Biodiversity, Gender and Climate Change

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Exposing and understanding the gender-differentiated biodiversity practices and knowledge of women and men enhances biodiversity conservation. Many case studies from around the world
have demonstrated that in empowering women and vulnerable groups to participate as equals in information sharing and generation, education and training, technology transfer, organizational
development, financial assistance and policy development, biodiversity conservation efforts become more effective and efficient.

As with biodiversity, climate change does not affect women and men in the same way and it has, and will have, a gender-differentiated impact. Therefore all aspects related to climate change
mitigation, adaptation, policy development, and decision making should include a gender perspective.

Women—particularly those in poor countries—will be affected differently than men. They are among the most vulnerable to climate change, partly because in many countries they make up
the larger share of the agricultural work force and partly because they tend to have access to fewer income-earning opportunities. Women manage households and care for family members,
which often limits their mobility and increases their vulnerability to sudden weather-related natural disasters. Drought and erratic rainfall force women to work harder to secure food, water and
energy for their homes. Girls drop out of school to help their mothers with these tasks. This cycle of deprivation, poverty and inequality undermines the social capital needed to deal effectively with
climate change.

Considerable efforts over the past fifteen years at national and international fora, have brought the Convention on Biological Diversity to understand the fundamental roles that women play in
managing and conserving biodiversity and the need to integrate the gender perspective into their framework. The Convention is strongly committed to recognizing and promoting the integral yet
distinct roles that women and men play in conserving, celebrating and sharing biodiversity. The CBD further recognizes that women, and distinct groups of women, require special consideration
because of institutionalized systems that do not explicitly value women’s contributions to biodiversity.

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