number of strategies to create a gender-sensitive NAP and enhance understanding of gender. Several recommendations pertaining to the process to formulate and implement NAPs were made at the meeting on the application of gender-sensitive approaches and tools for adaptation. They include:

  • Inclusion of gender considerations and analysis in all stages of the process to formulate and implement NAPs;
  • Acknowledgement of national and international laws and policies in relation to gender equality and the empowerment of women in NAPs;
  • Attachment of greater priority to and provision of resources for gender consideration in risk analysis and national budgeting by national institutions;
  • Establishment of national-level partnerships for learning and exchanging good practices;
  • Prioritization by national governments of efforts to build the capacity of women and gender-focused organizations at the national level, including through dedicated training;
  • Allocation of funding earmarked for integrating gender consideration into adaptation programmes by governments.

Finally, it is important that integrating gender into adaptation is not only about targeting women, counting women amongst beneficiaries, or making sure women’s issues are addressed. Decision-makers need to critically consider whether and how strategies are addressing gender inequalities. To understand gender inequalities, it is important to understand gender gaps and devise strategies to bridge them. Understanding the situation of different gender groups relative to each other is important in order to understand the differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity between women and men.

Further resources

  • Suggested Citation

    Least Developed Countries Expert Group (2015) Strengthening gender considerations in adaptation planning and implementation in the least developed countries. UNFCCC.
     
    The Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) was established by the Conference of the Parties in 2001. It is mandated to support the least developed countries (LDCs) on adaptation under the Convention, in particular, on the process to formulate and implement national adaptation plans (NAPs), the national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs) and the LDC work programme.