Front Cover
 Title Page
 Title Page

Group Title: Case studies series on gender, community participation and natural resource management ; no. 4
Title: Making visible the invisible
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080529/00001
 Material Information
Title: Making visible the invisible the process of institutionalizing gender in Ecuador : the case studies of the Arcoiris Foundation, the ECOCIENCIA Foundation and the Quichuan Institute for Biotechnology
Series Title: Case studies series on gender, community participation and natural resource management
Alternate Title: Process of institutionalizing gender in Ecuador
Physical Description: 17 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Arroyo M., Paulina
Poats, Susan V
Tello, Bolívar
Vacacela, Rosa
Alarcón Gallegos, Rocío
Salisbury, David
Publisher: Managing Ecosystems and Resources with Gender Emphasis
Place of Publication: Gainesville FL
Publication Date: 2002
Subject: Conservation of natural resources -- Citizen participation -- Ecuador   ( lcsh )
Women in conservation of natural resources -- Ecuador   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Statement of Responsibility: Paulina Arroyo M. and Susan V. Poats ; with Bolívar Tello, Rosa Vacacela and Rocío Alarcón ; translation by David Salisbury.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00080529
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002951868
notis - APJ3548
oclc - 56081848

Table of Contents
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    Title Page
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Full Text

Case Studies Series on Gender, Community Participation
and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002.

Making Visible the Invisible
The Process of Institutionalizing
Gender in Ecuador: The Case Studies of
The Arcoiris Foundation, The
ECOCIENCIA Foundation and The
Quichuan Institute of Biotechnology

Paulina Arroyo M. and Susan V. Poats
with Bolivar Tello, Rosa Vacacela and Rocio Alarc6n

Translation by David Salisbury

November, 2002


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P*a-t .-ipatC ion, 6d 0a R urce Management.
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Gainesville, IFe 32611-5531 6A
6el: (352) 392-6548
.ax:j(352) 392: 0085
*c^B so:t c ftdu
www*tcdIuf I ^edu
Mari0*annetSc gink Ph.D.

Making Visible the

The Process of
Institutionalizing Gender
in Ecuador: The Case
Studies of The Arcoiris
Foundation, ECOCIENCIA
and the Quichuan
Institute of

Paulina Arroyo M.
and Susan V. Poats
with Bolivar Tello, Rosa Vacacela
and Rocio Alarc6n

Case Study No. 4
May, 2002



<--Gb -


- -






The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation


Case Study No. 4
November, 2002

Making Visible the Invisible
The Process of Institutionalizing Gender in
Ecuador: The Case Studies of The Arcoiris
Foundation, ECOCIENCIA and the Quichuan
Institute of Biotechnology.

Paulina Arroyo M. and Susan V. Poats
with Bolivar Tello, Rosa Vacacela and
Rocio Alarc6n

Published by

Supported by






MERGE (Managing Ecosystems and Resources
with Gender Emphasis),
Tropical Conservation and Development Program
Center for Latin American Studies
University of Florida
P.O. Box 115531
Gainesville, FL 32611
E-mail: tcdptcd.ufl.edu

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
University of Florida

Marianne Schmink (University of Florida)

Constance Campbell (The Nature Conservancy)
Avecita Chicch6n (MacArthur Foundation)
Maria Cristina Espinosa (IUCN)
Denise Garrafiel (Production Secretariat, State of
Acre, Brazil)
Susan V. Poats (GRR Ecuador)
Mary Rojas (WIDTECH)

Elena P. Bastidas
David Salisbury
Rutecleia Zarin.
Amanda Wolf

University of Florida
PESACRE Acre Agroforestry Research and
Extension Group
WIDTECH A Women in Development
Technical Assistance Project
USAIDIBrazil US Agency for International
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
GRR Grupo Randi Randi, Ecuador
Arcoiris Foundation, Ecuador
The Quichuan Institute of Biotechnology, Ecuador

The MERGE Case Studies Series on Gender,
Community Participation and Natural Resource
Management, supported by grants from the John D. and
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and WIDTECH, is
designed to show how a gender focus has been
relevant and useful in natural resource management
projects. The cases focus on concrete examples from
extension, applied research, and participatory planning
activities involving rural communities, especially those in
and around protected areas primarily from projects in
Latin America with which the MERGE program has
collaborated. The format lends itself to practical
applications as well as training in gender and natural
resource management. The cases are translated into
English, Portuguese and Spanish, and are available on
the Internet (http://www.tcd.ufl.edu).
The following are the first case studies of the
1.Conceptual Framework for Gender and Com-
munity-Based Conservation, by Marianne
Schmink, 1999
2.Gender, Conservation and Community Par-
ticipation: The Case of Ja6 National Park,
Brazil. by Regina Oliveira and Suely Anderson,
3.Working with Community-Based Conserva-
tion with a Gender Focus: A Guide. by Mary
Hill Rojas, 2000
4.Making Visible the Invisible. The Process of
Institutionalizing Gender in Ecuador: The
Case Studies of The Arcoiris Foundation,
ECOCIENCIA and The Quichuan Institute of
Biotechnology. by Paulina Arroyo M. and
Susan V. Poats with Bolivar Tello, Rosa Vaca-
cela and Rocio Alarc6n, 2002


Making Visible the Invisible
The Process of Institutionalizing Gender in Ecuador: The
Case Studies of The Arcoiris Foundation, ECOCIENCIA
and The Quichuan Institute of Biotechnology

Paulina Arroyo M. and Susan V Poats'
with Bolivar Tello, Rosa Vacacela and Rocio Alarc6n2

The MERGE program (Managing Ecosys-
tems and Resources with a Gender Emphasis)

of the University of Florida pro-
motes collaborative projects be-
tween institutions focused on
research, training and action in
the field. From 1995 until 1997,
MERGE formed part of a com-
prehensive program between
Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. This
program's goal was the devel-
opment of research and training
methods for gender analysis and
community participation in natu-
ral resource management. In
Ecuador, the Latin American
Faculty of Social Sciences
(FLACSO) served as a partner
for MERGE in this MacArthur

A lesson learn
these case stu
that the succ
gender relies he
the person
interest of indi\
and positive inc
and institute
attitudes tov
gender issi

Foundation funded program. FLACSO, MERGE
and The Antisana Foundation (FUNAN) organ-
ized the course entitled "Communities, Gender
and Sustainable Natural Resource Manage-
ment." This course trained a diverse group of
professionals who would soon be promoters of
gender analysis within the field of conservation
and management of natural resources.
The goal of this paper is to analyze and
compare three case studies of non-
governmental organizations that began integrat-
ing a gender emphasis into their established
programs of conservation and community devel-
opment. The lessons learned from these cases
enrich our experiences of incorporating gender
in our own diverse agendas.
The three institutions analyzed are the Ar-
coiris Foundation, the ECOCIENCIA Foundation
and the Quichuan Institute of Biotechnology.
These three cases were chosen for four rea-

sons: 1) each institution agreed to collaborate in
this comparison, 2) each institution had person-
nel already trained in gender analysis, 3) each
had initiated a formal process of incorporating
gender into its policies and fieldwork plans, and,
4) the individuals promoting the
ed from process-Bolivar Tello, Rocio Alar-
dies is c6n and Rosa Vacacela- were
essful trained in the FLACSO/MERGE
tion of course.
This document is based on in-
S terviews with the aforementioned
ial individuals along with their own
and written contributions. The cases
/iduals, were then written up, returned to
dividual and revised by the individuals. Ar-
onal royo and Poats conducted the
comparative analysis.
rards A lesson learned from these
jes. case studies is that the successful
institutionalization of gender relies
heavily on the personal commitment and interest
of individuals, and positive individual and institu-
tional attitudes towards gender issues.

The formal adoption of the gender perspec-
tive into institutional goals has a long history in
rural development and farming systems re-
search. The diverse organizations immersed in
these fields have learned how to train their per-
sonnel about the role of a gender focus in agri-
cultural analysis. These organizations adopted
internal policies and programs that formalize the
institutionalization of gender: from the mission
statement to actions in the field.

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

Independent of the growth of gender analy-
sis within the study of agriculture, more recently
conservation organizations have adopted poli-
cies actively involving local people in biodiversity
conservation and natural resource management
projects and programs. Field technicians recog-
nize the need to adopt participatory methodolo-
gies involving local people in order to succeed in
community-based conservation. Focusing on
gender improves the analysis of local contexts
while ensuring a more even participation of
stakeholders. A gender focus in community-
based conservation improves our knowledge of
human actions in the management and conser-
vation of natural resources (Campbell y Rojas,
After using gender methods in the field,
many conservationists realize that a gender fo-
cus should be integrated into the entire institu-
tion promoting the conservation work. This inte-
gration demands the creation of a mission
statement promising both a participatory and
gender focus. The following cases teach us
both the steps needed and some diverse ap-
proaches to the institutionalization of gender.

What is the Arcoiris Foundation?
* The Arcoiris Foundation is a private
organization, created in 1989, by a group of
high school and university students and
volunteers. The formation of the group was
based on the goal of conserving the Podo-
carpus National Park in the provinces of
Loja and Zamora Chinchipe.
* The goal of The Arcoiris Foundation is "to
contribute to the conservation of the envi-
ronment, biodiversity and natural resources
of the Podocarpus National Park (PNP) and
the southern region of Ecuador, through
programs of environmental education, com-
munity development, research and public
action." The foundation has a board of direc-
tors formed of external members and repre-
sentatives of local society.
* While the organization has a regional focus,
it has a national presence as a member of
The Directorate of the Ecuadorian Commit-
tee for the Defense of Nature and the Envi-

ronment. Locally, the Arcoiris Foundation is
an active member of the Committee for the
Defense of the PNP.
The Arcoiris Foundation carries out several
regional conservation projects with the sup-
port of international organizations. Projects
have focused on the PNP and the native
forests of Loja province since 1993. The
PNP projects are coordinated with the sup-
port of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and
the Loja projects are in conjunction with the
Andean Native Forests Program, the United
Nations Small Grants Program, The Ecua-
dorian-Canadian Development Fund and the
CARE Foundation through the FORDES

For the Conservation of Podocarpus!
The enthusiastic students who founded The
Arcoiris Foundation in 1989 never imagined that
they would one day say: "We are the oldest,
most experienced conservation organization in
Loja that applies the gender variable". The initial
activities of Arcoiris focused on the spread of
environmental education in Loja's urban sector.
The environmental education campaign pro-
moted the benefits gained from the PNP. The
Park includes a vast forest area (150,000 hec-
tares) located in the provinces of Loja and
Zamora Chinchipe and has been identified as
and important biodiversity refuge. After four
years of action and intervention supported by
TNC, Arcoiris received a grant to expand envi-
ronmental education in the area. These funds
helped forge links with both the PNP buffer zone
communities and other rural development insti-

Initial Contacts with the MERGE Pro-
The young professionals of Arcoiris recog-
nized their lack of background in the social sci-
ences along with the need to learn new method-
ologies centered on community-based conserva-
tion and alternative economic strategies. There-
fore an important step for Arcoiris was Bolivar
Tello's (a forester and founding member of Ar-
coiris) participation in the Gender, Communities,
Population and Environment workshop in May of
1995. This workshop was conducted by TNC,
FLACSO, the MERGE program and FUNAN
during the TNC conservation week in Quito.
Shortly after this event, MERGE, FLACSO
and FUNAN repeated the workshop, training

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

three Arcoiris technicians (biologists and forest-
ers). These individuals quickly incorporated their
newfound knowledge into both environmental
education and community extension programs.
Despite the training, there was still some doubt
as to how to proceed with community-based
conservation and how to confront multiple
stakeholders working in the area.
Later, in 1996, Bolivar Tello, trained in the
TNC workshop, participated in the Communities,
Gender and Sustainable Natural Resource
Management specialization course (2 months
fulltime) p organized by MERGE/FLACSO. This
training started the process of institutionalization
of gender in Arcoiris. TNC's flexibility and deci-
sion to finance a community development posi-
tion, without strict guidelines, allowed techni-
cians latitude in trying out new gender, devel-
opment and conservation ideas.
How did a gender focus contribute to
the evolution of the Arcoiris commu-
nity development program?
The innovative technicians trained by
MERGE used the participatory methodologies

and gender analysis techniques to
formally create the community de-
velopment branch of Arcoiris. Im-
mediately, the technicians used the
gender perspective to design and
manage new community develop-
ment projects with an emphasis on t
strengthening community organiza-
tion and natural resource man-
agement. The gender focus within
community-based conservation allowed
cians to identify projects stimulating
generation while reducing pressure on

as a gender promoter at the institutional level.
The workshop was not without challenges re-
quiring a radical restructuring of traditional aca-
demic teaching methods. At the outset, the
course was viewed with skepticism. Foresters,
agronomists and other natural scientists domi-
nated the audience. However, after two weeks,
the MERGE participatory methodology and the
gender and natural resource management con-
cepts grabbed the attention of students and pro-
fessors. Currently, the University is trying to
teach the course every year, as a requirement
for students in the natural sciences.
A bi-product of the course was the 1997 ini-
tiative forming discussion groups integrating dif-
ferent Loja institutions with different levels of
gender analysis knowledge. Ten organizations
in Loja were identified as working with gender
analysis. Currently, the discussion group meets
periodically to promote the increasing incorpora-
tion of the gender focus into these institutions.
The Foundation has invested heavily in the
training of community promoters in facilitation
skills (applying tools learned in the
MERGE/FLACSO course) and natural resource

One women promoter
said she found the
opportunity to break
cultural barriers and
rain men an incredible


One of these cases involved an irrigation
project in progress. From the start, the women
did not participate in project meetings or installa-
tion activities. Gender analysis identified the
women's desire for a smaller irrigation project
enabling them to water their gardens as op-
posed to the larger system geared towards irri-
gating the men's open fields. The project ad-
justed to create two separate irrigation systems,
fulfilling both women's and men's priorities. In
addition, a group of promoters, both women and
men, became skilled in the facilitation of gender
workshops within the context of the project.
Organizing the 1997 course: The Impor-
tance of Gender in Rural Development, with the
National University of Loja established Arcoiris

management with a gender em-
phasis. This worthwhile invest-
ment has empowered both
women and men to become
community leaders. One women
promoter said she found the op-
portunity to break cultural barriers
and train men an incredible ex-
perience. Over time, in the pro-
moter courses, women began

asking the most questions.
Similarly, in a beekeeping project, initial ac-
tivities involved both men and women. As the
project evolved, women demonstrated their su-
periority in hive management and honey proc-
essing. Currently, the project has been
successful in the marketing of bee honey from
native forests bordering the PNP.

Challenges in the Institutionalization
of Gender
The slow road to the adoption of the gender
perspective by institutions has been challenging
to technicians promoting gender emphasis and
analysis. The integration of the gender focus
has been uneven across the landscape due to
the lack of knowledge of technicians in other
areas. The Arcoiris Foundation promotes de-
velopment projects in two geographic sectors.
One sector is the buffer zone of the PNP and the

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

other lies in the western forests of Loja. Techni-
cians trained in gender manage the first sector's
projects. However, the second sector's techni-
cians have not received any formal training in
gender issues. This dichotomy of experience
creates a lack of uniformity in project quality with
regard to gender.
Another challenge has been to work with
the foundation's directors and transmit the con-
cept and importance of gender focus. The
personnel trained in gender analysis have great
power within their community development de-
partment but little political power at the institu-
tional level. This fact produced an awareness
and acceptance on the part of the directors to
design a conceptual framework and methodol-
ogy that will include a gender emphasis while
guiding the current and future conservation and
development activities of Arcoiris. The elabora-
tion of the framework, initiated by department
technicians, includes the formal incorporation
through training of the concepts and methodolo-
gies of gender, participatory extension and facili-
tation. Afterwards, the framework will be dis-
cussed with other departments with the goal of
refining it and incorporating it into the whole in-
In addition, while the Foundation has com-
pleted community projects, it has to cope with
the pressure to produce concrete results in a
short timeframe, in accordance with donor de-
mands. However, Arcoiris has found that the
process of quickly incorporating gender is com-
plex and requires a lot of inputs.
Arcoiris also wrestles with the challenge of
assuring employee stability while maintaining
continuity in the application of institutional con-
cepts and methodologies. One example dem-
onstrating progress in the administration's gen-
der awareness is that women and men with chil-
dren now receive a maternity/paternity bonus.

What does the future hold?
Much progress remains to be made. The
principal challenge is to ensure recognition of
the gender work done within the institution. The
director shows great interest in gender after wit-
nessing donors' commitment to continue funding
gender projects. Taking advantage of this en-
thusiasm requires the continued promotion of
community projects with gender emphasis. In
addition, it is vital that all personnel take respon-
sibility for the institutionalization of gender.
However, above all, the Arcoiris Foundation,
currently in this crucial stage of institutional de-

velopment, needs to devise its own strategic
plan. The greater the success of the projects,
the greater demand for more projects and thus
the greater demand for a transparent policy on
conservation and development with a gender

* ECOCIENCIA is a private Ecuadorian scien-
tific non-governmental organization founded
in 1989. ECOCIENCIA's mission is to con-
serve biodiversity and create harmonious
human-nature relationships through scien-
tific research, environmental education and
the recuperation of traditional knowledge for
natural resource management.
* ECOCIENCIA works nationally on research,
conservation and development projects. In
the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve
ECOCIENCIA collaborates with the SUBIR
project, an integrated conservation and de-
velopment project focusing on buffer zones
of critical Ecuadorian protected areas. The
project is trying to demonstrate that biodi-
versity conservation can be combined effec-
tively over the long-term with sustainable
community development. SUBIR is man-
aged by CARE in coordination with the Wild-
life Conservation Society, the Ecuadorian
Institute of Forests and Natural Areas
(INEFAN)5, local communities and local
NGOs, and is financed by (USAID6).
* Rocio Alarc6n, an ethnobotanist, directs the
ECOCIENCIA research department. She
has 20 years of experience in natural re-
source management and biodiversity re-
search. She also participated in the 1996
Specialization Course led by FLACSO and
UF in Quito in 1996 "Communities, Gender
and Sustainable Management of Natural
Resources". Rocio was the key individual
responsible for the incorporation of the gen-
der variable within ECOCIENCIA. Fortu-
nately, the directors and technicians of
ECOCIENCIA supported the process.
The institutionalization of gender into
ECOCIENCIA is full of lessons for other envi-
ronmental organizations thinking of incorporating

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

a gender focus. ECOCIENCIA was an organiza-
tion focused exclusively on biological research
and biodiversity conservation. After years of
pursuing this course, the need to work with rural
communities became evident. After entering
the social field, lack of experience forced re-
searchers to inquire into anthropological con-
cepts and participatory methods. In this way,
they learned of gender analysis and its implica-
tions. Following this, the institution decided to
begin integrating a gender focus at all institu-
tional levels.
The following case relates the history of this
process in ECOCIENCIA, the changes that oc-
curred during the process and the future chal-
lenges ahead.

Flirting with the gender concept
ECOCIENCIA has talked of gender since
1994 because of the institution's profound inter-
est in the topic. Yet, there was no real under-
standing of the term. Two male scientists had
studied abroad, come in contact
with the term and mentioned it as 1994... Du
something to remember when there
conducting research or starting interest
projects. However, no concrete
steps had been taken to use the had b
concept in training and projects, interested
much less in its adoption by the tools ii
entire institution. person
These scientists supported integral
the process of assimilating gen- foc it
der into the institution though
each admitted that they would
not use gender within their own work. The ex-
ecutive director at the time recognized the
doubts that existed within the research depart-
ment and the importance of training to dispel
them. In addition, the research department was
the only one that incorporated local people into
ethno-biology and biological inventory activities.
The department saw this incorporation as an
excellent opportunity to involve women and men
into resource management. Finally, the per-
sonal motivation of the department's director
was pivotal. She worked in the field using a
gender focus. However, it is important to point
out that she did not formally recognize the con-
cept, but rather that women and men had and
displayed differing knowledge of different re-
That same year ECOCIENCIA elaborated a
document about how communities are affected
by protected areas. The case study was the

community of Coffn de Sinango6 in the
Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve. This inves-
tigation reflected the knowledge of both women
and men and analyzed both from a biological
and ethno- botanical perspective the who knows
what? of habitats. The institution unanimously
approved this idea but the gender analysis tools
needed were still lacking. However, there was
no lack of interest as the institution had both
personnel interested in using gender tools in the
field and personnel interested in integrating the
gender focus into the institution. There were no
barriers to introduce gender. In addition, begin-
ning the process would allow for gender incorpo-
ration into the program for male and female

The MERGE Training
The first concrete step towards the institu-
tionalization of gender began with an invitation

participate in

ring this period...,
vas no lack of
as the institution
oth personnel
I in using gender
n the field and
iel interested in
ting the gender
:o the institution.


the 1996 Communities, Gender
and Sustainable Natural Re-
source Management regional
specialty course. An important
and attractive aspect of the
course was the methodological
content on gender analysis.
Particularly exciting, for the
ECOCIENCIA participant
(Rocio) was the use of Social
Transects during the field visit
to Carchi province, a tool that
integrates both biological and
social science (see Box 1)
proceeded to practice this meth-

odology with the communities they worked with.
The combination of two very experienced
professionals of different disciplines created an
opportunity to innovate with participatory meth-
ods with a gender focus. This reinforces the
hypothesis that professionals experienced in
their discipline (social or biological) are needed
to innovate on tools and methodologies. How-
ever, intensive long-term training is needed to
encourage innovations between experienced
Another advantage of the course was the
lack of prejudice between professors and stu-
dents, nationals and internationals, or old and
young. Figure No. 1 illustrates the interaction
that occurred. On one level were the interna-
tional and national instructors imparting valid
theoretical knowledge. On another level were
the most experienced participants with their

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

years of wisdom and fieldwork, knowledge of the
nation's history and ability to innovate with the
knowledge gained from the instructors. On an-
other level was the young student group with
their enthusiasm for learning and their fresh
ideas brought from the universities. In the mid-
dle stood a group of young professionals with
field experience and many theoretical and meth-
odological uncertainties.
Therefore, an invaluable nexus of knowl-
edge was formed, the best training environment
possible. A rich discussion of concepts and
methodologies ensued. One bi-product of this
was the creation of like-minded groups who still
work together. This serves as an informal com-
munication network.

The impact of MERGE training on
During the course, Rocio and other partici-
pants shared new ideas with the 15 biologists of
ECOCIENCIA's research department. Partici-
pants discussed how to incorporate the course
ideas into their work. During the course, situa-
tions arose back at ECOCIENCIA requiring im-
mediate attention which served as opportunities
to apply newly learned skills. For example, in
the community of Cuellaje, north of the Cota-
cachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, there was
an opportunity for fifteen women with an ethno-
botanical garden and gene bank. ECOCIENCIA

applied some new tools to strengthen the group
and in particular, raise the self-esteem of the
women. In this way, the group worked inde-
pendently and trained other groups in the re-
serve buffer zone.
But progress has not been made without
difficulties. The ethnobotanical garden created
conflict between women and men during the
actual course. Many ideas were generated to
support the Cuellaje group through informal
conversations and sharing ideas with a veteran
of gender analysis and women's empowerment,
also participating in the course.
In the words of Rocio, "The application of
the advice helped as the group is still working
two years later. The women earn income; have
a beautiful garden with inputs from the buffer
zone and a gene bank. They have reached
agreements with the men, who now help capture
water and build garden terraces. The husbands
have accepted the idea because they value the
increased income and realize that the women
are not wasting their time. They constructed a
meeting area so that the women no longer meet
in the street, and take care of the children while
the women meet. In summary, the interaction
with course members during the conflict allowed
the formulation of strategies to manage it."

At the conclusion of the FLACSO/MERGE
training program, ECOCIENCIA decided to take
the following steps:

Box 1. The Integration of Biological and Social Knowledge in the
Elaboration of Social Transects

During the Carchi trip, the group \worked on the transects \\ith anthropologist Joige Rechaine. "Transects
ale commonplace in biological research but Jorge. an anthropologist. had another perspective on the transect.
In Carchi. we did a transect of the edge of a forest. on a fanu or home garden Our perception \\ns that the
people had lost the eutie natural habitat. But. when we did the transect. strips of forest skirted the edges ot
the farms. thus we worked with the people to find out the significance of these forested edges. Course parlici-
pants thought the edges nothing more than a living fence demarcatinu the land. but the local people had a to-
tally different perspective. This forest \-as a source of high quality fire\\ood due to its di\ersitv of species.
'The edge \was a retreat for wildlife an important source of food during certain parts of the year. In addition,
the edge protected crops inside the farm. At the conclusion, we found four or five reasons for the edge. These
findings, discovered after applying various methodologies, validated the course content. Although, our per-
ception \nas that the farms were not important due to their monoculture systems, we learned that there is bio-
di\ersity in the system. Out of this came the questions: Who has decision-making power over the biodiver-
sits? What does biodiversity mean? It meant a great deal of things for the local people. It was an amazing
experience to \work with someone with a different perspective but with uhorn I shared a common goal. We
were able to share our different thoughts on landscape and biodiversity. An idea blossomed of connecting the
El Angel Ecological Reserve with the farm edges to better feed the farmers. We could build animal trails to
create more interaction between the reserve and the farms. At the conclusion, \e wele able to integrate local
concepts of development and conservation into the transect methodology. (Text of the interview with Rocio

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

1. Change the institutional mission/vision to
incorporate gender concepts.
2. Change the administrative procedure man-
ual to incorporate gender issues.
3. Accompany these actions with a training
process for institution personnel.
4. Formulate projects incorporating a gender

How did the process of institutionali-
zation continue after the course?
Before the course there was just one social
scientist collaborating with the institution. After
the course came the revolution:

ECOCIENCIA simultaneously started pro-
jects incorporating more people from the so-
cial side while obtaining PNUD financing to
apply a gender focus and validate it in com-
munity projects.

* The SUBIR project asked ECOCIENCIA to
elaborate a proposal for a gender strategy.
This was accepted by the project and
shared with CARE International in Denmark
and with other actors. Afterwards,
ECOCIENCIA took charge of the gender
component in all activities of the SUBIR pro-
* In the field, ECOCIENCIA works with 15
parabiologists. After the FLACSO/MERGE
course the established network was broken
and local community technicians accepted a
woman parabiologist. During the first con-
gress of parabiologists and paratechnicians,
groups of women were given the floor and
were listened to in the debates.
* ECOCIENCIA began training technicians of
other institutions through the SUBIR project.
Such is the case with 15 technicians of
Foundation Jatun SachalO, a private NGO
also involved in the SUBIR Project. Immedi-
ately, Foundation Jatun Sacha and

The Interaction of the FLACSO /MERGE Course

National and Interna-
tional instructors

young profession-
als with field ex-

Young participants witn new aca-
demic tendencies

Figure 1.


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

ECOCIENCIA applied gender tools within
the SUBIR project. To date, ECOCIENCIA
has trained 80 people from within and out-
side of the institution.
* In the high altitude region of the Cotacachi-
Cayapas reserve a workshop was organized
for community members. At the start, the
technicians asked: What right do we have to
enter a community with a gender message?
This was overcome, however, the workshop
was carried out and women and men signed
a document recognizing that both sexes' en-
vironmental knowledge should be recog-
nized before making environmental deci-
sions. For example, in the national arena, as
part of the SUBIR project, ECOCIENCIA
created a group of toquilla straw weavers
and cultivators. This action was not under-
taken to promote any feminist concept,
rather, it was to create opportunity for
women in toquilla straw production.
* Work began with both women and men to
identify species needing protection in forest-
use zones. The extraordinary results
showed men wanting to protect hunting ar-
eas while women focused on understory ar-
eas. In general, men wanted to protect the
canopy and timber while women were inter-
ested in the understory and its useful spe-
cies (lianas, shrubs and herbs). After con-
ducting this exercise with men and women,
zones of forest-use were designed based on
the concerns of both women and men. This
is the first time that forest use maps re-
flected both perspectives. The conclusion is
that, after recognizing the resource protec-
tion knowledge of both men and women, the
protection for all of the biodiversity is as-
" Ethnobotanical studies show that plots
worked just by one gender have a lower
level of biodiversity than one worked by
both. Meanwhile in plots worked by both
genders, women know the herbs and short
cycled plants while men know more about
coffee and cacao production. Therefore, the
ideal model is to join both gender's knowl-
edge to work in one place and obtain food
security. This is the hypothesis applied in
the SUBIR project: The integration of
women and men's work and knowledge for
improved farm production.
* In addition, from the biological perspective,
transects have found 220 more species of
birds and almost that many more mammals
in plots worked by both genders than plots

worked by men or women alone. In plots
worked by both genders, the women insist
on a three or four meter border filled with dif-
ferent varieties of plants. This creates a
habitat capable of attracting more mammals
and people, especially women, can hunt
field mice for food without needing to travel
* The biodiversity hypothesis has changed
after the MERGE experience and has been
validated by biologists, foresters and
agronomists because of its study of space
with a gender focus.
The institution started with the word gender
rarely spoken and now the variable has been
incorporated at every level of the institution.
ECOCIENCIA decided not to create a special
gender program because the gender focus re-
sponsibility is everyone's, not just one depart-
ment's or individual's. The ECOCIENCIA model
is interesting because one group of actors has
integrated the focus bit by bit, each time assum-
ing more responsibility in a) the application of
the gender focus and b) supporting the institu-
tionalization of gender, though not applying it

The future of ECOCIENCIA and gen-
der work
There is much still to do even though con-
crete changes are now part of the process:
1. The institutional mission/vision has changed
to reflect a gender policy.
2. The administrative procedures manual has
been modified to incorporate issues of gen-
der equality.
3. Each department designs projects with gen-
der analysis.
4. Foundation ECOCIENCIA now seeks gen-
der focused training opportunities for techni-
In 1998 ECOCIENCIA questioned why do
we add this variable? and what effects does it
have? The response from within was: the institu-
tion is convinced, especially the 30 members of
the research department, that economic, social
and environmental sustainability depend on the
gender variable. Thus, the institution will con-
tinue to apply gender analysis. On one hand,
personnel need to continue to be trained. On
the other hand, the results need to be measured
to learn more about the variable and its applica-
tion. Currently, the SUBIR project is managing a
model analyzing the effects of incorporating a
gender focus. This involves comparing and

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

measuring the changes in the communities that
worked with SUBIR to the changes in the com-
munities that have not worked with SUBIR.
In addition, the following themes need to be
researched in greater depth:
Conservation, biodiversity and natural
resource management with a gender fo-
cus. It is necessary to ask: why conserva-
tion? and for whom?
The application of gender in social de-
velopment. Although ECOCIENCIA works
in the social development sphere, it is prin-
cipally from a conservation perspective.
More study needs to address the develop-
ment perspective and how gender can sup-
port the development process connected
with biodiversity. The historical tendency of
the country is the exploitation of natural re-
sources and the empowerment of targeted
groups that are not necessarily women. For
example, the sale of timber impoverishes lo-
cal groups and the most negatively affected
are women and children. In the Amazon, oil
and monocultures cause a loss of biodiver-
sity while local people become poorer.
* The planning and focus of gender. For
example, how to integrate the gender vari-
able into management plans. Analyze how
gender can contribute to the
sustainability of those plans. IQB po
* Continued interaction with person
other course participants to new kno
measure the effects of gen- field an
der on conservation and de-
velopment. This means case the i
study analysis in the Ama-
zonia, Sierra, Coast and
GalBpagos regions. The analysis must
demonstrate the effect of the gender vari-
able in each region while recognizing distinct
conditions, actors and interests. For exam-
ple, research could measure the effects of
gender in the oil exploitation of Amazonia, or
analyze how gender influences the use of
the paramo in the Andean region.
Because of the MERGE training, a discus-
sion group formed consisting of five people
working in gender analysis in the field. The
group promotes an interchange of ideas and
experiences of gender to support the group and
the Foundation. This year the group met four
times and the group plans to continue to meet.
ECOCIENCIA has entered into a never
ending process. Gender is increasingly inte-
grated into politics and work plans of the institu-
tion. The ECOCIENCIA case is a model with

licy re
nel to
d thro

concrete examples for other research and con-
servation organizations to follow. Projects end
and technicians change jobs but the profound
impacts of the gender focus remain.

"We are a group of dreamers...."
The women and men of the community of
Yanayacu, in the extreme south of Pastaza
province, are rescuing and enlightening their
ancestral knowledge through a gender focus.
This knowledge is needed to manage the biodi-
versity within their 120,000 hectare territory. The
Quichuan Institute of Biotechnology (IQB) is
helping make this a reality. Indigenous profes-
sionals manage the Institute, an NGO founded
in 1992. All of the professionals are from the
natural science disciplines with the exception of
one social scientist an anthropologist.
Since its creation, the IQB has pursued the
construction of a sustainable development
model based on the management of community
S territories, their ecosystems and
quiress biodiversity. This objective is real-
apply ized with indigenous knowledge
e in the (both recuperated ancestral knowl-
ughout edge and current knowledge) and
tion. participatory methodologies applied
to natural resource management.
The professionals of the IQB never
received formal training in gender analysis but
the nature of their work with indigenous commu-
nities facilitates recognition of gender variation in
the knowledge and management of biodiversity
and territory. Despite this, they wanted to fun-
damentally integrate a gender focus into their

The IQB is an organization without a beau-
rocratic structure, administrative personnel capi-
tal investments. The organization is interwoven
into the communities where the members live
and work. Extension agents usually come from
the communities they work in and generate pro-
jects through the IQB. Therefore, free commu-
nication between collaborators is crucial to inter-
change methodologies and experiences. This
accumulation of experiences enables the IQB to
advance in the biodiversity conservation field
even as it ensures ancestral rights and recuper-

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

ates the traditions of the indigenous communi-

,How MERGE training changed the
IQB's methods?
In 1996, FLACSO and UF trained two insti-
tute technicians through the Regional MERGE
Specialization Course called "Communities,
Gender and Sustainable Natural Resource
Management." The two participants from the
Institute were Victor Vacacela, a forester, and
Rosa Vacacela, an anthropologist. Each ab-
sorbed the gender concepts through the lens of
their distinct professional backgrounds. IQB
policy requires personnel to apply new knowl-
edge in the field and throughout the institution.
This policy encouraged Victor and Rosa to lead
a training workshop on gender and resource
management for the indigenous technicians of
IQB and collaborators from other institutions like
the Organization of the Indigenous People of
Pastaza (OPIP). This workshop spread the
concepts of gender analysis throughout the IQB
technical staff. The MERGE course allowed
technicians to strengthen their approach towards
the recuperation of gendered knowledge in order
to improve the conservation and administration
of Amazonian biodiversity.
Applying a gender focus helped the IQB
formulate new strategies for more efficient biodi-
versity conservation. The strategies also pro-
moted participation and the ancestral knowledge
of both women and men. The incorporation of a
gender focus within IQB projects revealed that
women have more knowledge of fruit and palm
species of the forest. A process of species se-
lection for cultivation had been started but was
stalled because of uncertainty about which
community members to include. After conduct-
ing workshops in the community, the IQB estab-
lished that women had more knowledge of spe-
cies. Thus, women and children collected and
selected seeds while young men climbed to col-
lect the larger trees' seeds. The final selection
of quality seeds and the cultivation of plants was
done only by the adult women considered by
family and community to possess paju9.
Once the IQB realized these facts, it reor-
ganized activities in the genetic resources man-
agement program, dividing work between
women and men according to ability and knowl-
edge. The inclusion of the MERGE gender fo-
cus, established a gendered and generational
division of access, use and control of existing

resources within both community space and
The IQB also identified gender differences
in planting crops and seed bank and nursery
construction. At the beginning of the project,
women were solely responsible for all activities.
After gender analysis, the IQB redistributed re-
sponsibilities according to the ability and knowl-
edge of the women and men. Thus, the men's'
activities relied more on physical force: trans-
porting seeds, soil preparation and digging holes
for tree planting. Women, on the other hand,
were responsible for planting and seedling care
since only they possessed the "paju".
This did not change the concept of conser-
vation but it did change the strategies used to
carry it out. In addition, ancestral knowledge to
strengthen biodiversity conservation was recu-
perated while participation of women and men
expanded. The 1993 Yana Yacu community
chacra (family garden) resource inventory indi-
cated a lack of diversity through the loss of tradi-
tional chacra management. IQB recognized
women's knowledge of phytogenetic resources
in the chacras. However, a gender analysis of
the inventory and the access, control and use of
chacra resources revealed that elderly women
had the greatest knowledge of these resources
and resource management.
The IQB undertook the task of rescuing the
elderly women's knowledge of traditional chacra
management systems. These Quechua-
Amazon systems have a significant diversity of
flora and fauna that is vital to each family's
economy. The family manages the chacra and
creates an extremely diverse type of secondary
forest, full of fruits, palms and medicines. Fami-
lies initially cultivate short-cycle plants like cas-
sava, fruits and spices while on the edge spiny
palms, a longer-cycle plant, are used to control
pests and disease (for example Bactris gasi-
paes, Astrocaryum vulgare among others).
While harvesting short-cycle crops, the family
plants new long-cycle crops in the whole chacra
until it becomes a ushun. In an ushun, one can
plant fruits, some palm species, medicinal plants
and plantains.
After eight years of growth, the secondary
forest or purum becomes a habitat rich in large
tree, palm and fruit species. An impressive vari-
ety of wildlife is also drawn to forage for fruit in
the purum. Men manage the space outside the
purum but women harvesting for the family con-
trol the interior. The purum is also where young
boys learn to hunt, a skill vital to the survival of
both family and quichua tradition. Thus, the

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

chacra not only maintains biodiversity but also
gives women power over resource access and
control. Eventually the commercialization of
chacra products might give women income to
improve their social status in the community.
The IQB technicians did not immediately
identify all of the subtleties in this complex proc-
ess. The team anthropologist, a woman, under-
stood the importance of the women but the
agronomists, all men, had difficulty seeing the
magnitude of the women's role and how to en-
courage this role for community benefit. During
the IQB internal workshop, it was impressive to
see that those technicians reluctant to recognize
the women's role became proud of their suc-
cessful application of the gender focus in their
Another example of the gender focus re-
vealing the overlooked is the management of
moritia flexsosa. This plant creates habitats im-
portant for the reproduction of mammals, birds
and reptiles. Men find these T a
areas to be excellent for hunt-
ing while women find the same ble visible
places to be ideal for seed col- analysis is
election. These two uses can goal of biodi
cause conflict when fruit and tion and anc
seed collection require the cut-
ting of palms. The standing recuperatio
palms attract game, and thus
their cutting negatively impacts hunting. The
IQB technicians analyzed this potential gender
conflict in a series of workshops.
Within the workshops, the community ana-
lyzed each resource according to gender use.
The community developed a phenological cal-
endar for plants and fruits while identifying re-
productive habits of fauna (principally parrots,
turkeys and tapir). Finally, the women and men
of the community created a calendar of resource
use to avoid future conflict.

What does the future hold?
The institutionalization of the gender focus
in the IQB extends from the community to the
internal organizational structure of the quichua
people. This extension is constructed through
successful project implementation by techni-
cians trained in gender analysis. Currently, the
gender focus is applied throughout the projects.
Since the IQB has no administrative body, gen-
der has not altered the institutional mission. In
this case, the goal is to create a theory of natural
resource management with a gender focus from
the indigenous perspective.

n in th

The following are some of the dreams of
the professionals of the IQB:
To continue with gender training, not only for
the IQB but also for the four institutions that
collaborate with the IQB.
Elaborate management plans for three
quichua communities located in areas cru-
cial for biodiversity conservation. This re-
quires resource management with a gender
Formulate a model for biodiversity manage-
ment of the quichua territory in Pastaza.
To continue with gender focused biodiversity
management of wild medicinal plants in bo-
tanical gardens managed by women and
supported by men.
To continue researching in three additional
communities the gender differences in an-
cestral knowledge of biodiversity.
The act of making the invisible visible
through gender analysis is critical to the IQB
Ste i i- goal of biodiversity conserva-
tion and ancestral knowledge
gh gender recuperation in the Amazon. In
I to the IQB this way, the technicians can
y conserva- continue dreaming of how to
I knowledge promote conservation through
Amazon. the recuperation of ancestral
S knowledge of both indigenous
women and men.

The goal of this chapter is to present how
three organizations dedicated to biodiversity
conservation though community participation
incorporated the gender perspective in their in-
stitutions, programs and projects. The efforts
made by each institution serve as models for
those interested in similar initiatives. In this
comparative analysis it is important to remember
three crucial elements of learning: the methodo-
logical or tools and concepts learned; the institu-
tional which refers to the relations between the
individual and their colleagues; and the personal
which focuses on the individual, their spouse
and family. Methodological training is necessary
to analytically reflect on the institutional, and to
assimilate experiences to the personal. In the
same way, our personal perceptions can influ-
ence how we approach the methodological and
institutional (Rani Parker, 1995). It is through the
analysis of these elements that we understand
how gender institutionalization affects the institu-

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

tional, the methodological and the personal in
these three separate cases.
We focus the comparative analysis on sev-
eral themes common to the three cases. Al-
though it is possible to analyze the cases from
other points of view, we have selected those
themes we consider most important to the les-
sons learned.

Institutional Mission and Motives for
Gender Institutionalization
Each of the institutions studied was created
before coming into contact with the MERGE
program in November of 1994. The three insti-
tutions share the goal of biodiversity conserva-
tion within their respective mission statements,
explicitly or implicitly (in the case of IQB). Nev-
ertheless, each institution carries out this goal in
distinct ways. Arcoiris integrates sustainable
development principles and actions within its
conservation programs. The IQB focuses on the
development and preservation of indigenous
communities to achieve biodiversity conserva-
tion in the Amazonia ECOCIENCIA, while not
having an explicit goal of community develop-
ment projects, respects the knowledge of
women and men and values active participation
in conservation programs.
Gender focus and the emphasis on its inte-
gration in institutional programs and projects
came after the formation of these institutions.
Each institution developed a process of incorpo-
rating the gender focus for similar reasons: they
wanted to make biodiversity conservation work
more efficient through active community partici-
pation. After applying the gender perspective in
the projects, the institutions noticed a more equi-
table participation and the discovery of the least
visible groups within the communities. Although
donors of the organizations put an emphasis on
the incorporation of the gender perspective in
the projects, none of these institutions began the
process due to external pressure.

The People Carrying Out the Process
A comparative study from 1989 demon-
strates that in that era, the sex of the person
driving the gender incorporation process is an
important variable influencing the methods and
intensity of the gender integration (Poats and
Russo, 1989). In these three cases, the most
intense training and integration of the gender
focus is lead by women. The majority of these

women fulfill leadership roles in their organiza-
In each of the institutions, the people who
initially emphasized the importance of gender
did not have a significant exposure to the con-
cept previous to MERGE training. Curiously,
three of the four people trained had natural sci-
ence backgrounds (two foresters and a bota-
nist). The exception is an anthropologist. The
sex of the people trained is balanced, with two
women and two men. Each person trained by
MERGE was charged with incorporating gender
at the institutional level.
In each of the three institutions, the person-
ality of the individual and their role within the
institution has been factors influencing how gen-
der is incorporated. On the other hand, the sex
of the individual appears to not be a factor. In
the case of Arcoiris, MERGE extensively trained
a forester, Bolivar Tello, who became the project
director most active in the integration of the
gender focus. However, Bolivar did not have the
authority to influence projects beyond his own
department nor the overall policies of the institu-
tion. Yet, as a founding member, he did have
direct access to the executive director and the
board, and was able to sensitize them about
gender and its importance.
The trainee that took on the challenge of
promoting gender analysis in ECOCIENCIA, is
an ethnobotanist, Rocio Alarc6n. She is both
the research department director and a founding
member of the institution. Rocio Alarc6n has
enough institutional clout to influence the direc-
tors of the institution. Above all, she focused her
efforts on department personnel, teaching them
the importance of the incorporation of the gen-
der focus in research and fieldwork. In this
way, Rocio is making sure that the gender focus
will be used in the field, in the workplace and at
administrative levels.
The Quichuan Institute of Biotechnology
has two individuals trained by MERGE in gender
analysis. Each accepted the challenge of train-
ing all members of the institution and its collabo-
rators. Due to the IQB's lack of centralized and
vertical administration, there is a highly fluid in-
teraction between professionals and field techni-
cians. The forester, Victor Vacacela, and the
anthropologist, Rosa Vacacela, have more ma-
neuverability to promote gender analysis within
the institution. However, they are restricted by a
lack of financial resources.
In summary, the personalities and motiva-
tions of each individual have stimulated the
promotion of gender analysis. The receptive-

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

ness of the institutional directors facilitated the
individual efforts, but the tenacity of Bolivar,
Rocio, Victor and Rosa has much to do with the

Creation of a Support Network
The support networks and interchanges of
experiences are crucial to the process of institu-
tionalization of gender. The MERGE/FLACSO
course created a support network and started
the interchange of experiences between partici-
pants of different professions and institutions. It
is for this reason, at least in Ecuador where the
majority of participants live, that participants still
remain in contact. These sporadic interchanges
provide support to projects and the interchange
of ideas and experiences. In fact, this chapter is
the product of a network of people trained by
MERGE and we continue to work in the field of
sustainable conservation and development with
a gender focus.
The three institutions have put a great deal
of emphasis on continued communication and
the creation of support networks for gender fo-
cused activities. In the city of Loja, Arcoiris
pushes other rural conservation and develop-
ment organizations to integrate a gender focus
in their work. Activities such as this have cre-
ated a discussion and training network of gender
analysis. In the same manner, the IQB trains
personnel of collaborating institutions and
broadens its support network in the city of Puyo
and the communities it works in. ECOCIENCIA
promotes training and interchange through the
SUBIR project. In addition, ECOCIENCIA is
constructing a research network among its col-
laborators (including CARE).

Director Support and Institutional
Level of Commitment
Each institution analyzed has demonstrated
different levels of institutional support and dedi-
cation to the topic of gender focus. From the
start, even before undergoing MERGE/FLACSO
training, the directors and other influential indi-
viduals (principally men) within ECOCIENCIA
have supported the idea of integrating gender
analysis within their programs and projects.
For this reason, they strongly supported the
training and ,following that, the work of Rocio.
In this way, ECOCIENCIA demonstrated con-
siderable commitment to the institutionalization
of the gender perspective within all areas of the
organization. In addition, the directors received

acknowledgement for their work from other col-
laborators (principally CARE) who proposed that
ECOCIENCIA take charge of training within its
own institution.
Several factors have facilitated IQB's adop-
tion of the gender focus. Victor and Rosa are
founding members of the IQB and have great
latitude in the design and execution of their pro-
jects. These factors and the horizontal adminis-
trative system mean that less effort is needed to
convince the leadership of the IQB. The high
level of commitment of both individuals in turn
increases institutional commitment. However,
the constant search for financing inhibits the es-
tablishment of a systematic long-term process of
institutionalization. To compensate for this diffi-
culty they have created a strong supporting insti-
tutional foundation among technicians and ex-
ternal collaborators. Although some resistance
was felt early in the process, this was eliminated
through training and application of the gender
focus in the field.
The executive director of Arcoiris is con-
vinced of the importance of integrating gender
into Foundation programs. However, there is
still no explicit mandate for all of the depart-
ments in the institution. Bolivar has successfully
passed his knowledge of gender to the col-
leagues he interacts with directly and to the
community members he collaborates with in his
projects. Yet, more resources are needed to
develop the process over the long term. Per-
haps any existing resistance can be eliminated
through more awareness and comprehension of
the gender theme.

Institutional and Administrative Gen-
der Policies
ECOCIENCIA is the only one of the three
institutions that has formally changed its mission
to reflect the commitment of integrating the gen-
der focus throughout the institution. This institu-
tion is even considering the adoption of adminis-
trative policies focused on gender issues. An
example is the establishment of policies helping
employee families. This implies the creation of
policies for parents of both sexes. These ideas
are still at the discussion stage but are innova-
tive nonetheless. The other two institutions
have not reached this level of gender integra-
tion. However, this is surely the next step after
the gender focus has permeated the work in the
field. It is a natural that methodological fieldwork
affects the individual and then how the individual
relates to her or his colleagues.

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

Gender Integration in the Field
All three institutions have a gender integra-
tion strategy in common: it is the responsibility of
all and not a centralized effort of one person or
unit. Arcoiris has not assigned
one person to incorporate the All three il
gender focus. On the contrary, a gendi
Bolivar and his team are trying to strategy il
maintain a gender focus in all the resp
projects. ECOCIENCIA also
and not
does not have one person or
group responsible for gender, effort of
instead with the inspiration of
Rocio and the support of the
other directors; they hired more social scientists
into their group. These new people already rec-
ognize the importance of gender integration.
The IQB has also not counted on one individual
or group for gender promotion and integration.

Gender Training
In all three cases MERGE gender training
was the critical action in sparking efforts towards
the institutionalization of gender. ECOCIENCIA
and Arcoiris had developed an interest at an
almost theoretical level that after Rocio and Bo-
livar's MERGE training was
grounded in practical application. Each
Victor and Rosa, after MERGE people
training, realized that their previous with Ml
work in Amazonia had a gender the trai
focus though it was never formally have a
recognized or articulated as such.
This is logical given the participa- last
tory nature of their work philosophy
requiring active equitable involvement of both
women and men.
Each of the four people who trained with
MERGE found the training style to have a posi-
tive and lasting impact. They found the impact
to be at both the personal and professional lev-
els. Rocio expressed it best when she said that
the diversity of participants created an ideal
combination and a stimulating learning environ-
ment. The mix of veterans, young professionals
and recent college graduates helped stimulate
innovative concepts and methods, this creative
energy in turn stimulated participants to pass the
acquired knowledge to institutional colleagues.

Future Planning
Each one of the institutions has plans to in-
tensify gender incorporation within their projects
and programs. Each person trained has a per-
sonal and professional interest in incorporating a

institutions have
er integration
n common: it is
onsibility of all
a centralized
one person or

gender focus into a long-term
process. Bolivar remarked that
donors' emphasis on the inclu-
sion of gender in projects has
brought financial and political
support to Arcoiris. This support
for bringing a gender focus to
natural resource management
and community development has
allowed Arcoiris to develop long-
term processes involving gender.

ECOCIENCIA and the IQB are also taking steps
to incorporate gender within institutional projects
and policies.

The three cases provide valuable lessons
for other institutions interested in the process of
the institutionalization of gender.

1. Organizational leadership needs to support
the institutionalization of gender. Having a

of the foL
who trair
ERGE foi
ning style
positive 2
ig impact

key people who can exert po-
ur litical power within the institu-
led tion in combination with indi-
ind viduals passionately invested
to in gender promotion and an ef-
and fective gender program will im-
prove the possibility of the insti-
tutionalization of gender.
(Poats y Russo: 1989). Within
ECOCIENCIA, Rocio was assisted by the di-
rector and other key institutional personnel,

who unconditionally supported her work. In
addition, her position as research depart-
ment director and the support of the CARE
program for her gender work, were very
helpful in the process of the institutionaliza-
tion of gender. Other factors such as the de-
sire, tenacity, personality and sex of the in-
dividual are also crucial to the successful in-
tegration of the gender focus.
2. A systematic and continuous gender training
program is important to back actions in the
field. In addition, it is important to replicate
positive experiences and train the trainers.
To fulfill these goals funds are needed for
adequate training. Training is frequently
costly. Although none of the three institu-

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

tions had a formal gender training program,
each person trained by
MERGE invested a great deal Maintain
of effort in the sharing of her or and g
his knowledge with both col- together
leagues and collaborators. The tog
three institutions have also tre
sponsored gender training SE
events. These have been well
received by field technicians, researchers,
technicians and institutional collaborators. It
will be important to ensure that these efforts
are not isolated incidents but rather contin-
ued through a more systematic program.
This program would not have to be cost in-
tensive. For example, creating an internal
discussion group focused on gender can be
very effective while not requiring significant
capital investment.
3. Maintaining participation and gender fo-
cuses together is better than treating them
separately. "Community participation" refers
to people. These groups of people are
made up of women, men, children, teenag-
ers, the elderly etc. The participation of
these groups necessarily implies a gender
focus to create a more effective and equita-
ble project participation whether it be in
natural resource management, in research
or community development. Therefore, one
person or group should be responsible for
the participatory and gender focus while
these focuses should form part of the work
of all involved in programs and projects
(Hamerschlag and Reerink, 1996). In many
cases, the responsibility of everyone is the
responsibility of no one. By relying on one
person or group, depending on institutional
structure, one can improve the monitoring of
the impacts of gender and participation. In
addition, one can centralize and follow up on
training and reflection events. This does not
mean that only one person or group should
be responsible for gender and participation,
rather it means that the monitoring, follow up
and evaluation are centralized. In fact, the
application of these focuses should be the
work of all the directors, technicians and
project leaders.
4. The level of institutional commitment to gen-
der should be demonstrated through poli-
cies, mandates and actions with sufficient
human and financial resources (Poats y
Russo: 1989). In many cases it is not
enough to train technicians and integrate the
gender variable into field work if there is not

ing partic
gender foc
rr is bette
eating there

a serious lasting commitment from the insti-
tutional leadership. This
ipation commitment must be mani-
uses fest in the institutional poli-
r than cies, mission, mandate and
actions. Hamerschlag and
rn Reerink (1996) offer a list of
points to be kept in mind to
ensure the actual institution-
alization of gender:
a. Gender Policies and Programs,
should be present in a document de-
scribing the values, principles and mis-
sion of the institution. This should be
elaborated with the active participation
of all institutional members and the clear
commitment of the institutional leader-
b. Integration of Gender in Planning, this
includes the explicit application of the
gender focus in programs and projects
and in monitoring and evaluation of
these efforts. This goes beyond count-
ing on one person or group and requires
action in all programs.
c. Gender Training, should concentrate
on awareness, planning and analysis. In
addition, training should include the
specific tools and methodologies
needed for the institutionalization of the
gender focus.
d. Gender and Hiring, includes policies of
equal opportunity, gender focus, job and
compensation description, both women
and men in leadership positions, and ac-
tive strategies to incorporate women into
the highest administrative levels.
e. Pro-family Policies within the Work-
place, This means work flexibility, ma-
ternal and paternal benefits, and support
for childcare.

We have learned from three organizations
committed to community participation in biodi-
versity conservation and natural area manage-
ment with a gender focus. Each has chosen
their own way of demonstrating their commit-
ment, their own way of using the gender focus
and have their own preliminary results and les-
sons learned from the process. There is still a
long way to go before the institutionalization of
gender becomes a reality. However, these
cases show that it is possible, that it is important

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

and that it can contribute to conservation.
There are still many unknowns but building on
the experience of Arcoiris, ECOCIENCIA and
the IQB, other institutions can draft their plan of
incorporating a gender focus.

Campbell, Constance E. and Mary Hill Rojas
2000 Institutional Approach to Gender and
Biodiversity Conservation in Latin
America and the Caribbean: The
Parks in Peril Program of The Nature
Conservancy and USAID.
Documento borrador presentado en
LASA 2000, XXII Congreso
International Asociaci6n de Estudios
Latinoamericanos Marzo 16-18 del
2000. Miami, Florida.
Hamerschlag, Kari and Annemarie Reerink
1996 Best Practices for Gender Integration
in Organizations and Programs from
the InterAction Community. American
Council for Voluntary International
Action y Commission on the
Advancement of Women.
Washington, D.C.
Parker, A. Rani, Itziar Lozano and Lyn A. Mess-
1995 Gender Relations Analysis: A Guide
for Trainers. Westport,Conn.: Save
The Children.
Poats, Susan V. and Sandra L. Russo.
1989 Training in WID/Gender Analysis in
Agricultural Development: A Review
of Experiences and Lessons
Learned. Tropical Research and
Development, Inc. Gainesville,

. S. .



Comite Ecuatoriano para la Defen-
sa de la Naturaleza y el Medio
Ambiente-una agrupaci6n de orga-
nizaciones no-gubernamentales
ambientalistas del Ecuador.

The Nature Conservancy-an
international conservation
organization working in Ecuador,
and other countries through local




Program de Bosques Nativos
Andinos-Native Andean Forests
Program-an international program
promoting projects in the andean

Program de Pequefas Donacio-
nes del Programa de las Naciones
Unidas de Desarrollo. Small Donor
Program of the United Nations De-
velopment Program.

Fondo Ecuatoriano-Canadiense de
Desarrollo. The Ecuadorian-
Canadian Development Fund.

CARE International is an interna-
tional rural development organiza-
tion that created a program for
strengthening NGO's for develop-
ment Program for Strengthening
Development NGO's (FORDES)

FLACSO Facultad Latinoamericana de Cien-
cias Sociales -Sede Ecuador- The
Department of Latin American So-
cial Sciences in Ecuador, A univer-
sity based in Quito and partner of
the MERGE program through the
GEMAREN project (G6nero y
Manejo de Recursos Naturales-
Gender and Natural Resource
Management project).

MERGE The University of Florida's "Manag-
ing Ecosystems and Resources
with Gender Emphasis" program.

FUNAN Fundaci6n Antisana- Antisana
Foundation-an Ecuadorian conser-
vation NGO and partner of the
MERGE program during the project
funded by the MacArthur Founda-
tion through TNC.

SUBIR Sustainable Uses of Biological Re-
sources Project..

Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002

1 Paulina Arroyo and Susan Poats are
members of the Grupo Randi Randi, a non-
profit organization located in Quito and collabo-
rator with the MERGE program.

2 Bolivar Tello is a founding partner of the
Arcoiris Foundation (in Loja), Rosa Vacacela is
founder and member of the el Instituto Quichua
de Biotecnologia (in Puyo) y Rocio Alarc6n is
the president and director of research for
ECOCIENCIA (in Quito).

3 Paulina Arroyoa and Susan V. Poats
wrote this case study following two interviews
with Bolivar Tello, and both written and oral
communication with Fausto L6pez, director of
The Arcoiris Foundation.

4 Paulina Arroyo and Susan V. Poats wrote
this case study after interviewing Rocio Alarc6n,
Director of Research at ECOCIENCIA, and
reading her written communications.

5 Currently the Ministry of Environment.

6 United States Agency for International

7 The technicians of the IQB describe
themselves as "dreamers" focusing on commu-
nity work and the recognition of indigenous an-
cestral knowledge. For the quichuas of Pastaza
the muscui or dream, is very important, as it al-
ways is realized and all daily activities are
guided by the muscui. To dream about gender
implies a profound commitment that is carried
out and applied in daily life.

8 Paulina Arroyo y Susan V. Poats wrote
this case study after interviewing Rosa Vacacela
of the IQB and reading her written contributions.

9 Paju, word in quichua that translates as
"having the knowledge and energy to do some-
thing", in this case to select sedes and cultivate

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