Friday, October 29, 2010

Making sure gender has a place at the Nagoya biodiversity talks

The Pacific Voyage Media Team 29 October -

Marie Khan

Marie Khan, Gender Focal Point of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) says they are  hoping that gender issues win a place on the development agenda here in Nagoya.  To date, the parties to the CBD have agreed and supported that gender equality is a cross cutting issue.

“We cannot ignore that 60 percent of women are the guardians of our environment, so it is normal that we should be include a gender mainstreaming perspective at the biodiversity negotiations,” Khan stresses.

The aim of gender mainstreaming, which focuses on shifting the existing power relationships, and bringing the roles and needs of women and men high on the development agenda.  Khan says that it is the goal to  bring forth gender equality through advocacy, technical support  and  capacity-building.

Nature is  important to all of us, women and men use it in different ways, have different knowledge about it and have access to different natural resources.  However women are still the less empowered and their voices are rarely heard when decisions are made on  the environment. 

Khan says that at the CBD nations are also supportive of the implementation of the gender plan of action.  However, they would want the gender focal point position to be permanent at the Secretariat of the CBD.   Currently Khan’s position is being funded by Finland for which the funding will cease next year

Ongoing talks are still being conducted at the last day of the negotiations.

“We are hoping that decision on the budget provision will be made,” Khan cites and notes that progress on their aim at the CBD is much better than elsewhere.

“CBD is the only one with gender plan of action in the global level, “ she says.

The Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and other members of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance are attending  the 10th meeting of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity coordinating daily women and gender caucus for gender mainstreaming advocacy.

In an  earlier interview WEDO Advocacy Coordinator Rachel Harris says their presence here is to make sure that the perspective of  both men and women are being put forward within  all new agreements at  COP10.

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