We must take the particular roles that women in drylands have into account when creating programmes and actions and strategies in sustainable land management and combating desertification, land degradation and drought.”

Today, WEDO Advocacy Coordinator Rachel Harris,  spoke at a UNCCD COP10 Open Dialogue Session (ODS), an open dialogue panel between Parties and civil society organizations. Ms. Harris urged Parties to focus on implementation of the new UNCCD advocacy policy framework — which can act as a guide to gender mainstreaming their 10-year strategy. “We must see the impacts of this at the local level; affected countries must consider bringing more women and youth in communities impacted by desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) into decision-making positions; there need to be equal access of women and men to all resources at all levels.”

Ms. Harris spoke on behalf of a group of CSOs concerned about gender mainstreaming in the UNCCD. These organizations are: AFAD (Mali), BIOS (Moldova), Cenesta (Iran), IPADE (Spain), and WEDO. The presentation was supported by Observers and Parties attending the session, including responses from  Finland and the gender focal points of CBD and UNCCD.

Similar statements on gender have been made by many Parties at the COP10. Argentina , Brazil, Kenya and Senegal all talked about the importance of gender mainstreaming. Particularly, Kenya and Senegal spoke of laws they are putting in place and have put in place for women to own land and for gender parity respectively.

Argentina stated that Sustainable Land Management in their country would not have been successful had they not gender mainstreamed their strategies– in one part of the country most of the land is managed by women while in another part of the country most of the land is managed by men; had they not assessed the gender differences in land management they would have been unsuccessful in their sustainable land management strategies.

Click here to download Ms. Harris’ full presentation.

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.

The Convention, the only convention stemming from a direct recommendation of the Conference’s Agenda 21, was adopted in Paris on 17 June 1994 and entered into force in December 1996. It is the first and only internationally legally binding framework set up to address the problem of desertification. The Convention is based on the principles of participation, partnership and decentralization – the backbone of Good Governance and Sustainable Development. It now has 194 country Parties to the Convention, making it truly global in reach.

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