For many years there has been the assumption that the negative impacts of climate change and the efforts to mitigate them have similar effects on both women and men. However, the world has progressively recognized that women and men experience climate change differently, and that gender inequalities worsen the coping capacity of women and societies as a whole. It has also been acknowledged that women are important actors of change and holders of significant knowledge and skills related to mitigation, adaptation, and the reduction of risks in the face of climate change, making them crucial role-players in this area. Consequently, there is an urgent need to adopt a gender-responsive approach towards climate change policy making and programming.
On the mitigation side, additional attention has been raised about the role of women around actions related to REDD considered as a climate change mitigation option under the UNFCCC. Of vital importance are the references in the Cancun Agreement (FCCC/CP/2010/7/Add.1 decision 1/CP.16 paragraph 72).
To meet the demand for improving skills in gender and climate change, the IUCN Gender Office, in collaboration with the GGCA, WEDO and WOCAN, has developed a training course on gender and climate change with the purpose to increase the capacity of female and male policy- and decision makers and practitioners so that efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change are gender-sensitive and optimally effective. Additional efforts have been also conducted in building capacities and awareness about gender and REDD+.
The current draft of the next intercessional program 2013 – 2016 is very clear in calling for gender differentiated aspects around the conservation work that the Union implements. This event targets the very basic need of building capacities among conservation practitioners for such differentiation.