Climate change and natural hazards in Bosnia and Herzegovina: a gender equality, social equity and poverty reduction lens

Authors: Claudia Strambo, Lisa Segnestam, Belma Jahović
Discussion brief
October 2021

Gender inequality and social inequity – understood in terms of access to and control over assets, participation in decision making, and knowledge, which are all dimensions of poverty – are deeply intertwined with environmental change. This discussion brief explains how climate change and natural hazards in Bosnia and Herzegovina are deeply related to gender inequality, social inequity and poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It summarises the findings from a review of secondary literature and publicly available databases on environment, health, natural resources, gender equality, social equity and poverty in BiH.

Key messages

  • Due to its geographical location, limited adaptive capacity and economic reliance on the agricultural and forestry sectors, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
  • Children, elders, disabled persons, migrants, war returnees and members of the Roma minority are
    particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, because they are more likely to live in hazard-prone areas and often lack the information and resources needed to cope with these impacts.
  • Gender can also affect vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and natural hazards, because
    of gender-based differences in time use (concerning housework, employment and caring activities),
    differentiated access to assets and credit, and limited access to policymaking spaces.
  • Awareness-raising and capacity-building programmes targeting and tailored to disadvantaged groups can help increase their preparedness and adaptive capacity. At the same time, the involvement of disadvantaged groups in climate and disaster risk reduction policymaking is essential to develop policies that address their needs and harness their potential to help tackle climate change related issues.
  • Climate mitigation and adaptation policies can have detrimental impacts on disadvantaged populations. It is therefore important to assess these implications and implement strategies to mitigate the detrimental effects of climate policy on these groups.

Read the discussion brief