In this project, we examine the relationships and connections between the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG) 5 on gender equality and goal 13 on climate action in different policy areas at international, European, Nordic and Norwegian level. Furthermore, we explore how links between these UNSDGs are expressed within the sector of natural resource management in Norway.
The UNSDGs are a common global action plan, committing governments across levels, private actors and civil society to joint efforts for a better and more just world. A prerequisite for succeeding with implementing the UNSDGs is that the goals are seen in context and that progress on one goal do not have negative impacts on achieving other goals. The UN has emphasized that gender equality must be the basis for progress across all 17 SDGs, and in both Norwegian and international politics, gender mainstreaming is a widespread strategy for integrating gender perspectives in various policy areas.
While gender equality has been a central issue within areas as education, health and employment in Norway, it has to a much lesser extent been a focus in nature and environmental policy. However, this is in contrast to how Norway's foreign policy emphasizes that women are particularly vulnerable to climate change, and that gender equality is an important goal of aid work and seen as vital for a sustainable development for people and planet. However, here at home, gender equality is rarely thematized when we talk about climate, the environment and nature management. Why is it like this? Where are gender perspectives in climate policy, and not least in climate research in Norway?
In this project, we investagete these questions by tracing how the UNSDGs are translated to national, regional and local levels. We want to understand how these goals, and especially goal 5 and 13, are made relevant in different contexts, and what the context is for natural resource management. Based on the case area, the Salten region of Nordland in Northern Norway, we study the relations between gender equality and climate change in the pasture industry, where both reindeer and sheep herding experience a number of challenges, such as climate change, centralization, land-use change and problems with large predator populations. We examine the gendered consequences of these processes, which, among other things, affect family-based practices. At the same time, we know from previous research that both reindeer husbandry and agriculture have gendered practices, with gendered work assignments and roles, and in addressing climate change and the need to adapt to these changes, we will explore how gender comes into play.
A review of previous research on gender equality, climate and the environment from the Global North, shows that there is relevant knowledge about how gender and gender equality affect emission and consumption patterns, attitudes to climate change and representation in decision-making processes. In contrast, the preliminary findings from policy analysis of climate, environment and gender equality policies, foreign policy and Sami policy, reveals that few links are made between climate and gender equality in these documents. By uncovering the problem representations that underlie various political strategies and documents, we want to expose the premises that are set for the current and future management of outfields and pasture resources and the consequences this has. Furthermore, we wish to investigate whether there are alternative representations and other problem representations that challenge the prevailing view in both climate and gender equality policies.
Through the collaboration with Swedish, Finnish and Spanish partners in the project, we will explore how overall objectives for gender equality and climate issues are handled in different national contexts, and how they are related to different natural resources, such as forestry, pastures and outfield management. This will be the foundation of a comparative analysis of factors that may hinder or promote the UNSDGs 5 and 13.