Gender equality is a real driver of development, significantly enhancing the effectiveness of programmes, projects and initiatives. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity developed a Gender Plan of Action in 2008 that defines the Secretariat’s role in stimulating and facilitating efforts on national, regional, and global levels to promote gender equality and mainstream a gender perspective.
In 2010, the Secretariat stepped-up its gender efforts with the development CBD Technical Series No. 49 Guidelines for mainstreaming gender into National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans. Subsequently, at the tenth Conference of the Parties (COP 10), held in Nagoya in October 2010, Parties to the Convention adopted Decision X/19 calling for gender mainstreaming in all programmes of work under the Convention and urged Parties to take into account the guidance provided in Technical Series No. 49 when developing, revising and implementing their national and, where appropriate, regional, biodiversity strategies and action plans. The COP also requested the Executive Secretary to cooperate with other inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations in this and to formulate clear indicators to monitor progress.
The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization, whose preamble calls for the participation of women in decision- and policy-making surrounding access and benefit-sharing. The text also contains several explicit references to the role of indigenous women and local communities.
Finally, Article 26 of the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety allows parties to take socio-economic considerations, including gender issues, into account in decision-making on living modified organism and their impacts.