IIED Wildlife and Development Series
No. 16, June 2003.
Women, Gender and ICDPs:
Lessons Learnt and Ways Forward
International Institute for Environment and Development
3, Endsleigh Street, London, WC1H ODD.
Tel: +207 388 2117; Fax: +207 388 2826.
Web site: http://www.iied.org/
TITLES IN SERIES
No.1 Murphree M (1995) The Lesson from Mahenye: Rural Poverty, Democracy and
No.2 Thomas S (1995) Share and Share Alike? Equity in CAMPFIRE.
No.3 Nabane N (1995) A Gender-Sensitive Analysis of CAMPFIRE in Masoka Village.
No.4 Thomas S (1995) The Legacy of Dualism in Decision-Making within CAMPFIRE.
No.5 Bird C and Metcalf S (1995) Two Views from CAMPFIRE in Zimbabwe's Hurungwe
District: Training and Motivation. Who benefits and who doesn't?
No.6 Bird C, Clark J, Moyo J, Moyo JM, Nyakuna P and Thomas S (1995) Access to
Timber in Zimbabwe's Communal Areas.
No.7 Hasler R (1995) The Multi-Tiered Co-Management of Zimbabwean Wildlife
No.8 Taylor R (1995) From Liability to Asset: Wildlife in the Omay Communal Land of
No.9 Leader-Williams N, Kayera JA and Overton GL (eds.) (1996) Mining in Protected
Areas in Tanzania.
No.10 Roe D, Leader-Williams N and Dalal-Clayton B (1997) Take Only Photographs,
Leave Only Footprints: The Environmental Impacts of Wildlife Tourism.
No.11 Ashley C and Roe D (1998) Enhancing Community Involvement in Wildlife
Tourism: Issues and Challenges.
No.12 Goodwin H, Kent I, Parker K and Walpole M (1998) Tourism, Conservation and
Sustainable Development: Case Studies from Asia and Africa.
No.13 Dalal-Clayton B and Child B (2001) Lessons from Luangwa: The Story of the
Luangwa Integrated Resource Development Project, Zambia.
No.14 Walpole M, Karanja GG, Sitati NW and Leader-Williams N (2003) Wildlife and
People: Conflict and Conservation in Masai Mara, Kenya.
No.15 Watkin, J. (2003) The Evolution of Ecotourism In East Africa: From an Idea to an
Published by: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
3, Endsleigh Street, London, WC1H ODD, UK.
Copyright: IIED, London, UK.
Citation: Flintan, F. (2003) 'Engendering' Eden: Women, Gender and ICDPs: Lessons
Learnt and Ways Forward. Summary Document. Wildlife and Development
Series No.16, International Institute for Environment and Development,
ISSN: 1361 8628 ISBN: 1 84369 440 9
Note: The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not
necessarily represent those of IIED.
This research programme would not have been possible without the large number of people
who helped with the case study work and provided information and documents on ICDPs
and CBNRM. Many many thanks to all of them, particularly the women in the local
communities who gave up time and resources to answer questions and help with the
research. It is hoped that this sharing of experiences and lessons learnt does justice to them
and their knowledge and will contribute to a more equitable conservation and development
In particular I should like to acknowledge Ross Hughes, Tom McShane, Phil Franks and
Cristina Espinosa who provided invaluable encouragement and support in the early stages of
this research programme's development; to Girija Godbole, Emiliana Tapia and Helene
Barnes who contributed to the case study work; and to Lizzie Wilder for her tireless editing
of the reports.
The research was funded primarily by the Department for International Development of the
United Kingdom. Contributions were also received from WWF International, CARE-Tanzania,
CARE-Vietnam and British Airways Assisting Conservation Scheme. However the Department
for International Development and the other contributors can accept no responsibility for
any information provided or views expressed.
Fiona Flintan directed the research project 'Engendering' Eden: Women, Gender and
ICDPs based at the International Famine Centre, University College Cork, Ireland. She is a
consultant in environment and development, specialising in social equity issues;
institutional capacity building; conflicts over resources; and ICDPs (including project
development and assessment). She is an experienced trainer in gender, NRM and PRA/RRA.
She can be contacted through Email: email@example.com
Box 3.1 IUCN's Gender Policy
Box 3.2 The Dynamics of Power
Box 3.3 Steps Towards Equality Between Men and Women
CBNRM Community Based Natural Resource Management Project
CBO Community Based Organisation
CRM Community Resource Monitors
CWM Community Wildlife Management
DFID Department for International Development
GAD Gender and Development
GED Gender, Environment and Development
ICDP Integrated Conservation and Development Project
IIED International Institute for Environment and Development
IUCN World Conservation Union
LIRDP Luangwa Integrated Rural Development Project, Zambia
JFM Joint Forest Management
NGO Non-Governmental Organisation
NP National Park
NRM Natural Resource Management
ORMA Meso-American Regional Office, IUCN
PA Protected Area
PRA Participatory Rural Appraisal
RRA Rapid Rural Appraisal
SIDA Swedish International Development Cooperation
WID Women In Development
WWF World Wide Fund for Nature
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Titles in Series............................................ ........................................ .... ................ii
Boxes ........................................................................................................................... iv
Acronyms ................................................................................................................. ......iv
Table of Contents ...................................................................................................... v
Executive Summary ................................................................................................. vi
1. Introduction .......................................................................................................... 1
1.1 Protection of the 'Garden of Eden' ............................................. ..................... 1
1.3 Women, Gender, Environment and Development................... ....... ............ 1
1.4 'Engendering' Eden .................................................................... ....................2
1.5 ICDPs: An Introduction ........................................ .. ...................................3
2. Gender Differences and Relationships............................................. .................. 5
2.1 Collection of Natural Resources.................... ............................ ........................ 5
2.2 Socio-Economic and Political Inequities......................... ... .....................5
2.3 Gender, Women and Conservation .............................................. ..................... 6
3. Women, Gender and ICDPs.................................................... ............................ 8
3.1 Lack of Concern for Gender Issues in ICDPs.............................................. .............. 8
3.2 Bringing Women into the Equation Policy and Organisation Development ..............10
3.3 Project Planning...............................................................................................11
3.4 Project Implementation 'Women's Projects'...................... .. .. .. .................11
3.5 Project Implementation Gender Mainstreaming .......................................................15
3.6 Project Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation............................. ........................... 2
4. Making ICDPs Work for Women as well as Men.......................................... ....25
4 .2 W ays Fo rw ard .......................................................................... ............................2 5
4.3 Conclusion ........................................................ ............ ........... ...... .. 30
Appendix 1 Future Research.................................. ................ ............................32
Recommended Texts .............................................................................................. 35
The conservation movement finds its roots in attempts to protect threatened colonies and
their resources from both colonial powers and indigenous peoples. It was led by men:
European men, many of who were ex-hunters. Women (colonised and colonial) played little
role in the conservation processes: they were marginalised and dominated.
Today, as conservation moves increasingly to more community-based initiatives and those
'integrated' with the development of local communities, there is also a focus on the
achievement of more equitable particularly gender equitable conservation. However there
is inexperience and a lack of knowledge how to accomplish this. The 'Engendering' Eden
programme attempted to fill some of these existing gaps, achieve a better understanding of
the linkages between gender equity and conservation and development, and to indicate ways
This document summarises the key issues that have been identified through the extensive
research carried out over two years, including case study work on ICDPs (Integrated
Conservation and Development Projects) in Africa and Asia. Two regional studies have also
been produced detailing the case studies and other examples. This document draws out the
experiences and lessons learnt from them.
Men and women in both Africa and Asia and particularly those from poorer households can
still be highly dependent on the collection of natural resources to fulfil household needs
and contribute to food security and poverty alleviation. The collection of such resources is
gender differentiated in relation to socio-economical, cultural, ethnic and geographical
However, in general women's share of decision-making power at both macro and micro
levels remains low: it is dominated by men. In addition women have less access to resources
and fewer opportunities to improve their lives. In Africa in particular there is a lack of
organised platforms from which to address women's issues. However women, rather than
men, tend to be keener to form cooperatives and mobilise themselves as a group to share
responsibilities, provide support, and even to initiate change. Many have seen the advantage
of 'group power'.
With a few rare exceptions, more women are illiterate than men. This can compromise their
ability to make the most of the opportunities that development and conservation processes
offer. In addition though women may have a good knowledge concerning the resources that
they use, they tend to have a poorer understanding of environmental processes and the
long-term impact of unsustainable use.
Poverty and pressures to fulfil daily household needs are major constraints for women in
terms of finding time or resources to invest in conservation and environmental practices.
Women are often forced to prioritise on a short-term basis. This tends to conflict directly
with conservation and environmental objectives that are more long-term in nature.
Few ICDPs in both Africa and Asia have actively addressed gender issues. Though it has been
realized that women are 'missing out' from ICDPs there has been a lack of experience and
knowledge concerning how to tackle this. There has been a reliance on addressing
problems in a haphazard and uninformed way as they arise, or on the enthusiasm and
concerns of individuals. Interventions in the past have mainly focused on 'women's
projects' which have been seen as the means of overcoming the inequities that exist. These
1.1 PROTECTION OF THE 'GARDEN OF EDEN'
The conservation movement has its roots in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Concern had grown that European colonies, particularly in Africa and Asia, were rapidly
being destroyed as colonial powers plundered natural resources. Attempts were made to
protect wildlife and forests and preserve romanticised images of the Garden of Eden (Grove,
1995; Said, 1978). This was backed by scientific theories that explained the diversity of
nature, its worth and its possible extinction (Darwin, 1859).
At the time hunting was a common colonial past time a symbol of 'manliness' and worthy
of 'sportsmanship'. By the end of the nineteenth century hunting had become a white man's
"not only the symbol of European dominance, but also the determinant of class
within that dominance... While none of these hunters doubted their own right of
access to extravagant killing, they argued for conservation policies and the need
to restrict the access of others, not least that of the natives." (MacKenzie, 1987:41;
Women, both colonised and colonial, were dominated throughout the period by men,
especially white men: it was they who made and enforced the laws and policies in their own
interests (McClintock, 1995). Hunting epitomised the severe separation of the male and
female worlds. As MacKenzie (1987:50) suggests:
"the medieval tournament ritualised warfare and killing and facilitated the
emergence of the fittest, who would be hailed as heroes by both the crowd and
the ladies in whose honour the tournament was held. The element of sexual
selection implied in the tournament was not lost on an age increasingly obsessed
with social Darwinism and notions of eugenics."
Popular journals like Boys Own Paper were full of hunting stories and extraordinary
graphic descriptions of taxidermy. Explorers such as William Smith warned his readers of
the perils of travelling as a white man in Africa for, on that disorderly continent, women:
"if they meet a Man they immediately strip his lower parts and throw themselves
upon him." (Smith, 1745:221 in McClintock, 1995:23).
As hunter turned conservationist, conservation policy and implementation in the colonies
was, in turn, led by men. Parallel to this, one finds the natural sciences evolving in the
colonial powers dominated by those such as Rene Descartes, for whom:
"the expansion of male knowledge amounted to a violent property arrangement
that made men masters and professors of nature" (Descartes, 1968:78 in
1.3 WOMEN, GENDER, ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
Defenders of women's rights have likened such impressions of male domination over nature
to male domination over women. A succession of movements from women in development
(WID) in the early 1970s (Boserup, 1970) through to ecofeminism (Shiva, 1988;
Merchant, 1982, 1992; Cox, 1992; Mies and Shiva, 1993) and women, environment and
development in the 1980-90s (Dankelman and Davidson, 1988; Rodda, 1991; Sontheimer,
1991; Braidotti et al, 1997) have applied pressures on implementing organizations to
include women in developmental and environmental concerns.
However, the literature and consequent policies based on these frameworks have not been
particularly helpful in integrating women. In fact they may have encouraged further
marginalisation of women's issues, with such strongly feminist perspectives being viewed as
too political, too sensitive and too radical to address. Notions of women's 'special'
relationship with nature (Braidotti et al, 1997; Shiva, 1989; Merchant, 1982, 1992)
contribute little to establishing suitable points of intervention and support at a practical
level. They are insufficient in explaining the variety of interests, motivations and power
relations in which women find themselves in regard to managing natural resources and the
A shift to gender, environment and development frameworks (GAD or GED) has opened up
more constructive opportunities for a better understanding of the relationships between
women, men and the environment as well as ways to integrate such an understanding into
policy and practice (Jackson, 1993). These approaches argue for a more informed gender
analysis of social relations and the recognition that men and women have different positions
within the household and control over resources (Kabeer, 1994; Jewitt and Kumar, 1999).
They take a more confrontational approach: the rationale being that through empowerment
women can achieve equality and equity with men in society (Moser, 1993).
1.4 'ENGENDERING' EDEN
Today, as conservation increasingly moves to more community-based initiatives and those
'integrated' with the development of the local communities, an emphasis is also being
placed on the achievement of more equitable, particularly gender equitable, conservation.
However there is inexperience and a lack of knowledge concerning how to achieve this,
particularly within the conservation context. Furthermore, conservation organizations, due
to their technocratic and natural science-based roots, have struggled with such an
integration of social issues.
The 'Engendering' Eden research programme aimed to fill some of the gaps on gender,
women and ICDPs'. It aimed to achieve a better understanding of the linkages between
gender issues and ICDPs and indicate ways forward to achieve a more equitable and
'successful' conservation and development process. The central objective was to provide an
assessment of the role of gender for enhancing the social and environmental sustainability
of ICDPs, and to develop a more empirical understanding of how gender shapes the ways
local people participate, invest in and benefit from them.
The programme focused on six sets of key questions:
1. What gender differences/inequities exist in local communities involved in ICDPs? What
other social divisions are important in relation to natural resource use and its
A distinction is made between ICDPs (integrated conservation and development projects) and CBNRM (community based
natural resource management). ICDPs are viewed to be project-oriented and more conservation focused usually linking
local development with the conservation of a National Park or other protected area. CBNRM is more of a movement or
process of increasing community 'ownership' over and use of natural resources in a sustainable manner and which contributes
to their development. This includes resources that exist outside protected areas and thus is less geographically defined.
Enabling legislation must exist for CBNRM to work. This research project focused on ICDPs though important lessons were
learnt from CBNRM.
2. How do these differences/inequities affect the way men and women participate in,
contribute to, and benefit from ICDPs?
3. To what extent, and how, are these gender differences being addressed and accounted
for in the planning, implementation and evaluation of ICDPs?
4. Where gender issues/inequities have been addressed, which methods have been
successful and which have not? To what degree are other social divisions important?
What lessons can be learnt?
5. Where gender issues/inequities have not been addressed, what are the implications for
project 'success'? What lessons can be learnt?
6. How successful is the ICDP model in addressing gender inequities in relation to poverty
alleviation and biodiversity conservation? Should changes or adjustments be made to
achieve more successful links between conservation and a more equitable development
of local communities? How can the ICDP process be more effectively guided and
The research was carried out between 2000 and 2002. Two regional studies were made:
Africa, and South and South-East Asia. A number of ICDPs were visited and gender
assessments carried out. The results are published in two volumes: 'Engendering' Eden,
Volume II: Women, Gender and ICDPs in Africa: Lessons Learnt and Experiences Shared
and 'Engendering' Eden, Volume III. Women, Gender and ICDPs in South and South-East
Asia: Lessons Learnt and Experiences Shared. The overall experiences and lessons learnt
from these two regional studies are synthesised and analysed in this summary document.
1.5 ICDPS: AN INTRODUCTION
There is no strict formula for what constitutes an ICDP. Activities can range widely. However,
Hughes and Flintan (2001), in a review of the ICDP literature, found that the following
features are common:
* Biodiversity conservation is the primary goal.
* There is a recognized need to address the social and economic requirements of
communities who might otherwise threaten biodiversity, and the natural resource base
* The core objective is to improve relationships between state-managed protected areas
and their neighbours or inhabitants.
* ICDPs do not necessarily seek to devolve control or ownership of protected area
resources to local communities, or to address this issue on the periphery of the parks.
* ICDPs usually receive (and often rely on) funding from external sources, such as
bilateral or multilateral donors and international conservation organizations.
* The majority of ICDPs are externally motivated and are initiated by conservation
organizations and/or development agencies (even if implemented by governmental
* They are generally linked to a protected area: more often than not, a National Park.
Three assumptions underpin the objectives of all ICDPs today. These are:
* Diversified local livelihood options will reduce human pressure on biodiversity, leading
to its improved conservation.
* Local people and their livelihood practices, rather than 'external factors' comprise the
most important threat to biodiversity resources of the area in question.
* ICDPs offer sustainable alternatives to traditional protectionist approaches to protected
Recently there has been a move away from ICDPs based on inflexible management plans,
towards approaches which place more emphasis on 'learning whilst doing' and 'adaptive
management'. Increasingly, the importance of social equity issues (including gender) is
A key factor in the long-term success of ICDPs is establishing linkages between the
conservation of resources and the development of local communities. This needs to be
achieved firstly at the project level and secondly, but perhaps more importantly, by the local
communities themselves. If they can understand and believe that their long-term security and
development is dependent upon more sustainable resource use and the protection of the
environment, then a key step in ICDP success will have been taken. The next step would be
when communities' actions reflect, and are based upon, such an understanding and belief.
2. GENDER DIFFERENCES AND RELATIONSHIPS
2.1 COLLECTION OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Men and women in both Africa and Asia, and particularly those from poorer households,
can still be highly dependent on the collection of natural resources for fulfilling household
needs and as a contribution to food security and poverty alleviation. In Africa this can prove
critical in times of drought and other environmental and political crises.
The collection of such resources is gender-differentiated in relation to socio-economical,
cultural, ethnic and geographical contexts. For example, in Africa fuelwood collection is
dominated by women, whilst in Asia men are also often involved. Environmental degradation
and change have limited communities' access to resources. Due to women's greater reliance
on the collection of resources on a day-to-day basis, such limitation has had a greater
negative impact on them, resulting in the need for increased time and physical input.
Though men are more involved in commercial enterprises, women also sell and trade in
natural resources. Such trade can be dominated either by richer groups who have better
access to urban markets and transport networks further a field, or by poorer groups who
tend to sell to local markets. Women are becoming increasingly involved in the processing
of natural resources as opportunities are opened up for the diversification of livelihoods,
particularly when such processing can be carried out close to home and/or when spare time
is available. Such work is often carried out in collective groups. In some cases men have
undermined women's use of resources as they have been further integrated into the cash
In Africa, culture and ethnicity can also play a significant role in defining relationships with
natural resources. In Asia, caste can be a more important factor. Religion is also highly
influential. For example Buddhism emphasises a strong respect for nature and encourages
its protection and many Christian churches protect forests and woodlands. In addition
marital status, age, wealth and social status can all play a role in creating divisions within
communities and community groups. These differences do not only influence relationships
with the environment but also influence engagement in ICDPs and development activities.
Both men and women hold extensive knowledge about the natural resources that they
collect and their various uses. Men dominate the hunting of wildlife. However there are
examples in both Africa, mainly in areas of West Africa where trade in bushmeat is high, and
in some parts of Asia, where women have played a more active role. Women tend to have a
greater knowledge about plants, fruits and grasses. Protected areas remain a major source
of natural resources.
2.2 SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL INEQUITIES
Women have less access to education and healthcare and fewer economic opportunities.
Women are also less mobile and tend to be most active around the household. Though it is
usual in Asia for women to be physically responsible for household cash, they still do not
tend to control household decision-making. In addition women have an almost total lack of
security of resources such as land and financial capital. In Africa in particular, societies
confer only secondary, usufruct rights to women. Women are normally entitled to cultivate
land controlled by their husband's lineage but not to alienate or inherit it. Men control
nearly all the property and decisions relating to it. This is proving increasingly problematic
as greater numbers of women are assuming the position of household head in place of their
husbands who are migrating to find better opportunities for work: the women still do not
have the power to make many of the decisions necessary for land use management. Without
security and control, women are less able or willing to invest in conservation practices.
Women's share of decision-making power at both macro and micro levels remains low: it is
still dominated by men. In Africa in particular there is a lack of organised platforms from
which to address women's issues. In general, women are compromised by power structures
that are heavily loaded in favour of men. Women may be farmers, but they are rarely field
managers. This is particularly true in Islamic regions where culture and religion deny
women participation in public life. Exceptions do exist however, for example in Bhutan
women have a legally protected equal status to men. Many mountain communities also tend
to be more egalitarian.
Low self-image and a lack of confidence amongst women are contributing factors to their
lack of involvement in decision-making processes. Their contribution to society and
environmental protection is highly undervalued. Not only is there a lack of political will to
change gender inequities (despite enabling and supportive policy development), but
women themselves have accepted their subordinate status. In addition women find less time
to attend meetings due to their multiple daily commitments to the household and family.
Women, rather than men, tend to be more willing to form cooperatives and self-mobilise as
a group to share responsibilities, provide support, and even to initiate change. Women have
seen the advantage of 'group power'. They will often attend meetings en masse and sit
together in a group where they feel less vulnerable. Single women, particularly those
divorced or widowed, tend to be more mobile, confident and able to participate in
activities. In many countries there are strong networks of women's groups or self-help
groups and/or government supported Women's Associations. Though they offer good
opportunities as a foundation for more formal institutions that could be involved in
conservation activities and provide space for a focus on women's interests and needs, their
contribution has yet to be fully recognized and utilised.
2.3 GENDER, WOMEN AND CONSERVATION
Poverty and pressures to fulfil daily household needs are major constraints for women in
terms of finding time or resources to invest in conservation and environmental practises.
Women tend to prioritise on a short-term basis. This tends to conflict directly with
conservation and environmental objectives that are more long-term in nature. While male
and female interests with regard to environmental management and biodiversity conservation
may be compatible, this is not always the case. As such, a sensitive institutional
understanding of gender relations is critical.
Conservation policy and practice often focuses, at least in the short-term, on a restriction on
resource use through protective measures such as the creation of a protected area and the
establishment of a group of enforcers. Because both women and men living in rural areas
are often heavily reliant on the local natural resources, such conservation measures can
have immediate detrimental costs. Women, who are more reliant than men on such
resources for fulfilling the everyday needs of the household, can experience more negative
impacts. They are likely to bear the costs to a greater extent through the increased effort
involved in gathering resources from alternative sites and/or risk being caught whilst
attempting to continue collection illegally.
Where consultations have been carried out with local communities concerning the
development of protected areas and conservation policies, the discussions tend to have
been dominated by those with more voice and power in the communities: the men. Women
and their views and/or needs have been marginalised. As a result such views or needs have
not been incorporated into conservation developments, which then have tended to have a
more adverse impact on women than men. In addition, support for related activities tends to
be focused on male activities rather then female, as most jobs produced as a result of
conservation are male dominated, such as community game guards and scouts. This is
particularly the case in Africa where in the past community-based conservation has mainly
focused on community wildlife management. This has promoted the involvement of men,
whilst marginalising women.
As a result, although community-based conservation and forestry can be beneficial, unless
pre-existing socio-cultural inequality is taken into account, they will only serve to widen the
gap in terms of access rights and unequal division of labour.
3. WOMEN, GENDER AND ICDPS
3.1 LACK OF CONCERN FOR GENDER ISSUES IN ICDPS
Few ICDPs in both Africa and Asia have actively addressed gender issues. Some projects have
recognized in hindsight that costly mistakes could have been avoided if gender issues had
been better understood and considered during project design and before implementation
had begun. Some projects plan to rectify the situation by redoing some of the initial
feasibility studies to address gender issues.
However 'adding on' a gender component is not likely to provide as positive results as
would have been achieved by integrating gender from the very beginning. Indeed, ICDPs still
fail to approach gender issues in any strategic way. Instead they normally rely on addressing
problems in an uninformed and haphazard manner as they arise and/or the enthusiasm and
concerns of individuals.
A minority of ICDPs have provided gender training for staff. At the field level, the majority of
staff act on instinct rather than on a comprehensive understanding of constraints, problems
and solutions. Where gender training has been carried out staff tend to take a more
comprehensive, informed and successful approach to overcoming problems and inequities.
Yet even here, a failure to follow-up and monitor impacts from a gender perspective means
that gender issues are often forgotten or side-lined.
This lack of consideration and incorporation of gender differences and issues has resulted
in a number of negative impacts which are discussed in more detail in the regional studies.
1. Misunderstanding and mistrust between conservation authorities, development
organizations and communities, particularly amongst women.
Because women are marginalised from conservation processes they are unaware of
legislation, rules and regulations and do not understand why they have been introduced.
They may not be aware of the opportunities that ICDPs have opened up for them. In
addition a significant gap can be found between the cultures of development organizations
and the cultures of the communities they work with. Conflict has arisen due to ill-informed
and badly-advised ICDP interventions.
In addition, men can prove resistant to women's participation in conservation and
development. They may feel threatened, or concerned that women's domestic roles and
responsibilities will be neglected if they take part.
Several women's projects have been started and then discontinued (for example within the
LIRDP, Zambia). This has resulted in increased feelings of insecurity and lack of faith in
ICDPs. The reasons for their discontinuation are varied but include a lack of funding,
change of staff and a lack of commitment to women's issues.
2. Conflicting needs and priorities and a lack ofparticipation.
The different needs of men and women, together with their different relationships with the
environment and natural resources, have been summarised above. These manifest themselves
in diverse views and perceptions of the value of resources and the environment, and the
costs and benefits of using and/or protecting them. Such views and perceptions are rarely
fully understood or incorporated into ICDPs.
Despite existing legislation supporting a more equitable participation of women in decision-
making processes concerned with natural resource use, in reality women play little role. Not
only are required numbers/quotas rarely met but also the quality of women's participation
must be questioned. Many conservation staff see the involvement of women as a mere
formality. Their potential contribution is highly undervalued. Women's 'participation' is
desirable only as a less risky and more effective mechanism for persuading them to stop
Where such differences and lack of participation have been ignored, adverse impacts have
often occurred. Conflicts have arisen during reforestation programmes because men and
women prioritise the need for certain varieties differently. In addition, it is more often
women who have to cope with increased conflicts with wildlife, for example whilst
collecting water or firewood. As a result women have been less supportive of ICDPs and less
willing to give up time and resources to contribute to them. Consequently, the success of
ICDPs may have been compromised.
Within ICDPs there is little genuine addressing of gender inequities in local communities.
Traditional gender-unbalanced structures remain untouched. Marginalised women remain
un-empowered and uninvolved. Furthermore, analyses of women's resource needs continue
to attempt the separation of women's resource use interests from their wider social
relationships and therefore risk further entrenching existing gender inequalities.
3. Increased gender inequalities.
Indeed in some projects the exclusion of women or a lack of gender awareness has had very
clear detrimental effects on women, not least by increasing the gender inequalities that
already existed. For example a number of opportunities have been opened up for men but
not women, including increased roles in decision-making processes and access to economic
and educational options. As such, men have tended to benefit more directly from ICDPs
than women. In addition it is common for women and men to experience different trade-offs
and transaction costs when getting involved in, and giving up time for, conservation projects
and practices. For women, the costs are often greater than those for men.
4. Overlooking women's roles, rights and responsibilities.
Because gender issues have not been taken into account by many ICDPs, women's roles and
rights have been overlooked. Projects have focused on what have been wrongly perceived
to be 'community roles' but in fact tend to be those dominated by men. In addition the
dynamic, flexible and adaptive nature of such roles has not been understood or accounted
In ignoring women's roles and rights, women's responsibilities have also been marginalised.
Indeed few women link rights to resources with responsibilities for them. As such, women's
contribution has been highly undervalued and opportunities have been missed for more
successful natural resource management and conservation. It should be noted that assuming
what men's roles and responsibilities are without a full understanding of them can also
3.2 BRINGING WOMEN INTO THE EQUATION POLICY AND ORGANISATION
As the missed opportunities and negative impacts of women's marginalisation from ICDPs
have been recognized, conservation and development organizations have, to varying degrees,
placed increased emphasis on more equitable development and, in some instances, a
mainstreaming of gender into policy and projects.
For example, IUCN has a comprehensive gender policy and work programme for
mainstreaming gender throughout the organisation and its work (see Box 3.1). IUCN's
Social Policy Unit based at Head Quarters in Geneva (including a Gender Policy Advisor)
together with regional offices, such as Meso-American Regional Office ORMA, has been
particularly active in promoting gender awareness and inclusion. ORMA has recently
produced a series of practical guides to incorporating and accounting for gender issues
throughout ICDPs and protected area management (see Recommended Texts).
However, other conservation organizations have failed to mainstream gender to any great
extent. Ironically these tend to be those organizations that are more directly involved in the
implementation of projects on the ground. As a result, by overlooking how social relations
of gender influence environmental resource use and conservation, policies have failed to
match up to the difficulties of involving women in projects ostensibly designed for their
benefit. Not surprisingly, projects have often fallen short in implementation and have failed
to benefit women as intended. In consequence they have often also failed to meet their
objectives of improved conservation.
Indeed, though an external evaluation of TNC (The Nature Conservancy) in the late 1990s
stressed the importance of incorporating gender issues, and there is an emphasis on the
inclusion of women in some projects, there is no general policy/strategy to guide them
(Rojas, undated; Mogelgaard, 2002).
Likewise, WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature International, UK and US) has failed to
develop anything substantial or strategic beyond initial discussions on women's
marginalisation, a handful of consultations carried out over the last decade (see for
example, Field, 1994), and expressions of concern from individuals. Some moves have been
made on a more practical level, such as WWF-US' 'Women and Conservation Initiative'
launched in 1993, but from an institutional point of view little has been done to take an
emphasis on gender forward: no formal policy on gender exists. As a result gender issues
tend to be addressed only when problems arise when individuals show particular concern
or interest and/or when donors apply pressure. As such this tends to occur in a haphazard
and reactionary fashion.
The more development-oriented organizations involved in ICDPs, such as CARE, have, in the
majority of cases, well-structured and comprehensive gender policies as well as gender focal
persons. More recently CARE has moved towards 'rights-based programming' and
application of a gender perspective within ICDPs is stated as a priority (CARE, 2001).
Gender and environment. linkages tend to focus less on biodiversity conservation and
protected area management, but more on development, poverty alleviation and human
rights. As such they would appear to be in a better position to address gender issues in a
more strategic, planned and, in all likelihood, successful manner. However, to what extent
these can aid the sustainable establishment of linkages between conservation and
development is not yet clear. From the experience of ICDPs in the past, linking such a strong
focus on development and rights issues to the conservation of resources may well prove
Additionally some national offices of conservation organizations have moved forward in
developing their own gender policies. For example WWF Nepal has developed its own policy
and strategies which have been valuable in guiding the gender mainstreaming process that is
currently being carried out. How well this is achieved and for example, reflected in work on
the ground, is yet to be seen.
Box 3.1 IUCN's Gender Policy.
IUCN first began the process of integrating women and gender issues into its policies in 1984, culminating in the
endorsement of a Gender Policy Statement (see 1UCN Website, 1998a; IUCN, 1998) and the instigation of a Work
Programme in 1998 (see IUCN Website, 1998b). I'CN's rationale for integrating gender perspectives and concerns is
based on two premises:
'first, the recognition that gender equality and equity are matters of fundamental human rights
and social justice; and secondly, the growing awareness that equality equal rights, opportunities and
responsibilities for men and women is a pre-condition for sustainable development and sustainable use of
natural resources" ibidd).
Each IUCN Regional Office has identified and formally appointed gender focal points who are responsible for taking
regional work programmes forward. As part of their Social Policy Programme, IUCN has developed the 'Alliance for
Change.' This alliance is expected to help counter the challenges that organizations face when trying to implement
gender-based programs, such as:
i) Addressing institutional dynamics that resist change.
ii) Understanding gender as a mainstreaming process.
iii) Lack of skills.
iv) Limited access to methodologies and tools.
v) Lack of funding.
By working through this alliance IUCN hopes that gender equity and understanding in the workplace will foster more
successful environmental and social projects in the field. Some proposals have been developed to address the
linkages between gender, sustainable livelihoods, and demographic strategies at the local level and their implication
for conservation and natural resources management. The Alliance for Change seeks to foster gender equality and
understanding within the ranks of its own organisational staff, in the hope that this will translate into better, more
gender-equitable conservation projects in the field.
(Mogelgaard, 2002; IUCN, 1998.)
3.3 PROJECT PLANNING
The majority of ICDPs have not sought the views and interests of all stakeholders, including
women, within their design and planning. Though some socio-economic surveys, and more
rarely gender-sensitive surveys, have taken place, these and the involvement of gender
consultants tend to be short-term and 'one-off'.
Consequently, though suggestions and inputs might be made at the beginning of a project
on issues such as gender, this is not continued through to the project's conclusion. Gender
still tends to be marginalised as 'more important' problems and 'more pressing' issues arise.
It is more often than not an added-on feature (due to personal interest or donor demand),
rather than something strategically planned for and valued.
3.4 PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION 'WOMEN'S PROJECTS'
Despite the lack of strategic frameworks or gender policies, and due to the realisation that
women were, in fact, missing out from ICDPs, a range of women's projects have been
initiated that seek to overcome some of the inequities and differences that exist in
These are based on the assumption that when projects meet women's immediate needs,
women are more forthcoming and are able to effectively manage their time to include
conservation activities. Such elements of ICDPs tend to emphasise a 'welfare approach'
focussing on women in their capacity as mothers and careers seen as central to social and
economic development as well as environmental protection. It identifies women, as opposed
to a lack of resources or access, as being the problem. Consequently, projects tend to target
women's perceived practical needs as opposed to their strategic needs.
The main categories of women's projects that are implemented through ICDPs are those
* Health provision and family planning.
* Income generation.
* Credit and savings schemes.
In general these project components are considered to be of secondary importance to
ICDPs' main activities. Their budget allocation is therefore scarce and few have made any
real impact on the achievement of protected area objectives. However they have offered
opportunities for women to benefit economically and, in some instances, socially too. As
such they have played a role in poverty alleviation within local communities and have
contributed to their development.
These projects and their components are discussed in detail within the two regional studies.
Here, the key issues have been drawn out, and the lessons learnt summarised.
3.4.1 Health Provision and Family Planning
A number of NGOs have provided support for health provision and/or family planning
services through ICDPs. It has proved important to work with local partners such as national
health- or gender-focussed NGOs and government agencies. Capacity and technical training
have also been provided in the form of improving and expanding local family planning
information and service delivery, and the training of family planning practitioners and
educators. Such schemes are more popular in Africa than Asia, and may often form part of
wider development support.
In addition a number of initiatives (described in more detail in McDonald, 2002) have been
set up at an organisation level. These include:
* Conservation International's Healthy Communities Initiative initiated in 1997;
* WWF-US' initiative Taking a Closer Look at Population and Gender which produced a
set of recommendations for action in the population-environment arena, centred on
areas such as field action, advocacy, partnerships, and M&E.
There remains uncertainty about the connection between population growth in poor rural
communities and resource use, as wealthy populations with low rates of growth tend to have
higher rates of resource consumption. Migration also contributes significantly to population
growth, though its dynamics are rarely understood.
It is difficult to measure the impacts on resource use and biodiversity conservation of health
and population initiatives. However there is evidence to suggest that such projects do not
necessarily help communities to make the conceptual link between development (health
support) and conservation. One must therefore question the sustainability of such
initiatives, and whether they should be included under the rubric of ICDPs.
3.4.2 Income Generation
Many ICDPs in both Africa and Asia focus specifically on women in their support of income-
generating activities with the aim of increasing their economic and social autonomy. Many
women tend to be more easily mobilised; be more credit-worthy; have a greater
entrepreneurial spirit than men and often make better traders and marketers. In addition,
by involving women as a socio-economic classification or unit of the community there tends
to be a natural cross-section available that transcends other socio-economic and political
divisions. In addition they usually stay in villages year-round and thus can follow through
with activities and responsibilities. However, women may face constraints in accessing
capital and finding time for activities, and may be handicapped by poor literacy and skills.
Some ICDPs, particularly those in areas of large wildlife, concentrate their efforts on raising
income through tourism and sport hunting. The income is then distributed to the local
communities. Problems remain in achieving a fair and decentralised distribution of monies,
but in general communities as a whole do benefit. However, where income is allocated to
community projects women often find that their priorities are not taken into account and
thus projects tend to be more focused on men's needs rather than women's.
The support and formation of women's groups can form an intricate part of income-
generating projects. The advantages of such groups will be discussed in more detail below.
Their formalisation (e.g. through establishing a selected committee and a constitution) can
increase their sustainability.
The importance of training in skills development as well as in business and bookkeeping
has been recognized and often forms a complementary component of income-generating
schemes. It has been found that women may need a large amount of support and training
before such schemes prove successful. Not only may the necessary skills be lacking, but the
concept of formal organisation that is required may also be alien. In societies where the
involvement of women in business is not common, it may be up to one or two women to act
as role models or path breakers and prove the opportunities open to women before others
feel comfortable enough to join in.
ICDPs tend to be located in rural areas, often isolated, with few local services and limited
access to markets. Where income-generation involves the production of goods such as
handicrafts, more investment and time needs to be spent in locating sustainable markets and
in identifying ways to add value to goods. In addition a product control system may be
necessary to maintain standards and regulate supplies. Where projects rely on the continued
use of certain resources, such as palms for making handicrafts, a monitoring system
controlling sustainable use should be supported. A good example of such systems can be
found in the Namibian CBNRM programme described in the Africa regional study.
It is unclear to what extent such projects affect the reduction of natural resource use. It is
suggested that small-scale efforts are unlikely to achieve great impacts except in a few
specific areas. Still, enterprise projects can provide important entry points to communities
and increase receptivity to conservation messages. But they must be embedded and linked to
gender issues if they are to achieve anything more than short-term economic benefits.
Otherwise they will be little more than a token gesture to appease donors and/or guilty
consciences that have recognized that women are being left out of conservation and
Though there is evidence to suggest that women do benefit from such projects, exactly to
what degree this is true is rarely explored. For example it is unclear how much control
women have over the income raised; whether they decide how it is spent or whether their
husbands do and what the money is used for. This can be an important factor in women's
empowerment. The impacts of commercialization also need to be better understood and
3.4.3 Micro-Finance Schemes
Micro-finance schemes, including savings and credit schemes, have been offered in
conjunction with income-generation projects. In the majority of cases these are targeted
towards women who are prejudiced against under 'normal' circumstances, for example the
need for collateral to which they usually do not have access. Project-supported schemes
often revoke the need for collateral and offer more flexible terms of contract. However, they
may feel the need to compensate for this by requiring higher interest rates and by tying the
loans to terms of condition, such as what the money can be invested in and/or agreements
to stop environmentally damaging activities.
Such schemes often assume that women are a better investment for targeted support, as they
are believed to be more credit worthy and/or responsible, and more easily mobilised. In Asia
in particular, women may be viewed as household financial 'managers'. However, though
this may allow ICDPs to capitalise on women's recognized role and to support women with
less risk of damaging social relations, it is not clear to what degree this really benefits them.
As described above, it is unclear what control women maintain over financial transactions
and related decision-making processes. In addition, some have questioned whether women
actually prioritise money above other less economic needs.
In fact it has been shown that micro-credit schemes can provide a number of social benefits
highly valued by women, often above and beyond 'money'. Most schemes include attendance
at monthly meetings which provide an opportunity for women to meet, exchange views,
problems and solutions, and often act as a strong means of support. Some women have also
stated that the schemes provide some order to their lives, which otherwise tend to be
complex and overburdened. Evidence also suggests that women's self-esteem and pride have
increased. If it is these benefits rather than the economic that women value, then the
emphasis on increasing incomes may be misplaced. And perhaps such social benefits could
be achieved through other, more suitable means.
Indeed, there is some evidence to suggest that, rather than solving them, credit schemes in
particular can increase poverty and/or household monetary problems. Case study work has
showed that in certain schemes, loans had been tied to investment in livestock. This has
proved to be high-risk: in Vietnam, for example, the livestock bought died through disease.
As a result the borrowers were left with a substantial debt and no capital. Alternative, less
monetary-focussed schemes do exist and may be a better alternative. WWF, for example, has
initiated quite innovative arrangements such as the 'borrow a cow, give a cow' scheme (see
Africa regional study).
In addition other problems may arise. The poorest of the poor are likely to miss out;
banking principles and their application are often impractical and alien to many people;
economic impacts are often not very positive; and though livelihood integration and
conservation of resources should be linked to the savings and credit scheme, usually they
are not: the projects stand alone.
Still, in several projects, micro-credit is seen as valuable support for women to create
opportunities to diversify their livelihoods, move away from a reliance on natural resources
and/or enable them to afford alternatives for essentials such as local fuelwood. ICDPs
anticipate that women will understand that the provision of support (by means such as
micro-credit) is tied to better conservation practices. However establishing the links
between such development-focussed elements of projects and conservation is difficult, even
more difficult than elements based more directly on natural resource use. As such, again,
one can question whether these projects should actually be called ICDPs or, more
realistically, community development projects. Indeed, evidence from this research
programme suggests that few beneficiaries of ICDPs understand this link or have changed
their attitudes and behaviours as a result of it. Without forging linkages between
conservation and development the long-term sustainability of ICDPs is unlikely to be
3.5 PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION GENDER MAINSTREAMING
"Mainstreaming means paying constant attention to equality between women and
men in development, policies, strategies and operations" (Aguilar, 1999:5).
As suggested at the beginning of this section, in recent years ICDPs have moved forward
(albeit to a small degree) in developing women's inclusion through gender-focussed, rather
than women-focussed, activities. It has been recognized that to do so, men must be involved
as well as women. However, many initiatives incorporate gender as a separate component
that has no connection to the different areas of the project's basic activities. This can
fragment and isolate the issues from the rest of the project and often requires additional
resources. It is unlikely that such efforts can have a real impact on addressing gender equity
and the relations of subordination that may exist as they allow little room for positive
In addition there remains widespread misunderstanding of the distinction between gender
and exclusively women-centred approaches. Even when gender is integrated at a conceptual
level, this is not reflected in programme strategies and project implementation. Women are
still separated into a 'disadvantaged group', which encourages the belief that their problems
are related to their disadvantage that is, because they are women. Rather, women should
be seen as a part of society as a whole. Their problems are social (not 'women's'
problems), related to their status in society and their relationship with men. Projects should
address both the disadvantage (in the short-term) and the reasons it exists (in the long-
term) (Field, 1994).
It should be recognized however that though a gender approach is advocated (ie that which
includes both men and women) there still may be cause for singling women out as a group
to be targeted, particularly where gender inequities are high.
There is certainly a need for more women to work in conservation and ICDPs, however it
should be realized that women (as staff members) do not necessarily advocate and support
gender issues any more than men. In fact they may feel under pressure not to appear too
feminist and consequently over-compensate by ignoring women's and gender issues
altogether. Many professional women do not want to be publicly identified with gender
concerns, which they perceive as a sectional agenda, even if they do adopt a more gendered
stance in private.
Having said that, where gender issues have been addressed in depth it has often relied on
processes being initiated by key supportive and enthusiastic individuals who are, more often
than not, women. In fact the most successful ICDPs in terms of incorporating and benefiting
women (identified by this research programme), have all been led by women: highly
motivated women concerned with promoting a more just and equitable conservation
The majority of governments in developing countries have initiated policies that actively
support more equity between men and women. Some have taken this one step further and
directly linked such support to women's role in NRM with policies calling for gender equity
within resource 'ownership', management and benefit-sharing. Conservation and
development organizations should be more aware of such policies; use them as a
foundation on which to develop more gender equitable policies and strategies; enter policy
dialogues relevant to conservation; and work with and, if necessary, build up the capacity of
local institutions to promote the opportunities that they present. Organizations involved in
ICDPs, particularly those who are really serious about addressing gender inequities, should
play a more active role in related advocacy work that would encourage and support their
Mainstreaming gender issues still proves difficult, even within more aware and amenable
contexts. In Nepal, the community forestry movement has had government support from the
early 1990s and from the outset the role of women was recognized. Yet despite this gender
issues are still marginalised and women's concerns are usually an 'add-on' element. There is
room for optimism however, and lessons learnt from ICDPs that have more positively
supported gender issues provide some indication of more successful ways forward. Key
focus areas of these projects have been:
* Women's empowerment.
* Education and training.
* Collective action and women's groups.
* Conservation and natural resource management.
3.5.1 Women's Empowerment
"Empowerment is a process whereby people gain increasing power and control
over their lives. It involves awareness, self-confidence, broadening of options and
opportunities, and increasing access to, and control of, resources. Empowerment
comes from 'inside', from the individuals themselves, it cannot be granted by
others." (SIDA, 1997 in Aguilar et al., 2002).
It is only recently that ICDPs have attempted to understand and/or tackle the power
dynamics prevalent in communities which may contribute to the inequitable relations found
there. This has compromised the long-term sustainability of ICDPs, particularly once
implementing organizations have withdrawn. Other opportunities have also been lost there
is evidence to suggest that when access to resources and household food and livelihoods
are secure, women (and men) are more likely to invest in conservation activities.
Additionally, improving women's status and progress toward gender equity and equality is
given as one of the key factors leading to reduced fertility and, by extension, mitigating
population pressures on natural resources.
Pressures are placed on ICDPs, particularly from donors, to achieve short-term results.
There is not enough time or resources to invest in longer-term issues such as the promotion
of women's rights. Often male members of households obtain security but women do not.
For example the issuing of land titles (or other titled rights to resources) will, in the
majority of cases, be made to the household heads: usually the men. Gender inequities and
their impacts are not addressed or taken into account. This can create a number of
problems, particularly in areas where out-migration of males (be it on a temporary or more
permanent basis) has meant that women have increasingly been left to manage the land.
Without titles and a higher degree of control and security over land their ability or
investment in conservation may be undermined.
Box 3.2 The Dynamics of Power
"Power for women is seen as generative, as 'power to; power for men is termed as power over'. If men remain
reluctant to relinquish this power over' then women's attempts at developing their 'power to' may ultimately
be constrained. The inherent conflict between women's and men's experiences of em(power)ment (power to'
versus 'power over') suggests that the 'real' empowerment of women remains a problematic issue."
Indeed a focus of JFM in India (see Asia regional review) has been the promotion of
women's rights and their awareness of them. In some areas of traditional suppression
women who have been made more aware of their rights have managed to carve a respectful
space for themselves in male dominated societies. Frequent participation in meetings and
constant interaction with village members as well as outsiders on issues other than family
matters has increased their confidence. The 'empowerment' of women has also led to their
participation in various other social activities and movements such as those focussing on
anti-alcohol and the environment.
Household relations including those between men and women, as well as local norms and
gender roles, are all part of peoples' central belief and value systems. These systems are
dynamic and constantly adapting to both external and internal factors. However, change
should not be imposed from outside. Change is more meaningful and sustainable when it
occurs on a community's own terms, within their time frame and facilitated by internal
agents. Women as well as men are these internal agents and outside agencies/organisations
can serve to guide and assist them.
Box 3.3 Steps Towards Equality Between Men and Women:
1. Welfare (basic survival).
2. Access to resources (including opportunities for self-realisation).
3. Conscientisation (an awareness of and will to alter gender inequalities).
4. Participation (including an equal role in decision-making).
5. Control (in both the personal and public domains).
A broad distinction can be made between having access to a resource, that is the
opportunity to make use of something, and having control over a resource, that is the ability
to define its use. For example, women may have access to employment, but no control over
how the earned income is spent. NRM policies have increasingly sought to emphasise the
role of community participation in controlling resource use through management. However
the rhetoric of decentralisation is frustrated by power brokers (vested interests) at the local
level who do not want to share decision-making authority with the community in general,
and least of all with women resource-users.
To really begin facilitating the empowerment of women, ICDPs must be prepared to go
further than assisting women with their daily needs and survival. Instead they must aim to
provide them with skills, knowledge, confidence and social cohesion to determine the
development path they wish to follow and to challenge the structures in society that oppress
them. More 'subtle' strategies that do not create wide-spread dissent may be more useful
than confrontational ones (Scheyvens, 1998).
Time must be invested in developing an understanding that men's interests need not be
diametrically opposed to those of women and that by 'empowering' women both men and
women are likely to benefit in the long-term. In addition support should be given to women
in order to improve their ability to negotiate their rights and influence management
3.5.2 Education and Training
In both Africa and Asia more women are illiterate than men. In addition, although women
may have a good knowledge concerning the resources that they use they tend to have a
poorer understanding of environmental processes and the long-term impact of
unsustainable use. It has been shown that effective participation will only be possible once
women have the appropriate knowledge and skills to undertake activities.
As a result a number of ICDPs see literacy initiatives and girls' scholarships as long-term
investments in women's capacities, with the conservation pay-offs coming over both the
short and long term. These may include increased, effective participation of girls and
women in conservation activities and management; better understanding and acceptance of
conservation messages and sharing of these messages with children, male partners and
others in the community; and for young women, the likelihood of smaller, healthier
families. At the same time heightened education can build up women's self-confidence and
self-esteem to a degree that they feel more comfortable and confident to participate in
community and conservation decision-making .
Increasingly, and especially in Africa, it is being realized that the education of girls is as
important as that for boys, if not a basic right. In many cases it is now being considered a
worthwhile investment for future household security.
In addition, such initiatives can provide important entry points to the community and useful
spaces to disseminate environmental messages. Women have the potential to play a central
role in environmental education because their intimate relationship with communities and
families provides an ideal conduit for the diffusion of environmental messages. Literacy and
scholarship initiatives clearly linked to conservation messages and activities seem to hold
great promise for positively impacting conservation.
Indeed, education has proved a powerful tool for increasing women's capacity and, to some
extent, empowering them. A key example is found in Nepal where several ICDPs have
included literacy classes as a central component. Evidence suggests that many women have
benefited from the classes and are playing an increased role in community life and
conservation/development as a result.
However it is often the case that once girls or women have been educated they want to leave
rural areas to make the most of greater opportunities elsewhere. It is important therefore
that either ways must be found to develop opportunities in rural areas that will encourage
them to stay, or linkages are established between those who leave and those left behind.
In both Africa and Asia some ICDPs have supported the building of schools. However, local
communities rarely recognize the link between such components and the conservation of
natural resources. Often people will not know that the relevant NGO has built the school,
and if so, why. Though some might suggest that such anonymity is a good thing, if the
objectives of ICDPs are really going to be achieved then communities need to recognize the
linkages between development (and support, for instance through school-building) and
Linking support to schools with conservation can be achieved to some extent by
encouraging the establishment of school environmental/conservation- or eco-clubs. A large
number of ICDPs have sponsored these through providing materials such as books, day-
trips, tree seedlings to establish nurseries and by organising 'conservation' events.
Cultivating good relationships between children, the environment and wildlife from early
ages can be seen as a long-term investment in environmental protection and conservation.
Training also forms a part of some ICDP programmes, for example in agricultural and
forestry techniques, as does capacity building (including forest management, gender
sensitisation, leadership building, enhancing decision making capacity and financial and
administrative management). As described above, training can also be linked to health and
population initiatives, income-generation and credit and savings. However, it can prove
difficult firstly to encourage women's attendance and secondly, to find female trainers
and/or extension workers. This can be for a number of reasons including a lack of
education; lack of mobility; lack of respect; and for health reasons.
The use of village mobilisers is a useful tool that is, training selected potential trainers who
can return to their villagers, carry out further training and act as the node for mobilising
groups and the link between the communities and the project.
Ideally, education, training and extension services should be demand (client) led and
focused. They should fill the gaps as identified by the potential beneficiaries and their
provision should fit in with participation opportunities. This would help to focus the supply
of such services in a more gender sensitive manner. In Nepal, for example, the timings of the
literacy classes had to coincide with the times when women were free to attend, that is when
less busy with household duties or livelihood activities. The technical capabilities of women
and their enthusiasm for learning if given the opportunity should not be underestimated.
3.5.3 Women's Groups and Collective Action
Women find a voice and strength through collective action. Promoting women's
participation through women's groups proves highly successful. It may be the case that
income generation projects by themselves do not necessarily give women control over
income earned or increase their access to resources. However, the process of participating
in all stages of mobilisation, organisation and attendant meetings can contribute towards an
increasing awareness levels; developing leadership skills; facilitating collective articulation
of women's interests and concerns; and offers opportunities for a shared capacity to effect
In addition there is evidence to suggest that women as a group are more able than
individual women to access resources. This need not only apply to mobilising cash and
credit, but also in securing access to land. In Tanzania for example, village committees were
prepared to grant land, such as one acre tree plots, to women's groups but not to individual
Few ICDPs have fully recognized the potential of existing and, where necessary, new
women's groups. Many are still in their infancy. As such there is a need for strong capacity-
building programmes to enhance their knowledge base and skills. Some groups are already
involved in environmental activities, though the majority (particularly in Africa) focus more
on 'self-help' and support for members in time of need, such as weddings and funerals,
rather than a more formal mobilisation for specific tasks. In Asia there is a greater history of
women's groups being supported and developed by governments. In Vietnam for example,
the Women's Unions play a central role in local development including the implementation
of a government credit scheme.
It is important that women's groups are more formalised if they are to remain sustainable
once projects finish and/or are phased out. Clear policies should be developed by the
group to cover, for example, conflict resolution, entry/exit into the groups, and rules and
regulations regarding management and linkages.
In Nepal, the formation and support of 'mothers' groups' has proved a central component
of most ICDPs. They are well structured with committees and management plans. It is
believed that supporting and institutionalising the mothers groups or Ama Samuha or Ama
Toli will enhance women's capabilities to improve their economic status and raise their
participation in managing and conserving the natural resources. The 'mothers' groups' are
so called regardless of the women's marital status. The word 'mother' is a less politically and
socially contentious word than 'woman'. A gender assessment of a WWF-supported project
there suggests that because of the Groups:
"the unity of women has increased and strengthened their own self-image as they
now feel that they can achieve what they intend to do on their own. The members
felt that they [have] a place to share and express their experiences and
difficulties... now they are confident to talk with others freely and are able to
voice out their opinions" (Samanata, 2001b:5).
3.5.4 Conservation and Natural Resource Management
Some projects, and particularly forest projects, have made constructive attempts to involve
women as well as men in NRM. Women-focussed activities include working in nurseries and
reforestation projects. However much of this work may be mundane, labour intensive (such
as the re-potting or planting of seedlings), whilst at the same time foster pre-defined and
socially entrenched gender roles. It is uncommon for women to be supported in breaking
free from such roles and for example, become forest managers. Therefore thought should
be given as to whether such work/activities should be encouraged.
Women have also been the focus for alternative fuel projects, in an attempt to encourage
households to move away from a reliance on wood. However for such schemes to really
work, evidence suggests that the benefits of moving to the alternatives must outweigh the
costs of continuing wood collection. For example in areas of Nepal where livelihoods are
reasonably secure and income regular, the benefits of using alternative fuel such as gas,
though expensive, outweigh the labour and time costs needed for wood collection.
Conversely, in parts of Africa with a higher level of poverty, where solar cookers have been
introduced, they have done little to stem the use of fuelwood. Women rarely use the cookers
as the cooking time is lengthy and the process still alien; the original investment in the
cooker is high; the cookers need to be watched to prevent disturbance from animals; and
the positive social aspects of food preparation and fuelwood collection (such as
cooperation and time to talk) can be lost. In addition, though the collection of wood may
be difficult, an adequate supply is still available, so there is little pressure to change. It
remains to be seen whether as availability of firewood decreases, the benefits of moving to
alternative fuels are better realized.
In Asia, women have traditionally played a more dominant role in the protection of forests
and other natural resources than in Africa. There is a longer history of community
participation in conservation activities and control over natural resources. This is
particularly true in tribal or mountain areas where ethnic and cultural norms, as well as
their socio-geographical context, have encouraged more gender equitable societies. Natural
resource user groups tend to work best when populations are relatively stable and
community members know each other.
Those projects that have progressed to a point where they have realized the need for
increased community 'ownership' over, and involvement in, natural resource management
processes tend to be those projects that have also recognized that 'community' is not
equitable or homogenous. That is that all the community's contribution is important and
that special efforts must be made to include marginal groups (including women).
The debate continues as to how best to achieve this, for example to what extent should
women's inclusion be made a special case, and whether positive discrimination should be
encouraged. Often traditional institutions are biased against women and thus, though they
may certainly offer benefits e.g. for sustainability and utilising indigenous knowledge, from a
gender equity perspective, they may not be the most suitable vehicle for community
representation and decision-making.
Where women have been given long-term support, encouragement and opportunities to take
a more active role in decision-making processes, they have slowly taken up the challenge.
This has often been assisted by key role-models who have led women's participation, as well
as a reliance on group power that is women going to meetings as a group and once there,
sitting together. In addition, time and effort are needed to establish when and where
meetings concerned with NRM should be held to most positively encourage women to
attend. Further incentives can prove useful such as providing child-minding services or
combining meetings with other activities.
By focussing on user groups as the means for mobilising communities in conservation and
NRM, some of the social constraints that inhibit women's participation can be overcome. For
example it can prove less politically sensitive to bring women together because they are a
user group (such as fuelwood collectors), rather then because they are women.
Reasonable success has been achieved in increasing the number of women on committees
and in groups involved in conservation-related activities and decision-making processes.
Particularly, this' has been found to be the case in Asia where there is a longer history of
more formalised community involvement and management of natural resources including
forests. However, numbers do not necessarily equate to quality participation, and it has
often been the case that although women appear on conservation committees, for example,
they fail to participate to any extent as they lack skills and confidence to do so. Therefore, if
women's representation is to be adequately achieved, support for their presence must be
combined with support to build up their capacity to participate.
Few women are employed within conservation organizations and/or as ICDP staff in Africa or
Asia. Where women are employed they remain in positions of lower status and/or in those
which are of an administrative nature. Few work at a management level or in the field. It
remains the case that conservation is still dominated by men: it is seen predominantly as
men's work. Few women have the necessary high level of dedication or know how to
overcome such bias and discrimination. Even where efforts have been made to recruit
women professionals they have had little success because women feel marginalised and
uncomfortable working in such a male-dominated environment.
3.6 PROJECT ANALYSIS, MONITORING AND EVALUATION
There is a lack of adequate monitoring and evaluation within, and of, ICDPs, particularly
during project implementation. As an ICDP evaluation describes:
"Little hard data is available to measure the socio-economic and conservation
impact of ICDPs. Project managers often postpone monitoring and evaluation
because they believe it is too donor driven, too complex and too time consuming,
and rely instead on anecdotal information and intuition" (WWF, 1995: v).
When surveys are carried out in local communities the collection of gender-desegregated
data is now reasonably common. However, they tend to rely on the collection of quantitative
data rather than qualitative. This is a reflection of the continued dependence on
quantitative indicators for measuring project success.
Qualitative data is certainly more difficult to obtain and measure, however it is vital in
providing a better understanding of the inequities present in communities, and during
project assessments the more subtle benefits and/or costs that may arise from any
interventions. Women, for example, may not see economic benefits as the only or primary
benefit that they obtain from a project there may be more important ones such as feelings
of pride, wellbeing, contribution, self-esteem or control of one's own life and future. There
is little indication that these are factors that are measured and/or explored in current
monitoring and evaluation programmes. As such, the establishment of suitable indicators
and monitoring mechanisms that can measure the impacts of ICDPs on gender equity from
a qualitative perspective as well as quantitative is required.
In addition, inadequate effort is made to provide comfortable spaces for women to
contribute to data collection. During surveys information is often collected in the presence
of men, so women may be wary of speaking out. They lack confidence to express their views
and may risk reprisals if they do not agree with their husbands. Women are often short of
time, particularly during the day when it is more common for projects to carry out
monitoring and evaluation work. Evaluation teams are usually headed by men, and though
the importance of having at least one woman member of teams is recognized, it is often
difficult to find one who is available, skilled and, for example, can speak local languages.
Thorough, adequate gender analyses are rare. Few have been carried out during project
planning, implementation or evaluation. Those few identified through this research have
been listed in the Recommended Texts at the end of this document. In general, these tend to
be one-off and conducted by external gender consultants, who have no further linkages
with the project or the local communities.
Though these assessments can certainly be useful in indicating gaps within project activities
and processes, and exposing staff and stakeholders to gender issues, they do little to
contribute to a long-term understanding of gender and change within the local
communities. Indeed, rarely does monitoring and evaluation track longer-term impacts.
Changes in gender perspectives, roles, responsibilities etc. can only be truly measured in the
long-term, especially if attempting to measure the impacts of supported initiatives on
Clear indicators need to be developed (preferably through a process of local community
design) that can be used for measuring change. Though proxy indicators (such as number
of women directly involved in project activities) can be valuable when assessing impacts,
qualitative and more deeply embedded indicators are also necessary for assessing less visible
change, for instance in attitudes and personal development. Such systems will, of course,
have to be affordable, and collection of data feasible.
On an optimistic note, gender is increasingly being seen as a necessary variable in more
integrated and holistic approaches to conservation, such as in ecoregional planning.
Indeed, McDonald (2002:16) suggests:
"gender as a variable within broader ecoregion analysis (stakeholder analysis,
socioeconomic assessment, root cause analysis) is likely to be more effective than
standalone gender research in identifying the ways gender dynamics are (or are
not) relevant to conservation and suggesting entry points for interventions."
Where project analyses have taken a more participatory approach, they do appear to have
been reasonably successful in including, and taking account of, women's views, perspectives
and knowledge. Opinions differ as to whether data should be collected in mixed male and
female groups, or in segregated groups. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. One
must conclude that it will depend on the local context and circumstances.
However, though some ICDPs state that they use participatory approaches for data collection
and analysis, these usually extend little further than activities such as community mapping. A
number of projects suggest that they use PRA (participatory rural appraisal) when clearly
they do not. Though participatory research techniques may be used, the process does not
support the true elements of PRA such as long-term empowerment, community control or
'ownership' and the initiation of a process of reflection and change.
Indeed many current development efforts are based on the perceptions of outsiders who
have a relatively poor understanding of issues at the local level. To enhance the possibility
of success in implementing different conservation and development options, it is very
important that trust is established between project interventions and the community.
Assessments should be based on community input since they are in the best position to
identify their needs. In addition this would encourage communities to feel that they have
'ownership' over any changes that occur.
But, in practice, if data is collected for monitoring and evaluation purposes, rarely is the
information properly analysed and time allowed for good reflection and stakeholder input.
Even if this is achieved then the quite formal and rigid structures of ICDPs allow little room
for flexibility, adaptation and response to the data. From a gender perspective, as a result,
even less time and space is given to the exploration of inequities and their impacts.
3.6.1 Community Monitoring
A small minority of ICDPs have begun to explore and support community monitoring, for
example of natural resources. A particularly successful example of a CBNRM project that has
initiated a women's monitoring system is the Community Resource Monitors (CRM) project
in Namibia (described in detail in the Africa regional study). This project focuses on
women's monitoring and control of resources that are used by themselves and other
community members. Similarly, in Asia there are several examples of women being involved
in participatory forest inventories.
By undertaking monitoring work, women can gain knowledge about, and a higher level of
control over, resources associated with ICDPs while at the same time ensuring that
environmental practices are followed. They can also introduce more sustainable
management techniques and enhance the economic returns by encouraging less wastage or
loss. It can be a valuable way of promoting linkages between conservation and development
processes, as well as rights over and responsibilities for, natural resources and their
4. MAKING ICDPS WORK FOR WOMEN AS WELL AS MEN
Lessons learnt from ICDPs (as well as some examples from CBNRM projects) have been
described above. However, how can these lessons learnt be taken forward to achieve more
successful links between conservation and a more equitable development of local
communities? This concluding chapter attempts to answer this question, synthesise the main
issues to take into account and suggest ways forward.
4.1 LINKING CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT
As described above (Section 1.5) establishing the linkages between conservation and
development is vital for the long-term sustainability of ICDPs and their objectives. This is
difficult, however, and few ICDPs are managing to achieve it. It is particularly difficult when
trying to link the more development-focussed components of ICDPs with conservation. In
attempting to benefit women and their perceived needs (seen in the past as mainly practical
rather than strategic), ICDPs have introduced a range of women's projects mainly
development-focussed. These have had few direct linkages with natural resource use and as
such women have rarely understood the conservation-development concept that is the
central crux of ICDPs.
Therefore one can question the value of ICDPs and whether such conservation-development
linkages are actually possible. Indeed, a lack of faith in ICDPs has been expressed
increasingly in recent years, reflected in reduced donor funding, particularly from
development-oriented sources. As a recent DFID report on wildlife and poverty linkages
states (Livestock and Wildlife Advisory Group, 2002: vi), there has been:
"growing internal and external questioning of the extent of conservation-
development win-wins; concerns about the negative impact of conservation on
poor people; [and] the high transaction costs of community-based projects,
particularly in remote and marginal areas."
DFID now funds only two bilateral wildlife projects and a handful of wildlife-linked forestry
Unfortunately however, there are few, if any, alternatives to the ICDP concept, particularly in
and around protected areas and particularly where there is a vacuum of enabling legislation
or institutional structures to support the wider scope of CBNRM. As such, the conservation
of wildlife, forests, landscapes etc must be linked to local communities and provide them
with sufficient benefits to justify their continued protection. Conservation of resources will
not occur without the support of local communities. And, as the DFID report concludes:
"community-based and co-management approaches to wildlife management can
successfully help reduce poverty and improve livelihoods" ibidd: 23).
Thus the ICDP concept must be made to work.
4.2 WAYS FORWARD
As described in more detail in the two regional studies (Africa and Asia) there have been
some, albeit so far few, examples where a greater level of success has been obtained in
achieving the goals of ICDPs, including contributing to more equitable development.
Lessons from these can provide some indication of ways forward. Components of these have
been discussed above. Here, the key elements and issues will be summarised.
4.2.1 A Long Time Frame is Essential
Establishing linkages between conservation and development takes time. Such concepts are
likely to prove alien, particularly to those who prioritise on a day-to-day basis. Many women
are forced to do this being under immense pressure to provide for households' daily needs.
Thus they have little time to think about, let alone contribute to, longer-term processes such
as the conservation of resources. This is particularly true in contexts where communities are
vulnerable to insecurities (including those related to food, conflict, environment and
Therefore, time is needed to convince communities that investment in conservation practices
and processes will pay off in the long term. This involves changing attitudes, and cannot be
hurried. Once attitudes have changed, time is needed for these to influence and be reflected
in action. Confidence and trust must be built up and a favourable and comfortable context
for people to initiate change established. Where cultures and societies are not yet ready to
experience such change, especially change pushed from the 'outside', interventions can be
constantly blocked and are unlikely to be sustainable.
ICDPs and their components are highly complex. Myriad issues are encompassed and must
be addressed. Attempting to incorporate gender issues and more equitable development
only adds to the complexity. Adequate time is needed to do this, otherwise ICDPs will never
be given the chance to succeed and their potential will remain undelivered. In the long-term
it seems likely that more positive success will be achieved if support and investment is
maintained. This needs to involve a broader policy-linked and community-wide programme
4.2.2 Women's Access to Resources and Decision-Making Processes Need to be
Increasing women's securities, whether through access to land, resources or involvement in
decision-making processes, provides a better environment for encouraging involvement and
investment in conservation. Again, achieving this is likely to take time and a high level of
inputs, including a sound knowledge of local gender inequities and reasons for them,
together with an identification of constraints to women's securities and ways to overcome
Pressures, particularly from donors, are placed on ICDPs to achieve short-term results.
However if gender inequities are to be addressed there must be some acknowledgement
and, if possible, some incorporation of 'larger' and more long-term issues such as land and
resource rights. In agrarian societies, tribal or non-tribal, land is the critical resource that
determines both socio-economic position and political power. Women's exclusion from
land rights is typical in Africa and South Asia, where land is usually inherited through the
male line. Women's legal rights are rendered ineffective both by traditional customs and
government programmes. Therefore if long-term sustainability of ICDPs, including the
achievement of a greater degree of gender equity, is the goal then such issues must be
Conflicts may arise as women or other marginalised groups begin to enforce their resource
rights. This conflict should be anticipated and time and resources committed to help
communities resolve the issue. It is important to recognize that there may be some resistance
from men to women being involved in conservation and development processes and
initiatives. Ways to overcome this, such as public discussions, must be identified and
implemented. Mediators may be necessary.
Conflicts can also exist between traditional and modern institutions and structures. In most
countries in Africa and Asia there is legislation and institutional backing for more equitable
gender representation and participation. However, such provision often conflicts with the
still predominantly male-dominated traditional institutions that exist, particularly at the
community level. Change cannot be forced, however it is possible to support more equitable
decision-making processes by encouraging a recognition, acknowledgement and
incorporation of elements of the modern within the traditional. Traditional institutions are
not static and over time have developed and adapted to different pressures, including, for a
large period of their development, to male-dominated colonial powers.
There is evidence to suggest that if women continue to be marginalised and have little
control over their lives then they will be encouraged to withdraw and separate themselves
from conservation and development processes. In Zambia, due to an ICDP there failing to
include women, the sense that joint responsibility and cooperation over resource use could
result in mutual long-term benefit has been lost, and a culture of dependency, apathy and
helplessness has been cultivated. Many women now believe that initiative and ability to
improve their quality of life comes only from others: men, extension workers, NGOs and/or
4.2.3 An Holistic, Integrated, Strategic, Participatory and Well Thought-Out Approach
It has been indicated that women will be more supportive of projects once they see that
their own short-term needs are being met. As such, it may be necessary to begin by focussing
on these, but with longer-term aspects in mind. In well thought-out and integrated projects,
both can be tackled simultaneously.
Some of the most successful components of ICDPs, for both women and conservation, are
those that achieve a number of benefits concurrently. For example, the support of education
has proved an empowering feature for women as well as providing a forum for promoting a
conservation message and encouraging a better flow of information. In addition the support
of gas stoves in trekking areas of Nepal means that time is saved from cooking; women's
(and families') health is improved; a small business is established including employment for
those distributing the gas; there is potential for gas to be produced from local waste; and
the use of wood for fuel is reduced.
However as stressed in Section 3.4.5, to encourage the use of alternatives to natural
resource use, such as through biogas stoves, the benefits of doing so must exceed the
benefits of continuing resource use and/or the costs of transferring.
It is vital to think holistically and in an integrated way as to how gender issues and support
for women can be incorporated into ICDPs. However, time and again, women's issues
appear as an 'add-on' feature with little linkages to the central objectives of the projects and
overall goals. As such they will continue to fail to achieve sustainability or utilise women's
highly valuable potential contribution to ICDP success.
The advantages and disadvantages of 'women's projects' and a gender approach should be
debated. In most contexts some combination of the two is most productive. How this is
achieved should form the basis for a gender strategy and work plan. Gender mainstreaming
cannot be worked out by adding feminine endings to documents, or mentioning that
everything will be done based on 'a gender perspective'. In practice, gender equity
mainstreaming implies revision and redesign of all the relevant aspects of an ICDP. This
revision can be started at any stage, but it is most successful when it is incorporated from
the very outset.
Projects also need to link more effectively with the greater context in which they work,
taking into account larger social, economic and political issues. Projects that take a more
holistic and integrated approach to conservation and development tend to be those that are
more successful in including and benefiting a greater proportion of the community. Projects
need to be flexible and able to adapt to change as it occurs.
It is important to have a vision of what the project is ultimately to achieve. This should be
realistic and achievable given local contexts and circumstances (including gender issues).
The pathway to this vision should include a viable and well-planned exit strategy. This
should focus on sustaining activities and maintaining (and indeed expanding) the links
between conservation and development.
4.2.4 A Focus on the Use of All Resources, Not Just Wildlife, is Vital
In Africa in particular there is still an emphasis within ICDPs, particularly in areas of big
game, to focus on community wildlife management. Because of cultural, social and physical
constraints women are less likely to be able to participate in such management. Thus an
emphasis on other resources, such as plants and smaller wildlife, needs to be included. This
will not only provide room for the greater participation of women, but also benefit
conservation by taking a more holistic and integrated approach that can only prove more
sustainable in the long run.
In Namibia a strong linkage has been promoted between conservation and rural
development. Admittedly, this would not have been possible without the recently introduced
supporting legislation which allows communities and private landowners authority and
'control' over land and resources, defined within a 'conservancy' area. This has provided a
good foundation for building CBNRM-linked projects including the relatively successful
women-led CRM (Community Resource Monitors) scheme. This innovative scheme has
linked sustainable use of resources for income-generation projects (such as the sale of
thatch grass for tourist lodges and palms and natural dyes for handicrafts) with community
monitoring of the resources and environmental education and training programmes. Rights
to resources have been linked to responsibilities for their management and conservation.
4.2.5 'Gender' Must Be Demystified, De-threatened and Mainstreamed
The differences between men and women have been a central focus of this research project.
However it should be stressed that firstly, there are also many commonalties and secondly,
differences due to gender should not be seen as a cause of separation of men's and
women's worlds. These worlds are highly connected, often complementary and sometimes
less strictly divided than might be first perceived.
For example, an important step towards the process involving equity building between
genders is to demythologise the common belief that men possess the 'scientific' knowledge,
whereas women possess the 'practical' knowledge. Both genders possess both types of
knowledge, but perhaps from different perspectives. Both should be valued equally.
The need for the inclusion of gender issues should be something that has been realized by
all involved in ICDP planning and implementation. It should not be included merely to
appease donors and/or certain individuals. Otherwise it is more likely to be something that
people have little interest in becoming involved in, or even a threat.
A process may be needed to reach such agreement, including achieving a common
understanding of what gender means and why it should be included. Training and space for
an exploration of the issues may be required. This should link gender directly with the ICDP
and natural resource management. There should be room for continual feedback, reflection
and adaptation throughout the life of the project. If an 'outside expert' is required to
facilitate such a process she/he should be aware of local specifics and be in a position to
continue to work with the project throughout its development. Gender training and input
should not be a one-off activity.
Sensitivity is needed when addressing gender issues, as well as respect for local culture and
religion. However, this should not be .used as an excuse to indulge in cultural stereotypes or
generalisations. As such, it is important to recognize that every local situation is different
and project staff must try to remain objective and rational in relation to this area of work.
In addition it should be recognized that societies and culture are not static but continuously
changing and adapting to both external and internal pressures and influences. Indeed, the
cultures that have vitality in these modern times are those that are able to change and adapt
to the circumstances of the time. The relationships between men/women and natural
resources and/or conservation are also dynamic, as culture, communities, environments and
local/national political economies change. Livelihoods are becoming more complex and
opportunities are arising for women to become more involved in 'productive' economic
processes. How beneficial such changes really are to women are not yet fully understood.
However, where such changes and resulting 'windows of opportunities' for women can
prove beneficial they should be recognized and utilised. A flexible and adaptable approach
Gender relations are about power as well as difference; and conflict as well as cooperation.
However they should not be viewed in a negative light, but be seen more as means to initiate
a process of transforming negative aspects of society (and its relationship with the
environment) to positive and enabling ones.
Conservation organizations in particular need to move forward in mainstreaming gender
throughout their institutions. This must begin by making firm and concise commitments to
gender issues within policies and strategies. A programme of focused gender awareness and
planning must be put into place with adequate resources, back-up support and technical
More positive encouragement should be given for women to take up positions within
organizations at senior managerial and field levels. Recruitment and selection processes
should be assessed in view of gender concerns. Organizations should play a clearer
advocacy role in promoting gender equity, particularly in relation to environmental
processes. This can be achieved by producing materials for the media; participating in
discussions and workshops; developing alliances and partnerships on gender; and ensuring
that all documentation has a gender sensitive approach and language.
The responsibility for mainstreaming gender issues and ensuring representation and
participation of women throughout organizations' policies and projects must be clearly
defined. How best such responsibility should be divided may be a matter of debate, but
eventually a decision should be made as to how it can be established and taken forward.
Organizations must be clear about what donors require and expect in relation to gender
issues. In addition they need to understand how these requirements might affect projects;
what constraints are likely to arise; and how best to take such demands forward into
practice. They should act as a link between donors (and their demands) and project/field
staff (and their results or problems) and provide clear, concise, adequate and timely
information for both parties.
4.2.6 Partnerships and Collaborations Should Be Established
Partnerships and collaborations with local organizations (including NGOs; government
organizations; research institutes; development agencies and CBOs) can have a positive
facilitating role in addressing gender issues and at the same time greatly improve
sustainability. Strong partners can focus on issues that maybe beyond the remit or strengths
of conservation organizations. Local organizations are often more aware of and capable of
coping with local issues such as those specific to a given culture. They can also provide new
entry points for interventions.
The capacity-building of partners or potential partners should be a priority area of ICDPs to
increase awareness and support action. Policy implementation depends on sufficient
institutional capacity. If enabling and supportive policy exists, but lacks the institutional
structures to facilitate its implementation, then it proves useless. Building linkages amongst
and between actors and groups at different scales through coalitions, alliance building and
networking can strengthen equitable and effective resource management. Such linkages and
partnerships constitute a bridge between external opportunities and local initiatives.
Outsiders can often play an important role in identifying problems and constraints;
providing a strong role model to villagers and staff; and facilitating partnerships and
networking. Foreigners, for example, are often more able to move freely with little criticism.
However, one can argue that local facilitators can play an equally, if not more productive
role, especially if they are trusted and respected members of the local community.
ICDPs could put a much greater effort into linking with local groups as well as working with
those who have more experience in addressing gender issues and encouraging a better
participation of women. Such linking would have the advantage of making a better use of
scarce resources; drawing on experience, knowledge and skills of a more diverse group;
encouraging the acceptance of the conservation/development organisation at the local level
(i.e. overcoming suspicion, even contestation); ensuring better accountability and
transparency; and in all likelihood meaning a better chance of success for the projects.
ICDPs do offer potential for integrating the conservation of natural resources and the
development of local communities. However, the achievement of positive results has been
slow. Though there are some examples of projects and elements of projects that have made
some progress in alleviating poverty through development such as income-generation
projects, these are rarely linked to conservation processes and the protection of the
environment. In addition there is, as yet, little evidence to suggest that ICDPs have
contributed to more equitable long-term development in local communities. Indeed within
ICDPs in general, gender is still seen as an issue that is too political, too sensitive and too
time- and resource-consuming for inclusion.
If ICDPs are to be truly community-based then the gender inequities inherent in
communities and institutions must be understood, recognized and addressed. Though this
may involve tackling sensitive issues such as 'power relations', it may be the only way
forward to move beyond the lip-service paid to addressing women's needs, rights and
responsibilities that has been seen so far.
In addition, there is a continued failure (excluding rare examples) of local communities
(both women and men) making the necessary link between their development and the
conservation of natural resources, as well as rights to, and responsibilities over, such
resources. This undermines the whole premise on which ICDPs have been built and
therefore questions the entire ICDP approach. Unless more effort and resources are put into
building up this link then ICDPs will not be sustainable.
At the same time ICDPs must not work in a vacuum but understand the relationships and
linkages between the projects and 'external' factors including social, political, cultural and
economic pressures and/or change. Adaptability, flexibility and a long-term focus are vital.
Issues such as gender equity cannot be addressed over night but require commitment, time,
resources and sensitive, well-informed interventions.
APPENDIX 1 FUTURE RESEARCH
Priority areas identified for future research are:
* To achieve a better understanding of the links between conservation initiatives and
population trends including migration (both in and out of local areas). This includes
issues of community health, population control and education as well as factors
influenced by government (local, regional and national) strategies and policy.
* To analyse longer-term changes in the relationships between local communities (both
men and women) and the environment as a result of ICDP intervention.
* To establish what are the most successful processes for establishing linkages between
the conservation of resources and the development of local communities. What really
* To assess the changes in men and women's perceptions as livelihoods are in transition
and education and market forces are affecting people's aspirations.
* To assess the impact on women and men of changing livelihood practices and
opportunities to increasingly take part in more economic productive process.
* To understand how gendered resource use and/or shifting land-use patterns interact
with environmental change at the local level, particularly in times of environmental (and
* To identify and assess women's role in conflict resolution, particularly in relation to use
of natural resources and including negotiation and mediation processes.
* To establish how women in different social contexts mobilise themselves and others to
access resources, influence decisions and resolve conflicts.
* To achieve a better understanding of the dynamics of current institutional changes and
how they impact on communities and their relationships with the environment.
* To establish qualitative (as well as quantitative) indicators that adequately account for
the impacts and potential impacts of ICDPs.
* To establish research and action programmes that continue to clarify concepts, refine
methodologies, and find practical ways of overcoming inequities of gender in
biodiversity management and conservation.
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A Review and Bibliography of the ICDP Literature. London: IIED.
IUCN (1998) Mainstreaming Gender in IUCN, Policy Statement and Mainstreaming Gender
in Policies, Programmes and Projects of IUCN, Action Plan. Unpublished document.
Jackson, C. (1993) Environmentalisms and Gender Interests in the Third World.
Development and Change, 24:649-677.
Jewitt, S. and Kumar, S. (1999) Gender and Indigenous Ecological Knowledge in
Kabeer, N. (1994) Reversed Realities. Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought.
Livestock and Wildlife Advisory Group (2002) Wildlife and Poverty Study. London: DFID.
Mackenzie, J.M. (1987) Chivalry, social Darwinism and ritualised killing: the hunting ethos
in Central Africa up to 1914. In: Anderson, D. and Grove, R. Conservation in Africa, people,
policies and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.41-61.
McClintock, A. (1995) Imperial Leather. Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial
Conquest. London: Routledge.
McDonald, M. (2002) Report of the WWF-US Population and Gender Project Review,
January to May, 2002. Unpublished report.
Merchant, C. (1982) The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution.
London: Wildwood House.
Merchant, C. (1992) Radical Ecology: The Search for a Liveable World. London:
Mies, M. and Shiva, V. (1993) Ecofeminism. New Delhi: Kali for Women
Mogelgaard, K. (2002) Helping People, Saving Biodiversity: An Overview of Integrated
Approaches to Conservation and Development. Unpublished report for Population Action
Moser, C. (1993) Gender Planning and Development: Theory, Practice and Training.
Rojas, M.H. (undated) Assessing the History and Current Status of Community
Conservation at the Nature Conservancy. Unpublished report for The Nature Conservancy,
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Sontheimer, S. (1991) Women and the Environment: A Reader. London: Earthscan.
WWF (1995) Final Draft Report. Workshop 1 of the ICDP Review: Linking Conservation
and Human Needs: Creating Economic Incentives. April 30th-May 6th, Mexico.
GENERAL TEXTS ON ICDPS AND CBNRM INCLUDING GENDER
Aguilar, L., Castafieda I. and Salazar, H. (2002) In Search of Lost Gender: Equity in
Protected Areas. Costa Rica: Absoluto S.A.
CARE (2001) Integrated Conservation and Development Programming in CARE
International. Unpublished position paper.
Gambill, D. (1999) Intentionally Sustainable: How Community-Based Resource
Management Enables and Encourages the Sustainable Use of Resources. Gender Working
Paper 99/1. Washington: DevTech Systems.
Hughes, R. and Flintan F. (2001) Integrating Conservation and Development Experience: A
Review and Bibliography of the ICDP Literature. London: IIED.
IIED (1994) Whose Eden? An Overview of Community Approaches to Wildlife
Management. A report by the International Institute for Environment and Development,
submitted to ODA, London: IIED.
Intercoast Network (2002), Mainstreaming Gender, Population and the Environment.
International Newsletter of Coastal Management. No 41, Winter, 2002.
IUCN (1998) Mainstreaming Gender in IUCN, Policy Statement and Mainstreaming Gender
in Policies, Programmes and Projects of IUCN, Action Plan. Unpublished document.
Livestock and Wildlife Advisory Group (2002) Wildlife and Poverty Study. London: DFID.
McDonald, M. (2002) Report of the WWF-US Population and Gender Project Review, January
to May, 2002. Unpublished report.
Roe, D., J. Mayers, M. Grieg-Gran, A. Kothari, C. Fabricius and R. Hughes (2000) Evaluating
Eden: Exploring the Myths and Realities of Community-Based Wildlife Management. Series
overview. Evaluating Eden Series No 8, London:IIED.
WWF Conservation Strategies Unit (2001), Social Dimensions in a Biological World:
Integrating Gender and Conservation in Priority Ecoregions. Washington, DC.
WWF (2001), Gender and Ecoregion Conservation: The Burning Questions. Sharing Across
Boundaries. Issue 2. Ecoregional Conservation Strategies Unit.
Abbot, J., Ananze, F., Barning, N., Burnham. P., de Merode, E., Dunn, A., Fuchi, E., El
Hakizumwami, C., Hesse, R., Mwinyihali, M., Sani, M., Thomas, D., Trench, P. and Tshombe,
R. (2000) Promoting Partnerships. Managing Wildlife Resources in Central and West
Africa. Evaluating Eden Series No 3. London: IIED
Abbot, J., Neba, S.E. and Khen, M.W. (1999) Turning our eyes from the forest. The role of
Livelihoods Programme in changing attitudes and behaviour towards forest use and
conservation at Kilum-Ijim Mountain Forest, Cameroon. Report for Birdlife International.
Abruquah, Edith (1998) A Reforestation Movement in Ghana. ITTO Newsletter 18, No 2.
Barnes, H. (2000) Women, Wood and Wildlife The Role and Involvement of Women in
CBNRM in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia. Working Paper No 3 for the 'Engendering' Eden
Project. Internet: http://www.ucc.ie/famine/GCD/index.htm
Blomley, T. (2000) Woodlots, Woodfuel and Wildlife: Lessons Learnt from the Queen
Elizabeth National Park Fishing Villages Project. Paper presented at the Seminar on
Integrated Conservation and Development a Contradiction in Terms? CARE-Denmark,
Flintan, F. (2000) A Gender-Sensitive Study of Perceptions & Practices in and around Bale
Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. Working Paper No 1 for the 'Engendering' Eden
Project. Internet: http://www.ucc.ie/famine/GCD/index.htm
Flintan, F. (2001) Women and CBNRM in Namibia. A Case Study of the IRDNC Community
Resource Monitor Project. Working Paper No 2 for the 'Engendering' Eden Project.
Flintan, F. (2002) Flip-flops and Turtles Women's Participation in the Kiungu Marine
Reserve ICDP, Kenya. Working Paper No 5 for the 'Engendering' Eden Project. Internet:
Flintan, F. (2003) Women, Gender and ICDPs in Africa: Lessons Learnt and Experiences
Shared. 'Engendering' Eden, Volume II. London: IIED.
Gillingham, Sarah (1998), Conservation Attitudes of Villagers living next to the Selous
Game Reserve, Tanzania Wildlife Discussion Paper NR. 23, GTZ, Dar es Salaam.
Larson, Patricia S. and Milly Nzirambi (1996) Gender and Conservation Issues in ICDPs in
Uganda: A Case Study of Rwenzori Mountains Conservation and Development Project.
Unpublished report for WWF Social Science and Economics Program.
Mercer, C. (1999) Who wants to be empowered? Participatory culture and the discourse
of mandeleo on Mount Kilimanjaro. Paper presented at the Development Studies
Association Annual Conference, University of Bath, 12"'-14"' September, 1999.
Mount Elgon Website (2002) Mount Elgon Conservation and Development Project.
MuderisAbdullahi. (2000) Gender Dimensions of CARE Awash Conservation and
Development Project. Paper presented at the Gender Workshop organised by Dryland
Coordinating Group of NORAGRIC, Nazareth, Ethiopia in February 2000.
Nabane, N. (1995) Lacking Confidence? A Gender-Sensitive Analysis of CAMPFIRE in
Masoka Village. Wildlife and Development Series, No 3. London: IIED in association with
the CAMPFIRE Collaborative Group.
Nabane, N. (1995) Gender as a Factor in Community-Based Natural Resource
Management: A Case Study of Nongozi, Lianshulu, Lizauli and Sachona Villages in East
Caprivi Namibia. Unpublished report submitted to WWF-LIFE Program, Windhoek,
Patel, H. (1998) Sustainable Utilization and African Wildlife Policy. The Case of
Zimbabwe's Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources
(CAMPFIRE). Rhetoric or Reality? Unpublished report for the Indigenous Environmental
Policy Center (IEPC).
Scott, P. (1998) From Conflict to Collaboration: People and Forests at Mount Elgon,
Uganda. UK: IUCN.
Tapia, E. and Flintan, F. (2002) The Borana Collaborative Forest Management Project
from a Gender Perspective. Working Paper No 7 for the 'Engendering' Eden Project.
Thomas-Slayter, B. and Sodikoff, G. (2001) Sustainable investments: women's contributions
to natural resource management projects in Africa. Development in Practice, 11, No 1:45-
WWF-Tanzania (2001) Women and Conservation in Udzungwa Mountains National Park,
Tanzania. Unpublished document.
Wyckoff-Baird, B. and Matota, J. (1995) Moving Beyond Wildlife: Enlisting Women as
Community Resource Monitors in Namibia. In: Rihoy, L. (ed) Natural Resources
Management Programme Conference Proceedings, 1995. Malawi: SADC.
ASIA AND PACIFIC
Adams, L. (1996) A Gender Analysis of Community Resource Conservation and
Development Institutions: the Case of Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands. Unpublished
Ba, H.T. (2000) Women and Conservation Project. Unpublished report for WWF Indochina
Programme, Hanoi, July 2000.
DNPWC (1999) Park People Programme. 1999 The Year in Review. Nepal: DNPWC
Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Park People Programme
Flintan, F. (2001) Gender Issues and the UMT Nature Reserve Conservation & Community
Development Project, Vietnam. A report for CARE-Vietnam for the study carried out
between 31st July and 9"' August, 2001. Unpublished report.
Flintan, F. (2002) Gender Mainstreaming in Nepal. Working Paper No 6 for the
'Engendering' Eden Project. Internet: http://www.ucc.ie/famine/GCD/index.htm
Flintan, F. (2003) Women, Gender and ICDPs in South and South East Asia: Lessons Learnt
and Experiences Shared. 'Engendering' Eden, Volume III. London: IIED and International
Godbole, G. (2002) Joint Forest Management and Gender. Working Paper No 4 for the
'Engendering' Eden Project. Internet: http://www.ucc.ie/famine/GCD/index.htm
KMTNC (2000) Annapurna Conservation Area Project. Two Years Retrospective Report,
July 1998-July 2000. Nepal: KMTNC.
KMTNC (1998) Annapurna Conservation Area Project. Two Years Retrospective Report,
1996/97 & 1997/98. Kathmandu: KMTNC.
Locke, C. (1999) Constructing a Gender Policy for Joint Forest Management in India,
Development and Change, 30:265-285.
McQuistan, C. (1998) Equality: a Pre-requisite for Effective Buffer Zone Management, ITTO
Newsletter 18, No 2. Internet: http://www.itto.or.jp/newsletter/v8nl2.html
Mehra, R., Alcott. M. and Baling N.S. (1993) Women's Participation in the Cogtong Bay
Mangrove Management Project: A Case Study. Unpublished report for ICRW and WWF,
Padilla, S. (1997) Anthropologists Report 31 December, 1997. Second Progress Report 1st
July to 31st December, 1997. PH0876.01 Protecting the Biodiversity of Mt.Guiting-Guiting
Through the Development of Community Based Livelihood Enterprises in Sibuyan Island.
Pathak, N. and Gour-Broome, V. (2000) Community Based Conservation in Village
Mendha (Lekha), Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. London: IIED.
Sarin, M. (1998) Who is Gaining? Who is Losing? Gender Equity Concerns in Joint Forest
Management. Delhi: Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development.
Scheyvens, R. (1999) Engendering environmental projects: the case of eco-timber
production in Solomon Islands, Development in Practice, 8, No 4:439-453.
Shrestha, A. (1996) Gender and Conservation Issues in ICDPs in Nepal: A Case Study of
Royal Bardia National Park. Report for WWF Nepal & Social Science Economics Program.
Tanaka, Y. (undated) Guardians of the Forest ITTO Newsletter, Internet:
Tunio, S. (2000) Gender and Natural Resource Management in Coastal Communities of
Pakistan. Unpublished report.
Upreti, B. J. (1999) Managing Local Conflicts Over Water Resources: A Case Study from
Nepal. AgREN Network Paper No 95. July, 1999. London: ODI.
Upreti, B. J. (2000) Social Transformation through Community Forestry: Experiences and
Lessons from Nepal. Internet: http://www.mtnforum.org/resources/library/ uprebOOa.htm
Warrington, S. (2000) Gender Strategy Development Workshop. Mountain Areas
Conservancy Project (MACP), 14'h-17thJune, 2000. Unpublished report.
WWF-Nepal (2000) WWF Nepal Program. Kanchenjunga Gender and Development Project.
SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA
Oliveira, R. and Anderson. E.S. (1999) Gender, Conservation and Community
Participation: The Case of theJau National Park, Brazil. MERGE Case Study No 2. Internet:
Randi Randi, G. (2001) Final Report. Local Experiences in Community Participation
Management of Protected Areas with Gender Focus. Unpublished report for WIDTECH and
Conservation International, Peru.
PRACTICAL TEXTS FOR TRAINING, ANALYSIS AND INCORPORATION OF GENDER INTO
Aguilar, L., Castafieda I. and Salazar, H. (2002) In Search of Lost Gender: Equity in
Protected Areas. Costa Rica: Absoluto S.A.
Beck, T. and Stelcer, M. (1996) The Why and How of Gender-Sensitive Indicators: A
Project-Level Handbook. Canada: CIDA.
Lingen, A. with Browers, R. Nugteren, M., Plantenga, D. and Zuidberg, L. (1997) Gender
Assessment Studies. A Manual for Gender Consultants. The Hague: ISSAS (Institute of Social
Studies Advisory Service), for NEDA.
Rojas, M.H. (2000) Working with Community-Based Conservation with a Gender Focus: A
Guide. MERGE Case Study, No 3. US: University of Florida. Internet: http://
Slocum, R., Wichhart, L. and Rocheleau D. (1995) Power, Process and Participation: Tools
for Change. London: IT Publications.
Thomas-Slayter, B., Polestico, R. and Esser, E.L. (1995) A Manual for Socio-Economic and
Gender Analysis: Responding to the Development Challenge. USA: Clark University.
Wilde, V. and Vainio-Mattila, A. (1995) Gender Analysis and Forestry. Training Package.
Rome:FAO Forest, Trees and People Programme.
WWF-US (1999) Reproductive Health Resource Packet. People and Conservation Program.
WWF-US (undated) Women and Conservation. Resource Packet. Unpublished report.
TOWARD EQUITY SERIES
A series of practical guides produced by IUCN-Mesoamerica which consider gender issues in
all aspects of project development and implementation:
Aguilar, L. (1999) A Good Start Makes a Better Ending. Writing Proposals for Gender
Perspective. San Jose, Costa Rica: UICN.
Aguilar, L., Bricefio, G. and Valenciano, I. (2000) Seek and Ye Shall Find. Participatory
Appraisals with a Gender Equity Perspective. San Jose, Costa Rica: UICN.
Alfaro Quesada, C. (2000) If We Organize It We Can Do It. Project Planning from a Gender
Perspective. San Jose, Costa Rica: UICN.
Rodriguez, G., Melendez, N., Velizquez, E. and Fuentes, M.A. (2000) Taking the Pulse of
Gender. Gender-Sensitive Systems for Monitoring and Evaluation. San Jose, Costa Rica:
Patricia Zaldafia, C. (2000) In Unity There Is Power Processes of Participation and
Empowerment. San Jose, Costa Rica: UICN.
Ceclia Escalante, A., Peinador, M.D.R. with Aguilar, L. and Badilla, A.E. (2000) Eyes That
See...Hearts That Feel: Equity Indicators. San Jose, Costa Rica: UICN.
Blanco, L. and Rodriguez, G. (2000) Practicing What We Preach. Management and
Decision-Making Processes with Equity. San Jose, Costa Rica: UICN.
Rocio Rodriguez, C (2000) Sharing Secrets. Systematization from a Gender Perspective.
San Jose, Costa Rica: UICN.
Alfaro, M.C. (2000) Unveiling Gender. Basic Conceptual Elements for Understanding
Gender. San Jose, Costa Rica: UICN.
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