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Prioritizing Inclusion of Women in Decisions About Nature

The Director, of Women4Biodiversity, and convener of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity Women’s Caucus Mrinalini Rai has urged nations to prioritize the protection of human rights, the environment, and gender equality.

Speaking in an interview at the ongoing GEF Assembly in Vancouver, Rai said it is unacceptable for any individual to be denied their basic human rights, such as access to clean water, food, and shelter.

Emphasizing the need to take action to protect the planet and preserve it for future generations, she argued that women are often disproportionately affected by environmental degradation, and we must take steps to address this issue.

“This includes ensuring that women and girls, and their diversities are recognized and that their full, meaningful, and effective participation is supported to be at the decision-making table.

“Young people today are contributing tirelessly to be heard, many of them young women. To ensure meaningful inclusion, adequate funds and resources need to be mobilized to support women and youth-led initiatives and practices that take into account the aspirations of the relevant rights holders.

“By prioritizing these issues, we can create a better world for everyone and ensure the whole-of-society approach which leaves no one behind, she said.

She revealed that the Women4Biodiversity has been working towards strengthening gender consideration by supporting important local-led initiatives around the world and advocating for women’s empowerment and gender equality in biodiversity-related international fora, with a prime focus on the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

“Our efforts to advocate for a stand-alone target on gender equality (Target 23), as well as the inclusion of human rights into the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, including the adoption of the Post-2020 Gender Plan of Action at the Fifteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD in Montreal in December 2022.

“The framework sets robust and ambitious goals and targets and action steps towards creating a more equitable and just world. I am grateful for the collaborative work of the many diverse members of the CBD Women’s Caucus, who are the changemakers, and their dedication to creating spaces where everyone’s rights are respected,” she said.

On the project level, Women4Biodiversity is engaged in supporting six community-led restoration initiatives through strengthening women’s roles and contributions to biodiversity conservation and building their capacities to engage in local and national policy through review and analysis of countries’ National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans.

This engagement has been crucial to preparing our partners to build their own strategies for engagement and to bring their voices to decision-making spaces.

By Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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