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Rio Conventions Launch Brochure on Gender Mainstreaming

19 June 2012: On the sidelines to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) launched a joint brochure outlining gender mainstreaming in the three Conventions, and describing challenges and opportunities for synergistic action.

The information brochure, titled "The Rio Conventions: Action on Gender," describes particular challenges faced by women in combating climate change and desertification, and in contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The brochure emphasizes that women can be agents of change but that they must be able to participate in all levels of decision-making.

The brochure highlights increased attention to gender consideration in each of three Conventions. The preamble to the CBD affirms the need for participation of women in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the implementation of the Convention. The CBD further integrates gender mainstreaming through the Gender Plan of Action, decisions on access and benefit sharing (ABS) and the Aichi Targets. The UNCCD contains a gender aspect in its convention text, recognizing the role of women and the need for their full participation. Its Advocacy Policy Framework (APF) includes 20 targets for mainstreaming gender in constituency, delivery, policy, and organizational spheres. The UNFCCC recognizes the importance of gender-sensitive strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The brochure highlights opportunities for gender mainstreaming, including: recognizing gender mainstreaming in revisions of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs); incorporating gender into UNCCD national training and strategies; and fostering increased participation of women in Convention negotiations. Challenges include enhancing understanding of gender issues, particularly among those who implement the Conventions, and including gender experts in planning and implementation. [Publication: The Rio Conventions: Action on Gender]