Gender takes its place within CBD, says IUCN

29 May 2008 | News story

Bonn, Germany, May 29, 2008 (IUCN) – For the first time in the history of CBD, delegates in Bonn have approved a road map ensuring that gender equality is a mainstream element in the work related to the CBD.

As a continuing response to global commitments and recommendations of international forums, and in compliance with internal mandates within the UN system calling for gender equality, the Secretariat of the CBD with the technical support of IUCN has developed a Gender Plan of Action.

This plan defines the role the CBD will play in stimulating and facilitating efforts, both in-house and with partners at the national, regional and global levels, to overcome constraints and take advantage of opportunities to promote gender equality and equity in the Convention process.

The Women’s Caucus expressed their “support that there is a Gender Action Plan under CBD and extra budgetary resources for it. We hope that the Gender Mainstreaming and Capacity Building related to the Gender Action Plan will include enough independent expertise on biodiversity”.

“Women should be more involved at CBD,” says Lorena Aguilar, IUCN’s Senior Gender Adviser. “The capacity of women, particularly of indigenous women, to participate in CBD processes and decision-making must be increased as well as valued.”

The gender perspective also needs to be integrated into national biodiversity planning processes. Partnerships and networks should be built to promote the mainstreaming of gender within biodiversity conservation and management. These partnerships and networks should integrate women’s organizations, gender organizations, governmental and non-governmental organizations, among others.

Women’s constraints, needs and preferences need to be integrated into biodiversity research and programme decisions. Access to land and other natural resources, land use, conflict resolution, household food security during difficult economic and climatic conditions all need to be considered in research and decisions about biodiversity.

“Countries should take advantage of their compliance with the CBD’s provisions to create policies and legislation that safeguard the human rights of men and women, as well as indigenous and local communities,” adds Aguilar.

“This is an excellent opportunity to achieve equality and equity between men and women in their access to resources, control of their traditional knowledge, and benefits from sound management and participation in governance and decision-making,” she adds.

To set up interviews with Lorena Aguilar, IUCN’s Senior Gender Adviser, please contact:

• Sarah Halls, IUCN Media Relations Officer, Mobile: +49 170 721 4198; E: sarah.halls@iucn.org
• Brian Thomson, IUCN Communications, Mobile: +49 170 693 8536; E: brian.thomson@iucn.org

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IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges by supporting scientific research; managing field projects all over the world; and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN, international conventions and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network. IUCN is a democratic union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and some 10,000 volunteer scientists in more than 150 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by 1,100 professional staff in 62 countries and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. www.iucn.org