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FAO workshop calls for gender empowerment

FAO workshop calls for gender empowerment in “Climate-Smart Agriculture” in ASEAN countries

FAO Asia-Pacific News, Bangkok – 11th December 2013. In recent years, climate-smart agriculture has emerged as a proven approach to ensure food security, increase agricultural productivity and incomes, build resilience to climate change and reduce emissions.

However, what is often overlooked is the vast contribution of women in climate-smart agriculture.

In many countries of ASEAN and beyond, women account for up to 50 percent of agricultural outputs. As women play an increasing and central role in agriculture and natural resources management, their perspectives and knowledge are essential to design and implement climate-smart agriculture strategies.

Experts from across the ASEAN region and elsewhere are participating in a two-day workshop convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to forge a common understanding of the linkages between gender and impact on climate change, the value of taking a gender perspective to climate-smart agriculture, and sharing the gender-sensitive climate-smart practices in the region.

The “ASEAN – FAO – WOCAN – GIZ Regional Workshop on Gender and Climate-Smart Agriculture” is a two-day event to support the integration of gender concerns into theASEAN Multi-Sectoral Framework on Climate Change (AFCC): Agriculture and Forestry towards Food Security. The workshop has brought together knowledge and expertise on the aspects of gender and climate change within the context of agriculture and food security.

The specific objectives of the regional workshop are to promote a common understanding of the linkages between the impact of climate change and the disproportionate effects on women in agriculture and the sharing of experiences of the added value a gender perspective brings to climate-smart agriculture approaches.

The participants are expected to develop concrete recommendations and actions for ASEAN to include gender-sensitive approaches in the multi-sectoral ASEAN Framework on Climate Change (AFCC) following the principles of the Vientiane Declaration.

In linking gender equality to climate-smart agriculture, Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative, said there is a need to “ensure that adaptation measures from climate-smart agriculture approaches will not intensify inequalities and other vulnerabilities.”

The FAO says these approaches and tools are vital for ensuring the increasing demands for food and added nutrition can be met.

“A gender-sensitive approach to human resource capacity building can foster gender balance in decision making, and access to tools for implementation of climate-smart agriculture,” Konuma said.

The workshop has been coordinated by Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture & Natural Resource Management (WOCAN) and the German development foundation GIZ.

ENDS

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