“Empowering Women in Conservation” training materials

Women are critically important to their communities, and often play vital roles in harvesting, processing, and selling products made from natural resources. They are also vulnerable to negative impacts that harm those natural resources. However, in many areas, women are not meaningfully included in conservation-related processes – which means that these processes are missing out on important perspectives, information, and experiences, and are also not representative of a major swath of the population.

Working for Conservation International and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), I developed this set of training materials on meaningfully and sustainably engaging women in conservation. This was based on a series of fascinating interviews with CEPF grantees working in the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot (in Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, Myanmar). They shared their experiences in working to facilitate and support women’s inclusion and involvement in conservation, with many innovative approaches and lessons learned.

The materials are posted on CEPF’s Knowledge Products page, at this link (currently, in English and French, with Spanish and Portuguese coming soon).

I wanted to create an engaging and easily shareable knowledge product so that other conservation organizations around the world would be able to learn from the work of the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot grantees. In my experience, on-the-ground folks working for smaller conservation organizations are incredibly busy, so I did not want to create yet another bulky manual full of text (and there are several excellent, in-depth resources on gender that are already out there).

Rather, I wanted to efficiently communicate the rationale for women’s involvement in conservation, the context in which this work often occurs, and the key approaches (and outcomes) implemented by the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot grantees. I decided to create a presentation (with accompanying script, further resources, and a summary 2-pager sheet) that folks could easily read on their computer or share as part of a guided training.

I’m proud of the final product, and hope that it will be broadly useful. Please do share with anyone who might find it interesting and instructive!

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