Chapter 6.1 – Land Restoration, Agriculture, and Climate Change: Enriching Gender Programming Through Strengthening Intersectional Perspectives
By Mary Thompson-Hall, Basque Centre for Climate Change, Bilbao, Spain
Land restoration for the purpose of supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation necessitates navigating complex, place-specific intersections of rapidly changing biophysical conditions and dynamic social contexts. Researchers and practitioners working in a variety of settings, from reforestation of agrarian landscapes to rehabilitation of degraded agricultural soils are increasingly aware of the need to engage socioeconomic perspectives of different groups involved in restoration programming. First, this section seeks to reflect on the extent to which complexity, and particularly gender, has been employed as a primary classification used to understand the differential experiences of land users. It goes on to critically evaluate the privileging of the categories of both men and women in this research. It subsequently explores the potential benefits of increasing engagement with intersectional perspectives that are gaining strength in other scientific and development circles. Such perspectives, along with related approaches, have the potential to bring a new level of nuance and focus to restoration programs. These are attributes that are increasingly important for supporting those most negatively affected by a changing global climate.
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About the Author
(During the time of authoring, Mary was at Basque Centre for Climate Change. She is now Program Specialist at START: global change SysTem for Analysis, Research & Traning)
Mary Thompson-Hall joined START in 2015 as a program specialist working primarily on the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project, part of the broader Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA). She holds a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in geography from the University of South Carolina where her research focused on intersections of conservation and development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, Mary worked with World Bank and African Development Bank experts on participatory adaptation fieldwork for the Zambian Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), and also co-authored a USAID commissioned report on gender and climate change adaptation. Most recently, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3) in Bilbao, Spain on topics relating to agricultural biodiversity and climate change adaptation.