Merge 1 Making visible the invisible
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Abstract: A lesson learned from these case studies is that the successful institutionalization of gender relies heavily on the personal commitment and interest of individuals, and positive individual and institutional attitudes towards gender issues.
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Case Study No. 4 November, 2002 Making Visible the Invisible The Process of Institutionalizing Gender in Ecuador: The Case Studies of The Arcoiris Foundation, ECOCIENCIA and the Quichuan Institute of Biotechnology. Paulina Arroyo M. and Susan V. Poats with Bolvar Tello, Rosa Vacacela and Roco Alarcn Published by Supported by T HE W ILLIAM AND F LORA H EWLETT F OUNDATION


G ENDER C OMMUNITY P ARTICIPATION AND N ATURAL R ESOURCE M ANAGEMENT Case Studies Series Published by MERGE (Managing Ecosystems and Resources with Gender Emphasis), T ropical Conservation and Development Program Center for Latin American Studies University of Florida P.O. Box 115531 Gainesville, FL 32611 E mail: tcd@tcd.ufl.edu Financial Support: The William and Flora Hewlett Fo undation WIDTECH University of Florida Series Editor: Marianne Schmink (University of Florida) Editorial Board: Constance Campbell (The Nature Conservancy) Avecita Chicchn (MacArthur Foundation) Maria Cristina Esp i nosa (IUCN) Denise Garrafiel (Production Secretariat, State of Acre, Brazil) Susan V. Poats (GRR Ecuador) Mary Rojas (WIDTECH) Editorial Assistants: Elena P. Bastidas David Salisbury Rutecleia Zarin. Amanda Wolf Collaborating Institutions: University of Florida PESACRE Acre Agroforestry Rese arch and Extension Group WIDTECH A Women in Development Technical Assistance Project USAID/Brazil US Agency for International Development John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation ECOCIENCIA, Ecuador GRR Grupo Randi Randi, Ecuador Arcoiris Found ation, Ecuador The Quichuan Institute of Biotechnology, Ecuador The MERGE Case Studies Series on Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, supported by grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and WIDTECH, is de signed to show how a gender focus has been relevant and useful in natural resource management projects. The cases focus on concrete examples from extension, applied research, and participatory planning activities involving rural communities, especially th ose in and around protected areas primarily from projects in Latin America with which the MERGE program has collaborated. The format lends itself to practical applications as well as training in gender and natural resource management. The cases are transl ated into English, Portuguese and Spanish, and are available on the Internet (http://www.tcd.ufl.edu). The following are the first case studies of the Series: 1. Conceptual Framework for Gender and Co mmunity Based Conse r vation. by Marianne Schmink, 1999 2. Gend er, Conservation and Community Pa r ti cipation: The Case of Ja National Park, Brazil. by Regina Oliveira and Suely Ande r son, 1999 3. Working with Community Based Conserv ation with a Gender F o cus: A Guide. by Mary Hill Rojas, 2000 4. Making Visible the Invisible. The Process of Institutionalizing Gender in Ecuador: The Case Studies of The Arcoiris Found a tion, ECOCIENCIA and The Quichuan Institute of Biotechnology. by Paulina A r royo M. and S usan V. Poats with Bolvar Tello, Rosa Vac a cela and Roco Ala r cn 2002


Case Studies Series on Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002. Making Visible the Invisible The Process of Institutionalizing Gender in Ecuador: The Case Studies of The Arcoiris Foundation, The ECOCIENCIA Foun d a tion and The Quichuan Institute of Biotechnology Paulina A r royo M. and Susan V. Poats with Bolvar Tello, Rosa Vacacela and Roco Ala r cn Translation by David Salisbury November, 2002


Making Visible the Invisible The Process o f Institutionali z ing Gender in Ecuador: The Case Studies of The Arcoiris Fou n dation, ECOCIENCIA and The Quichuan Institute of Bi o technology Paulina Arroyo M. and Susan V. Poats 1 with Bolvar Tello, Rosa Vacacela and Roco Alarcn 2 Institutional Contex t The MERGE program (Managing Ecosy stems and Resources with a Gender Emphasis) of the University of Florida pr omotes collabor a tive projects b etween institutions focused on r e search, training and action in the field. From 1995 until 1997, MERGE formed pa rt of a co mprehensive program between Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. This program's goal was the deve lopment of research and training methods for gender analysis and community participation in nat ural resource ma n agement. In Ecuador, the Latin American F acult y of Social Sc i ences (FLACSO) served as a partner for MERGE in this MacArthur Foundation funded pr o gram. FLACSO, MERGE and The Antisana Found a tion (FUNAN) org an ized the course entitled "Communities, Gender and Sustainable Natural Resource Manag ement." Th is course trained a diverse group of profe s sionals who would soon be promoters of gender anal y sis within the field of conservation and management of natural r e sources. The goal of this paper is to an a lyze and compare three case studies of non governmenta l organizations that began integra ting a gender e m phasis into their established programs of conservation and community deve lopment. The le s sons learned from these cases enrich our experiences of incorp o rating gender in our own d i verse agendas. The three i nstitutions analyzed are the A rcoiris Foundation, the ECOCIENCIA Found a tion and the Quichuan Institute of Biotec h nology. These three cases were chosen for four re asons: 1) each instit u tion agreed to collaborate in this comparison, 2) each institution had perso nnel already trained in gender analysis, 3) each had initiated a formal process of incorporating gender into its policies and fiel d work plans, and, 4) the individuals pr o moting the process Bolvar Te l lo, Roco Ala r cn and Rosa V a c a cela were trained i n the FLACSO/MERGE course. This document is based on i nterviews with the aforeme n tioned individuals along with their own written contr i butions. The cases were then written up, r e turned to and revised by the individuals. A rroyo and Poats conducted the com parative anal y sis. A lesson learned from these case studies is that the successful institutionaliz a tion of gender relies heavily on the personal commi t ment and interest of individuals, and positive individual and instit utional attitudes towards gender i s su es. Why is it important to incorporate gender issues into an institutional mission? The formal adoption of the gender perspe ctive into instit u tional goals has a long history in rural development and farming systems r esearch. The diverse organiz a tions im mersed in these fields have learned how to train their pe rsonnel about the role of a gender focus in agr icultural analysis. These o r ganizations adopted internal policies and programs that fo r malize the institutionaliz a tion of gender: from the mission sta tement to a c tions in the field. A lesson learned from these case studies is t hat the successful institutionaliz a tion of gender relies heavily on the personal commitment and interest of ind i viduals, and positive individual and institutional attitudes towards gender i s sues.


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 2 Independent of the growth of gender anal ysis within the study of agriculture, more recently conservation organizations have adopted pol icies actively involving local people in biodive r sity conservation and natural resource management projects and programs. Field technicians reco gnize the need to adopt participatory methodol ogies invol v ing local people in order to succeed in community based conservation. Focusing on ge n der improves the analysis of local contexts while ensu ring a more even participation of stak e holders. A gender focus in community based conservation improves our know l edge of human actions in the management and conse rvation of natural r e sources (Campbell y Rojas, 2000). After using gender methods in the fie ld, many conservationists realize that a gender f ocus should be integrated into the entire instit ution promoting the conservation work. This int egration demands the creation of a mission statement promising both a pa r ticipatory and gender focus. The foll owing cases teach us both the steps needed and some diverse a pproaches to the institutio n alization of gender. Communities, Gender and the Podoca r pus: The study of gender incorporation into the A r coiris Foundation 3 What is the Arcoiris Foundation? The A rcoiris Foundation is a private organ iz a tion, created in 1989, by a group of high school and university students and volu nteers. The formation of the group was based on the goal of conserving the Pod ocarpus National Park in the provinces of L oja and Zamor a Chi n chipe. The goal of The Arcoiris Foundation is "to contribute to the conservation of the env ironment, biodiversity and natural resources of the Pod o carpus National Park (PNP) and the southern r e gion of Ecuador, through programs of envi ronmental e ducation, co mmunity development, r e search and public action." The foundation has a board of dire ctors formed of external members and repr esentatives of local soc i ety. While the organization has a regional focus, it has a national presence as a member of The Directorate of the Ecuadorian Commi ttee for the Defense of Nature and the Env ironment. L o cally, the Arcoiris Foundation is an active me m ber of the Committee for the D e fense of the PNP. The Arcoiris Foundation carries out several regional conservati on projects with the su pport of international organizations. Projects have f o cused on the PNP and the native f orests of Loja province since 1993. The PNP projects are coordinated with the su p port of The Nature Co n servancy (TNC) and the L oja projects are i n co n junction with the A ndean Native Forests Pr o gram, the United Nations Small Grants Program, The Ecu adorian Canadian Development Fund and the CARE Foundation through the FORDES program. For the Conservation of Podocarpus! The enthusiastic students who founded The A r coiris Foundation in 1989 never imagined that they would one day say: "We are the oldest, most exper i enced conservation organization in Loja that applies the gender variable". The initial activities of Arcoiris focused on the spread of enviro nmental education in Loja's urban sector. The environmental education campaign pr omoted the benefits gained from the PNP. The Park includes a vast forest area (150,000 he ctares) located in the provinces of Loja and Z amora Chinchipe and has been identified as and important biodiversity refuge. After four years of action and intervention supported by TNC, A rcoiris received a grant to expand env i ronmental ed u cation in the area. These funds helped forge links with both the PNP buffer zone communities and othe r rural development instit u tions. Initial Contacts with the MERGE Pr ogram The young professionals of Arcoiris reco gnized their lack of background in the social sc i ences along with the need to learn new m etho d ologies centered on community based co nserv a tio n and alternative economic strategies. Ther e fore an important step for Arcoiris was B olivar Tello's (a forester and founding member of A r coiris) participation in the Gender, Commun ities, Population and Environment workshop in May of 1995. This workshop w as conducted by TNC, FLACSO, the MERGE program and FUNAN during the TNC conserv a tion week in Quito. Shortly after this event, MERGE, FLACSO and FUNAN repeated the workshop, training


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 3 three Arcoiris technicians (biologists and for es t ers). These individuals quickly incorp o rated their newfound knowledge into both environme ntal education and community extension pr ograms. D e spite the training, there was still some doubt as to how to proceed with community based conservation and how to confront multiple stakehol ders working in the area. Later, in 1996, Bolivar Tello, trained in the TNC workshop, pa r ticipated in the Communities, Gender and Sustainable Natural Resource Management specializ a tion course (2 months fulltime) p orga n ized by MERGE/FLACSO. This training started the process of institutional i zation of gender in Arcoiris. TNC's flexibility and dec ision to finance a community development pos ition, without strict guidelines, allowed techn icians latitude in trying out new gender, deve lopment and conse r vation ideas. How did a gender focus contribute to the evolution of the Arcoiris comm unity development pr o gram? The innovative technicians trained by MERGE used the pa r ticipatory methodologies and gender analysis techniques to formally create the community d evel opment branch of Arcoiris. I mmediately, the technicians used the gender pe r spective to design and manage new community develo pment projects with an e m phasis on strengthening community organiz ation and natural resource ma nagement. The gender focus within co mmunity based conservation a l lowed techn icians to identify pr o jects stimulating income generation while reducing pressure on natural r e sources. One of these cases involved an irr i gation project in progress. From the start, the women did not participate i n project meetings or install ation activities. Ge n der analysis identified the women's desire for a smaller irrigation pr o ject enabling them to water their gardens as o pposed to the larger system geared towards irr igating the men's open fields. The project a djusted to create two separate irr i gation systems, addition, a group of promo t ers, both women and men, b e came skilled in the facilitation of gender workshops within the co n text of the project. Organizin g the 1997 course: The Impo rtance of Gender in Rural Develo p ment, with the National University of Loja esta b lished Arcoiris as a gender promoter at the inst i tutional level. The workshop was not without challenges r equi r ing a radical restructuring of tradi tional ac ademic teaching methods. At the outset, the course was viewed with skept i cism. Foresters, agronomists and other natural scientists dom inated the audience. However, after two weeks, the MERGE participatory methodo l ogy and the gender and natural resource management co ncepts grabbed the attention of students and pr ofessors. Cu r rently, the University is trying to teach the course every year, as a requirement for students in the natural sc i ences. A bi product of the course was the 1997 i ni tiative forming discussion groups integrating di f ferent Loja institutions with different levels of gender analysis knowledge. Ten o r ganizations in Loja were ident i fied as working with gender analysis. Currently, the discu s sion group meets periodically to promote the increasing incorpor ation of the gender focus into these instit u tions. The Foundation has i n vested heavily in the training of community promoters in facilit a tion skills (applying tools learned in the MERGE/FLACSO course) and natural resource managemen t with a gender e mphasis. This worthwhile inves tment has e m powered both wo men and men to become commun ity lea d ers. One women promoter said she found the o p po r tunity to break cultural barriers and train men an incredible e x perience. Over time, in the pr o mo ter courses, women began asking the most que s tions. Similarly, in a beekeeping project, initial a ctiv i ties involved both men and women. As the project evolved, women demonstrated their s uperiority in hive management and honey pro c essing. Currently, the pr oject has been su c cessful in the marketing of bee honey from n a tive forests borde r ing the PNP. Challenges in the Instit u tionalization of Gender The slow road to the ado p tion of the gender pe r spective by institutions has been challenging to technicians promoting ge n der emphasis and analysis. The i n tegration of the gender focus has been uneven across the landscape due to the lack of knowledge of technicians in other areas. The Arcoiris Foundation promotes d evelopment projects in two ge o graphic sectors. One sector is the buffer zone of the PNP and the One women promoter said she found the opportunity to break cultural barriers and train men an i n credible experience.


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 4 other lies in the western forests of Loja. Techn iprojects. However, the second sector's techn icians have not received any formal training in gender issue s. This d i chotomy of experience creates a lack of unifor m ity in project quality with regard to ge n der. Another challenge has been to work with the foundation's directors and transmit the co ncept and importance of gender focus. The pe rso n nel trained in gender analysis have great power within their community development d epartment but little political power at the instit utional level. This fact produced an awareness and acce p tance on the part of the directors to design a conceptual framework and methodo l ogy that will include a gender emphasis while guiding the current and future co n servation and development activities of Arcoiris. The elabor ation of the framework, initiated by department technicians, includes the formal incorpor a tion through training of the concepts and methodol ogies of gender, participatory extension and facil itation. Afterwards, the framework will be di scussed with other depar t ments with the goal of refining it and incorporating it into the whole i nstitution. In addition, while the F oundation has co mpleted comm u nity projects, it has to cope with the pressure to produce concrete results in a short timeframe, in accordance with donor d emands. However, Arcoiris has found that the process of quickly incorporating gender is co mplex and re quires a lot of inputs. Arcoiris also wrestles with the challenge of a s suring employee stability while maintaining continuity in the application of institutional co ncepts and methodologies. One example d em onstrating progress in the administration's ge n d er awareness is that women and men with chi l dren now receive a mate r nity/paternity b onus. What does the future hold? Much progress remains to be made. The princ i pal challenge is to ensure recognition of the gender work done within the institution. The d irector shows great interest in gender after wi tnessing donors' commitment to continue funding gender projects. Taking advantage of this e nthusiasm requires the continued promotion of community projects with gender emphasis. In addition, it is vital that all personnel take respo nsibility for the institutionalization of gender. However, above all, the Arcoiris Found a tion, currently in this crucial stage of institutional d evelo p ment, needs to devise its own strategic plan. The greater the su c cess of the projects, the greater demand for more projects and thus the greater d e mand for a transparent policy on conservation and development with a gender f o cus. Weaving gender into ECOCIENCIA: The institutionalization of gender in ECOCIENCIA 4 What is ECOCIENCIA? ECOCIENCIA is a private Ecuadorian scie ntific non governmental organization founded in 1989. ECOCIENCIAs mission is to co nserve biod i versity and create harmonious human nature relationships through scie n ti fic research, enviro n mental education and the rec uperation of trad i tional knowledge for natural resource manag e ment. ECOCIENCIA works natio n ally on research, conservation and d e velopment projects. In the Cotacachi Cayapas Ec o logical Reserve ECOCIENCIA collaborates with the SUBIR project, an integrated c onservation and d evelo p ment project focusing on buffer zones of critical Ecuadorian pr o tected areas. The project is trying to demonstrate that biod iversity conservation can be combined effe ctively over the long term with sustainable community development. SUBIR is m an aged by CARE in coordination with the Wil d life Conse r vation Society, the Ecuador ian Institute of Fo r ests and Natural Areas (INEFAN) 5 local co m munities and local NGOs, and is financed by (USAID 6 ). Roco Alarcn, an ethn o botanist, directs the ECOCIENCIA research d e partment. She has 20 years of experience in natural r esource management and biodiversity r esearch. She also partic i pated in the 1996 Sp e cialization Course led by FLACSO and UF in Quito in 1996 "Commun i ties, Gender and Sustainable Man agement of Natural Resources". Roco was the key indivi d ual responsible for the incorporation of the ge n der variable within ECOCIENCIA. Fo rt u nately, the directors and technicians of ECOCIENCIA su p ported the process. The institutionalization of gender int o ECOCIENCIA is full of lessons for other env i-


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 5 ronmental organizations thinking of incorporating a gender focus. ECOCIENCIA was an organiz ation focused exclusively on bi o logical research and biodiversity conservation. After years of pu r suing this course, the need to work with rural communities became evident. After ente r ing the social field, lack of experience forced r esearchers to inquire into anthropological co ncepts and particip a tory methods. In this way, they learned of gender analysis and its implic ations. Following this, the institution decided to begin integrating a gender focus at all instit utional le v els. The following case relates the history of this process in ECOCIENCIA, the changes that o ccurred during the process and the future cha llenges ahead. Flirting with the gender co n cept ECOCIENCIA has talked of ge n der since 1994 because of the institution's profound inte rest in the topic. Yet, there was no real unde rstanding of the term. Two male sc i entists had studied abroad, come in contact with the term and mentioned it as something to reme m ber when conducting r e search or starting projects. However, no co n crete steps had been taken to use the co n cept in training and projects, much less in its adoption by the entire inst i tution. These scient ists supported the process of assimilating ge n der into the institution though each admi t ted that they would not use gender within their own work. The e xecutive director at the time reco g nized the doubts that existed within the research depar tment and the impo r tance of training to dispel them. In a d dition, the research department was the only one that incorp o rated local people into ethno biology and biological inve n tory activities. The department saw this incorpor a tion as an excellent opport u nity to invol ve women and men into resource management. Finally, the pe r so nal motivation of the department's dire c tor was pi v otal. She worked in the field using a gender focus. However, it is impo r tant to point out that she did not formally recognize the co n cept, bu t rather that women and men had and displayed differing knowledge of different r e sources. That same year ECOCIENCIA elaborated a document about how commun i ties are affected by protected a r eas. The case study was the community of Cofn de Sina n go in the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve. This inve stigation reflected the know l edge of both women and men and analyzed both from a bi o logical and ethno botanical perspe c tive the who knows what? of habitats. The institution unan i mously approved this idea but the gender anal y sis tools needed were still lacking. Ho w ever, there was no lack of interest as the inst i tution had both personnel interested in using ge n der tools in the field and personnel interested in int e grating the gender focus into the instit u tion. Ther e were no barriers to introduce gender. In addition, begi nning the process would allow for gender incorp oration into the program for male and female p arabiol o gists. The MERGE Training The first concrete step towards the instit utionalization of ge n der b egan with an invitation from FLACSO and MERGE for ECOCIENCIA to partic i pate in the 1996 Communities, Gender and Sustainable Natural R e source Ma n agement regional specialty course. An important and a t tractive aspect of the course was the meth od o logical co n t ent on gender analysis. Pa r ticularly exciting, for the ECOCIENCIA pa r tic ipant (Roco) was the use of Social Transects du r ing the field visit to Carchi province, a tool that integrates both biolo gical and s o cial science (see Box 1) ECOCIENCIA pr oceeded to practice this met h odology with the commun i ties they worked with. The combination of two very exper i enced professionals of different disc i plines created an opportunity to innovate with participatory m et h ods with a gender focus. This reinforces the hypothe sis that professio n als experienced in their discipline (social or biolog i cal) are needed to innovate on tools and methodologies. Ho wever, intensive long term trai n ing is needed to encourage innovations between experienced profe s sionals. Another a d vantage of the course was the lack of prejudice between professors and st udents, nationals and internatio n als, or old and young. Figure No. 1 illustrates the intera c tion that occurred. On one level were the intern ational and national instructors imparting valid t heoretical know l edge. On another level were the most experienced partic i pants with their 1 994... During this period..., there was no lack of interest as the institution had both pe r sonnel interested in using gender tools in the field and personnel interested in integrating the gender f o cus into the institution.


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 6 years of wisdom and fieldwork, know l edge of the nation's history and ability to i n novate with the knowledge gained from the instructors. On a n other level was the yo ung st u dent group with their enthusiasm for lear n ing and their fresh ideas brought from the universities. In the mi ddle stood a group of young profe s sionals with field experience and many theoretical and m et h odological uncertai n ties. Therefore, an invalua ble nexus of kno wl edge was formed, the best training enviro n ment possible. A rich discussion of co n cepts and m ethodologies e n sued. One bi product of this was the cre a tion of like minded groups who still work together. This serves as an informal co m mun ic ation ne t work. The impact of MERGE trai n ing on ECOCIENCIA During the course, Roco and other partic ipants shared new ideas with the 15 biologists of ECOCIENCIA's research department. Partic ipants discussed how to inco r porate the course ideas into their work. During the course, situ ations arose back at ECOCIENCIA requiring i mmediate attention which served as opportun i ties to apply newly learned skills. For example, in the community of Cuellaje, north of the Cot a c achi Cayapas Ec o logical Reserve, there was an opport u nity for fifteen women with an ethno botanical ga r den and gene bank. ECOCIENCIA a p plied some new tools to strengthen the group and in partic u lar, raise the self esteem of the women. In this way, the group worked ind e pe ndently and trained oth er groups in the r e serve buffer zone. But pr o gress has not been made without diff i culties. The ethnobotanical garden created conflict between women and men during the actual course. Many ideas were gene r ated to support the Cuellaje group through informal conversations and sharing ideas with a veteran of gender analysis and womens empowe r ment, also participating in the course. In the words of Roco "The applic a tion of the advice helped as the group is still working two years later. The women earn incom e; have a beautiful garden with inputs from the buffer zone and a gene bank. They have reached agreements with the men, who now help capture water and build garden terraces. The hu s bands have accepted the idea because they value the increased income and realize that the women are not was t ing their time. They constructed a meeting area so that the women no longer meet in the street, and take care of the children while the women meet. In summary, the inte r action with course me m bers during the conflict all owed the fo r mulation of strategies to manage it." At the concl u sion of the FLACSO/MERGE training program, ECOCIENCIA decided to take the follo w ing steps: Box 1. The Integration of Biological and Social Knowledge in the Elabora tion of Social Transects During the Carchi trip, the group worked on the transects with anthropologist Jorge Recharte. "Transects are commonplace in biological research but Jorge, an anthropologist, had another perspective on the transect. In Carchi, we did a transect of the edge of a forest, on a farm or home garden. Our perception was that the pe o ple had lost the entire natural habitat. But, when we did the transect, strips of forest skirted the edges of the farms, thus we worked with the people to f ind out the significance of these forested edges. Course partic ipants thought the edges nothing more than a living fence demarcating the land, but the local people had a t ota l ly different pe r spective. This forest was a source of high quality firewood due to its diversity of species. The edge was a retreat for wildlife, an impo r tant source of food during certain parts of the year. In addition, the edge protected crops inside the farm. At the conclusion, we found four or five reasons for the edge. These findings, discovered after applying various methodologies, validated the course content. Although, our pe rception was that the farms were not important due to their monoculture systems, we learned that there is bi odiversity in the system. Out of this c ame the questions: Who has decision making power over the biodive r s ity? What does biodiversity mean? It meant a great deal of things for the local people. It was an amazing e xperience to work with someone with a different perspective but with whom I shar ed a common goal. We were able to share our different thoughts on landscape and biodiversity. An idea blossomed of co n necting the El Angel Ecological Reserve with the farm edges to better feed the farmers. We could build animal trails to create more int eraction between the reserve and the farms. At the conclusion, we were able to integrate local co n cepts of development and conservation into the transect methodology. ( Text of the interview with Roco Alarcn )


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 7 1. Change the institutional mission/vision to i n corporate gender concepts. 2. Change the administrative procedure m an ual to incorporate gender i s sues. 3. Accompany these actions with a trai n ing process for institution perso n nel. 4. Formulate projects i n corporating a gender perspe c tive. How did the process of institutional ization continue a f ter the course? Before the course there was just one social scientist collaborating with the instit u tion. After the course came the rev o lution: ECOCIENCIA simultaneously started pr o jects incorporating more people from the s o cial side while o b taining PNUD financing to apply a gender focus and validate it in co m munity pr o jects. The SUBIR project asked ECOCIENCIA to elaborate a proposal for a ge n der strategy. This was accepted by the project and shared with CARE Intern a tional in Denmark and with other actors. Afte r ward s, ECOCIENCIA took charge of the gender component in all activities of the SUBIR pr o ject. In the field, ECOCIENCIA works with 15 p arabiol o gists. After the FLACSO/MERGE course the established network was broken and local community technicians accepted a wom an parabiologist. During the first co ngress of parabiologists and paratechn i cians, groups of women were given the floor and were li s tened to in the debates. ECOCIENCIA began training technicians of other institutions through the SUBIR project. Such is the case with 15 technicians of Found a tion Jatun Sacha10, a private NGO also involved in the SUBIR Project. Imm ed i ately, Foundation Jatun Sacha and National and Intern ational instructors Experienced Partic i pants Young participants with new ac ademic tendencies Participants, young professio nals with field e x p erience Interaction, Exchange of inform ation, ideas and e x p eriences Figure 1. The Interaction of the FLACSO / MERGE Course


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 8 ECOCIENCIA applied gender tools within the SUBIR project. To date, ECOCIENCIA has trained 80 people from wi thin and ou tside of the institution. In the high altitude region of the Cotacachi Cayapas reserve a workshop was organized for community members. At the start, the techn i cians asked: What right do we have to enter a comm u nity with a gender message? This was ove r come, however, the workshop was carried out and women and men signed a document recognizing that both sexes' e nvironmental knowledge should be reco gnized before making environmental dec isions. For example, in the national arena, as part of the SUB IR project, ECOCIENCIA cr e ated a group of toquilla straw weavers and cultivators. This action was not unde rtaken to promote any feminist concept, r ather, it was to create opportunity for women in toquilla straw production. Work began with both women and men to identify species needing pr o tection in forest use zones. The extraordinary results showed men wanting to protect hunting a r eas while women focused on understory a r eas. In general, men wanted to protect the canopy and timber while women were inte res ted in the understory and its useful sp ecies (lianas, shrubs and herbs). After co nducting this exercise with men and women, zones of forest use were d e signed based on the concerns of both women and men. This is the first time that forest use maps r e flec ted both pe r spectives. The conclusion is that, after recognizing the resource prote ction know l edge of both men and women, the protection for all of the biodiversity is a ssured. Ethnobotanical studies show that plots worked just by one gender have a lowe r le vel of biod i versity than one worked by both. Meanwhile in plots worked by both genders, women know the herbs and short c y cled plants while men know more about coffee and cacao production. Ther e fore, the ideal model is to join both gender's know l edge to work in one place and obtain food security. This is the h y pothesis applied in the SUBIR project: The int e gration of women and men's work and knowledge for improved farm pr oduction. In addition, from the biological perspective, transects have found 2 20 more sp e cies of birds and almost that many more ma m mals in plots worked by both genders than plots worked by men or women alone. In plots worked by both genders, the women insist on a three or four meter border filled with di fferent varieties of plants This creates a h abitat capable of attracting more mammals and people, esp e cially women, can hunt field mice for food wit h out needing to travel far. The biodiversity hypothesis has changed after the MERGE experience and has been validated by biologists foresters and agr onomists because of its study of space with a gender focus. The institution started with the word gender rarely spoken and now the variable has been incorp o rated at every level of the institution. ECOCIENCIA decided not to create a spec ial gender program because the gender focus r esponsibility is everyone's, not just one depar tment's or individual's. The ECOCIENCIA model is interesting because one group of actors has integrated the focus bit by bit, each time assu ming more responsibilit y in a) the a p plication of the gender focus and b) supporting the instit utionalization of gender, though not applying it directly. The future of ECOCIENCIA and ge n der work There is much still to do even though co ncrete changes are now part of the proc ess: 1. The institutional mission/vision has changed to reflect a gender policy. 2. The administrative proc e dures manual has been modified to incorporate issues of ge n der equa l ity. 3. Each department designs projects with ge n der anal y sis. 4. Foundation ECOCIENCIA now seeks ge n der focused training opportunities for techn icians. In 1998 ECOCIENCIA questioned why do we add this variable? and what e f fects does it have? The response from within was: the instit ution is co n vinced, especially the 30 members of the research dep artment, that economic, social and environmental sustainability depend on the gender variable. Thus, the institution will co n ti nue to apply gender anal y sis. On one hand, pe rsonnel need to continue to be trained. On the other hand, the results need to be measured to learn more about the variable and its applic a tion. Currently, the SUBIR project is mana g ing a model analyzing the effects of incorporating a gender focus. This involves comparing and


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 9 measu r ing the changes in the communities that worked with SUBIR to the changes in the co mmunities that have not worked with SUBIR. In addition, the following themes need to be r e searched in greater depth: Conservation, biodiversity and natural resource management with a gender f ocus It is necessary to ask: wh y conserv ation? and for whom? The application of gender in social d evelo p ment Although ECOCIENCIA works in the social development sphere, it is pri ncipally from a conservation perspective. More study needs to address the develo pment perspective and how gender can su pport the development process connected with biodiversity. The historical te n dency of the country is the exploitation of natural r esources and the empowerment of targeted groups that are not necessarily women. For example, the sale of timber impoverishes l ocal groups and the most negatively affected are women and children. In the Amazon, oil and monocultures cause a loss of biodive r s ity while local people b e come poorer. The planning and focus of gender For example, how to integrate the g ender var i able into manag e ment plans. Analyze how gender can contribute to the sustainabi l ity of those plans. Continued interaction with other course participants to measure the effects of ge n der on conservation and d evelo p ment This means case study ana lysis in the Am azona, Sierra, Coast and Galpagos regions. The analysis must demonstrate the effect of the gender var i able in each region while recognizing distinct conditions, actors and interests. For exa mple, research could measure the e f fects of gen der in the oil explo i tation of Amazona, or analyze how gender infl u ences the use of the pramo in the A n dean region. Because of the MERGE training, a discu ssion group formed consisting of five people working in gender analysis in the field. The group pr omotes an interchange of ideas and e x periences of gender to support the group and the Foundation. This year the group met four times and the group plans to continue to meet. ECOCIENCIA has entered into a never en d ing process. Gender is increasingly int egrated into politics and work plans of the instit ution. The ECOCIENCIA case is a model with concrete examples for other research and co nservation organiz a tions to follow. Projects end and techn i cians change jobs but the profound impacts of the gender foc us remain. Dreaming of Gender 7 The integration of gender into The Quichuan I n stitute of Biotechnology of Ecuador 8 "We are a group of dreamers...." The women and men of the community of Yanayacu, in the extreme south of Pastaza pro v ince, are rescuing and enlightening their ancestral know l edge through a gender focus. This knowledge is needed to manage the biod iversity within their 120,000 hectare territory. The Quichuan I n stitute of Biotechnology (IQB) is helping make this a reality. Indigenous profe ssi onals manage the Institute, an NGO founded in 1992. All of the professionals are from the natural science disciplines with the exce p tion of one social scie n tist an anthropologist. Since its creation, the IQB has pursued the construction of a sustainab le d e velopment mo del based on the management of community terr itories, their ecosystems and biod iversity. This objective is rea l ized with i n digenous knowledge (both recuperated ancestral know l edge and current knowledge) and pa r t icipatory methodologies app lied to natural r e source management. The professio n als of the IQB never received formal training in ge n der analysis but the nature of their work with indigenous co mm u nities facilitates recognition of gender vari ation in the knowledge and ma n agement of bio d iversity and terr i tory. Despite this, they wanted to fu n damentally integrate a gender f o cus into their work. The IQB is an organization without a bea urocratic structure, administrative personnel cap ital investments. The o r ganization is interwoven into the communities where the members live and work. E x tension agents usually come from the communities they work in and generate pr o jects through the IQB. Therefore, free co mm u nication between collaborators is crucial to inte r change methodologies and exper i ences. This acc u mulation of experiences enables the IQB to advance in the biodiversity co n servation field even as it ensures ancestral rights and r eIQB policy requires pe r sonnel to apply new knowledge in the field and throughout the instit u tion.


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 10 cupe r ates the traditions of the indigenous co mmun i ties. How MERGE training changed the In 1996, FLACSO and UF trained two inst itute technicians through the Regional MERGE Special i zation Course called "Communities, Gender and Sustainable Natural R e source Management." The two participants from the Inst i tute were Vctor Vacacela, a forester, a nd Rosa Vacacela, an anthropologist. Each a bsorbed the gender concepts through the lens of their distinct professional backgrounds. IQB policy requires personnel to apply new kno wl edge in the field and throughout the institution. This policy e n couraged Vctor and Rosa to lead a training wor k shop on gender and resource manag e ment for the indigenous technicians of IQB and collaborators from other institutions like the Organization of the Indigenous Pe o ple of Pastaza (OPIP). This workshop spread the conce pts of ge n der analysis throughout the IQB tec h nical staff. The MERGE course allowed technicians to strengthen their a p proach towards the recuperation of gendered knowledge in order to i m prove the conservation and administration of Amazonian biodive r sity. Applying a gender focus helped the IQB formulate new strategies for more efficient biod iversity conservation. The strategies also pr omoted participation and the ancestral know l edge of both women and men. The inco r poration of a gender focus within IQB p r o jects revealed that women have more know l edge of fruit and palm species of the forest. A process of species s election for cultiv a tion had been started but was stalled because of unce r tainty about which community members to include. After conduc ting work shops in the community, the IQB esta blished that women had more knowledge of sp ecies. Thus, women and children collected and selected seeds while young men climbed to co llect the la r ger trees' seeds. The final selection of quality seeds and the cultiv a ti on of plants was done only by the adult women considered by family and community to po s sess paju 9 Once the IQB realized these facts, it reo rganized activities in the genetic resources ma nagement pr o gram, dividing work between wo men and men according to ab ility and know l edge. The inclusion of the MERGE gender f o cus, e sta b lished a gendered and generational div i sion of access, use and control of existing resources within both community space and ecosy s tems. The IQB also identified gender differences in plan ting crops and seed bank and nursery construction. At the beginning of the pr o ject, women were solely responsible for all a c tivities. After gender analysis, the IQB redistributed r esponsibilities according to the ability and kno wl edge of the women and m en. Thus, the men's' activities relied more on physical force: tran sporting seeds, soil prep a ration and digging holes for tree planting. Women, on the other hand, were responsible for planting and see d ling care since only they possessed the "paju". This did not change the concept of conse rvation but it did change the strategies used to carry it out. In addition, ancestral knowledge to strengthen biodiversity conservation was rec uperated while participation of women and men expanded. The 1993 Yana Yacu c ommunity chacra (family garden) resource inventory ind icated a lack of diversity through the loss of trad itional chacra management. IQB re c ognized women's knowledge of phytogenetic resources in the cha c ras. However, a gender analysis of the inventory and the access, co n trol and use of chacra resources revealed that elderly women had the greatest know l edge of these resources and resource manag e ment. The IQB undertook the task of rescuing the elderly women's knowledge of trad i tional chacra management sy s t ems. These Quechua Amazon systems have a si g nificant diversity of flora and fauna that is vital to each family's economy. The family manages the chacra and creates an extremely diverse type of secondary forest, full of fruits, palms and medicines. Fam ili es initially cultivate short cycle plants like ca ssava, fruits and spices while on the edge spiny palms, a longer cycle plant, are used to control pests and disease (for example Bactris gas ipaes, Astrocaryum vulgare among ot h ers). While harvesting short c ycle crops, the family plants new long cycle crops in the whole chacra u n til it becomes a ushun. In an ushun, one can plant fruits, some palm sp e cies, medicinal plants and pla n tains. After eight years of growth, the secondary forest or purum b e comes a habitat rich in large tree, palm and fruit species. An impressive v ar i ety of wildlife is also drawn to fo r age for fruit in the p u rum. Men manage the space outside the purum but women harvesting for the family co ntrol the int e rior. The purum is also wher e young boys learn to hunt, a skill vital to the survival of both family and quichua tradition. Thus, the chacra not only mai n tains biodiversity but also gives women power over resource access and


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 11 control. Eventually the comme r cialization of chacra produ cts might give women i n come to improve their social status in the community. The IQB technicians did not immediately identify all of the subtleties in this complex pro c ess. The team anthropologist, a woman, unde r stood the impo r tance of the women but the agronomists, all men, had diff i culty seeing the magnitude of the women's role and how to e ncourage this role for community ben e fit. During the IQB internal workshop, it was i m pressive to see that those technicians reluctant to re c ognize the women's role became proud of their su ccessful application of the gender focus in their pr o jects. Another example of the gender focus r evealing the overlooked is the management of moritia flexsosa This plant creates habitats i mportant for the reproduction of mammals birds and reptiles. Men find these areas to be exce llent for hun t ing while women find the same places to be ideal for seed co lle c tion. These two uses can cause conflict when fruit and seed co l lection require the cu tting of palms. The stan d ing palms attract game, and thus their cu t ting negatively impacts hunting. The IQB techn i cians analyzed this potential gender conflict in a series of wor k shops. Within the workshops, the community an alyzed each r e source according to gender use. The community de veloped a phenological c al endar for plants and fruits while identifying r eproductive habits of fauna (principally parrots, tu r keys and tapir). Finally, the women and men of the co m munity created a calendar of resource use to avoid f u ture conflict. What does the future hold? The institutionalization of the ge n der focus in the IQB extends from the community to the internal o r ganizational structure of the quichua people. This extension is co n structed through successful project implementation by techn ician s trained in gender analysis. Cu r rently, the gender focus is applied throug h out the projects. Since the IQB has no administrative body, ge n der has not altered the instit u tional mission. In this case, the goal is to create a theory of na tural resource ma nagement with a gender focus from the indigenous pe r spective. The following are some of the dreams of the professionals of the IQB: To continue with gender trai n ing, not only for the IQB but also for the four institutions that co l laborate with the IQB. Elaborate ma n agement plans for three qu ichua communities located in areas cr u cial for biodiversity conservation. This r e quires resource management with a gender f o cus. Formulate a model for biodiversity manag ement of the quichua territory in Pastaza. To co n tinue with gender focused biodiversity management of wild medicinal plants in b otan i cal gardens managed by women and supported by men. To continue researching in three additional communities the gender differences in a ncestral knowledge of biod i ve rsity. The act of making the invis i ble visible through gender anal y sis is critical to the IQB goal of biodiversity conserv a tion and ancestral knowledge recuper a tion in the Amazon. In this way, the technicians can co n tinue dreaming of how to promote co n se rvation through the rec u per a tion of ancestral knowledge of both indig e nous women and men. Comparative analysis of the three cases The goal of this chapter is to present how three organizations ded i cated to biodiversity conservation though comm u nity pa rt icipation incorporated the gender perspective in their i n stitutions, programs and pr o jects. The efforts made by each institution serve as mo d els for those interested in sim i lar initiatives. In this compar a tive analysis it is important to remember three c rucial elements of learning: the method ological or tools and concepts learned; the instit utional which refers to the rel a tions between the individual and their colleagues; and the pe r sonal which f o cuses on the individual, their spouse and family. Method o logical training is necessary to analytically r e flect on the institutional, and to assimilate experiences to the pe r sonal. In the same way, our personal perceptions can infl uence how we a p proach the methodological and inst i tutional (Rani Parker, 1995). It is through the analysis of these el e ments that we understand how gender institutionalization affects the instit utional, the met h odological and the personal in these three sep a rate cases. We focus the comparative analysis on se veral themes common to the three cases. A lthough it is possible to analyze the cases from The act of making the invis ible visible through ge n der analysis is critical to the IQB goal of biodiversity conserv ation and a n cestral knowledge rec u peration in the Amazon


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 12 other points of view, we have selected those themes we consider most important to the le ssons learned. Institutional Mission and Motives for Ge n der Institutionalization Each of the institu tions studied was created b e fore coming into contact with the MERGE program in November of 1994. The three inst itutions share the goal of biodiversity conserv ation within their r e spective mission statements, explicitly or implicitly (in the case of IQB). Ne vertheless, each institution carries out this goal in distinct ways. Arcoiris integrates sustainable d e velopment principles and actions within its conservation programs. The IQB focuses on the development and preservation of indigenous communities to achieve biodiversity conserv ation in the Amazonia ECOCIENCIA, while not having an explicit goal of community develo pment projects, respects the knowledge of wo men and men and values active pa r ticipation in conservation programs. Gender focus and the emp hasis on its int egration in institutional pr o grams and projects came after the formation of these institutions. Each institution developed a process of incorp orating the gender f o cus for similar reasons: they wanted to make biod i versity conservation work more efficient through active community partic ipation. After applying the gender perspective in the projects, the institutions noticed a more equ i table participation and the di s covery of the least visible groups within the communities. A lthough donors o f the organizations put an e mphasis on the incorporation of the gender per spe c tive in the projects, none of these institutions began the process due to external pressure. The People Carrying Out the Process A comparative study from 1989 demo nstrates tha t in that era, the sex of the person driving the gender inco r poration process is an important variable influencing the methods and intensity of the gender integration (Poats and Russo, 1989). In these three cases, the most intense trai n ing and integration of the gender focus is lead by women. The majo r ity of these women fulfill leadership roles in their organiz ations. In each of the institutions, the people who in i tially emphasized the importance of gender did not have a significant exposure to the co ncept previous to MERGE training. Cur i ously, three of the four people trained had natural sc i ence backgrounds (two foresters and a b ot a n ist). The exception is an anthropol o gist. The sex of the people trained is balanced, with two women and two men. Each person trained by MERGE was charged with incorporating gender at the institutional level. In each of the three institutions, the pers on ality of the individual and their role within the institution has been factors influencing how ge n der is incorp o rated. On the other hand, the sex of the indivi d ual appears to not be a factor. In the case of Arcoiris, MERGE exte n sively trained a forester, Bolvar Tello, who became the project dire c tor most active in the integration of the gender focus. However, Bol i var did not have the authority to influence projects b e yond his own department nor the overall policies of the instit u tion. Yet, as a founding member, he did have direct access to the executive director and the board, and was able to sensitize them about gende r and its impo r tance. The trainee that took on the challenge of pr o moting gender analysis in ECOCIENCIA, is an et h nobotanist, Roco Alarcn. She is both the research department director and a founding member of the institution. Roco Alarcn has enough institutional clout to influence the dire ctors of the institution. Above all, she focused her efforts on department pe r sonnel, teaching them the importance of the incorporation of the ge n der focus in research and fieldwork. In this way, Roco is makin g sure that the gender focus will be used in the field, in the workplace and at a dministrative le v els. The Quichuan Institute of Biotechnology has two individuals trained by MERGE in gender analysis. Each accepted the challenge of trai ning all members o f the institution and its collab orators. Due to the IQB's lack of centralized and vertical administration, there is a highly fluid i n t eraction between professionals and field techn icians. The forester, Vctor Vacacela, and the anthropologist, Rosa Vacacel a, have more m aneuverability to promote gender anal y sis within the institution. However, they are r e stricted by a lack of financial r e sources. In summary, the personalities and motiv ations of each individual have stim u lated the promotion of gender analys is. The receptiv eness of the institutional directors facil i tated the individual efforts, but the tenacity of Bolvar, Roco, Vctor and Rosa has much to do with the r e sults.


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 13 Creation of a Support Ne t work The support networks and interchanges of experienc es are crucial to the process of instit utionaliz a tion of gender. The MERGE/FLACSO course cr e ated a support network and started the interchange of experiences between partic ipants of different profe s sions and institutions. It is for this re a son, at least in Ecuador where the majority of participants live, that pa r ticipants still remain in contact. These sporadic interchanges provide support to projects and the i n terchange of ideas and experiences. In fact, this chapter is the product of a network of pe o p le trained by MERGE and we continue to work in the field of sustainable conservation and deve l opment with a gender focus. The three institutions have put a great deal of emphasis on continued communication and the creation of support networks for gender f ocused activ i ties. In the city of Loja, Arcoiris pushes other rural conservation and develo pment organizations to int e grate a gender focus in their work. Activities such as this have cr e ated a discussion and trai n ing network of gender analysis. In the same ma n ner, the IQB trains personnel of collaborating instit u tions and broadens its support network in the city of Puyo and the co m munities it works in. ECOCIENCIA promotes trai n ing and interchange through the SUBIR project. In addition, ECOCIENCIA is c onstructing a research network among its co llaborators (including CARE). Director Support and Instit u tional Level of Commitment Each institution analyzed has demonstrated different levels of institutional support and ded ication to the topic of gender f ocus. From the start, even before undergoing MERGE/FLACSO training, the directors and other influential ind ividuals (princ i pally men) within ECOCIENCIA have supported the idea of integrating gender analysis within their programs and pr o jects. For this reason, they strongly supported the training and ,following that, the work of Roco. In this way, ECOCIENCIA demonstrated co n s ide r able commitment to the institutionalization of the gender perspective within all areas of the organiz a tion. In addition, the directors received acknowledgement for their work from other co llaborators (principally CARE) who proposed that ECOCIENCIA take charge of training within its own instit u tion. Several factors have facilitated IQB's ado ption of the gender focus. Vctor and Rosa are founding members of the IQB and have great latitude in the design and execution of their pr o jects. These factors and the horizontal a dmini s trative system mean that less effort is needed to convince the leade r ship of the IQB. The high level of commitment of both individ u als in turn increases institutional commitment. Ho w ever, the constant search for financing inh ibits the e s tablishment of a systematic long term process of institutionalization. To compensate for this diff i culty they have creat ed a strong su pporting inst i tutional foundation among techn icians and e x ternal collabor a tors. Although some resistance was felt early in the process, this was eliminated through training and applic ation of the ge n der focus in the field. The executive di rector of Arcoiris is co nvinced of the importance of integrating gender into Found a tion programs. However, there is still no explicit mandate for all of the depar tments in the institution. Bol i var has successfully passed his knowledge of gender to the co lleagues he interacts with directly and to the community members he collaborates with in his projects. Yet, more resources are needed to develop the process over the long term. Pe rhaps any existing resi s tance can be eliminated through more awareness and comprehension of the ge n der theme. Institutional and Administrative Ge n der Policies ECOCIENCIA is the only one of the three inst i tutions that has formally changed its mission to reflect the commitment of integrating the ge n der focus throughout the insti tution. This instit u tion is even considering the adoption of admini s trative policies focused on gender i ssues. An example is the establishment of pol icies hel p ing employee families. This implies the creation of policies for pa r ents of both sexes. These ideas are still at the discussion stage but are innov a tive nonetheless. The other two inst it u tions have not reached this level of gender integr a tion. Ho w ever, this is surely the next step after the gender focus has permeated the work in the field. It i s a natural that method o logical fieldwork affects the individual and then how the indivi d ual relates to her or his co l leagues. Gender I n tegration in the Field


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 14 All three institutions have a gender integr ation strategy in common: it is the responsibility of all and not a centralized effort of one person or unit. Arcoiris has not assigned one person to incorporate the gender f o cus. On the contrary, Bolvar and his team are trying to maintain a gender focus in all pr o jects. ECOCIENCIA also does not have o ne person or group r e sponsible for gender, instead with the i n spiration of Roco and the support of the other directors; they hired more social scie n tists into their group. These new people already re cognize the importance of gender integr a tion. The IQB has also not counted on one individual or group for gender promotion and integr a tion. Gender Training In all three cases MERGE gender training was the critical action in sparking efforts towards the i n stitutionalization of gender. ECOCIENCIA and Arcoi ris had developed an i n terest at an almost theoretical level that after Roco and B olivar's MERGE training was grounded in pract i c al application. V c tor and Rosa, after MERGE training, realized that their pr e vious work in Amazonia had a gender focus thoug h it was never formally recognized or a r ticulated as such. This is logical given the particip a t ory nature of their work philosophy requiring active equitable involv e ment of both women and men. Each of the four people who trained with MERGE found the train ing style to have a pos itive and lasting impact. They found the impact to be at both the personal and professional l ev els. Roco e x pressed it best when she said that the diversity of participants created an ideal combination and a stimulating learning en viro nment. The mix of vete r ans, young professionals and r e cent college graduates helped stimulate innov a tive concepts and methods, this creative energy in turn stimulated participants to pass the acquired knowledge to institutional co l leagues. Future P lanning Each one of the institutions has plans to i ntensify gender i n corporation within their projects and programs. Each person trained has a pe rsonal and professional i n terest in incorporating a gender focus into a long term process. Bolivar remarked t hat donors' emphasis on the incl u sion of gender in pr o jects has brought financial and political support to Arcoiris. This support for bringing a gender focus to natural r e source ma nagement and community deve lopment has allowed A r coiris to develop long ter m processes involving ge n der. ECOCIENCIA and the IQB are also taking steps to incorporate gender within inst itutional pr o jects and policies. Lessons Learned The three cases provide valuable lessons for other institutions interested in the process of th e institutionaliz a tion of gender. 1. Organizational leadership needs to support the institutionalization of gender. Ha v ing a key people who can exert p o litical power within the instit u tion in combination with i nd i viduals pa s sionately invested in gender promotion and an e f fective gender program will i m prove the possibility of the inst i tuti onalization of ge n der. (Poats y Russo: 1989). Within ECOCIENCIA, Roco was a ssisted by the d i rector and other key instit u tional personnel, who unconditionally supporte d her work. In add i tion, her position as research depar t ment dire c tor and the support of the CARE pr o gram for her gender work, were very helpful in the process of the institutionaliz a tion of gender. Other factors such as the d e sire, tenacity, personality a nd sex of the i n dividual are also crucial to the successful i n tegration of the gender f o cus. 2. A systematic and continuous gender training program is important to back actions in the field. In addition, it is important to replicate positive experiences and train the trainers. To fulfill these goals funds are needed for adequate training. Training is frequently costly. Although none of the three instit utions had a formal gender trai n ing program, each person trained by MERGE i n vested a great deal of effort i n the sha r ing of her or his knowledge with both co l leagues and co llaborators. The three instit u tions have also sponsored ge n der training events. These All three in stitutions have a gender integration strategy in common: it is the responsibility of all and not a centralized effort of one person or unit. Each of the four people who trained with MERGE found the training style to have a positive and lasting i m pact.


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 15 have been well received by field technicians, researc h ers, technicians and institutional collaborators. It will be impo r tant to ensure that these efforts are not isolated incidents but rather conti n ued through a more syst e matic pr o gram. This program would not have to be cost i n tensive. For example, creating an inte r nal discussion group f o cused on ge n der c an be very effe ctive while not requiring signif i cant capital i nvestment. 3. Maintaining participation and gender f o cu ses together is better than trea t ing them se parately. "Community particip a tion" refers to people. These groups of pe o ple are made up of wom en, men, children, teena g ers, the elderly etc. The pa r ticipation of these groups necessarily i m plies a gender focus to create a more effective and equit a ble project participation whether it be in natural r esource management, in research or co mmunity deve l opment. Therefore, one person or group should be r e sponsible for the pa r t icipatory and gender focus while these f ocuses should form part of the work of all i nvolved in programs and projects (Ha m e rschlag and Reerink, 1996). In many cases, the responsibi l i ty of everyone is the respo ns i bility of no one. By relying on one person or group, depen d ing on institutional stru cture, one can improve the monito r ing of the impacts of gender and participation. In add ition, one can centralize and follow up on training a nd r e flection events. This does not mean that only one person or group should be responsible for gender and pa r ticipation, rather it means that the monitoring, fo l low up and evaluation are ce n tralized. In fact, the applic a tion of these focuses should be t he work of all the directors, technicians and project leaders. 4. The level of institutional commitment to ge n der should be demonstrated through po li cies, mandates and actions with sufficient human and financial r e sources (Poats y Russo: 1989). In many cas es it is not enough to train technicians and integrate the gender var i able into field work if there is not a serious lasting commitment from the inst itutional leade r ship. This commitment must be man i fest in the institutional pol i cies, mi ssion, mandate and actions. Ha m erschlag and Reerink (1996) offer a list of points to be kept in mind to ensure the actual instituti on a liz a tion of gender: a. Gender Policies and Programs should be present in a document d e scribing the values, principles and mi s sion of the i n sti tution. This should be elaborated with the a c tive participation of all instit utional me m bers and the clear commi tment of the institutional leade r ship. b. Integration of Gender in Planning this i n cludes the explicit application of the gender focus in pr o gra ms and projects and in monito r ing and evaluation of these efforts. This goes beyond coun ting on one person or group and requires action in all pr o grams. c. Gender Training should concentrate on awar e ness, planning and analysis. In addition, training should i n clude the specific tools and methodologies needed for the inst i tutionalization of the ge n der focus. d. Gender and Hiring i n cludes policies of equal opportunity, gender f o cus, job and compensation descri p tion, both women and men in leadership positions, a nd a ctive strategies to incorp o rate women into the highest administr a tive levels. e. Pro family Policies within the Wor k place This means work flexibility, m a ternal and paternal ben e fits, and support for childcare. Conclusion We have learned from three o rganizations committed to community participation in biod iversity conservation and natural area manag ement with a gender focus. Each has chosen their own way of demonstrating their commi tment, their own way of using the gender focus and have their own prel iminary results and le ssons learned from the pro c ess. There is still a long way to go before the institutionalization of gender becomes a rea l ity. However, these ca ses show that it is possible, that it is i m portant and that it can contribute to co n servat ion. There are still many unknowns but building on the experience of A r coiris, ECOCIENCIA and the IQB, other institutions can draft their plan of incorp o rating a gender focus. Maintaining particip a tion and gender focuses t o gether is better than treating them separately.


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 16 Bibliografa Campbell, Constance E. and Mary Hill Rojas 2000 Institutional Approach to Gender and Biodiversity Conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Parks in Peril Program of The Nature Conservancy and USAID. Documento borrador presentado en LASA 2000, XXII Congreso Internacional Asociacin de Estudios Latinoameric anos Marzo 16 18 del 2000. Miami, Florida. Hamerschlag, Kari and Annemarie Reerink 1996 Best Practices for Gender Integration in Organizations and Programs from the InterAction Community American Council for Voluntary International Action y Commission on the Advancement of Women. Washington, D.C. Parker, A. Rani, Itziar Lozano and Lyn A. Mes sner 1995 Gender Relations Analysis: A Guide for Trainers Westport,Conn.: Save The Children. Poats, Susan V. and Sandra L. Russo. 1989 Training in WID/Gender Analy sis in Agricultural Development: A Review of Experiences and Lessons Learned. Tropical Research and Development, Inc. Gainesville, Florida. Acronyms CEDENMA Comit Ecuatoriano para la Defe nsa de la Naturaleza y el Medio Ambiente una agrupacin de org an izaciones no gubernamentales ambientalistas del Ecuador. TNC The Nature Conservancy an inte rn a tional conservation organization wor k ing in Ecuador, and other countries through local partners. PROBONA Programa de Bosques Nativos A nd i nos Native Andean Fore sts Pr ogram an i n ternational program promoting projects in the andean forests. PPD/PNUD Programa de Pequeas Donaci ones del Programa de las Naci o nes Unidas de Desarrollo. Small D o nor Program of the United Nations D evelopment Pr o gram. FECD Fondo Ecuatoria no Canadiense de Desarrollo. The Ecuadorian Canadian Development Fund. CARE/FORDES CARE International is an intern ational rural development organiz ation that created a program for strengthening NGO's for develo pment Program for Strengthe n ing Development NGO's (FORDES) FLACSO Facultad Latinoamericana de Cie ncias Sociales Sede Ecuador The Department of Latin American S ocial Sciences in Ecuador, A unive rsity based in Quito and partner of the MERGE program through the GEMAREN pr o ject (Gnero y M anejo de R ecursos Naturales Gender and Natural R e source Management project). MERGE The University of Florida's "Mana ging Ecosystems and Resources with Ge n der Emphasis" program. FUNAN Fundacin Antisana Antisana Foundation an Ecuadorian conse rvation NGO and partne r of the MERGE program during the project funded by the MacArthur Found ation through TNC. SUBIR Sustainable Uses of Biological R esources Project.. Notes 1 Paulina Arroyo and Susan Poats are members of the Grupo Randi Randi, a non profit organization located in Quito and collab orator with the MERGE program.


Gender, Community Participation and Natural Resource Management, No. 4, 2002 17 2 Bolvar Tello is a founding partner of the A r coiris Foundation (in Loja), Rosa Vacacela is founder and member of the el Instituto Quichua de Biote c nologa (in Pu yo) y Roco Alarcn is the president and director of research for ECOCIENCIA (in Quito). 3 Paulina Arroyoa and Susan V. Poats wrote this case study following two interviews with Bolvar Tello, and both written and oral communication with Fausto Lpez, dir ector of The Arcoiris Foundation. 4 Paulina Arroyo and Susan V. Poats wrote this case study after interviewing Roco Alarcn, Director of Research at ECOCIENCIA, and rea d ing her wri t ten communications. 5 Currently the Ministry of Environment. 6 United S tates Agency for International Deve l opment. 7 The technicians of the IQB describe themselves as "dreamers" focusing on comm unity work and the recognition of indigenous a ncestral know l edge. For the quichuas of Pastaza the muscui or dream, is very importan t, as it a lways is realized and all daily activities are guided by the muscui. To dream about gender implies a profound commitment that is carried out and applied in daily life. 8 Paulina Arroyo y Susan V. Poats wrote this case study after interviewing Rosa Vacacela of the IQB and reading her written contributions. 9 Paju, word in quichua that translates as eplants.