Gender Gender

Women’s land rights key in reforestation

MARGARET CHISANGA, Nairobi
AFRICA’S efforts in reforestation practice must take into account women’s land rights and cultural aspects of land tenure.
This is because there is a strong link between land tenure rights and the efforts individuals put into reforestation at household and community level.
Esther Mwangi shared this during the media workshop ahead of the Global Landscapes Forum and the Third African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) Annual Partners meeting.
The meeting is being held under the agenda, ‘Scaling African forest landscape restoration’.
Dr Mwangi is a principal scientist with Forests and Governance at Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and is the team leader at CIFOR’s Nairobi Hub.
“In many cultural settings, planting a tree is the same as establishing a claim to the land, and so in some cases the women stay in the background because they do not have the right to the land,” she said.
She said more research is being carried out on ways to strengthen women’s tenure rights and research into tenure reform implementation, and effects on the tenure security of local men and women.
And NEPAD principal programme officer for sustainable land and water management Mamadou Diakhite said AFI100 the initiative recognises the gender dimension of reforestation and is designed to ensure women gain both reforestation systems while still maintaining economic sustainability.
“NEPAD recognises the key role of women in sustainable reforestation and has a full gender programme through which local women have been trained in restoration techniques in their local settings,” he said.
He said currently, there is a high market in Shea Butter, Moringa and Bambo: products in which many women’s groups have been working and through which sustainable restoration and conservation measures can be applied while they are expanding the business.
Some of the improvements of the research practice include an increase in the participation of men and women in reforestation practice and increased inclusion of women in the discussion process.

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