Women, Decision Making and Sustainability: Exploring the Experience of the Badi Foundation in China
24 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2010 Last revised: 5 Aug 2011
Date Written: September 8, 2010
Beginning in 1994, international conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity have increasingly encouraged the use of collaborative processes at the local level to manage and protect community resources. Participation on the part of women in particular, in such decision making processes has been advanced and supported by the International Conference on Population and Development (1994), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), and the 2005 World Summit. While such international conventions do not have binding legal effect, such instruments provide a moral force acknowledging the pivotal role women play in sustainable development and decision making at the grass roots. Such processes involve stakeholders from the public and private sectors who consult together in order to arrive at shared goals regarding resource use and planning. While much scholarship has focused on the requirements and parameters of such participatory decision making processes, little systematic attention has been given to the question of how capacities for genuine participation in local decision making, consultation and collaboration are developed, and the important role of scientific understanding and empowerment in this process. This paper will explore this question through a participatory research approach.
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