Posted on 14 May 2019
In Ruvuma Landscape, Southern Tanzania addressing human rights and gender issues is becoming critical for attaining sustainable natural resources management (NRM) and improving right holders livelihoods. As a result, 8 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) implementing Leading the Change program in the Ruvuma landscape have been trained on Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) and Gender.
The training which was held under the Sida funded Leading the Change (LtC) Program had an over-arching theme key messages on integration of Human Right Based Approach (HRBA) in NRM, including analyses of human rights and gender issues, access to, and control of, resources and benefits sharing.
The HRBA training was designed to improve the understanding of WWF staff members and partners CSOs on HRBA concepts and principles in project and program planning, implementation and monitoring in the context of NRM. Specifically, the training aimed to : broaden understanding on HRBA and Gender, Map HRBA and Gender issues existing in the Ruvuma landscape (and Tanzanian national context) and to develop action plan for HRBA and Gender in program across four thematic areas (energy, marine, forest and wildlife)
Dr Lawrence Mbwambo (the Forests Programme Coordinator) emphasised that WWF Tanzania Office, will continue to build the capacity of CSOs on WWF Social Policies, human rights and gender to ensure that biodiversity conservation and NRM promote sustainable communities livelihoods.
“Our (WWF) purpose is to find ways to fully integrate and promote human rights and gender into partner organizations and WWF programs work plans. WWF has a set of Social Policies that guide our work on the ground with top consideration on respect for human rights. We hope the same values can be reflected in our partners work so we may achieve our goal “a world where people leave in harmony with nature,” said Dr Lawrence Mbwambo
Lisa Arlbrandt , WWF’s Sweden Human Rights and Gender Specialist who facilitated the training, explained that NRM is linked to human rights and vice versa.
“Effective and sustainable conservation requires respect for human rights,” she told participants. “Protecting biodiversity is a human right; a health ecosystem is a human right; Loss of ecosystem has negative impact on human rights and the opposite is true. Adopting human rights in Natural Resources Management (NRM) serve to ensure that the protection of rights and biodiversity conservation are mutually reinforcing.
One of the more colourful sessions involved participants drawing and describing what they consider as the human rights and gender issues in marine, energy, forest and wildlife conservation. Moreover, the participants carried out mapping of stakeholders as well as power conflict and capacity. This led to fruitful discussions, closely analysing some solutions and deeper understanding of the importance of adapting HRBA.
During the closing session, the partners presented their feedback described the training as a timely response to making direct connection between human wellbeing and biodiversity conservation.
‘’On behalf of CSOs, we thank Sida for funding our initiatives and WWF for the technical support we continue to receive. As we return to our offices we shall disseminate this knowledge to our colleagues to build a mass of experts in Human Rights and Gender’’ said Winfried Haule from Tanzania Tuna National Alliance ( TuNA).
In her closing remarks Lydia Mwakanema, WWF Tanzania expressed that it was a great honour for Tanzania Country Office to host the training. Lydia also emphasized the importance of rolling out the Human Right and Gender training to ensure the inclusive learning and implementation by those absent in the training.
‘’It is true that one training is not enough, therefore I encourage safe learning find time and resources to learn more on the topics we have covered. Human Rights and Gender are Global values and priorities, if this is not the same for organizations then you won’t fit in global development initiatives’’.