Gender considerations are critical to achieving the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) objectives. Pervasive inequalities shape policies, plans, actions, values and attitudes related to the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources, and can be an influential factor in decision-making on the access to and sharing of related benefits. Through its work on gender mainstreaming, the CBD Secretariat encourages Parties to take gender equality issues into account in decision-making and planning processes that could affect conservation and natural resource use. This involves considering whether actions reduce, rather than increase, gender inequalities and the vulnerabilities of dependent communities, and seeking to ensure equal access to benefits and opportunities. It also requires that women’s views, needs and interests shape the agenda as much as men’s, and that conservation efforts support progress toward more equal relations between women and men.
There is increasing international awareness that gender equality and women’s empowerment are important prerequisites for sustainability, as emphasized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which prioritizes these cross-cutting issues. Parties to the CBD recognize these linkages, and in 2008, the CBD became the first multilateral environmental agreement to adopt a Gender Plan of Action. Parties have since adopted an updated 2015-2020 Gender Plan of Action, which aligns with the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The updated plan includes a framework of gender mainstreaming actions for the Secretariat, and identifies possible actions for Parties to take to mainstream gender, including into NBSAPs and related policy tools. The extent to which NBSAPs incorporate gender considerations sets the stage for implementing national, sub-national and local strategies and actions that address gender issues.
In this edition of the newsletter, the NBSAP Forum partners aim to promote dialogue, exchange information and catalyze action on the mainstreaming of gender into NBSAPs. We provide illustrative case studies, resources and links to partner projects that are active in the area of gender and environment. The Gender Mainstreaming section of the NBSAP Forum is being enhanced on an ongoing basis to serve as a repository for information related to gender and biodiversity. It includes a rich array of new material addressing gender and climate change, forestry, agriculture, fisheries and many more topics. We invite you to take a look, share your questions and experiences, and engage with colleagues to explore how incorporating gender perspectives can further advance the effectiveness of your work.
The 2015-2020 Gender Plan of Action is part of a continuing response to global commitments that follows the recommendations of Parties to recognize the relevance of gender considerations to the achievement of the Convention's objectives. The Plan's four strategic objectives are to: (1) mainstream a gender perspective into the work of Parties and the Secretariat to implement the Convention; (2) promote gender equality in achieving the Convention objectives, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; (3) demonstrate the benefits of gender mainstreaming measures to achieve the Convention objectives; and (4) increase the effectiveness of work under the Convention.
The Plan includes a framework of actions for the Secretariat to undertake, and possible actions for the Parties to carry out, including the integration of gender considerations into NBSAPs. Actions proposed in support of this outcome include: the review of draft NBSAPs by gender experts; the collection of gender-disaggregated data and/or gender-specific indicators in the development of national biodiversity targets; and the incorporation of national gender policies into NBSAPs. COP Decision XII/7 also emphasizes the need to build awareness of, and capacity to implement, the Gender Plan of Action, and requests Parties report on actions to implement it. Parties are encouraged to integrate gender into the development of national indicators and to build capacity to integrate biodiversity considerations into national gender policies and action plans. Learn more here.
Partner Work Related to Gender and Biodiversity:
TheUnited Nations Development Programme(UNDP) supports countries to integrate gender into biodiversity policy. Ecuador's Ministry of Environment recently led the country's 2015 - 2030 NBSAP revision process. UNDP, acting as the implementing agency, and the Global Environmental Facility, and the German Corporation for International Cooperation, supported the development of a methodology to integrate gender equality and interculturalism into the Ecuador NBSAP. This included incorporating key objectives and principles from the National Plan for Good Living 2013-2017. During the early stages of the NBSAP revision process, stakeholders also integrated public policies from: (1) the National Agenda for Women and Gender Equality; and (2) and the National Agenda of Equal Peoples and Nationalities. Eight sub-national dialogues were organized to capture the interests, viewpoints and proposals of community leaders, academic experts, decentralized and autonomous local governments and union representatives.As a result, an action plan for the first NBSAP period (2015-2020) was developed. It includes concrete actions to strengthen gender equality and non-discrimination policies. For more information on UNDP's work to support gender equality, click here.
IUCN is conducting a gender analysis of NBSAPS using a methodology developed for the Environment and Gender Index (EGI). The project is analyzing references to gender and women, spanning 20 years of implementation across 171 countries. The analysis quantifies the presence of gender keywords in NBSAPS to indicate the level of inclusiveness within biodiversity plans. Keywords are then analyzed for context, such as: How are women viewed within the document? Are there specific objectives and activities relating to the intersection of gender equality and biodiversity conservation? Is a budget provided for these activities? The most recent NBSAP from each country is reviewed. A time-series analysis will be conducted for countries with multiple NBSAP revisions to determine trends in how gender equality and women's empowerment are addressed. Lessons learned and recommendations will be suggested by IUCN's Global Gender Office. Results will be presented at the global and regional level.
With support from the Japan Biodiversity Fund, the Secretariat and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are working together to build the capacity of developing countries to integrate gender considerations into biodiversity policy, planning and programming.This initiative is supporting at least three developing country Parties to integrate gender into their revised NBSAPs. Mexico is the first pilot country to participate. In February, at a three-day multi-stakeholder workshop in Mexico City, experts in gender and biodiversity engaged with community leaders and representatives from women’s groups from across the country. Participants received training on Convention processes and reviewed Mexico's draft revised NBSAP to determine the relevance of gender perspectives and provide input. Leading government ministries and agencies on issues of gender and biodiversity strongly supported the initiative, including the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), the National Commission on Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) and theMinistry of Women’s Affairs(Inmujeres). Their commitment is key to ensuring that the perspectives and inputs of a diverse range of stakeholders are incorporated in the NBSAP, and that gender-responsive biodiversity actions are implemented in the years ahead. For more information, click here.
Efforts to build the evidence base for gender and environmental issues, and related implications for sustainable development;
Policy actions and experiences from the field to identify various means and approaches to enable equal rights to land access, ownership and control;
Global, national and local level perspectives on climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR), including findings of a CBD synthesis report on ecosystem-based adaptation and disaster risk reduction, and case studies from small-scale initiatives around the world; and
Synergies and opportunities for harmonizing the Rio Conventions and associated institutions in the context of Agenda 2030, which prioritizes gender equality and women's empowerment as cross-cutting themes.
All of the Gender Day presentations can be downloaded here.
Best Practices in Gender Mainstreaming
How the TRY Oyster Women's Association United Women in The Gambia and Empowered Them to Rise From Poverty: Explores the TRY Oyster Women's Association's work to unify female oyster harvesters and support them to develop sustainable, small-scale enterprises. The Association creates positive change through education, policy influence, co-management of the Tangi Wetlands National Park. TRY is transforming livelihoods in Greater Banjul villages.Read more here.
Analyzing Nicaraguan Women’s Roles in Forest Decision-making Processes:Underscores the importance of involving women in forest-related decision-making processes, as well as in positions of leadership in regional and national political processes. It emphasizes the need for communities, development organizations and governments to reflect on gender-based assumptions regarding forest use, and encourages them to design and monitor specific strategies to support women’s effective participation. Read more here.
The Samudram Women’s Federation: Promoting Sea Turtle Conservation and Sustainable Fishing Practices: Showcases the Samudram Women’s Federation's work to conserve Olive Ridley turtle nesting sites, to promote the adoption of sustainable fishing practices and to generate alternate livelihood opportunities. The Federation's influence on national and state level conservation and sustainable use policies is also discussed. Read more here.
The Role of Women in Early REDD+ Implementation ~ Lessons for Future Generations:Discusses gender-responsive analyses of real and perceived gender differences during REDD+ project implementation. Research from 77 villages at 20 REDD+ sites across six countries indicates that women – even where they use forests as much or more than men – are less involved in REDD+ initiative design, decisions and processes. Promoting female participation alone is insufficient. Read more here.
Women's Empowerment, Biodiversity Conservation and Securing Rural Livelihood Options in the Himalayas: Explores the work of Jagriti, a community-based organization that is working towards women’s empowerment. Its activities include establishing Women’s Saving Care Groups, hosting capacity building workshops to improve female participation in public meetings, promoting energy-efficient and drudgery-reducing devices and marketing value-added local produce. Read more here.
The Sagana Women’s Group: Conserving Biodiversity through Sustainable Farming and Fishing Practices on Mount Kenya: Showcase how the Sagana Women’s Group is protecting Mt. Kenya's forest resources. The project focuses on empowering women to create alternative income generating opportunities and to meet their family food and health needs. Read more here.
Follow the NBSAP Forum's Gender Mainstreaming Theme
Would you like to stay up-to-date on the latest NBSAP Forum discussions, resources and news about gender mainstreaming and NBSAPS? After logging into the NBSAP Forum, click here. On the right side of the webpage, there is a green button that says "Follow this Community." Select it. Doing so allows you to receive email notification when new information is added. By employing these same steps, you can follow the global discussion on each crosscutting theme and Aichi Biodiversity Target.