The United Nations’ 10th Conference of Parties for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-10), held in Nagoya, Japan, was one of the most successful meetings in the history of the Convention – for meeting commitments on biodiversity, as well as for women.
After seven years of negotiations, Parties adopted the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS Protocol). Parties also established a 10-year Strategic Plan and adopted a Resource Mobilization strategy (Outcomes of the CBD COP-10: http://www.cbd.int/nagoya/outcomes/).
The CBD continued to uphold its position as the only Rio Convention with a Gender Plan of Action (adopted at COP-9), which aims to mainstream gender within all of the CBD’s processes and activities. As a result of this mandate for the CBD Secretariat and Member States, Women were instituted as a major stakeholder at the COP-10, giving the Women’s Caucus, facilitated by WEDO, an opportunity to make an intervention at the High-Level Segment. WEDO which convened daily meetings, coordinated advocacy efforts, made other official interventions, and participated in side events, interviews and press conferences. The proactive stance of the Women’s Caucus helped to achieve major successes for women and gender equality issues at the CBD COP-10.
Such successes included strengthened language on gender mainstreaming within the CBD. After a statement from the Women’s Caucus on increasing core support for a gender focal point in the Secretariat, several countries including Thailand, Tanzania, Cameroon, and Belgium on behalf of the EU, supported the statement and called for improved action by all countries to implement the Gender Plan of Action and supportive documents at country level. Other supportive countries included Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa. In addition, women and gender language was retained and, in some cases, improved in both the ABS Protocol and the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan. Both decisions call for gender mainstreaming, recognizing the vital role of women in these processes and the need for full and equal participation of women and men at all levels of policy making and implementation.
Of course, there is more work to be done! Next steps are to create synergies among the three Conventions though a gender perspective in preparations for the Rio+ 20 Earth Summit 2012. WEDO looks forward to joining efforts with our partners to generate political will, increase institutional capacity and financial resources to effectively mainstream gender in the three Rio Conventions.
For more information on gender and biodiversity and WEDO’s activities at the CBD please visit our website. To sign up for the women and biodiversity GoogleGroup, please e-mail Rachel[at]wedo.org and Natalia[at]wedo.org