Gender-responsive climate action: progress in national adaptation planning

Source(s): National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network

At the Bonn Climate Change Conference (SB 56) in June, the NAP Global Network Secretariat launched a new synthesis report that highlights how developing countries continue to make progress in applying gender-responsive approaches to their national adaptation planning and actions to build resilience to climate change impacts, while also creating more equitable communities and societies.

The 5-year Gender Action Plan (GAP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reached its halfway mark during the Bonn conference—making this an opportune time to reflect on developing countries’ progress in integrating gender considerations into their National Adaptation Plan (NAP) processes.

Through an analysis of countries’ NAPs and case studies illustrating practical examples, this report demonstrates the potential of the NAP process as a mechanism for ensuring that people of all genders and social groups have the same opportunities to benefit from their country’s adaptation actions. A gender-responsive NAP process is a useful tool to address gender-related injustices that can manifest in adaptation planning and implementation.

Progress was observed in NAP processes in several areas, including:

  • Framing of gender issues: More countries are referring to gender equality and gender-responsive approaches in their NAP documents.
  • Positioning of women: Though there are still a larger number of NAPs that position women as a particularly vulnerable group, we are seeing more and more where the potential of women as agents of change in adaptation is recognized.
  • Capacity building on gender and adaptation in the NAP process: The need for targeted capacity development on gender and adaptation is receiving more attention in recently submitted NAP documents, with a focus on both government actors and, in some cases, nongovernmental stakeholders.

Promising Examples From Countries Around the World

This synthesis report highlights examples of countries taking action to integrate gender into their NAP processes, including an analysis undertaken by the Government of Chad to better understand the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours of national-level actors around the intersection of gender and climate change. The analysis observed important barriers to the inclusion of women in the NAP process and included a recommendation on how taking an intersectional approach using human rights and equity could bring more decision-makers and adaptation actors onboard with ensuring climate action in Chad is gender equitable.

This example, among others, showcases a country-level approach to ensuring that gender considerations are integrated into NAP processes.

Other Country Examples

  • Côte d’Ivoire establishes a collaboration between the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Women.
  • Women in Kenya and Ghana are trained in photography and visual storytelling to share their experiences and visions for resilience with NAP actors and other country officials.
  • The Government of the Central African Republic carried out a targeted gender analysis to inform its NAP processes (report in French).
  • The Republic of the Marshall Islands performed a study to discover the best way to advance its gender equality and human rights objectives through its efforts on climate change adaptation.

This report is the third in a series of synthesis reports developed by the NAP Global Network that assess progress on gender-responsive approaches in NAP processes at the global level. While there is still a long way to go, there are many things to be celebrated in this review of progress.


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