Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Toolbox

Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Toolbox increases gender considerations in its modules


The focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment is evident in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a dedicated Goal on gender equality (SDG 5) as well as a cross-cutting theme informing more than 30 targets across other SDGs.

Therefore, the SFM Toolbox team, supported by colleagues in FAO responsible for gender issues, decided to thoroughly review the toolbox modules with a view to strengthening gender considerations. Specifically, 24 modules out of the 46 contained in the toolbox were reviewed after they were selected on the basis of relevance. The approach taken consisted of adding practical elements on how to mainstream gender issues at different levels.

For example, in the wood energy module, gender considerations included accounting for the contributions made by women in collecting wood fuel as a source of energy for their families. That included the important part that energy availability can play in terms of food security and safety in food preparation and processing. It’s particularly noteworthy that although women play a very important role in meeting wood energy needs, especially through often-dangerous and onerous wood collecting, this is rarely reflected in wood energy planning and programming.

In this module, measures are suggested to help to reduce gender-related disparities when planning a field project or activity. These include, for example, tree planting programmes aimed at increasing wood fuel supplies and designed to be easier for women to access; creating female-friendly fuel collection groups or collection points; incorporating improved technology (clean and efficient cook stoves) to reduce the burden of fuel-wood collection on women; including women in forest management planning processes; and including gender equality principles in energy policies.

By applying a new gender approach to the SFM Toolbox, we aim to contribute to greater gender mainstreaming in forestry.

To learn more about the topic, please visit our Gender in Forestry module.


Photo credit: Tomas Munita/CIFOR