Assuming Women’s Representation in Carbon Forestry Projects

Assuming Women’s Representation in Carbon Forestry Projects


Women have historically played a critical role around the world in forest-related decision making yet there has been a significant unequal representation of this stakeholder group when it comes to the recent explosion of carbon-trading interventions, such as payment for ecosystem services (PES) schemes, clean development mechanisms (CDM), and reduced emmissions and deforestation and forst degradation (REDD+). This unequal representation has been widely recognized and there is a fear that it is getting worse as forest governance changes. 

Goals & Method

The goal of this paper is to evaluate the claim that women are less and less involved in forest-related initiatives through examining a case study of the Nile Basin Reforestation Project No. 3, a World Bank-funded Bio-carbon initiative in South Western Uganda. The study included interviews from key informants, three mixed focus groups with village members who participated in the project, and a review of related documents. 

Conclusion & Takeaways

The study found that the implementation guidelines of the Nile Basin Reforestation Project were gender-blind, thus leaving women powerless and vulnerable to outcomes of lack of representation. Overall the project missed key  considerations relating to gender, community needs, and cooperative and democratic govern. The paper concludes calling for proactive and progressive accountability measures incorporated into future carbon-trading projects. 


Ruta, Doreen. (2015) Assuming women’s representation in carbon forestry projects. Dakar: CODESRIA. Accessed: June 2020


  • Responsive Forest Governance Initiative
  • International Union for the Conservation of Nature
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa