September 21, 2016

Women’s Land Rights Key to Enacting Gender-Responsive International Climate Change Action

Written by Jennifer Duncan, Sr. Attorney and Land Tenure Specialist at Landesa and Fiona Noonan, Stanford in Government Fellow at the Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights

This post originally appeared on National Geographic.

Nine months after adopting the Paris Agreement, as ratification continues and implementation begins, the world will see significant movement on climate change. However, if nations do not fill the gaps that international negotiations left, the Agreement’s shortcomings may have even more wide-reaching implications for global warming.

Among these key gaps are gender-responsiveness and attention to land rights. Better securing women’s land rights is a critical and largely ignored step toward climate change action and broader sustainable development.

From the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21), 2015 saw a marked rise in international recognition of cross-cutting social, environmental, and economic concerns. The 17 SDGs in the 2030 Agenda, for example, include three goals that call out land rights and three sub-goals that explicitly tackle women’s land and property rights, plus others with significant land-related implications.

These two topics represent a dynamic nexus of successful sustainable development, and mounting evidence underlines the social, environmental, and economic importance of ensuring women’s land rights in particular.

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