On the 8th of March, many countries worldwide, including BiH, celebrated International Women´s Day. To discuss the issues relevant to gender equality and environment, a conference called “Gender equality in the context of environmental protection and climate change” was organized in Sarajevo by the Gender Equality Agency of BiH / Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees of BiH. One of the guest speakers at this event was Claudia Strambo from the Stockholm Environment Institute and a member of the BiH ESAP project team.

In her presentation, Claudia Strambo highlighted that gender equality, social equity and poverty reduction (the so-called GESEP aspects) are essential components of every environmental strategy and she explained how these aspects had been incorporated into the creation of the BiH environmental strategy and action plan (BiH ESAP).

BiH ESAP has from the beginning of the project incorporated a GESEP lens, both in terms of the process (meaning how we develop the strategy together with stakeholders) as well as in the output (the actual content of the strategy). She pointed out that it is crucial to acknowledge that the GESEP lens goes beyond gender equality, meaning that it incorporates other social aspects that are equally relevant to environmental policy, such as age, ethnicity, living location, and (dis)ability. This broader view also gives us a more nuanced understanding of the needs of women and men in relation to the environment since they are far from being homogenous groups.

Strambo highlighted the importance of including a broader set of voices and perspectives in environmental decision-making, emphasizing the value that the participatory approach has brought to the BiH ESAP process. And she stated again how important the adoption of gender equality and social equity perspective is in environmental policy because this enables more inclusive and, ultimately, more effective policymaking.

The recording of the conference is available here: https://bit.ly/3q7EgFl

Read more about GESEP in environmental decision-making here.