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 has developed a 2015-2020 Gender Plan of Action, which defines the Secretariat’s role in stimulating and facilitating efforts, both in-house and with partners and Parties at the national, regional, and global levels, to overcome constraints and take advantage of opportunities to promote gender equality within its work. It also sets out actions that may be undertaken by Parties to mainstream gender in work under the Convention. This Plan builds on the earlier Gender Plan of Action adopted by the ninth Conference of the Parties (COP 9).
Work on gender mainstreaming undertaken by the Secretariat includes the development of the CBD Technical Series No. 49 'Guidelines for Mainstreaming Gender into National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans'. Based on these efforts, 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 on 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, adopted at COP 10, calls for the participation of women in decision- and policy-making surrounding access and benefit-sharing in its preamble. The text also contains several explicit references to the role of women, and in particular, indigenous women and local communities.
Finally, Article 26 of the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety enables Parties to take socio-economic considerations into account in decision-making on living modified organism and their impacts. Such considerations can and should include considerations of gender equality.