Despite the promising benefits that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+) offers through incentives to conserve forests and/or change behavior, it also risks excluding women, exacerbating gender inequalities and restricting women's access to decision-making and benefit-distribution processes.
Efforts to mainstream gender in REDD+ in Indonesia are underway. But these remain scattered, fragmented and concentrated at the national level. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) with support from the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection (MWECP) have a pivotal role to play in providing a clear and accessible platform for streamlining these initiatives, and building on synergies with ongoing efforts in other sectors.
Lessons from CIFOR's assessment of existing efforts to mainstream gender in REDD+ and review of broader research on gender and forests, point to the importance of focusing on both national and subnational levels. A balance must be made between promoting gender equality at all levels whilst designing and implementing measures that are flexible and reflect local-level realities.
Recommendations for promoting gender equality in REDD+ include: mainstreaming gender across REDD+ agencies; fostering gender equitable participation in free prior and informed consent; and developing gender-inclusive action plans that are evidence based and developed in consultation with key stakeholders.