In 2021, the UN-REDD Programme continued to support 12 partner countries and one region in advancing their efforts to integrate gender equality and women’s empowerment principles into their REDD+ action, particularly on REDD+ implementation and Results-based Payment efforts. Within this context, the gender approach of the Programme was informed by the findings and results (published in March, 2021) of the December, 2020 UN-REDD gender survey which explored and identified ways to further promote the equitable and active participation of women and men in the COVID era of co-operation.

This support ranged from promoting women’s active and equitable involvement in REDD+ efforts, including in REDD+ pilot projects, value chains and Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) programmes to monitoring the effectiveness of these efforts. Some key examples of progress and efforts carried out in Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Latin America and the Caribbean region are presented here. In an example from Colombia, resources were directed to women of the REM (REDD Early Movers) Amazon Vision Program through the women caregivers associated with that programme, in which 69 projects focused on protecting traditional knowledge, conservation, community enterprises and strengthening of organizational capacities were approved. In Ecuador, the first batch of 3.8 tons of fine aroma organic cocoa belonging to the Association of Small Organic Agricultural Exporters of the South of the Ecuadorian Amazon (APEOSAE) was sold to the Belgian company, SILVA CACAO, benefiting 38 (11 women, 27 men) cocoa farmers, providing them access a new market niche with a high growth potential. In Costa Rica, women’s participation in the PES programme increased in 2021, with over 1,102 women currently registered in the programme. In the Lower Mekong Region, efforts were undertaken to strengthen monitoring systems related to forests in include data on gender and social inclusion. In Chile, a gender evaluation assessed the effectiveness of the gender approach used within the REDD+ pilot projects, the results of which will inform the National Strategy on Climate Change and Vegetation Resources, to be updated in 2022, and its implementation through the project +Bosques (GCF-funded).

Various efforts to support REDD+ safeguards information systems (SIS) and reporting also integrated a gender perspective. In Côte d’Ivoire, safeguards information on gender-equitable decision making was collected, and in Zambia the Ministry of Gender was identified and contributed as an information provider to the work on gathering safeguards information for Zambia’s SIS.

Additionally, LEAF proposals from Costa Rica, Ghana, PNG, Uganda, Viet Nam and Ecuador integrated gender elements into various topics. Similarly, through the safeguards roundtable between the UN-REDD Programme and ART Secretariat, the UN-REDD Programme provided guidance and suggestions for how a gender approach could be integrated into the ART-TREES safeguards guidance document. Many of these suggestions were taken on board and are integrated into the August, 2021 version of the safeguards guidance document.

In October, 2021, in the week leading up to COP26, the Programme brought together diverse actors – from government ministries to NGOs – to discuss how they are supporting efforts to integrate gender into climate-forest finance to promote the transformative change needed to successfully fight climate change. This well attended online event demonstrated that engaging actors fully and equitably across all genders is necessary for effective, lasting and inclusive climate-forest actions, as they are all strong agents of change, with unique and complementary knowledge and skills that are necessary for sustainable REDD+ action.

Furthermore, in 2021, using the UN-REDD Gender Marker, the cumulative Gender Marker results for the 2018- 2020 TA programme were analysed and calculated. Under the UN-REDD 2018- 2020 TA Programme, UN-REDD almost achieved its ambitious target of having 50 percent of its 55 outputs receive the highest gender rating of GEN 2. It is worthy to note that, when compared to the baseline (2017), almost an additional 20 percent of outputs successfully increased their gender-responsiveness and achieved a GEN2 rating over the 2018-2020 period. The Gender Marker ratings for 2021 outputs are being assessed and will be contrasted with results from previous years.

The Programme also developed a social media campaign for International Women’s Day highlighting efforts under the Programme that show the key role women play in the conservation of forests and REDD+. As well, the UN social media campaign for the International Day of Forests highlighted the vital role women play in the conservation of forests.

The UN-REDD Gender and REDD+ Info Brief was also published (English and Spanish). In addition, a gender perspective continued to be integrated into other draft UN-REDD Info Briefs, including on indigenous peoples and local communities, land tenure and linking REDD+, the Paris Agreement, NDCs and the SDGs.