Gender and Local Knowledge

© Menuka Scetbon-Didi
Mayangna woman, Bosawas Biosphere Reserve (Nicaragua)

Particular attention is paid to the key role of women as holders of local and indigenous knowledge and as agents of change and community cohesion at the local level. In particular, UNESCO highlights the transmission, preservation and elaboration of local knowledge by women, particularly that related to sustainable development, natural disaster preparedness, biodiversity and climate change.

In the small island developing states, efforts to assess, monitor and manage coral reefs, mangrove forests and sea grass beds focus upon the knowledge possessed by women, who are the main users of these near-shore marine habitats. Indeed, women are frequently the primary users or collectors of natural resources such as drinking water, fuel or small agroforestry plots, and the primary holders of knowledge concerning such resources.


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