Gender aspects in institutions responsible for coastal and marine areas
This case looks at gender aspects in natural resource management institutions responsible for pilot projects in co-management of coastal and marine areas in Sweden.
Question: What consequences do current gender norms and structures within natural resource management (NRM) institutions have for how collaborative and participatory projects are managed and implemented? How can these institutions improve to make changes leading to participatory approaches are taken seriously and become successful?
Ecological components: New, more participatory modes in the development and implementation of management plans were initiated and tested in 5 Swedish coastal areas to fulfill international conservation agreements. The ecological problems and challenges identified vary between the different areas in question and deal with for instance depleted fish stocks, climate change and adaptation and increased exploitation from tourism.
Institutions: In 4 of 5 projects women were assigned project leaders. They had none or very little competence in process facilitation. Several of them had no support from their institutions to run the projects. There was a lack of legitimacy for the projects in the very same institutions responsible for them.
Practice and facilitation: According to our working hypothesis, two aspects related to gender seems to undermine the bottom up characteristic of the co-management initiatives: 1) prevailing gender norms (structures) within the NRM institutions 2) a masculinisation of environmental politics nationally and globally.