Gender & Environment

Background Papers


Gender Perspectives For Earth Summit 2002

Energy, Transport, Information for Decision-Making

International Workshop at

Jagdschloss Glienicke, Berlin, Germany, 10 - 12 January 2001

Jointly hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety 
and the Heinrich Boell Foundation; Berlin, Germany
Co-ordinated by UNED Forum, London, UK


The workshop addressed the following issues: 



information for decision-making and participation, incl. indicators for sustainable development. 

Click here for the Co-Chairs' Summary (also in French) of  the discussions held at the conference, the full report (click here for the PDF file),  and the side event at the CSD Intersessional.

The workshop has provided an overview and developed recommendations on gender perspectives from developing and developed countries on these issues, which are addressed by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) 9th Session in April 2001.

This site provides:


Co-Chair's Summary (in English & French (pdf))

Full Workshop Report

Presentation at the Side Event, CSD Intersessional, 16 March 2001

other workshop outcomes


Programme of the workshop in Berlin, 10-12 January 2001, including links to

presentations given at the workshop + pictures from the workshop)

Background Papers on:

Energy (South, North)

Transport (South, North)

Information for Decision-making and Participation, incl. Indicators (South)

The papers cover the situation in and perspectives from developing and developed countries, co-authored by experts from a developed and a developing country (PDF Format).

Participants: List of participants and other contributing actors


Useful material on the three workshop issues (compilations of international agreements, compilations of NGO documents, useful documents on the web)

Information material on the CSD and Earth Summit 2002

Schedule of Upcoming Meetings

Articles / Reports from the workshop

Links: directory of relevant links;

Search: search this site;

Download: quick and easy download of all documents on this site - as TXT files or ZIP files;


Background & Goals

The Earth Summit / UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 clearly acknowledged the important role which women need to play in regard to sustainable development. Chapter 24 of Agenda 21 outlines the necessary increased involvement of women at all levels of decision-making. Around the world and in most cultural and social contexts, women traditionally are responsible for the management of natural resources and the social life of communities. They possess considerable competence and innovative potential in these areas. Therefore, an important demand articulated in the sustainable development debate has been to increase the involvement of women in social and political planning and decision-making processes.

However, as in many other areas of Agenda 21, significant gaps remain between the goals and strategies agreed in Chapter 24 and practical implementation. In addition, we concede gaps of knowledge with regard to the structural relationships between environmental policy goals and gender issues. These relationships are complex and have not yet been understood sufficiently and/or existing knowledge has not been made available in a comprehensive format. In many areas, substantive knowledge is particularly scarce with regard to developed countries whereas there is considerable research regarding developing countries (eg on women & energy issues).

The goals of the workshop were to

produce an overview of existing research and knowledge on the gender aspects of a number of environment / sustainable development issues which will be discussed at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development 9th Session in April / May 2001 (CSD-9), these being: energy; transport; information for decision-making and participation, incl. indicators for sustainable development.
develop policy recommendations, impacting the CSD-9 preparations to ensure gender mainstreaming of the decisions to be taken on these issues. Outlining win-win situations of gender mainstreaming and environmental goals will be a particular focus.
discuss women's priorities and gender aspects of issues under discussion in preparation for Earth Summit 2002 and possible preparatory strategies towards 2002.

Energy and transport are important issues of sustainable development, and information is a crucial tool. They cannot be addressed appropriately without a gender perspective. The need for equitable involvement of women in decision-making and in implementing Agenda 21, the Rio Conventions and the CSD decisions has been reaffirmed in all these documents. However, there is a need in many areas to state more clearly what the crucial aspects of the linkages between women and environment issues are. The workshop shall contribute to clarifying the value added of gender mainstreaming in sustainable development decision-making. It therefore needs to look at gender as one of the social categories impacting significantly people's knowledge, values, emotions, behavioural choices and freedom of choice.

Background papers were commissioned to prepare the workshop. Each of the issues is being covered from a developing and a developed country perspective, respectively. Background paper authors gave brief presentations at the workshop to initiate discussions.

The workshop has attempted to produced valuable contributions to the preparations for CSD-9 as well as Earth Summit 2002, to fill the gap of expertise and input in the area of women/gender and environment issues and to contribute to well informed deliberations at the upcoming CSD meetings. It is also hoped that the workshop has helped to forge alliances of organisations from developing and developed countries working on these issues and spark off follow-up projects.


Executive Agencies

Overall co-ordination and organisational / logistical aspects
The workshop has beeen jointly hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Heinrich Boell Foundation (HBF), both Berlin, Germany. At the international level, the German Government is considering making gender issues one of their priorities in the preparations for 2002. At the national level, the Ministry and its associate agencies have been developing a series of activities on gender & environment issues. The Heinrich Boell Foundation is supporting work on environment & sustainable development issues as well as gender issues at the national and international levels.

Overall co-ordination and organisational / logistical aspects are handled by the German Federal Ministry and the Heinrich Boell Foundation. The focal points are:

Barbara Schaefer
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Division G II 4
Alexanderplatz 6
D - 10178 Berlin, GERMANY
Tel: (+49) 30-28550-2347
Fax: (+49) 30-28550-3331


Kerstin Kippenhan
Projektgruppe Rio+10

Heinrich Böll Stiftung
Rosenthaler Str. 40/41, 
D-10178 Berlin, GERMANY
Tel:. +49-30-28534-216
Fax: +49-30-28534-108

Joerg Haas
Referat Ökologie und Nachhaltige Entwicklung
Desk for Ecology and Sustainable Development
Heinrich Böll Stiftung
Rosenthaler Str. 40/41, D-10178 Berlin, GERMANY
T. +49-30-28534-187 Fax -108


Substantive co-ordination
UNED Forum
has been co-ordinating the substantive preparations for the workshop. This involved co-ordinating the preparation of background papers, producing various preparatory material and the workshop website and conducting various activities to provide input into the preparations for CSD-9 by the UN, governments and other stakeholders. UNED Forum will also organize a side event at the CSD-9 Intersessional meeting in New York in March 2001 with representatives from different stakeholder groups discussing the workshop proceedings.

UNED Forum (formerly UNED-UK) is an international network organisation focusing on the follow-up of the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 at the national and international levels. UNED Forum has been playing a key role in establishing the NGO Steering Committee to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), and is since 1999 focusing its efforts on the preparations for Earth Summit 2002. Minu Hemmati, UNED Forum Project Co-ordinator, has been elected as co-facilitator of the CSD NGO Women's Caucus (May 2000 - April 2001). At UNED Forum, Minu Hemmati (Co-ordinator) and Jasmin Enayati (Assistant Co-ordinator) have been assigned to carry out the project. Their contact details are:

UNED Forum
3 Whitehall Court
London SW1A 2EL
Tel +44 207 8397171
Fax +44 207 9305893
Email:    Minu Hemmati
            Jasmin Enayati
Web: and