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Why is it Important?

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.

Understanding the linkages between gender relationships and the environment means achieving a better analysis of patterns of use, knowledge and skills regarding conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Only with a gender perspective in place can a complete picture of human relationships and ecosystems be built up.

Additionally, in the use, management and conservation of natural resources women and men have different roles and responsibilities, which vary greatly from region to region. Women often make their contributions to the family, community and society with unequal access to, control over and benefits from resources and resource use. Therefore, looking at the bigger picture gender equality is a matter of fundamental human rights and social justice. Taking gender into account when considering the environment is a pre-condition for sustainable development. IUCN

Without the participation of women and the realization of their full creative and productive potential, it will not be possible to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including those related to environmental protection. The Millennium Development Goals emphasize clear linkages between gender equality, poverty alleviation, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Such insights should be included into our outlook and approach to reversing biodiversity loss, reducing poverty and improving human wellbeing.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme