Women in Central Sulawesi help promote REDD program

27 April 2011

published by www.thejakartapost.com


Indonesia -- Women in Central Sulawesi are being hailed for their role in helping to promote the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) program, as they have reportedly been trying to stop environmental damage
from forest exploitation. Central Sulawesi REDD working group member Mutmainah Korona said women’s positions in society should no longer be overlooked, including with the implementation of the REDD program in 2012.

“Women’s involvement in decision-making is crucial,” Mutmainah told The Jakarta Post recently.

This is very important because there is a close connection between the forest and women, she said. The United Nations-initated REDD program is an effort to create financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development.

On its official website, it is stated that deforestation and forest degradation through agricultural expansion, conversion to pastureland, infrastructure development, destructive logging, fires etc. account for nearly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The program currently has 29 partner countries spanning Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America, of which 13, including Indonesia, are receiving support for their activities. The other 12 countries are Bolivia, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia.

In North Lore and Lore Piore districts in Poso regency, women are reportedly refraining from felling wood in the forest. They use nipa palm leaves to weave into mats, tree branches for firewood and collect honey, which they sell to meet their family’s daily needs. According to Mutmainah, who is also director of the South Sulawesi Women and Children’s Care group, women should be involved in the implementation of REDD including with decision-making and information access.

“At this stage, women must be heeded and not only regarded as a complementary object,” she said.