Post COP27 Dialogue for a Joint Roadmap to Mainstream Gender in the Implementation of Climate Policies

Remarks by Mr. Dao Xuan Lai, UNDP Viet Nam Assistant Resident Representative, Head of Climate Change and Environment Unit

December 9, 2022
  • Dr. Pham Van Tan, Deputy Director General, Department of Climate Change, MONRE
  • Mr. Nghiem Xuan Nam, Deputy Director General, Department of Gender Equality, MOLISA
  • Distinguished representatives from government agencies, local authorities,
  • Colleagues from international organizations, UN agencies, academia, and NGOs

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A very good morning and xin chào.

It is my honour and great pleasure to welcome you all here today to this meaningful “Post COP27 Dialogue for a Joint Roadmap to Mainstream Gender in the Implementation of Climate Policies”. As the linkages between climate change and women’s empowerment start to be better understood, it is critical to move from policies to implementation and to discuss concrete entry points to mainstream gender in the implementation of policies. This is the exact purpose of the Dialogue today, which we are honoured to host with our partner, the Department of Climate Change of MONRE  

With funding from the Green Climate Fund, we have implemented the NAP-Sup project to strengthen the ministerial and provincial ability to identify risks, prioritise adaptation options and integrate climate change adaptation into the government planning process, working with five ministries, namely MONRE, MPI, MARD, MOT, and MOH, in order to support the implementation of the National Adaptation Plan (or NAP) of Viet Nam.  

The nexus between gender equality and climate change also became a central topic in climate change policy frameworks and dialogues internationally and in Viet Nam. With this in mind, under the NAP framework, the Background Report that will be presented to you today provides an updated and comprehensive overview of climate and gender governance structure, examines the factors that drive gender inequalities and women’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, and analyzes the status of mainstreaming gender into sectoral policies, before offering a set of recommendations. The aim of the report was to inform and enhance improvement and solutions to promote gender equality in the NAP technical report of Viet Nam, which will be subsequently submitted to UNFCCC.

The Background Report that will be presented to you today provides an updated and comprehensive overview of climate and gender equality governance structures, examines the factors that drive gender inequalities and women’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, and analyses the status of gender mainstreaming into sectoral policies, before offering a set of recommendations for “Joint Roadmap Toward Gender Mainstreaming”, aligned with the five priority areas set out in the Gender Action Plan of the 5-year Enhanced Lima Work Programme agreed by Parties to the UNFCCC at COP25.

Colleagues and friends,

I would like to share five reflections and recommendations coming from the Report, which will hopefully guide our discussion today and support ministries in the implementation of Decision 1055.

Firstly, the report acknowledged effective and well-established governance structures for climate change and gender equality but pointed out the lack of formal governance mechanisms to accelerate the cooperation between MOLISA and other line ministries on climate change. To address this gap, we advocate for the creation of a Technical Working Group on Gender and Climate Change (co-hosted by MONRE and MOLISA), and strengthen our financial and technical support to MOLISA in delivering the tasks assigned under the NAP. We can learn from efforts done over the years to integrate gender into development plans (for instance, in National Target Programmes), to ensure coherence and synergies.

Secondly, we found out that gender equality is often mentioned as a ‘principle’ in policies, which marks a step in the right direction. However, there is a strong need to develop practical tools to move from theory at the central level, to implementation at the local levels. This calls for the formulation of specific gender guidelines geared towards the line ministries and provinces in promoting gender equality in climate change responses. Guidelines for the implementation of infrastructure projects (as they represent a considerable share of climate expenditures), are also needed. We also recommend including gender recommendations in the Guidelines currently being developed by DCC of MONRE to mainstream climate change into strategies and masterplans, as well as extended support to collect sex-disaggregated data under national and sectoral M&Es.

Thirdly, we believe that climate-related decision-making bodies would benefit from the increased participation of women in leadership positions. For instance, there are no women directors of provincial Departments of Natural Resources and Environment (DONREs) or Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARDs) in any of the 63 provinces and centrally managed cities of Viet Nam. Increasing the number of formal consultation processes with representatives of MOLISA, Viet Nam Women’s Union, and women-led CSOs and interest groups will not only ensure gender-sensitive policies, it will also bring co-benefits such as better and more nuanced understanding of the gender-differentiated impacts of climate change within the most vulnerable subsectors; ultimately strengthening CCA.  

Fourthly, the issue of finance is central as the Government is likely to finance only one-third of the total financing needs for CCA responses identified in the NDC, and the remaining two-thirds will need to be mobilised from other sources. Therefore, any allocated budget for adaptation should serve the dual objectives of advancing gender equality and climate action. Here, we prescribe two parallel strategies. Firstly, allocating dedicated finance and policy incentive schemes to support women’s innovation and action on climate change will enable local communities to transform faster toward resilient and sustainable paths. In parallel, piloting gender-budgeting of climate policies with the support of MPI (investment) and MOF (recurrent expenditures) and appointing and building the capacity of a Gender Focal Point for Adaptation Planning and Budgeting within MPI, are necessary. Secondly, striving for cost efficiency by streamlining and enhancing the collection of gender-disaggregated data and enhancing transparency and knowledge sharing.  

Lastly, its clear that the nexus is progressively better understood and the survey revealed a certain level of knowledge within some ministries, while in contrast, for others, the question of gender equality is still considered as an “add-on” and in silo. We need to collectively continue raising awareness, as well as building a knowledge base and educating all stakeholders. We are pleased to announce that we will be launching a gender portal on the coming NAP portal hosted by the Department of Climate Change. We also produced UNDP’s first-ever bilingual podcast, ‘The Descendants of Hai Ba Trung’, featuring voices from the frontline of the climate crisis to listen to women’s stories and experiences.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The topic of gender inequality is not a women’s problem; rather, it concerns the whole of society, and we should all be working towards redressing bias and cultural norms that prevent us from reaching equality.

This report contains a proposed joint roadmap for line ministries, development partners, and civil society to join forces in ensuring that no one is left behind in the fight for climate action. We hope to continue collaborating with you all to support ministries and all actors in formulating policies and programming that truly serve the needs of women and all people.

I wish you a very fruitful discussion today, good health, happiness, and success.

Thank you! Xin cảm ơn!