FOKUS' recommendations on Norway's international climate and forestry policies and activities
Based on the findings of the report “If a tree falls in a forest, are the women inside heard? A follow-up gender equality review of Norway’s international climate and forestry policies and activities,” FOKUS makes the following recommendations to the Norwegian government and Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI)-funded civil society organizations (CSOs) in order to better promote and protect women’s rights and gender equality (WRGE) and achieve gender-responsive outcomes during and through REDD+ processes going forward.
Publisert: 2022-11-15 Redigert: 2022-11-15
Establish a national action plan for the inclusion of WRGE in all REDD+ efforts specifically or climate change efforts generally. This was also a key recommendation of FOKUS’ previous report . Norway’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2019- 2022 should serve as an example for such a plan .
■ All relevant stakeholders, including the the Ministry of Climate and Environment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) (including embassy employees), the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), and civil society, should be consulted during the development of the plan
■The plan should align with and contribute to the implementation of Freedom, Empowerment and Opportunities: Action Plan for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Foreign and Development Policy 2016-2020 .
Develop an explicitly feminist foreign policy, which would shift Norway into a gender-transformative approach that seeks to impact power structures and create systems change. This was one of FOKUS’ recommendations for Norway’s 2021 Voluntary National Review .
Expand the scope of WRGE as a cross-cutting issue in Norwegian development policy. The current understanding of this cross-cutting issue, as demonstrated by 2019 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) 2019 peer review  and discussed by several interviewees, is to “do no harm.” Instead, Norwegian development policy should seek to achieve positive outcomes for WRGE.
In international policy dialogue and negotiations, continue Norway’s current priority of carrying out the activities and achieving the objectives of the Lima Work Programme on Gender and its Gender Action Plan (GAP) rather than establishing new activities and objectives.
Follow up on the external advocacy commitments and internal policy commitments established in “A Green and Gender-Equal Nordic Region/Commitment by the Nordic Council of Ministers under Generation Equality’s Action Coalition: Feminist Action for Climate Justice .
As per the Hurdal Platform  (Hurdalsplattformen in Norwegian), commit one percent of the gross national income to official development assistance. In the MFA’s 2023 National Budget (Statsbudsjettet in Norwegian) proposal, only 0.75% of the gross national income is committed to official development assistance .
Scale up official development assistance with gender equality as a principal or significant objective to 50 percent, which is the MFA’starget in its 2023 National Budget proposal. For budget year 2021, the percentage of this assistance was 41 percent .
Related to the previous point, scale up official development assistance for activities targeting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the general environmental protection and forestry sectors, respectively (see Table 2). The target should, at a minimum, match the average percentage committed by the OECD DAC from 2016 to 2020: 37.62 percent for the general environmental protection sector and 64.13 percent for the forestry sector.
Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative
Ministry of Climate and Environment
Add WRGE as a positive outcome in NICFI’s strategic framework . At the very least, make WRGE more visible in the “rights of indigenous peoples” outcome area.
Provide training on WRGE and REDD+ to all persons working with NICFI, including but not limited to Ministry, embassy, and Norad employees, relevant public authorities in the project country, and NIFCI-funded CSOs.
Explore the possibility of entering into multilateral partnerships similar to the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), which the report to be one of NICFI’s most gender-responsive instruments.
Ensure that future bilateral agreement with partner countries include provisions on WRGE, including women’s effective participation in REDD+ processes and recalling the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination of Women (CEDAW). The Letter of intent between Norway and Liberia  should serve as an example.
Ensure that any REDD+ national action plans or national climate funds that NIFCI supports are gender-responsive.
Norwegian Agency for development Cooperation
Add WRGE as a thematic area in the NICFI civil society support scheme. At the very least, make WRGE more visible in the “indigenous peoples, local communities and environmental defenders” thematic area.
Assess applications for the society support scheme, regardless of thematic area, based on their emphasis on women as a target group  and their inclusion of WRGE in project outputs and/or outcomes.
Challenge NICFI-funded CSOs working in thematic areas other than “indigenous peoples, local communities and environmental defenders” FOKUS Recommendations1 and conducting technical projects to better incorporate a gender perspective.
■ This aligns with the specific principle of women’s access to technology in CEDAW General recommendation No. 37 (2018) on the gender-related dimensions of disaster risk reduction in the context of climate change  and is based on the report’s finding that a low percentage of CSOs the 2013-2015 NICFI portfolio delivered outcomes for women’s technical skill-building and economic empowerment (see Table 3).
Revise the civil society support scheme application and results report form in the follow ways:
■ The existing inclusion of a risk and vulnerability (RAV) analysis and mitigation plan for WRGE is crucial  but should additionally address the impact of project activities on genderbased violence and sexual health and reproductive rights.
■ The existing inclusion of an outcome area that addresses WRGErelated REDD+ measures and safeguards as well as women’s formal and informal access to land is also crucial  This outcome area should also include how the project contributed to:
- Participation in public decision-making: Women’s effective participation and leadership in the development and imple- mentation of REDD+ national action plans, community forestry governance, land use planning, etc.
- Equality and non-discrimination: REDD+ benefit sharing mechanisms and resource allocation between men and women in forest-dependent local communities.
- Access to justice: Including but not limited to the establish- ment and improvement of grievance mechanisms and reparations, especially for the victims of commodity- and financial market-driven deforestation and forest crime. This should include advocating for the establishment of or supporting the implemen- tation of the national action plan on business and human rights in the project country .
- Substantive rights recognition: Advocacy for or the codifi- cation of the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment  and to land and tenure rights in the project country.
Consider following CAFI’s  approach by applying the UN-REDD Gender Marker Rating System  to NICFI-funded projects. In addition to setting a target for the percentage of funded projects that are gender-responsive, this would involve urging these projects to:
■ Establish a project-level GAP
■ Conduct a gender analysis in context (similar to but more extensive than an RAV analysis)
■ Carry out gender-targeted activities during project implementation
■ Collect gender statistics sex-disaggregated data beyond the number of women participants in project activities
■ Reserve a certain percentage of the budget for gender-targeted activities
Develop guidance and tools to help NICFI-funded CSOs implement gender mainstreaming  in REDD+ projects, including monitoring and evaluation. As previously recommended, this should include training on WRGE and REDD+ for employees and partners of NIFCI-funded CSOs.
Encourage women’s organizations, especially those headquartered in the Global South, to apply for the next civil society support scheme and set a target for the percentage of funded organizations that are women’s organizations.
NICFI-funded civil society organizations
Establish a policy for gender mainstreaming or for working with WRGE as a cross-cutting issues in programming.
Add gender-specific indicators and outcomes to the results framework for climate and forestry projects.
Carry out gender-targeted activities, including in highly technical projects.
■ Based on existing best practices, these activities could include capacity building and technical skills trainings, the establishment of local groups for women’s participation and leadership in REDD+ processes, and experience exchange/crosscutting learning between women’s, environmental, and indigenous groups.
- Hire or appoint a permanent gender focal point or staff member or, at the very least, a focal point or staff member who focuses on social inclusion.
- Partner with women’s organizations, especially those head- quartered in the Global South, on climate and forestry projects.
- Raise WRGE-related issues in meetings with the Norwegian embassy in the project country.