WWF welcomes the official recognition of the Gender & Environment Group in the DRCThis represents an additional tool among others for effective integration of gen-der dimension in environment and forest programs. Thanks to USAID funding, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), through its CAFEC program, played a key role in the finalization of this decree, both technically and financially, in the prepara-tion and organization of technical meetings of the Informal Gender and Environ-ment Group, preparatory to the formalization of this tool, since 2016.
Official set up the Gender and Environment Group of the DRC Ministry of Environ-ment and Sustainable Development is the result of advocacy efforts of the DRC Envi-ronment Civil Society experts (REFEDD, REFAD and REPALEF, CFLEDD) and partners of the CARPE III consortium including WWF, WRI, AWF and WCS, supported by the Ministry’s gender focal point.
Initiated since October 2015, this group serves as a permanent monitoring frame-work for all recommendations of the national gender workshops, and is above all a strength advocating for effective mainstreaming of gender concerns in public poli-cies and forest governance in the DRC. The importance of its official recognition was one of the key recommendations of the first and largest national gender work-shop organized by WWF, RRI and partners, under the patronage of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in 2016.
Key task of this group is to monitor progress made in gender implementation in ac-tivities of the ministries involved in gender issue, both at national and local level; assess the implementation status of gender mainstreaming in sectoral public poli-cies, support the consolidation of progress in this area. In addition, this group will support the Ministry's national authority in defining guidelines and principles for mainstreaming gender into various programs for better forest governance in the DRC.
Marguerite Nzuzi, Gender Coordinator at WWF-DRC said: "This is the result of con-certed efforts of all stakeholders, who are respectful of human values in the con-servation sector. The fight should not end in such a good way. Thus, I encourage more determination and work in this struggle to build a world where men and women are equal, in our field of nature conservation and its resources. "
"We thank Ms. Céline Pembele, the Ministry’s Gender Focal Point and Horticulture and Reforestation Director for all her efforts, who has been following up with the authority," she added.
The Gender and Environment Group has been operating informally thanks to the support of WWF, and other partners such as WWRI, AWF and WCS as well as the DRC Environmental Civil Society. Technical support was ensured and advocacies as well with the support focal points of ministries involved to obtain the official recognition of this group.