The neglect of gender in the realm of forestry remains a serious limitation to forestry institutions’ abilities to conduct research and advice on policy matters related to global emerging issues such as:

  • climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • the expansion of biofuels development
  • democratisation and governance reforms in the forestry sector
  • changing paradigms in the management of production forestry.

Current discussions on potential impacts of these global processes are weak with respect to the gender dimensions and, in particular, on the impacts on rural women who are often major users and managers of forests through their roles as household providers of fuelwood, livestock feed, medicines, and even food in times of scarcity. It is crucial that this gap be addressed so that policies crafted to address impacts take full account of the differentiated rights, roles and responsibilities of women and men, promote gender equality and equity in practice, and reward women who protect and manage forest resources.

CIFOR stands uniquely poised to play a key role in this new agenda, to develop the body of knowledge and expertise required to inform policy makers and implementing agencies by conducting research that can bring about gender equitable policies and practices that affect forests and forest dependent communities in developing countries. CIFOR can demonstrate global leadership by modelling what a gender-responsive forestry institution can be.