In Nepal, when women are empowered, the forests are protected
Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, with changing weather and increased flooding and landslides. TEAR Australia’s Paul Hansen reports on how their partners are working in a variety of ways to support people affected by changes to their environment.
In Nepal, TEAR Australia partner WACT has worked with women in poverty over the past six years and has established an extensive network of Self-Help Groups with over 4,000 women involved. A number of these Self-Help Groups have looked at how to ensure local resources, such as firewood and timber for building, continue to be available now and into the future.
As a result of their new knowledge, the Himalaya Self-Help Group decided to become more involved in management of the local community forest, including patrolling the forest. On one occasion they seized timber illegally cut from their forest by a timber mill. The mill owner paid 20,000 rupees for the offence, money that was used to help fund a new community vaccination clinic. Through the work of WACT, these women are getting a say in their local resources, improving their community as well as reducing one important contributor to climate change – deforestation.
Read more about this story and think about creative ways that you can respond to climate change.