The adoption of gender guidelines would provide a much-needed policy framework for mainstreaming gender considerations in ITTO and thereby enhancing the impact and effectiveness of the Organization’s policy and project work, according to consultant Stephanie Caswell, who presented a report on the topic on the second day of the 53rd session of the International Tropical Timber Council.
Ms Caswell's report included proposed “ITTO Policy Guidelines on Gender Equality and Empowering Women”, which address eight core elements: ITTO policies, plans and thematic programmes; the project cycle; capacity building; statistics and information; learning, knowledge management and communication; networking and collaboration; internal functioning; and accountability.
“The United Nations recognizes that gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, it is a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world,” said Ms Caswell after the presentation. Goal 5 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the crucial need “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. This applies equally to the sustainable management of tropical production forests and the promotion of legal value chains and trade, which are core objectives of ITTO.
“Ensuring gender equality is crucial for ITTO to fulfill its mission and mandate,” said Ms Caswell. “These guidelines, if adopted and implemented, will provide clear guidance on mainstreaming gender throughout ITTO’s policy and project work.”
The Council is considering the draft guidelines at the session with a view to adopting them and putting them into action.
Also today, the ITTO Secretariat reported to the Council on the 2017 implementation of the Biennial Work Programme (BWP), including communication and outreach. The Executive Director presented the draft BWP for 2018–2019, and Council members expressed a range of views that will help shape the programme for possible approval and funding at the session.
Dr Jorge Malleux, of Peru, presented the report of the Ad Hoc Working Group to Consider Rotation in the Framework of the Selection of the Executive Director Established Pursuant to Decision 9(LII), which was established to examine options for rotation in the appointment of ITTO executive directors. Discussion of the report will continue during the session.
Sessions were convened today of the Committee on Economics, Statistics and Markets and the Committee on Forest Industry (meeting jointly); the Committee on Reforestation and Forest Management; and the Committee on Finance and Administration. Further sessions of these committees will be held during the week.
A well-attended lunchtime side-event hosted by SERFOR, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and GIZ discussed Peru's National Forest and Wildlife Plan (Plan Nacional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre), which is under construction with the participation of regional governments, a range of institutions in the national government, and civil society.
The International Tropical Timber Council meets at least once a year to discuss a wide-ranging agenda aimed at promoting sustainable tropical forest management and the trade of sustainably produced tropical timber.
Daily coverage of the session by the Earth Negotiations Bulletin is available at http://enb.iisd.org/forestry/itto/ittc53/