On 30 June 2022, United Nations Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) held the project launch and consultation workshop on “Improving social impacts of China’s development finance in countries of the Global South from a gender perspective with case studies and pilot projects”. The project is funded by the Ford Foundation.
The workshop was chaired by Dr. Linxiu Zhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP. Dr. Zhang welcomed all the participants and introduced the purpose of this workshop, the objectives of the project, and UNEP-IEMP’s recent work on gender inclusion and women empowerment. More than 30 experts, researchers, and students from research institutes, universities, non-governmental organizations in Indonesia, Nepal, and China and the programme officers from Ford Foundation attended the workshop online.
Dr. Yunli Bai, coordinator of the project team, presented the project tasks, research progress, and next steps. Based on an overview of Chinese investments and the policies to protect women’s rights in Indonesia and Nepal, the project aims to use case studies to clarify the impact of Chinese outbound investment on the welfare of local women from multiple perspectives and to develop a "toolkit" and checklist that will assist Chinese investors in improving the social impact of their investments from a gender inclusive perspective.
More than 10 experts from UN Women Beijing Office, International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) in Nepal, Women Research Institute (WRI) in Indonesia, Oxfam Hongkong, Peking University, China Agricultural University, Farmers’ Seed Network (FSN) in China, and Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGSNRR, CAS) joined a panel discussion. The experts highlighted the significances of this project, shared information and experiences from their programmes, and made valuable suggestions on case selection, field surveys and indicators, and the development of “toolkit” and checklist. They also expressed willingness to collaborate with each other on the project implementation.
The workshop gained valuable feedbacks for further improving the project implementation plan and consolidated as well as expanded the international cooperation network among partners of UNEP-IEMP. It also served as part of the platform of UNEP-IEMP for knowledge sharing in South-South countries by exchanging experts’ experiences on gender equality and women’s empowerment.