This International Women’s Day (INWD2023) we hear from the women across our partnerships on why including women in land and forest use decision making is so important.
Gender equality and climate action are interdependent, meaning progress in one area is necessary for progress in the other. For example, when women have access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities, they are better equipped to cope with the impacts of climate change and contribute to sustainable development UNDP(2023)..
To celebrate INWD2023, we spoke to Deylar Capaquia (Development and Liaison Officer) and Mirian Dolorier (Local Administrative Assistant) from our Peru partnership. Here is what they had to say on the matter.
Why is it important for women to be included in decisions about land and forest use?
Deylar Capaquia: Because we are more sensitive to these issues, because women protect our family, and we always think about the future, and thinking about a future for our family means thinking and acting to protect our land and our forests now.
Mirian Dolorier: Women make up 49.5% of the world population and a vast majority live in or depend on forests and trees. Therefore their needs, perspectives and circumstances should be recognised in forest governance processes, so the opportunity to extract women’s knowledge and unique experiences is not lost. Furthermore, today gender equality is a human right and is essential to achieve sustainable development.
Why is protecting the rainforest important to you?
Deylar Capaquia: Because I dream that my children, grandchildren and all my descendants have a future surrounded by trees, wild animals and beautiful landscapes with pure oxygen to breathe, that they can enjoy the snowy mountains and glaciers, that they enjoy what we now enjoy, but how little by little, due to our irresponsibility, we are losing it.
Mirian Dolorier: Because forests are home to many of the flora and fauna that remains on our planet, and because they play a vital role in regulating the world’s climate.
What is the most important resource to you from the rainforest?
Deylar Capaquia: Water. Without water there is no life, where there is water there are animals, there are trees and there are people.
Mirian Dolorier: I consider the forests themselves to be the most important, since through them a large part of the planet’s CO2 can be eliminated, as well as oxygen created. As many say, the rainforests are the “lungs of the world”.
Can you share one piece of advice you would give to a woman interested in working in the rainforest.
Deylar Capaquia: A grain of sand helps, no matter how small you think your contribution to protecting the rainforest may be, it all adds up and in the end the results are enormous. Enormous because in Peru the people who live in rainforest are the most forgotten, the most vulnerable have the same need as everyone else, but they do not have the resources to cover these needs.
Mirian Dolorier: Working in the rainforest is a unique experience that few will be able to count. If you have the opportunity to be part of an organisation in the rainforest, embrace that opportunity and go without fear. You will see that the rainforest is the same nature we live amongst that we are responsible for protecting.