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The UNEP report shows the role of women in the management of coastal and marine environments.


The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) launched a report that examines the gendered nature of the conservation, management and use of coastal and marine environments and shares good practices to elevate the roles of women in coastal and marine management. The report is one of several publications on the conservation and sustainable use of marine environments published by UNEP together with the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4).

The report entitled “Integration of a gender perspective in the management of marine and coastal ecosystems” states that women’s contributions have historically been underestimated and even “routinely ignored” in marine and coastal management, policies and research. The coordinator of the UNEP Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Branch, Lisa Svensson, stressed that “to a large extent we have been gender blind in the management of our marine and coastal areas.” Now there is a growing recognition that the sustainable and integrated management of marine and coastal ecosystems “requires gender-sensitive planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation with a gender perspective.” The 2017 UN Conference to support the implementation of SDG 14 ( UN Oceanic Conference) highlighted the fundamental role of women in the implementation of SDG 14 (life underwater) in their Call to Action.

The report aims to share practical experiences, lessons learned and recommendations from initiatives and projects that have focused on the specific needs of women and other “marginalized groups” to support policymakers, development professionals and managers. environmental aspects in the incorporation of the gender perspective in marine and coastal management. The case studies presented are: coastal women at the forefront of climate action in Odisha, India; women’s activism around plastic pollution in Yucatan, Mexico; integration of the gender perspective to reduce poverty along the coasts of the Philippines; and an example of good practices in the promotion of management and research that includes gender.

In Yucatan, for example, grassroots organizations led by women play a key role in local waste management and plastics recycling. Their efforts have increased the community’s awareness of the links between solid waste management, empowerment, health, and well-being. A key enabling factor, in this case, was the recognition by community members of the skills and contributions of local women in the management of coastal resources, as well as the recognition of local, state and national agencies, which helped to consolidate the legitimacy and power of women as important stakeholders in coastal solid waste. sustainable urban planning and management, allowing women to scale their efforts to cover a wider coastal area.

The report recommends developing inclusive processes and designing a gender mainstreaming strategy for policies and projects through the use of gender-disaggregated data and context-specific preparation, including baseline studies and mapping of parts interested. The Philippines case study, for example, analyzes the gender-specific objectives and indicators in the project design document and describes how to measure and monitor whether the management of coastal resources responds to gender.

The report also recommends, among other things: applying an empowerment approach to situational analysis; promote multi-stakeholder consultations during project formulation and foster collaboration among key stakeholders; and review previous gender interventions in a region or country to understand the key obstacles and take advantage of existing resources, tools and the context of knowledge networks. The report highlights the role of grassroots women’s groups in the introduction of integrated coastal management and sustainable development to their communities in a relevant and meaningful way.

Source: SDG Knowledge Hub.