Case 1: Ethiopia horticulture
In Amhara, Ethiopia, the Netherlands Embassy is facilitating sustainable investments in horticulture by Dutch flower farmers. The Ethiopian government has made available a former state farm, on the borders of lake Tana. The area is rich in resources and represents a wide array of provisioning ecosystem services. For this reason, sustainable and inclusive development is key to the Ethiopian government, the Dutch government ánd the flower farmers. This ambition is laid down in the jointly developed PACT document, signed by all partners. In the PACT, among others, they agree to adhere to the IFC performance standards.
During a NCEA training on IFC performance standards for the Amhara Environment Bureau, the ESIAs for two of the flower farms were examined. It became clear that gender is extremely relevant, but not always recognised. ESIA review helped point out that key impacts will be social and gender specific: large influx of workers expected, of whom 90% will be female. For example:
Incoming female workers tend to bring their families more often than male workers. These families will require housing, health care, schools, jobs. These services will need to be created and may also lead to socio-cultural changes in the receiving community, of which one should be aware.
Local female workers will also be employed. They will need to arrange for child care and food that they would normally produce themselves. If the new salary does not cover for this, they may risk falling into a poverty trap.
Health impacts are also likely to be gender specific: the pesticides that will be used can influence hormones and reproductive health
This type of project requires a gender sensitive baseline, so that project design and mitigation can take these issues into account. The EKN stimulates such inclusive investment.
Gwen van Boven, gboven eia.nl, 06-11321193
Aytenew Tatek, EKN Addis Abeba