By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – The first Arabic language training manual on gender and climate change was released on Monday with the aim of mainstreaming gender considerations in climate change mitigation and adaptations efforts in Jordan.

The Arabic version, which was issued by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), clarifies the linkage between gender and climate change, experts in sustainable development and climate change said yesterday.

It aims at increasing the capacity of decision makers in developing gender-responsive climate change policies and strategies, particularly since women are important actors of change and holders of significant knowledge and skills related to mitigation, adaptation and reduction of risks associated with climate change, according to the manual.

During yesterday’s launch ceremony HRH Princess Basma noted that women form the majority of the world’s impoverished population and are the most in need of sustainable development.

But despite the fact that women are the most dependent category on natural resources, they remain marginalised in the formulation of environmental policies, added the Princess, who is president of the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW).

She underscored that this situation renders women the category most affected by the impact of climate change.

But given the fact that women are the most dependent on natural resources, their experience qualifies them to be an essential source in formulating applicable policies in climate change adaptation and mitigation, Princess Basma underscored.

“Women in this case are a defining factor for the success of any environment-related strategy,” she pointed out.

Meanwhile, Minister of Environment Taher Shakhshir said his ministry will support the implementation of the training manual, highlighting the importance of gender equality in development opportunities and supporting women in addressing environmental challenges.

He noted that Jordan is the first Arab country to focus on gender in its climate change adaptation and mitigation plans through the country’s second national communication to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“Sustainable development, gender and climate change are directly interrelated in a country like Jordan, where natural resources such as water and energy are scant,” Shakhshir said during yesterday’s event.

Underscoring the relationship between human rights and the environment, JNCW Secretary General Asma Khader noted that vulnerable groups, including women, children and people with disabilities, are most affected by natural disasters.

She called on authorities to integrate women in the formulation of environmental policies, which affect their everyday life, highlighting that Jordanian women, particularly in rural areas, have the skills and experience in dealing with scant resources.

In his address yesterday, IUCN Regional Director for West Asia Odeh Jayyousi said Jordan presents a model in the region and around the world in sustainable development and environment protection in the sectors of eco-tourism and ecological systems preservation.

Stressing the importance of protecting the environment, he called for reconsidering the concept of infrastructure, noting that forests, oases and rivers provide ecological services and constitute vital infrastructure for any country.

Jayyousi highlighted the importance of integrating gender in combating climate change, noting that women are capable of efficiently managing natural resources and thus are crucial agents in fighting climate change.