Bringing a gender-sensitive approach to our High Conservation Value assessments
Proforest regularly carries out High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments, an approach that supports responsible crop expansion by identifying critically important biological, ecological, social or cultural values. Stakeholder consultation is central to the identification of community needs and cultural values; our Africa team has led the way in embedding gender sensitive methodologies in our field work. The stakeholder consultation teams include both men and women. Recognising that women and men have a varying dependence on natural resources and derive varying utilities from forests they arrange separate focus groups with men and women, and with specific forest users such as hunters, gatherers of non-timber forest products. This approach also takes account of difficulties women sometimes face to freely express their opinions in the presence of their men folks, particularly if those opinions differ or contradict the men. As a result, the team is confident that women’s as well as men’s use of the forest resources is considered in the HCV management recommendations.