Women’s participation and the gender perspective in sustainable forestry in Cambodia: local perceptions and the context of forestry research

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  Women’s participation and the gender perspective in sustainable forestry in Cambodia: local perceptions and the context of forestry research
  Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found athttps://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=tfst20 Forest Science and Technology ISSN: 2158-0103 (Print) 2158-0715 (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tfst20 Women’s participation and the gender perspectivein sustainable forestry in Cambodia: localperceptions and the context of forestry research Sareth Nhem & Young Jin Lee To cite this article:  Sareth Nhem & Young Jin Lee (2019): Women’s participation and the gender perspective in sustainable forestry in Cambodia: local perceptions and the context of forestryresearch, Forest Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1080/21580103.2019.1595174 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/21580103.2019.1595174 © 2019 The Author(s). Published by InformaUK Limited, trading as Taylor & FrancisGroup.Published online: 13 May 2019.Submit your article to this journal Article views: 250View Crossmark data  ARTICLE Women ’ s participation and the gender perspective in sustainable forestryin Cambodia: local perceptions and the context of forestry research Sareth Nhem a and Young Jin Lee b a Graduate School, National University of Management, St. 96 Christopher Howes, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; b College of Industrial Science, Graduate School of Natural Sciences, Department of Forest Resources, Konju National University,Yesan-gun, South Korea ABSTRACT We analyzed local stakeholders ’  perceptions on women ’ s engagement in sustainable forestryand the challenges women face. We additionally examined the publication of scientificpapers on women ’ s participation and gender perspectives in forestry research. We employedKendall ’ s W to examine the concordance of local peoples ’  assessment of the knowledge of rural women related to forestry, the major barriers preventing women participating effect-ively in sustainable forestry and the tasks required to engage women better. The studyrevealed only very weak agreement regarding the knowledge of rural women about forestry(Kendall ’ s  W  ¼ 0.47,  p  <  .000). Local people considered women knew most about sustainableforestry and use of forest for various purposes and less about the trees and forests. Thestudy found moderate agreement (Kendall ’ s  W   ¼  .118,  p  <  .000) concerning the major bar-riers preventing women participating effectively in sustainable forestry, with the most signifi-cant barrier being low female participation in decision-making bodies. There was very weak agreement on the highest priority task required to engage women better in forestry man-agement (Kendall ’ s  W   ¼  .035,  p  <  .000). Quantitative content analysis was used to analyzethe scientific papers. From 1992 to September 2018, 537 scientific papers were published in171 journals, with study sites in 83 countries, related to women and gender in 1) forest, 2)REDD þ and 3) community-based forestry. The countries most covered by the research were:Indonesia (27 articles), India (39), United States (45) and Nepal (51). There was a significantincrease in the number of papers on women ’ s participation and gender mainstreaming in 1)forest ( n ¼ 482), and 2) community-based forestry ( n ¼ 20) from 2007, and in 3)REDD þ discourses ( n ¼ 34) from 2011. This study suggests further scientific research isneeded on women ’ s participation and gender perspective in sustainable forestry and envir-onmental concerns if the collective action needed for sustainable forest management is tobe effectively addressed. ARTICLE HISTORY Received 2 November 2018Accepted 9 March 2019 KEYWORDS Women; gender; forest;Kendall ’ s W; Kerneldensity curve Introduction A number of key events and international frameworkshave combined to draw attention to the importance of women ’ s participation and gender mainstreaming inpolitical, economic, social fields, including sustainableforestry (UN 1979). For example, the Convention onthe Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination againstWomen was adopted in 1979 (UN 1979). In subse-quent years, further international frameworks wereadopted, including the UNFCCC, 1992 (UN 1992b);Earth Summit, 1992 (UN 1992a); UN MillenniumDeclaration, 2000 (UN 2000). The 2030 agenda forsustainable development (UN 2015d) also, to someextent, concerned women ’ s participation in social for-estry management and climate change mitigation.Alongside this, from the mid-1970s, much attentionhas been paid to deforestation, natural resource deg-radation and the impact of climate change (Arnold1991). However, low-income countries still have lim-ited capacity to protect resources sustainably (FAO2016, p.17). Gilmour (2016) and Tyagi & Das (2017) reported that South Asia, particularly India and Nepal,has become the hub of community-based resourcesgovernance to improve equitable and effective localoutcomes since the 1980s. In particular, one-third of the world ’ s forests are under some form of commu-nity-based forestry management (Gilmour 2016).Governments alone did not have enough power ormanpower to protect forest sustainably and begantransferring management rights to local people, espe-cially women, to lead community-based forestry activ-ity (Arnold 2001; Manandhar & Shin 2013; Miah et al. 2014). This has helped to address deforestation andimprove local economic, social and environmental out-comes (Arnold 1991; Gilmour 2016). In addition, UN (2015c) pointed out that effective community-based CONTACT  Young Jin Lee leeyj@kongju.ac.kr Department of Forest Resources, Kongju National University, 54 Daehak-ro, Yesan-eup,Yesan-gun, Chungnam, 32439, South Korea   2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permitsunrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the srcinal work is properly cited. FOREST SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGYhttps://doi.org/10.1080/21580103.2019.1595174  forestry requires both women and men to becomeactively involved and be equally represented in deci-sion-making at all levels.UN (2015b, p.17) emphasized that there has beenconsiderable improvement under MDG ’ s Goal 1: eradi-cate extreme poverty and hunger Target 2  ‘ achieve fulland productive employment and decent work for all,including women and young people ’  but problemsremain with the indicators. FAO (2018) illustrated that850 million rural poor (83% women) remain reliant onharvesting wood for fuel and collecting medicinal plantsand other forest resources for family consumption. Thisunderlines the opportunities for women from greaterinvolvement in forest-based programs; they can securetheir access to natural resources (Agarwal 2010; FAO2018), develop their skills and knowledge concerningforest biodiversity and participatory forestry manage-ment and be able to participate in the public policy pro-cess (Gurung et al. 2011; Colfer & Minarchek  2013). Women ’ s informal and subsistence-level involve-ment can also be turned into economic and politicalempowerment (UN 2015c; FAO 2018). However, UN (2015c) noted that women ’ s involvement in local andnational policy formulation and decision-making innatural resources and environment managementremains limited. Despite the global frameworks andnational plans concerning women ’ s participation insustainable forestry (Elias et al. 2017; Asher & Varley 2018; FAO 2018), there are major challenges prevent- ing women participating effectively in sustainable for-estry and these remain largely unaddressed (Evanset al. 2017). Women are often excluded from decision-making about sustainable forestry and environmentalprotection (Aboud et al. 1996; UN 2015a, p.176 – 178)and Adedayo et al. (2010) showed that unfavorableland tenure for collection of natural resources is achallenge for women across Africa.FAO (2018) reported that data on the overall con-tribution of forests to gender equality are still inad-equate: more gender-disaggregated data are needed atlocal, subnational, national, regional and global levels(Agarwal 2009; Gurung et al. 2011; Bradley et al. 2013; Colfer 2013; FAO 2018). The study of women ’ s participation and gender insustainable forestry and environmental concerns hasbecome popular since the 1990s (Xiao and Hong 2010;Coleman & Mwangi 2013). For instance, Agarwal(2009) studied gender and forest conservation in Indiaand Nepal; Xiao and McCright (2012) looked at genderdifferences in environmental concern in the UnitedStates; Asfaw et al. (2013) assessed the gender dimen-sion of forest income in Ethiopia; Clair (2016)reviewed gender and fuelwood collection in Nepal; andNgigi et al. (2017) considered gender differences in cli-mate change in Kenya. Tyagi & Das (2017) analyzed25years of research on gender mainstreaming in forestgovernance and Asher & Varley (2018) assessed genderin forestry research, without specifying the country (aglobal-comparative study).Attention to gender disaggregation helps policy makers understand the vulnerability of ruralhouseholds and their capacity to respond (Agarwal2009; V  azquez-Garc  ı a & Ortega-Ortega 2017). Leisheret al. (2016) suggested that empowering women indecision-making enables better natural resource gov-ernance. Empirical studies have shown that womendepend more heavily on immediate access to forestresources as they are responsible for daily housework,including finding food and firewood, while their hus-bands are focused on work off-farm (Das 2011;Sunderland et al. 2014).No scientific papers about women ’ s participation andgender mainstreaming in sustainable forestry inCambodia can yet be found on  “ Web of Science ” .However, there are some government reports and pro- ject documents, so-called grey literature, on gender andREDD þ or gender assessment in general in Cambodia.We refer readers to UNIFEM et al. (2004); Gurunget al. (2011); Bradley et al. (2013); NCCC (2013); MoWA (2014a) and MoWA (2014b). This study pio- neers scientific research into the assessment of theknowledge of rural women related to forestry, the majorbarriers preventing women participating effectively insustainable forestry and the tasks required to engagewomen better in sustainable forestry in Cambodia. The status of women ’    s participation and gender mainstreaming in sustainable forestry  Agriculture remains the backbone of the economy inCambodia, accounting for 75% of the labor force(RGC 2014). At least 80% of the population live inrural areas and their GDP per capita was $1,036 ($2.87per day) in 2013 (RGC 2014, p.6 – 76). Women were71.11% of the workforce in agriculture (including for-estry and fisheries) in 2009 (MoP 2008, p.82 – 165). By 2014, this figure had decreased to 63% (MoWA2014b). MAFF (2010, p.82 – 165) stated that 75% of Cambodia ’ s rural people depended on forest resourcesfor energy, wood, food and income for daily householdconsumption but forest coverage in Cambodiadecreased from 73.04% in 1970 (MoE 2018) to 48.14%in 2016 (MAFF 2016; MoE 2018, p.15). Continuing deforestation and forest degradation, a sign of poormanagement of natural resources, will seriously affectthe local economy, society as well as the environment,as most rural households depend on natural forest(Dudley  2010; Gilmour 2016; Pouliot et al. 2017; Nhem et al. 2018b).Recognizing this vast forest decrease, Cambodia hastried to protect forests by combating illegal logging,establishing community forestry and community pro-tected areas, encouraging forest rehabilitation, improv-ing rural farming techniques and reducing dependenceon firewood (MAFF 2010; RGC 2011; Nhem et al. 2018b). We observed that Cambodia reformed the for-estry program to focus on: 1) monitoring and report-ing forest crimes; 2) strengthening forestry law enforcement and governance; 3) transferring power tolocal people to manage forest through community for-estry; 4) continuing to carry out forest demarcation,classification and registration (MAFF 2010; RGC 2 S. NHEM AND Y. J. LEE E-ISSN 2158-0715  2014); and implement REDD þ program (MoE 2015).Despite this, forest loss has continued due to increas-ing demand for agricultural land, economic land con-cessions and illegal logging (FAO 2010; ADB 2014). Cambodia has ratified important international legalframeworks covering women ’ s participation in eco-nomic, social and environmental spheres, i.e. CEDAWin 1992 and the Beijing Platform for Action for thePromotion of the Status of Women, in 1995.Domestically, Cambodia developed the Neary Rattanak Strategic Plan for Gender Equality and theEmpowerment of Women in 1999 and Gender andClimate Change Action Plan in 2014 (MoWA 2014a).The Technical Working Group on Gender was formedin 2004, followed by establishment of the CambodianNational Council for Women and the Gender andClimate Change Committee in 2011. The Ministry of Women ’ s Affairs (MoWA) reported that  ‘ women andclimate change ’  received attention in a number of national policies including the Rectangular Strategy,National Strategic Development Plan and CambodiaClimate Change Strategic Plan (NCCC 2013;MoWA 2014b).Women are increasingly represented in political life,making up 14.75% of Senators (MoWA 2014) and20.33% of National Assembly representatives in 2012(Bradley et al. 2013; MoWA 2014, p.3 – 9). In 2013,37% of civil servants were women (MoWA 2014).Despite this progress, women still face challenges inrespect to forestry and climate change in Cambodia,for example, women have limited access to resourcesfor agricultural production, have smaller plots of landand less land tenure than men and are more likely tobe landless (UNIFEM et al. 2004; Bradley et al. 2013; Swift 2013; MoWA 2014; Travers et al. 2015; Sotheary  2016). Women rely heavily on local natural resourcesas they are normally responsible for securing water,food and energy for cooking (UNIFEM et al. 2004;MoWA 2014) and 62% Cambodian households stilldepended on firewood in 2015 (RGC 2014, p. 35).Women are more vulnerable than men, according toUNIFEM et al. (2004) and MoWA (2014, p.13) andare further challenged in Cambodia by a lack of under-standing their role in community decision-making andthe domination of men in forestry activities (Gurunget al. 2011; Bradley et al. 2013; ADB 2015). Framework on women ’    s participation in sustainable forestry  This study used the gender box framework as a guideto review the literature and develop the survey ques-tionnaires to interview local people exploring their per-ceptions and understanding concerning women ’ sparticipation and the challenges women faced in sus-tainable forestry. To refrain from repetition, we discussthe framework only in the following section. The gen-der box framework was designed to guide the effectiveintegration of gender in sustainable forest management(Colfer 2013; Evans et al. 2017), based on experience from countries which have integrated women ’ s partici-pation in forestry governance. The gender box frame-work introduces three scales, called the 3Ms  – ‘ micro,meso and macro ’ - covering 11 issues affecting women ’ sparticipation and decision-making in forestry manage-ment (Colfer 2013) (Figure 1). The  ‘ micro scale ’  focuses on the household level,considering domestic roles and intra-household powerdynamics. This scale is the most powerful in highlight-ing what actually happens and identifying domesticgender roles (Colfer 2013; Evans et al. 2017) and reflects the traditional use and management of forestresources. Colfer (2013) pointed out that the  ‘ microlevel ’  considers behavior at the household to villagelevel, allowing examination of the impact of decline inforest resources on the well-being of forest-dependentcommunities. The  ‘ meso scale ’  is the most geographic-ally diverse, ranging from administrative units (the Figure 1.  Gender box framework indicating aspects of women ’ s participation and gender perspectives in sustainable forest management. Note:Adapted and modified from Colfer & Minarchek (2013); Colfer (2013) and Evans et al. (2017). E-ISSN 2158-0715 FOREST SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 3  state and below) to the supra-community area of anethnic, caste/class or religious group (Colfer & Minarchek  2012). It emphasizes gender access toresources and norms or behaviors affecting interactionwith trees and forests. The  ‘ meso scale ’  refers tonational to village level interactions and changes thatinfluence forestry, such as gender-differentiated aspectsof forest tenue, land tenure, customary rights and casheconomies (Colfer 2013).The last is the  ‘ macro scale ’ , emphasizing inter-national laws and policies about women ’ s participationin sustainable forestry (Colfer & Minarchek  2013).This included the principles for the connection of peo-ple and environmental issues, including climatechange, the international legal framework and agree-ments to ensure gender equity and equality, and safe-guards for the rights of women in decision-making(Colfer 2013). There have been international efforts topromote and safeguard the rights of women in social,economic and environmental spheres (Agarwal 2010;UN 2015c; Elias et al. 2017). There was significant glo- bal progress on Millennium Development Goal 3 ‘ Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women ’  (UN2015b, p.52) but the indicators were only for gender ineducation (ADB 2015; UN 2015b; UN 2015c). The UN recognized that women are still disadvantaged in thelabor market and that fundamental causes of inequality between women and men must still be addressed(Colfer 2013; UN 2015). The result of   ‘ MDG 7: Ensureenvironmental sustainability  ’  indicates that at least 1.6billion people still depend on forests for their liveli-hoods and those forests are under threat around theworld (UN 2015b; UN 2015a). The UN set environ- mental sustainability as a pillar of the post-2015 devel-opment agenda, thus women ’ s participation in forestry should receive high attention (UN 2015b; UN 2015c; Doss et al. 2018). Material and methods Study area The study site was in rural Kampong Thom province,approximately 128km from Phnom Penh, the capitalof Cambodia (Figure 2). Fourteen villages wereselected, adjacent to the 11 Community Forestry (CF)sites in the province. Kampong Thom is one of thefive provinces bordering the Tonle Sap Lake (Navy et al. 2006; Diepart 2010). This lake is the largest fresh water basin and wetland ecosystem in South East Asia(Arias et al. 2012), with flooded forest, dry forest,grassland, fisheries and shrub (Diepart 2010).Kampong Thom is home to 13,044 of the 48,945 Kuoy indigenous people in the country, (Nhem et al. 2018b).Kampong Thom has one of the highest provincial pov-erty rates in Cambodia (ADB 2014; Ehara et al. 2016). The study of Nhem et al. (2018a), on forest incomeand inequality in this province, reported that theannual average indigenous household income fromforest resource extraction was $404.68 in 2015.Local people rely on forest resource extraction(Pouliot et al. 2017), with 70% of rural householdsengaged in collection of agricultural or non-timber for-est products in 2004 (Ehara et al. 2016). The deforest-ation rate in Kampong Thom province has been highsince 2000 (Ehara et al. 2016), reducing by at least0.4% from 2002 – 2006 alone (Sasaki et al. 2016). Thisprovince ’ s land use/cover in 2016 was 1,244,763ha(MoE 2018). Pouliot et al. (2017) identified that land use change and granting of economic land concessions Figure 2.  Location of the study sites in Kampong Thom province, Cambodia. 4 S. NHEM AND Y. J. LEE E-ISSN 2158-0715
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