Launch of Publication on Gender, Disasters and Climate Change

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The Crisis Prevention and Recovery Team of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Centre, with support from the Australian Government’s Agency for International Development (AusAID), invited 38 people from more than 10 Pacific Island countries, multiple government agencies, civil society and non-government organizations (NGOs) in the Pacific to attend the Forum on the Gendered Dimensions of Disaster Risk Management and Adaptation to Climate Change held in Suva, Fiji on 21-22 February 2008. The resulting publication, “Stories from the Pacific–the gendered dimensions of disaster risk management and adaptation to climate change”, was launched at the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management held from 11 to 15 of May 2009 in Nadi, Fiji, and synthesises the issues and outcomes form the workshop held at the forum’s interactive group discussions.

It presents strategies for integrating gender, disaster risk reduction and climate change into resource management programming in the Pacific, highlighting that successful strategies require women and men in rural and urban communities to be engaged in decision making at all levels. The report also provides an overview on the gaps, needs and opportunities for the integration of gender in the area of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and Adaptation to Climate Change (ACC).

Issues and gaps identified at the forum include:

  • More research and greater understanding of how disasters and climate change impact on social structure and gender is needed
  • There is a need to translate complex climate forecasts for communities in meaninful ways so that men and women understand the impacts of climate change on their livelihoods
  • Culturally appropriate gender training is needed to combat some misconceptions about gender
  • Sharing Pacific research on gender and DRM/ACC with regional and international networks

The publication also explores ways in which expert practitioners in the region could collaborate in these areas, paying particular attention to understanding the gender dimensions of their respective fields. It provides a starting point for further discussion and exchange on these important issues. The UNDP hopes donors and development practitioners across the region listen to the Pacific voices included in this publication and use it as a tool to guide the substance and direction of future programming in disaster risk management and adaptation to climate change.

To download the document, please click here

Some photos during the activity:

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Mr. Garry Wiseman, Manager of UNDP Pacific Centre

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Stephanie Zoll, Disaster Risk Management Officer, UNDP Pacific Centre

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Text and Photo from Ms. Stephanie Zoll

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