HYDERABAD, INDIA (October 9, 2012)–  On Monday, Dr. Archana Godbole of AERF India delivered the Women’s Caucus statement at the opening plenary of the CBD COP11. The short and direct statement made clear the importance of women’s rights and gender equality to successfully addressing biological diversity. The Women’s Caucus further identified 5 key points including women’s traditional knowledge, capacity building, gender indicators and long term commitment to gender equality within biodiversity. Importantly, the statement highlighted the crucial need for predictable, transparent financing. Watch Archana and read the full statement below or download here.

Mr. President, distinguished delegates,

My Name is Archana Godbole of AERF India, speaking on behalf of the women’s caucus.

We welcome the new CBD Executive secretary and we look forward to working together to ensure that the CBD continues to champion gender equality and women’s rights in its policies and implementation efforts.

In the last twenty years gender equality and women’s rights have been and continue to be recognized as critical crosscutting issues at the CBD which has resulted in an extraordinary array of text. With this text Parties are in a unique position to pursue transformative implementation where women are recognized as crucial stakeholders and agents of change.

Words on paper are crucial, but healthy ecosystems and gender equality will only become a lived reality when full implementation is enforced. Women are watching and ready to support ambitious goals and implementation and as a caucus we would like to see the following five points integrated into the negotiations and outcomes:

  • Recognize and incorporate women’s traditional knowledge,
  • Integrate the gender dimension in social, environmental, and cultural indicators,
  • Ensure capacity building for women in all program areas as a means to secure the full and effective participation of women,
  • Strengthen discussions and implementation of the gender dimension in the second objective of the Convention on sustainable use,
  • Commit to long term actions on gender equality and women’s rights by the CBD Secretariat and Parties

Women around the world- including farmers, fisher women, forest dwellers and managers, scientists, indigenous women, and change makers-recognize that none of these objectives will become a reality unless adequate financial resources are provided. The mechanism for these financial resources must be transparent, predictable and gender responsive.

Thank you very much.

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