Climate change is already causing devastating impacts on the environment and the livelihoods of residents in the Dominican Republic—particularly for women, girls, and non-binary people. Understanding and addressing the intersections of climate change and gender equality is becoming a mainstream process for many countries. For example, 29 out of 30 National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by developing countries mention gender equality.
To increase climate resilience and address issues of gender inequity, the Dominican Republic has been working on the Gender and Climate Change Action Plan of the Dominican Republic (PAGCC-RD) since 2018—a plan that aligns with the implementation of the National Development Strategy, the Nationally Determined Contribution, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The action plan identifies the need to adopt gender–climate considerations in state institutions and strengthen the capacities of government actors who are involved in gender or climate change fields, particularly those working with the UNFCCC and the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Women.
“As a gender focal point before the UNFCCC of this Ministry, the different institutions of the Dominican State must ensure the adoption of public policies that improve the rights of women and girls to natural resources and public services, so that Dominican society as a whole, especially the most vulnerable, can be more resilient to the adverse effects of climate change and that we can be a reference for other countries in our progress in the Lima Work Programme on Gender derived from the negotiations of the Convention.”Mrs. Giselle Deñó,
Gender Focal Point under the UNFCCC, Dominican Republic
To help achieve this, the Capacity Development Program was created as part of the Developing Capacities to Advance in the Process of the National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change of the Dominican Republic project, funded by the Green Climate Fund and supported by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. This program includes workshops and educational activities—organized with technical assistance provided by the NAP Global Network and funded by Global Affairs Canada—to develop the capacities of gender focal points across different ministries in the field of gender equity and its links with climate change adaptation.
“A training process and the integration of a gender approach in climate change adaptation offer invaluable opportunities to strengthen the capacities and actions that will help us meet established requirements on the one hand and move towards a culture of equality on this crucial issue on the other hand.”Esmeldy García Martínez, Department Manager of Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change, Directorate of Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change
How Does This Look in Practice?
A workshop was held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on February 3 and 4, 2022, to advance education around the intersections of gender and adaptation actions. The 2-day event was attended by nearly 30 participants from various institutions—including the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Women, and National Institute of Public Administration—who had a demonstrated interest in climate change and its impacts.
Day 1 began with fundamentals: an introduction to the sex–gender theory system, the gender approach, and climate change with a gender focus through a global, regional, and national lens. Participants were encouraged to take part in group work and brainstorming discussions relating to each topic to further their understanding and identify opportunities where the knowledge could be applied in practice through their specific workstreams.
Participants built on these learnings during Day 2: these sessions focused on using gender analysis, engaging actors in gender-sensitive processes, and gender mainstreaming in climate change adaptation programs. The government’s NAP team was also present and provided information about the NAP process: highlighting ways the NAP currently integrates gender considerations, but also reflecting on how this could be further enhanced.
Upon the completion of the workshop, participants expressed a willingness to advance a culture of equality as well as support the development of tools that contribute to gender-focused adaptation actions. This was solidified through participants’ readiness to establish the link in their institutions and support future training. Through knowledge and capacity building, participants will use the tools provided to integrate sustainable, gender-responsive actions into policy frameworks and foster climate resilience.