Gender and Climate Risk Transfer in Agriculture, Biodiversity, and Forestry
Across the globe, climate risks affect men and women in different ways. Climate-related impacts such as droughts, floods, storms, or heat waves are not only physical phenomena but have socioeconomic dimensions as well. They heighten existing vulnerabilities and inequalities and expose gaps in safety nets, resources, access, and information. Therefore, it is vital to manage climate risks in a way that accounts for gendered challenges and constraints as well as capacities, contributions, and opportunities. Climate and disaster risk transfer, when implemented as part of a comprehensive risk management strategy, offers an opportunity to build resilience against extreme climate and disaster shocks. Particularly in the interconnected key sectors of agriculture, forestry, and biodiversity, gender is a critical consideration for climate and disaster risk transfer.
Developing a Gender Module
Sectoral or cross-cutting interventions, including risk transfer mechanisms, need to employ gender-responsive or -transformative approaches to ensure their effectiveness and ability to connect to the target beneficiaries. SLYCAN Trust is conducting research and capacity-building to enhance the understanding of gender-specific contributions, capacities, challenges, and constraints, with a focus on the following six domains:
- Food security
- Livelihood and labor
- Local and traditional knowledge
- Policies and enabling environment
- Natural resources and conservation
- Risk management and finance
Across the sectors of agriculture, biodiversity, and forestry, these domains are either directly or indirectly relevant to climate action, resilience-building, and risk transfer mechanisms. There is a high potential for co-benefits, interlinkages, and synergies if the right entry points can be identified and interventions designed from a holistic perspective. The research revolves around three questions: How can (and do) women contribute to cross-sectoral, synergetic actions; what are the challenges they face; and how can their roles, rights, and participation be strengthened on all levels?
SLYCAN Trust is developing a gender module based on ongoing research activities on the three focus sectors and the thematic areas of gender, climate and disaster risk management, risk finance, and risk transfer. As part of these activities, SLYCAN Trust has conducted 49 national or provincial dialogues, workshops, stakeholder consultations, and webinars since July 2020, in addition to expert consultations and a comprehensive literature survey. The events saw a total of more than 2,600 participants and had an additional livestreaming audience of almost 34,000 people.
Gender and Climate Risk Transfer
Through the activities listed above, SLYCAN Trust engaged a diverse group of stakeholders and experts. This includes policymakers and government representatives, the private sector, researchers, civil society, youth, and vulnerable communities. Based on their input, the research team developed a draft module that aims to enhance the evidence base and provide guidance for designing gender-responsive and -transformative actions.
Across the three sectors and six domains, gender was identified as a pivotal indicator and determinator for a range of aspects. For example, resource management practices are often different, with women in many contexts favoring mixed production systems and cultivating multiple crops and local crop varieties to reduce vulnerabilities, avoid seasonal scarcity, and minimize risk. Similarly, women in many communities have a deeper knowledge on spatial distribution, availability, seasonality, phenological cycles, risks of depletion, and harvesting limits of forest products, allowing them to sustainably draw on these in times of crisis or income scarcity. Women and men operate within a complex web of behavioral role models, norms, traditions, cultural expectations, formal or customary laws, institutional practices, and self-images that shape their contributions, capacities, challenges, and constraints. They have different access to and control over land, resources, equipment, assets, and information; different labor profiles and household roles; and different degrees of decision-making power.
The importance of gender for risk transfer is a main finding of the research. Risk transfer mechanisms need to be conscious of gender-related differences in all phases of their operations including risk analytics, product design, distribution, and impact assessments. Gender-disaggregated data collection, indicators, household profiles, and risk assessments are vital to ensure evidence-based solutions on the micro, meso, and macro level.
This module will be made available to all actors in the climate and disaster risk management space, enabling them to better incorporate gender considerations into their plans, actions, or products. It has been shared with the InsuResilience Global Partnership Gender Working Group for input to further strengthen the robustness and validity of findings.
Keep an eye on the InsuResilience Centre of Excellence for more information on the upcoming Gender module provided by SLYCAN Trust.