Women the world over face many barriers in accessing and participating in decision-making on forest resources. The CIF Gender Program spoke with Berenice Hernández Toro, Director of Financing at Mexico’s National Forest Agency, CONAFOR, about the experience of Mexico in this regard, following a recent presentation at the Mexican Embassy in Washington DC on the Forest Investment Program (FIP) Mexico experience detailed in a new forest case study prepared under the Climate Investment Funds.
Roughly 1.3 billion people – nearly 20 percent of the world’s population – rely on forests and forest products for their livelihoods. While deforestation and forest degradation are global problems, those who depend on forest resources for their daily lives are most invested in ensuring their protection and sustainable use.
“It’s good to talk.”
Many people who were in the UK during the mid-1990s will remember the tagline that became synonymous with a UK telecoms firm and initially spoken by actor Bob Hoskins.
In the 1990s, Mexico experienced one of the highest rates of deforestation across Latin American countries. While deforestation has slowed, it continues to be a problem along with comparatively higher rates of forest degradation.
The Forest Investment Program (FIP) finances programmatic efforts to address underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation and to overcome barriers that have hindered past efforts, through three projects with a total investment of $66 million.
When it comes to eliminating deforestation from commodity supply chains, it’s been an exciting last few years. Through the declarations made in New York and Amsterdam and most importantly the Paris Agreement, governments in many countries are making major commitments.
We are in Namarebo, a small village in the district of Mocuba, in the province of Zambezia, Mozambique. Observing the inherent contrasts of rich natural resources and rural poverty, we ask ourselves how can the management of these natural resources translate into improved livelihoods for the community?
I’m the Director of Financing within the National Forestry Commission of the Government of Mexico. The picture below is of where I was born, in a little town located in the mountains of Oaxaca. It was a great place to grow up and it was where I learned on a daily basis how important forests were to the livelihood of my community.
Forests are having a bit of a moment right now. Hot on the heels of their inclusion in the Paris climate agreement, U.S Secretary of State John Kerry giving a keynote speech at the Oslo REDD Exchange and 800,000 citizens of Utter Pradesh setting a new world record for planting nearly 50 million trees in one day, forests are high on the agenda for those attending Climate Week in New York City.
As we got out of the car and started walking to a cocoa farm in Ghana’s Western Region, I was happy to see some female cocoa farmers welcoming us. What a pleasant surprise! Knowing that it is not easy for women in West Africa to own or access productive land for their own use, I was very glad to see that the Forest Investment Program – FIP – is directly benefiting them.
Everyone likes chocolate, yes? I know a few people who love the stuff and I’m quite partial to the odd block or two myself. So while spending a few days at a recent Forest Investment Program (FIP) monitoring and reporting workshop in Ghana I travelled to meet some cocoa farmers near Bibiani and get the low down on everyone’s favorite treat.