1 Empowered lives. Resilient nations. Green Jobs for Women and Youth What Can Local Governments Do?
3 Empowered lives. Resilient nations. Green Jobs for Women and Youth What Can Local Governments Do? April 2013
4 Copyright April 2013 United Nations Development Programme Bureau for Development Policy One United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017, USA Web site: Acknowledgements This paper was prepared by Xiaojun Grace Wang, Chanmi Kim and Shams Banihani of UNDP Poverty Practice, Bureau for Development Policy, as part of the local development policy paper series. Invaluable comments and advice were provided by Nathalie Bouche, UNDP Regional Service Centre in Cairo; Mylene Lavoie, UNDP Regional Service Centre in Dakar; and Leisa Perch of the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, which is jointly supported by UNDP and the Government of Brazil. Special thanks goes to Tianyou Xu for taking the initiative to conduct interviews with several young men and women and contributing youth perspectives on the implications of climate change on the environment and green jobs. This publication was designed by S. Alex Majumder. Cover Images Left to right: Adam Rogers/UNDP Nigeria, Steve Sabella/UNDP Palestine, Joydeep Mukherjee/ UNDP India, UNDP/Timor Leste, Sophia Paris/UN. Background: Hakki Arslan/Shutterstock.
5 Table of Contents Acronyms and abbreviations vi Foreword 1 Introduction Definitions of green jobs Green jobs: an opportunity for women and youth Increased vulnerability of women and youth during transition to low-carbon 8 economy Local level examples of green jobs initiatives Greening rural development Greening cities Urban and peri-urban green agriculture Public Transportation Renewable Energy Waste Management and Recycling Green Construction 20 Recommendations for local governments and their role in promoting green jobs Setting green jobs indicators Developing training and skills development programmes Getting it right: Social protection, labour market policies and green economic 28 opportunities 3.4 Mobilizing fiscal spaces and financing mechanisms Establishing and harnessing innovative partnerships Promoting green technology innovation and transfer 34 Scaling-up Local Initiatives 38 Voices from the Youth* 40 References 42
6 Acronyms and abbreviations APP BRT CEPAR CERD CNG CSOs FAO FIRMED GDP ILO INTA LPG MCC NGOs OECD PAU PPPSD PV R&D SSA UN UNDP UNEP WMC Areas of Permanent Preservation Bus Rapid Transit Centre for Studies on Agro-ecological Production (Argentina) Centre for Empowerment and Resource Development (the Philippines) Compressed Natural Gas Civil Society Organizations Food and Agriculture Organization Fishery Integrated Resource Management for Economic Development (the Philippines) Gross Domestic Product International Labour Organization National Agricultural Technology Institute (Argentina) Liquefied Petroleum Gas Maseru City Council (Lesotho) Non-governmental organizations Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Urban Agriculture Programme (Bolivia) Public-Private Partnerships for Service Delivery Photovoltaic Research and Development Sub-Saharan Africa United Nations United Nations Development Programme United Nations Environment Programme Waste Management Consortium
7 Foreword In a world of rising inequality, local governments play a critical role in building pathways for sustainable development, especially by creating an enabling policy environment and innovating policy solutions. Local institutions such as local government units, both formal and informal local organizations including cooperatives, culture groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), are well placed to promote opportunities for green jobs, build rural resilience, reduce urban poverty and ensure a human rights-based approach to local development planning. These issues will be examined through a policy paper series on the role of local governments in promoting sustainable human development. Each policy paper in this series will provide a set of specific and practical policy options to be considered by local governments in addressing a number of challenges. The first paper of this series discusses the current employment trends of women and youth and the role of local governments in ensuring that women and youth have access to jobs that are decent and that do not harm the environment. It focuses on real examples from developing countries in which local governments have introduced programmes that have created work opportunities for the youth and women while addressing environmental challenges as well. While there are certainly no clear-cut answers to addressing the challenges of local development, feasible measures can be distilled from proven approaches and country examples to provide some key lessons and recommendations to guide local development planning. This policy series aims to provide evidence of such examples. It will also provide good references to South-South cooperation partners in exchanging southern solutions to address challenges in achieving sustainable human development. I hope that the development practitioners will find this issue useful. Selim Jahan Poverty Practice Director Bureau for Development Policy United Nations Development Programme
9 1Introduction More than 400 million people will join the workforce within the next decade 1 and the creation of green jobs is an opportunity to simultaneously address this employment challenge and support the transition of countries to green economies. Understanding of the vulnerability of natural systems and the impact of climate change on human development has led to greater efforts to include mitigation and adaptation strategies in the policy making process of many countries, as well as at the highest global level. How can these efforts be translated into effective policies and programmes that improve the livelihood of people and communities? Decent local jobs that can deliver environmental benefits as well as pathways to economic empowerment are often called green jobs. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) contends that the greening of economies is a new engine of growth and a net generator of decent jobs and as such is a vital strategy for the elimination of persistent poverty. 2 This paper presents examples of policies and programmes initiated by local governments that promote green jobs especially for women and youth (persons between the ages of 15 and 24). The aim is to inspire more local governments to consider policies that address the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. 1.1 Definitions of green jobs There is no generally agreed upon definition of green jobs. While this topic is of interest across governments, academia and the private sector, various studies define the term differently. The most widely accepted definitions come from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNEP. The ILO defines green jobs as the transformation of economies, enterprises, workplaces and labour markets into a sustainable, low-carbon economy providing decent work. 3 UNEP defines green jobs as work in agriculture, industry, services and administration that contributes to preserving or restoring the quality of the environment. 4 UNEP further elaborates on its definition by qualifying green jobs as good jobs that meet longstanding demands and goals of the labour movement such as adequate wages, safe working conditions and worker rights, including the right to organize labour unions. These definitions emphasize that green jobs are crucial for the preserving the environment and must also provide decent work, advance the economy and promote social equity. 1 ILO, Global Employment Trends 2012, UNEP, Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, ILO, The Green Jobs Programme for the ILO, UNEP, ILO, IOE, ITUC, Green jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable Low-carbon World, Introduction 3
10 1.2 Green jobs: an opportunity for women and youth Global unemployment has been rising at unprecedented rates, increasing by nearly 27 million people since In 2012, one out of every three people in the labour force 1.1 billion people were either unemployed or living in poverty. 5 Women in general have more difficulty finding jobs than men. In its publication Global Employment Trends 2012, the ILO reported that from 2002 to 2007, women had a higher unemployment rate at 5.8 percent in comparison with men at 5.3 percent. By 2012, this rate had increased by 0.7 percentage points, eliminating 13 million jobs for women. Women had higher unemployment rates than men in Africa, the Arab region, South and South-East Asia, and Latin America. Also, women were more limited in their choice of employment across sectors, and they continued to be segregated into particular types of occupations. Young women, in particular, have more difficulty finding work. The female youth unemployment rate in 2009 stood at 13.2 percent compared to 12.9 percent for young men. This is a gap of 0.3 percentage points is the same gender gap as seen in Some areas such as South Asia and East Asia have reported decreases in female employment-to-population ratios, but other areas such as Latin America have reported increases as high as 6.3 percentage points. Figure 1 shows changes in employment-to-population ratios by region and sex between 2002 and Women worldwide contribute to the economy and its productivity. They face many barriers, however. Legal, social, financial and educational barriers are hindering women s productivity and preventing them from realizing their full economic potential. This is not only holding back women; it is holding back national economic performance and growth. Guaranteeing equal opportunities for women and men is not just the right thing to do; it is smart economics. Also, the benefits go beyond the individual because women who have access to financial resources through employment or income-generating activities are more likely than men to invest in their children s health and education an investment in the workforce of tomorrow. Like women, young people also face many barriers to employment. Youth are nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. The recent financial crises, for example, hit youth the hardest. From 2007, the number of unemployed youth increased by 4.2 million, for a total of 74.7 million unemployed youth in In fact, the global youth unemployment rate of 12.7 percent remains a full percentage point above the pre-crisis level of 11.7 percent in Many young people have given up on finding employment, the ILO reports: In addition to the 74.7 million unemployed youth around the world in 2011 a growing number of whom are in long-term unemployment an estimated 6.4 million young people have given up hope 5 ILO, Global Employment Trends 2012, Ibid. 4 Green Jobs for Women and Youth What Can Local Governments Do?
11 Figure 1. Changes in employment-to-population ratios by region and sex, Source: Global Employment Trends, ILO (2012) of finding a job and have dropped out of the labour market altogether. 7 The longer a young person remains out of the labour force, the more difficult and costly it is to return to productive employment. Unemployment is related to social exclusion, including susceptibility to anti-social behaviour (including juvenile delinquency) and social unrest, as was seen in several countries in recent years. The challenges pre-date the financial and economic crisis. Even before 2007, youth unemployment was higher than adult unemployment, and many well-educated youth who were employed, especially young women, were involved in relatively unskilled or informal jobs. This contributed to substantial frustration among the youth and their families. As the outlook for jobs continues to deteriorate at the present, youth might see slight advantage in continuing their education or training, which would have substantial negative socio-economic consequences over the years to come. Figure 2 shows the gaps in the labour force disaggregated by young and adult males and females. Figure 2 indicates that young women have been particularly affected by the global economic crisis. In South Asia, for example, women account for 60 percent of the region s labour force shortfall but comprise less than 22 percent of the labour force. Youth both young women and young men account for a further 35 percent of the shortfall though they comprise only 7 ILO, Global Employment Trends 2012, Introduction 5
12 Chart 2. Gap between actual and expected labour force in 2011, total unemployment rates and unemployment rates adjusted to account for reduced labour force participation, world and regions, 2011 Source: Global Employment Trends, ILO (2012) 20 percent of the labour force. Adding this labour force shortfall to the region s unemployed would dramatically raise the unemployment rate from 3.8 percent to 7.1 percent. 8 Unemployment in the Pacific Island countries reaches as high as 60 percent in some countries. This has made it difficult for new entrants to the job market to seek employment, with youth and women being the hardest hit. In Samoa and Vanuatu, youth make up nearly 60 percent and 50 percent of the total unemployed population respectively. In the Marshall Islands, economically active youth are nearly three times as likely to be unemployed as their adult counterparts. 9 The disadvantage of women in the labour market is well-documented in the region. Underrepresented in the formal sector, there is also segmentation in the market with jobs still defined as traditionally female (UNESCAP, 2008b). In Fiji, Samoa and the Solomon Islands, less than one third of the employed are women; in some cases they tend to be more employed in urban verses rural economic activities. 10 Men dominate jobs in both the private and government sectors in the 8 Trends for this region are heavily influenced by India, which accounts for 74 percent of the region s labour force. 9 ILO, Asia-Pacific Labour Market Update, October Available from: 10 UNESCAP, 2008b, p Green Jobs for Women and Youth What Can Local Governments Do?
13 region. Sixty-one percent of government employees, totalling approximately 6,500 people, are male, while only 39 percent are female. In Vanuatu, for example, the population of about 246,000 has the greatest gender labour disparities in urban areas, where only 43 percent of women are employed. In Africa, there are approximately 200 million people between the age of years and it is expected that this population will double by Of the total unemployed, 60 percent are youth. More specifically, in sub-saharan Africa youth unemployment was fairly stable between 2005 and 2011 at 11.5 percent and increased in 2012 to 12.8 percent. Youth unemployment rates are also higher for females than males. Women in SSA have an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent compared to 7.7 percent for men. They are also more likely to engage in vulnerable employment, mostly contributing to family work or to low-value, low-productivity work than men, which lacks elements of decent work. The Arab region has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, reaching 9.3 percent in versus 6.6 percent for developing regions. Unemployment is predominantly concentrated among youth in the Arab region (aged 15-24). According to ILO and UN data, youth unemployment reached 24 percent in (more than double the world average of 11.9 percent) and currently accounts for more than 50 percent of the total Arab unemployed. The average unemployment rate for young Arab women is estimated at 35 percent compared to 20 percent for young Arab men, according to the most recent surveys ( ). In 2009, only 14 out of every 100 young women were employed, compared to 41 out of every 100 young men. 11 These figures will most likely increase as the youth population grows. It is expected that by 2040 the youth population will account for 66 percent of the total population in the region. 12 The unemployment rates for Arab women are the highest in the world and the gap between male and female employment remains high. Arab women s unemployment rate is double that of Arab men (16 percent and 8 percent respectively). This is due to the gendered nature of some jobs, making it difficult for women to take advantage of new opportunities or areas where there is demand. Women in this region tend to be concentrated in social, community service and agricultural jobs. This pattern reinforces to a great extent the traditional division of labour. Women also tend to have less access to education and are relegated to low-productive, low-paying jobs or at times are forced into early marriage that further limits their access to employment. Governments can take action to create employment opportunities for vulnerable groups such as women and youth, complemented by vocational or tertiary training programmes. Green jobs creation is as an opportunity to address the challenges to employment faced by women and youth at the same time as countries are taking steps to transition to low-carbon economies. In a 11 UNDP, Arab Development Challenges Report 2011: Towards the Developmental State in the Arab Region, 2011, p Ibid, p. 39. Introduction 7
14 well-functioning labour market, a low-carbon economy cannot be expected to add or reduce net jobs in the long run. However, with the current severe unemployment and underemployment, the net employment creation effect is likely to be larger. 13 The number of green jobs is currently on the rise and it will be the economic driver for years to come. Transitioning to low-carbon economies will require large investments in new technologies, equipment, and infrastructure that will generate new employment and retain and transform existing jobs in many sectors of the economy. As a matter of human rights and smart economics, the participation of poor women and youth workers must not be overlooked. 1.3 Increased vulnerability of women and youth during transition to low-carbon economy According to UNEP, labour markets are expected to be affected in at least four ways as climate change regulations become enforced in many countries: 1) creation of additional jobs; 2) substitution of jobs such as shifting from waste burning to recycling; 3) elimination of jobs without replacing them; and 4) transformation of current jobs as day-to-day skills and work methods become green. As countries move more towards the creation of green jobs, some economic sectors will shrink and others will expand. Those on the increase might absorb a significant share of the shrinking sector if appropriate skills are available. It will also be important to mitigate the impact on women, who are in general more likely to be laid off when jobs are lost or unskilled jobs are replaced with skilled jobs. Women are increasingly being seen as more vulnerable than men to the effects of climate change because they represent the majority of the world s poor and are proportionally more dependent on threatened natural resources. The disproportionate impact was noted in UNDP s 2007 Human Development Report when it stated that climate change is likely to magnify existing patterns of gender disadvantage. 14 In many countries, droughts, floods and deforestation caused by climate change are burdening women with increasing tasks, leaving them less time to earn income or obtain education for new or better jobs. This further slows advancement towards gender equality and hampers efforts to achieve broader goals such as poverty reduction and sustainable development. Like women, young workers are doubly vulnerable, facing job loss in the shift to green economies and suffering the environmental impact of climate change. Youth from low-income households who cannot afford vocational or tertiary training programmes are more likely to be laid off. As highlighted in the previous section, young women and men represent a large 13 UNEP, Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, UNDP, Human Development Report 2007/2008, Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World, 2008, pp Green Jobs for Women and Youth What Can Local Governments Do?
15 segment of the world s population and the majority of them live in developing countries. 15 Youth unemployment is already higher than among adults. Most of the world s young people live in areas where dependence on natural resources (e.g. agriculture, forestry and fisheries) and persistent poverty intersect. In this context, climate change could pose a serious threat to youth livelihood patterns and economic stability. They face gradual disappearance of their traditional way of generating income through farming or fishing, for example. Green jobs could be created to protect their livelihoods or to provide alternative sources of income. Failing to address climaterelated challenges could undermine the successful assimilation of youth into society and could eventually perpetuate or even worsen widespread poverty and inequality. Green investments do not necessarily guarantee equal access to jobs and decent work for women and youth, nor to services and key resources that might help to position them effectively for job opportunities. Since women and youth often have limited training and experience, their access to green job opportunities may be further limited. Worldwide, some 2.3 million women and men have found renewable energy jobs in recent years, and UNEP estimates that a projected investment of US$ 630 billion by 2030 would translate into at least 20 million additional jobs. However there is no indication how many of these new jobs will be for women and youth. 16 Youth jobs on average are unlikely to be green jobs in the United States, for example, where youth aged 16 to 24 hold about 11.3 percent of all green jobs compared to about 12.3 percent of all jobs. 17 Of the 20 million additional jobs projected, half of the newly created green jobs will be in developing countries where gender and youth disparities in the labour market are large. Local governments must thus, implement adequate policies and develop programmes and measures that not only create green jobs, but also make them equitable in terms of access and wages, especially for women and youth. 15 According to the UNDESA, 85 percent of the world s youth live in developing countries, with approximately 60 percent in Asia alone. A remaining 23 percent live in the developing regions of Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean. By 2025, the number of youth living in developing countries is expected to grow to 89.5 percent. 16 UNEP, ILO, IOE, ITUC, Green jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable Low-carbon World, Gracey, Kyle and Michael Davidson, An Updated Analysis of Youth in the Green Economy, Introduction 9
16 2Local level examples of green jobs initiatives The green job plan at the local level must take into account women and youth. Almost half a billion young people will join the workforce within the next decade. It is critical to attract them to new sectors, to provide them with green and decent jobs and to ensure the availability and accessibility of skills-enhancing programmes that will promote their assimilation into the labour market. A green job plan also needs to provide opportunities for women and facilitate their employability through anti-discrimination and family-friendly strategies, special programmes and quotas to hire women for non-traditional jobs, green skills training for women, and policies aimed at reducing gender wage gaps. 18 Green jobs also should be relevant for informal workers, again comprising mostly women and youth, and provide them with a pathway towards decent work. Adapting to and mitigating climate change will entail a transition to new patterns of production, consumption and employment. Huge opportunities exist to create green jobs through energy and industrialization policies that reduce environmental degradation. These jobs can provide decent work and incomes that will contribute to sustainable economic growth and help lift people out of poverty. Women and youth can be strong change agents and key contributors to climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes especially at the local level. Green jobs in agriculture, industry and services can promote sustainable economic growth with long-term economic impact, according to a report by ILO (2008). 19 The section below provides examples of existing policies and programmes that are promoted and/or supported by local governments in sectors such as agriculture, public transportation, renewable energy and waste management and recycling, in both rural and urban settings. These local initiatives have been instrumental in creating jobs for women and youth while at the same time preserving the environment. 2.1 Greening rural development Local institutions often take a central role in promoting green job opportunities in rural settings. Local government units, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and formal and informal local organizations such as cooperatives and cultural groups each have their part to play. Several local governments have captured green job opportunities by introducing programmes coupled 18 Anabella Rosenberg, Decent and Green Jobs with a Just Transition: A Step Towards Sustainable Development, International Trade Union Association, 2012, p UNEP, ILO, IOE, ITUC, Green jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable Low-carbon World, 2008, p Green Jobs for Women and Youth What Can Local Governments Do?
17 with training schemes targeted specifically for women and youth initiatives that also serve to address the high unemployment disparities that exist within their localities in rural areas. SOUTH AFRICA: Youth and women employment creation for water security in Keiskammahoek The local government of Keiskammahoek, one of the poorest areas in the country, launched the Working for Water programme in 1995 to combat the devastating effects of alien species in waters on biological diversity and water security, supported through a partnership with the South African Department of Water and Environmental Affairs. The programme places special emphasis on creating jobs and training for unemployed women and youth. Workers are selected for jobs including slashing plants, applying herbicides or acting as a section leader, and men and women are paid equally. The selection of workers is done by a community panel made up of district councillors, representatives of local government agencies and organizations, and local church leaders. The programme requires 60 percent of workers to be women, 38 percent youth, and 2 percent disabled. The selection process targets the poorest segment and employment is limited to one person from each household where there is no individual working. The workers are organized in a cooperative at the start of the two-year employment period. Women may be re-employed but men are restricted to a five-year cycle. To date the programme has cleared more than one million hectares of invasive alien plants, providing jobs and training to approximately 30,000 people per year, of which 52 percent are women. The programme aims to create an additional 4.5 million work opportunities for women and youth, averaging 100 days each in as it expands it work to other regions in South Africa. In addition to creating jobs, the programme has increased stream-flows and water availability. It has also contributed to improvements to land productivity, the maintenance of biodiversity in ecologically sensitive areas where invasive plants often overtake native species, greater resilience to fires, and support for the conservation of many protected areas and reserves critical to South Africa s growing tourism industry. It has also facilitated a number of other public employment programmes such as Working for Wetlands, Working on Fire, Working for the Coast, Working for Tourism and Working on Waste. Proposals are being prepared for other programmes such as Working for Energy, which will focus on activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as installing solar water heaters, improving the energy efficiency of government buildings and generating energy from biomass waste IPC-IG, Green Jobs for the Poor: Why a Public Employment Approach is Needed Now, No. 105, February Examples of Green Jobs Programmes Initiatives at the Local Level 11
18 The example below from the Philippines promoted women s employment in fisheries that were predominately controlled by men. The success of the project eventually resulted in the passing of several decrees that gave equal recognition to women fishermen s rights and work opportunities. THE PHILIPPINES: Enhancing women s participation in the fishery sector in Caraga The diverse coastal and marine ecosystems of the Philippines are in sharp decline due to unsustainable exploitation and destructive fishing techniques. Particularly hard hit are the region s mangroves and coral reefs, which have been eroded by dynamite fishing. As of 2008, only 5 percent of the coral reefs in the Philippines were in excellent condition. The loss of mangrove forests has not only resulted in the deterioration of sea grass and coral reef ecosystems, but also substantially lowered the productivity of coastal fisheries and translated to lost incomes for coastal communities, who depend on marine resources for their well-being and livelihoods. The Centre for Empowerment and Resource Development (CERD), an NGO, implemented a programme for Fishery Integrated Resource Management for Economic Development (FIRMED) in partnership with local government units at the barangay, village or municipal levels. The programme aims to build capacities of the organized fishers in the Caraga region, the poorest region in the Philippines. This programme emphasizes women s empowerment and awareness-raising on gender issues. Local women are provided with leadership and management training, and supported to participate in decision-making processes at the household level as well as at project sites. More than 50 percent of leaders in each community-based self-help group (what CERD refers to as fisher-folk organizations ) are women, which is a substantial improvement from the almost nonexistent presence of women in leadership roles before the initiative began. Women have improved their income levels and gained more job opportunities. For each fisher-folk organization that is formed, a corresponding gender and health committee is created. During implementation of its project in Hinatuan, and the development and strengthening of fifteen community-based fishing organizations, CERD was able to influence government programmes and policies both at the barangay and municipal levels. This bridge-building resulted in local and national governments passing several ordinances that were responsive to the demands and needs of local fishers, especially women. The Philippines Magna Carta of Women, approved in 2009, gives equal recognition to women fishermen s rights and opportunities. And, due to the involvement of local governments in the programme, the use of and access to coastal municipal waters have been more closely monitored, registration of fishers has been promoted and greater controls have been placed on illegal and destructive activities. The partnership between CERD and the local government units at the barangay, village or municipal levels was essential to the programme s success. This partnership made it possible to address the deterioration of coral reef ecosystems in the region and, at the same time, address 12 Green Jobs for Women and Youth What Can Local Governments Do?
19 gender employment and empowerment issues. Local government units also provided support through enabling policies related to fisheries management and biodiversity conservation. Support was also provided through budget allocation from local development funds Greening cities By 2020, developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America will be home to some 75 percent of urban dwellers and to eight of the largest cities with populations that will exceed 20 million, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It is also expected that 85 percent of the poor in Latin America and approximately percent of the poor in Africa and Asia will be concentrated in towns and cities. These cities will face difficulties in creating sufficient formal employment opportunities for the poor (especially women and youth) and will face increasing challenges in the disposal of urban wastes, water management and maintenance of air and river water quality. This rapid urbanization will increase urban poverty and contribute to many environmental challenges. 22 A more optimistic future for the world s developing cities is both imperative and possible. Cities are viewed by many of the rural poor as places of opportunity in terms of employment and improved living standards. Cities generally serve as engines of social progress and national economic development. The challenge, however, is to steer urbanization from its current unsustainable path towards greener cities. Greening cities can create jobs in a number of areas including: 1) urban and peri-urban green agriculture; 2) public transport; 3) renewable energy; 4) waste management and recycling; and 5) green construction. 23 The core principles of greener cities can guide urban development towards a future in which cities ensure food security, decent work and income, a clean environment and good governance for all citizens. Municipal governments must be proactive in planning for the future. In 2008, the share of the urban population exceeded the share of people living in rural areas at the global level for the first time. 24 In least developed countries, where the majority of the population still lives in rural areas, growth of the urban population has now outpaced the growth of the rural populations. 25 Local governments in urban contexts face the challenge of responding to such population changes through policies and mechanisms that create employment opportunities for their rising urban 21 UNDP, Equator Initiative Case Studies: Local Sustainable Development Solutions For People, Nature, and Resilient Communities, Available from: 22 FAO and World Bank, Urban Agriculture For Sustainable Poverty Alleviation and Food Security, UNEP, Towards a Green Economy, UNFPA, State of the World Population 2007: Unleashing the Potential of Urban Growth, UNEP, Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, Examples of Green Jobs Programmes Initiatives at the Local Level 13
20 populations, while simultaneously maximizing the positive benefits of urbanization to develop green economies Urban and peri-urban green agriculture A starting point for growing greener cities is for local governments to recognize and integrate into urban policy and planning many of the creative solutions that the urban poor themselves have developed to strengthen their communities and improve their lives. One of those solutions is urban and peri-urban horticulture, an essential feature of green city planning in a number of developing countries. This is defined as the cultivation of a wide range of crops including fruit, vegetables, roots, tubers and ornamental plants within cities and towns and in their surrounding areas. It is estimated that 130 million urban residents in Africa and 230 million in Latin America engage in agriculture, mainly horticulture, to provide food for their families or to earn income from sales, which is mostly done by women. Urban agriculture has a role in poverty alleviation for the urban population, and awareness of this role is growing. However, urban and peri-urban agriculture still remains an informal sector that is not being integrated in agricultural policies or urban planning for the creation of green jobs. Urban and peri-urban green agriculture not only contributes to local economic development and poverty alleviation of women and youth in particular, but it also contributes to the greening of cities and the productive reuse of urban waste, as UNEP contends: Green urban agriculture can reuse municipal wastewater and solid waste, reduce transportation costs, preserve biodiversity and wetlands, and make productive use of green belts. 27 Thus, the greening of urban agriculture will have a positive impact on about two-thirds of urban and peri-urban households in developing countries, who are involved in agriculture. 28 Additionally, women marginalized in other forms of employment in the formal sector of the urban economy, often dominate urban cultivation. Research from many countries including China, India, and Turkey, however, shows that women make up a disproportionate share of unpaid helpers in urban agriculture and wages for women are significantly lower than for men. 29 There are many important policy considerations and practices that can help to achieve gender equality in the urban agriculture sector. 26 For example, essential service delivery (of health, education, etc) and infrastructure development (housing, water, sanitation, transport, etc) in cities can be less costly due to economies of scales benefits. Urbanization can also reduce energy consumption, particularly in transport and housing if construction is well done. 27 UNEP, Towards a Green Economy, FAO, The State of Food and Agriculture : Women in Agriculture: Closing the Gender Gap for Development, Rachel Nugent, The Impact of Urban Agriculture on the Household and Local Economies, Thematic Paper 3. Available from: wentfishing.net/farmlit/theme3.pdf. 14 Green Jobs for Women and Youth What Can Local Governments Do?
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