Skip to content

Inclusive Conservation and Livelihoods in Tropical Forests: Exploring Gender Transformative Approaches

KIT Institute and Farm Africa are conducting a participatory action research study on forest conservation, livelihoods, and gender in the Bale Ecoregion in Ethiopia. The study will guide and support women in communities around the Harenna forest in the pursuit of alternative income-generating activities that empower them, improve their wellbeing, and that contribute to forest conservation.

Biodiversity Hotspot

The Bale Ecoregion in Ethiopia is a global biodiversity hotspot and is home to species of flora and fauna that are not found anywhere else on earth. Population growth and persistent poverty are, however, putting pressure on the forest resources in the region. Farm Africa and its partner organisations work to improve the livelihoods of households in forest communities and to conserve the forest in the Bale Ecoregion. To be effective in their work, they require a thorough understanding of the different ways in which women interact with forests and what barriers they are facing in improving their livelihoods.

Harenna Forest and Bale Mountains. Photo: Sabine Sunbird

Including Women’s Voices

In our participatory action research study, the women are considered co-researchers. This increases both the validity, salience, and legitimacy of research while empowering women to affect real-world change. Through qualitative methods, insights will be gathered on gender-based differences in access to resources, decision-making authority, and the prevailing social, cultural, and institutional norms.

Depending on their needs, women will be supported through technical and financial training, transfers of inputs, assets, or cash, establishing business relationships, household and community engagement on gender norms, and the inclusion of women’s voices in participatory forest management groups. The effectiveness of this approach will be assessed through a randomised control trial, in which the performance of the women participating in the program will be compared with a control group. If proven successful, the evidence can be used to scale up the approach.

Related Work

  • Protecting Sustainability and the Matawai’s Forest in Suriname

    • Institute
    • Project

    Half-way between the north-eastern Atlantic coast of South America and the northern-Brazilian border, KIT Royal Tropical Institute, Conservation International Suriname, and the Matawai Investment Fund are collaborating to develop a management plan for the sustainable use of the Pusugrunu Community Forest. The Matawai community consists of descendants of former slaves who escaped the Dutch plantations […]

  • Liuwa Plain National Park Livelihoods baseline study

    • Institute
    • Project

    In 2018, KIT Royal Tropical Institute conducted a large-scale livelihoods baseline study in Liuwa Plain National Park (LPNP), Zambia. The study assessed the current situation of communities living in the park though an elaborate mixed-methods design as a basis for informing future decision-making on socio-economic investments in local communities.   Understanding the fine balance between wildlife & local communities LPNP is located in the Western Province of Zambia. […]

  • Evaluation of the IDH-NICFI “Connecting Production, Protection & Inclusion” Landscape Programme

    • Institute
    • Project

    Landscape approaches seek to reconcile social, economic, and environmental objectives in areas where agriculture and other productive land uses compete with environmental and biodiversity goals. The Sustainable Trade Initiative’s (IDH) pioneering role in promoting such landscape transformation is captured in the Production, Protection & Inclusion (PPI) approach – a three-pronged process that focuses on sustainably increasing productivity, protecting […]

  • Unlocking Potential: Empowering Women in Indonesian Coastal Communities

    • Institute
    • Project

    Globally, fisheries and aquaculture contribute to the income of around 800 million people. But overfishing is putting increasing pressure on local fish populations and marine biodiversity, while threatening the livelihoods of many. Fish and seafood are a critical part of the world’s diet. It provides around 3.2 billion people with almost 20 per cent of […]

Contact us

Do you have a question or want to know more? Contact us by sending an e-mail.