279 Indigenous Women & Traditional Forest Management – The Centrality of Indigenous Women in Forest Management Be familiar with Government programs meant to avoid deforestation and promote conservation and forest protection. Through the Environment Ministry, the Peruvian State has recently launched the National Forest Conservation Program for Climate Change Mitigation. This is the same program that has been disseminated to leaders of Yánesha communities as well as representatives of the FECONAYA and the AMARCY. The program aims to give economic incentives to communities which preserve their forests with a minimum size of 500 hectares. The economic incentive given is S/10.00 (Nuevos soles) per hectare of preserved forest a year. The program focuses its efforts on conservation. There has been no mention about initiatives for sustainable management and enhancement of carbon stocks. Recommendations Although the State is promoting conservation initiatives, the cultural aspect, such as the indigenous forest protection mechanisms and the role of women in passing on values and norms, have not been incorporated in these initiatives. It is for this reason that indigenous organizations, especially those led by female leaders, have a lot of work to do. To allow and encourage a meaningful participation of indigenous women in forest management and to ensure that traditional systems of resource management are being upheld, the government must look into the following recommendations: To ensure participation and practice of traditional knowledge: a. Improve productivity in the farms by recovering ancestral practices; b. Recover the farms capacity to grow food by reforesting them with fruit-bearing, seed-bearing and timber-yielding
6 Indigenous Women, iv Climate Change & Forests
161 Indigenous Women & Climate – Vulnerability & Potentials of Indigenous Women in Climate Change125 Acknowledge the contributions of indigenous women to forest conservation; Ensure and encourage the active participation of indigenous women in planning for, and making decisions on community forestry programmes; Carry out further research to explore the impact of climate change on indigenous women and the adaptation and mitigation strategies they undertake; and Improve the overall situation of indigenous women. Endnotes 1 NEFIN was formed in 1991 as an autonomous and politically non-partisan, national level umbrella organization of indigenous peoples/ nationalities. NEFIN has categorized all the indigenous communities into 6 major groups for equitable benefit sharing in Tol refers to a group of households in a particular area that are closer to each other in terms of distance; Tolban is the forest allocated to this particular group of households for their own use and management. 3 Kharka refers to the pasture land where the indigenous Gurung herders take their cattle for grazing. Bibliography All Nepalese Women Association Women s Land Rights and Globalization in Nepal. Last modified July 3. < wrwd_nepal.htm>. FAO Rome Declaration and World Food Summit Plan of Action. Accessed September 28. < x8346e02.htm#p1_10>.
42 Indigenous Women 6 Climate Change & Forests and the Sukia s prediction came true. With a painful black soul she now flies without direction, like a buzzard. Introduction The Grandmothers of the Wangki, or Coco River, affirm that Mother Earth wants to warn us that we are greatly harming our future, the future of our successive generations, and, consequently, our Miskitu indigenous peoples. We must recognize it. We must stop it. No more abuse. No more razing of our forest. No more poison in the water. If we continue having this bad attitude, we are going to sink into disgrace. In this paper, we have collected some of the warnings and knowledge from the Grandmothers of the Wangki River on climate change and the degradation of the environment. We have also included traditional indigenous knowledge on the resources that are currently being lost, are vulnerable, or have been negatively altered; this includes traditional ecological knowledge that is part of the wisdom of the peoples and maintains the ecosystem of many of our territories. The knowledge of the Miskitu indigenous peoples on plants, ecosystems, legends of the beings that protect our natural resources, and behavioral norms of certain plants, places and water sources that aid in the conservation of the life cycles of biodiversity is vast. This information has been passed from generation to generation by our first teachers: our Grandmothers. The care of our Mother Earth and the demand for respect for the intellectual right of traditional indigenous knowledge of the
18 Indigenous Women, xvi Climate Change & Forests sumption is that indigenous women have significant knowledge and contributions in sustaining their ecosystems or territories, especially in relation to conserving and sustainably using biodiversity, and in forest and water management. The main researchers and writers of the chapters of this book are indigenous women. Most of them still live in the territories where they did the research. They are also engaged in the daily work of empowering their own communities to be able to mitigate and adapt to climate change. As mentioned in the Preface, this research project is part of the project of Tebtebba on climate change. This project is called Ensuring Rights Protection, Enhancing Effective Participation of and Securing Fair Benefits for Indigenous Peoples in REDD Plus Policies and Programmes. Our collaborators in this research project are mainly our project partners who organized themselves in a network called Indigenous Peoples Partnership on Climate Change and Forests. The members of this partnership are mentioned in the footnote of the Preface. We also included colleagues who are not officially part of the project but whom we encouraged to contribute because their work is relevant for the issue under consideration. Our partners who contributed to this work are the Centre of Research and Development in Upland Areas (CERDA) in Vietnam, Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), the Mainyoito Pastoralists Integrated Development Organisation (MPIDO) in Kenya, Lelewal in Cameroon, the Center for Indigenous Peoples Cultures of Peru (Centro de Culturas Indígenas el Perú or CHIRAPAQ) in Peru and the Center for Empowerment and Development of Indigenous Peoples (Centro para la Autonomia y Desarollo de los Pueblos Indigenas or CADPI) in Nicaragua. Except for CERDA, all these organizations are run and managed by indigenous peoples.
196 Indigenous Women 160 Climate Change & Forests about their rights to men because men are not prepared to understand them. In order to achieve this understanding, there needs to be a change in the men s mindset regarding equality and the equal participation of women in the different spheres of social, political and cultural life. This is another challenge the women must face. From the women s point of view, men see the issue of rights as a competition and not an opportunity to eliminate existing inequalities, or as an opportunity to join forces which lead to the common good. To enable Miskito women to have greater participation in community decision making, women note that the following conditions must be enabled: Less housework; Help from the husband to educate and look after the children. Husbands must also understand that their wives can have important contributions to community life; Access to education; Technical training for women, with information and guidance on their rights in order for them to lose their fear of public speaking and to be better able to defend their needs and interests; Greater attention and respect from indigenous authorities; Support from regional authorities; Respect for the right to participate vocally in communal assemblies; Fair benefit sharing arising from the use of the collective resources; Men s recognition of women s abilities to think and support from the menfolk for women to have more time to organize themselves.
223 Indigenous Women & Traditional Forest Management – The Centrality of Indigenous Women in Forest Management187 this, the REDD Plus mechanism would do well to integrate indigenous knowledge systems and practices in its design and implementation strategies. Socio-cultural Context, Participation and Threats Indigenous women s participation in forest management Maasai material wealth and prosperity is measured in terms of land and livestock. Cattle form the basis of the entire culture, being the main form of sustenance, wealth, power, and medium of exchange. Maasai values were based on a cattle standard; hence, control over stock and its products is a mark of full adulthood for both men and women and a measure of civic responsibility, as well as virtue. The success in livestock keeping (pastoralism) is intricately tied to land and natural resource management, including forests. In an earlier study conducted within the project site, only less than 15 per cent of the total responded interviewed thought that women had equal opportunity with men within the community with regards to control and ownership of property (Entashata Community-based Organization 2010). Further, the study demonstrated that although perceived ownership and use of livestock by women appears significant (at about 70%), the rights to decision making on the other hand is extremely low rated at 30 per cent. Thus, although livestock ownership by women is rated highly, the right to the disposal of livestock especially through the market is almost an exclusive male domain. Generally, most respondents associate the violation of human rights of women with marriage and sexuality. According to the
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