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Addressing gender inequality is a core goal in the global development agenda. Gender inequality in forest landscapes is a ‘wicked problem’, where deep-seated socioeconomic and ideological causes are difficult to recognize and address, not only because they are context- and culture-specific across and even within countries, but also because they involve multiple (male and female) stakeholders with different and sometimes conflicting interests and different positions within power hierarchies. The alliances and tensions inherent in such complex stakeholder relationships may work with or against other desirable forest outcomes, and defy simple or superficial solutions. In this chapter, three forest policies are examined through the lens of gender equality: the devolution of forest management to local communities; payments to communities for sustaining forest-based global public goods; and forest certification. These policies have generated positive gender equality outcomes, but these also (re)produce gender discrimination through formal and informal institutions. More holistic approaches are required to address gender inequality in forest policies, which directly target gender and social relations, and strengthen women’s participation in forest governance.
SDG 10 calls for reducing inequalities within and among countries. This chapter evaluates the potential effects of addressing SDG 10 from an environmental justice perspective, which comprises three interrelated dimensions: representative, recognition and distributive justice. We find considerable synergies and complementarities between the SDG 10 targets and goals of environmental justice. However, the disjuncture between SDG 10 and environmental goals within the SDGs may undermine efforts to promote environmental justice. Trade is not included in SDG 10; this is an important gap as markets for forest products can drive forest resource extraction, exacerbating inequalities among actors within global production networks. If SDG 10 addresses structural inequalities, it is also likely to support distributive, representational and recognition justice for forest-dependent populations. However, the myopic translation of its aspirational targets into easily measurable indicators may dampen the potential effects of addressing SDG10 in advancing environmental justice. Addressing ‘migration’ related targets and indicators is likely to elevate the importance of these issues in forestry policy and research, while also prompting a re-thinking of some of the underlying assumptions informing existing research in forestry.
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