Strengthening gender responsiveness of the green climate fund ecosystem-based adaptation programme in namibia

Margaret Ndapewa Angula*, Immaculate Mogotsi, Selma Lendelvo, Karl Mutani Aribeb, Aina Maria Iteta, Jessica P.R. Thorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scholars of gender and climate change argue that gender-blind climate change actions could exacerbate existing inequalities and undermine sustained climate change adaptation actions. For this reason, since 2017, the Green Climate Fund placed gender among its key programming prerequisites, making it the first multilateral climate fund to do so worldwide. However, to date, no lessons to inform planned gender-responsive ecosystem-based interventions in Namibia have been drawn from community-based natural resource management. Thus, this paper aims to share key lessons regarding the way in which gender assessment is useful in enhancing equity in an eco-system-based adaptation programme for the Green Climate Fund. To this end, we conducted in-depth interviews and group discussions in the 14 rural regions of Namibia with 151 participants from 107 community-based natural resource management organisations (73.5:26.5; male:female ra-tio). The results identified gender imbalances in leadership and decision-making due to intersecting historic inequalities, ethnicity and geography, as well as other socio-cultural factors in local com-munity-based natural resource management institutions. We also identified income disparities and unequal opportunities to diversify livelihoods, gendered differentiated impacts of climate change and meaningful participation in public forums. Overall, the assessment indicates that considering gender analysis at the initiation of a community-based climate change adaptation project is crucial for achieving resilience to climate change, closing the gender gap, building capacity to increase equity and empowering women in resource-dependent environments in Namibia and Sub-Saharan Africa more broadly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10162
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 by the authors

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: We acknowledge all participants who were interviewed for data collection. We are grateful for the participation of the University of Namibia, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Regional Councils and Traditional Authorities. We further acknowledge the African Women in Climate Change Science Fellowship of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences and the Next Einstein Forum and the Climate Research for Development (CR4D) Postdoctoral Fellowship CR4D-19-21 implemented by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) in partnership with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID) Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER) programme and the African Climate Policy Center (ACPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) for supporting J. P. R. T on this work. Statements made and views expressed in this work are solely the responsibility of the authors.

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia through GCF (project number EDA FP024) and UK Research and Innovation’s Global Challenges Research Fund (UKRI GCRF) through the Development Corridors Partnership project (project number: ES/P011500/1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Adaptive capacity
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Community-based natural resource management
  • Community-based tourism
  • Gender responsiveness
  • Green Climate Fund
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Resilience

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