The Community REDD+ Portfolio has undertaken actions aimed at forests and biodiversity conservation, strengthening productive chains with low environmental impact, promoting training and decision-making spaces for communities, and encouraging women’s participation and influence within the framework of REDD+ projects. Reaching these goals and objectives has implied some challenges. Here, we tell you how we did it.
The women have walked the forests. The wisdom inherited from their ancestors has had a special inﬂuence on the way they interact with their community. They have led the transformation of their lands through their commitment to living well, the safekeeping of resources and the struggle for autonomy. Their role in decision-making and management processes and in the transfer of knowledge is a bridge that keeps ancestral knowledge alive in the new generations.
The REDD + Community project acknowledges women as innate leaders, safe keepers of life. This has created ties and participation platforms to amplify their voices, and generated actions that allow them to DECIDE, feel included and recognize their capabilities and contributions to the development of territories committed to conservation. Their active participation in the governance, productive process, and monitoring components has made a diﬀerence in the way the REDD+ Project is understood and set up.
Mindful of this, and taking into account the needs of women of the Biogeographic Chocó, we developed six gender-focused guidelines to lead the design, implementation and assessment of REDD+ projects. They were developed in a participatory manner with the support of Aso Manos Negra, an association that works on behalf of the environment and Black culture. These guidelines aim to lead women’s internal actions within the framework of REDD+ projects and to strengthen their participation and impact beyond the local environment, from a collective perspective. Likewise, we began an empowerment process with Embera women from the Mutatá Indigenous Council which aims to develop a women’s action plan for their REDD+ project, working with communities from the Jaikerazabi, Coribí Bedadó and Chontadural Cañero reservations, which sought to acknowledge the leadership of Embera women in the territory.