“We cannot manage what we cannot measure”

 “We cannot manage what we cannot measure”

A panel that took place last Friday (11), brought together South Africa, the Dominican Republic and Brazil to discuss the issue of gender in a fair and inclusive way in the next NDCs.

By Teresa Xavier

Translation by Álvaro Samuel

This sentence, spoken by the moderator of the official event about how to integrate the gender issue in a fair and inclusive way in the next Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Long-term Low Emissions Development Strategies (LT LEDS): “How to integrate Just and Gender Inclusive Transition Strategies into next generation NDCs and LT LEDS” was one of the most remarkable to me.

The panel took place on Friday, the 11th, and had representatives from 3 countries: South Africa, Dominican Republic and Brazil, represented by Flávia Bellaguarda, founding lawyer of the LACLIMA and Youth Climate Leaders (YCL) networks and one of the Brazilian references in Climate Justice. The purpose of the event was to reflect on the current NDC of each of the countries, share initiatives that aim to include the gender agenda in this important document and expectations for future NDCs.

What caught my attention during the event was Flávia’s sincerity in criticizing our NDC, which comments very superficially on the gender agenda in its content, being mentioned only once. There is clearly a gap in this theme that has room to expand and relate to other areas and indicators already raised in the NDC, given that it is a cross-cutting agenda to several others.

And it is precisely this word, “indicators”, that connects the sentence at the beginning of the text with the conversation of the event. We need to understand the reality(ies) that we have in Brazil, with regard to gender equity and climate justice, in order to have an initial diagnosis of this challenge, in order to set goals (indicating where we want to go) and indicators to be monitored in that range.

In this diagnostic process, it is essential to include the voices of the people who suffer the most in this issue and bring them to spaces for discussion and decision. These voices bring the real diversity and complexity of everyday life, which those who are not impacted sometimes cannot see. Only with a diagnosis that is coherent with reality can an ambitious yet achievable horizon of goals be drawn.

Despite all the importance of data and parameters (as they form the basis of planning), they alone are not enough. Just as the goals alone are not enough either. It is essential to look at the two points (present and future) and trace a path that connects them with follow-up actions.

Bellaguarda’s suggestion is to break the bigger goals down into smaller goals that can be monitored monthly, to ensure: constant progress, better understanding of local action and also to identify which of the smaller goals are not advancing more easily and in advance.

In the end, we saw that we have all the ingredients needed to advance this agenda. We’ve reached a point where we can’t make excuses anymore. This is the COP of implementation, the time to get down to business and get our plans and ambitions off the ground is now! Thanks for reading this far🥰

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