Women's voices against climate corruption
Zimbabwe’s forest protection scheme depends on strong partnerships between communities, local government and private investors. In return for protecting their forests, communities choose the infrastructure projects they need and monitor how funds are used. But they often lacked adequate information about processes and budgets. Excluded from decision-making and losing benefits to corruption, they were disillusioned, meaning the forest protection scheme wasn’t working.
When Transparency International Zimbabwe heard about these challenges, we launched a training programme in villages such as Masoka. People learned about the forest protection process and how to work with partners to allocate and monitor expenditure. Responsible for farming and gathering firewood, women are especially affected by deforestation, so we held women-only meetings to help them speak out without inhibition. Now, Masoka residents work with the local council to direct and monitor funds. Women take leading roles, asking tough questions to hold their partners to account.
Projects funded by the scheme now meet people’s needs, improving clinics, schools and boreholes. This gives communities a real incentive to use their forests sustainably.