Gender-specific assessment of natural resources using the pebble game


Using a gender perspective to assess the preferences and values people associate with natural resources is essential, especially if the research aims to deepen understanding about men and women in relation to their natural environment. A game using pebbles has proven effective in classifying the value of natural resources, and the reasons behind the valuation. The pebble game is among many tools used in participatory rural appraisals (PRA). Sheil et al. (2002), for example, used the method to examine biological diversity in the context of landscape assessment. The pebble game was adapted in several gender researches in rural and migrant communities in Jambi, South and Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. These were supported by AgFor (Sulawesi Project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency) and REALU (Reducing Emission from Alternative Land Uses) projects. The studies assessed the importance of livelihood sources, the levels and nature of involvement of men and women in farming activities, the reasons for men and women preferences over natural resources, and the values they attach to them.