Women are key actors in forest conservation and restoration. Photo: D. Piaggio/SERFOR
In many rural communities, women are the primary collectors and users of forest resources, including woodfuel, foods and medicinal products, and they are usually the main caregivers in their households. Women often have substantial traditional knowledge of sustainable forest management, and they are key actors in forest conservation and the restoration of degraded forests. Women make important contributions to forest value chains that generate household income and can be pathways out of poverty. ITTO has adopted guidelines on gender equality and the empowerment of women, and on environmental and social management, providing a framework for ensuring gender equality in the Organization’s policies, programmes and projects. Many ITTO field projects focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment as a means for achieving sustainable forest management and sustainable rural development.
ITTO's work recognizes that the full potential of societies and communities can only be unlocked if men and women work and live together in mutual recognition and support within their cultures.