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Gender and the Environment in Development Cooperation. An Assessment of Agenda 21 and the Platform for Action

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I. Guijt
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What are the interlinkages between promoting equality between women and men and supporting an environmentally sustainable development? The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has identified a clear need to investigate and understand this link in order to be able to develop policy directives, operational guidelines and best practices. This paper analyses the processes and documents of two international conferences: the United Nations Conference on Development and Environment (UNCED) that took place in 1992 and focused on environmental issues, and the Fourth World Conference on Women in Bejing in 1995 which looked at the global situation of women. The analysis is based on key conceptual elements of gender and environment, such as linking environmental threats with gendered impacts, and on some institutional considerations, such as creating pressure from political constituencies and building on women's and men's perceptions of their own realities. The analysis concludes that in order to consolidate what was achieved in the two conferences on gender and the environment, it is necessary to translate the general principles into laws and programmes, implement them and monitor their implementation. The document also proposes some implications for development cooperation agencies and suggests possible areas for action.

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