Within the domains of biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, and gender-based budgeting, gender is a well-anchored priority. The Convention on Biological Diversity adopted the 2015-2020 Gender Plan of Action to provide overall guidance on gender mainstreaming. The UN-REDD has developed an online platform to capture learning and resources related to gender and biodiversity.
The consideration of gender issues in relation to biodiversity involves identifying gender roles and relations on the use, management and conservation of biodiversity. Gender roles of women and men include different labour responsibilities, priorities, decision-making power, and knowledge. The call is to better understand and expose gender-differentiated biodiversity practices, gendered knowledge acquisition and usage, as well as gender inequalities in control over resources. BIOFIN is thus committed to exploring the nexus between gender and biodiversity finance to the fullest. However, sound evidence on the gender impact of biodiversity finance solutions, related literature and best practices is lacking.
BIOFIN recommends collecting knowledge and applying gender lenses throughout the BIOFIN Process, specifically in relation to the assessments and planning documents it produces. Early lessons learned from BIOFIN implementation point to the following:
In the overall BIOFIN Process
- Formulate and include gender-sensitive indicators, e.g., the number of indigenous women and men actively participating in the formulation of the finance plan, and the number of women benefiting from employment opportunities due to increases in investments in ecotourism;
- Assure women’s participation in all consultations and BIOFIN bodies and teams: Steering Committee, conference panels, etc.;
- Create a favourable environment for women’s engagement in all BIOFIN activities, including by promptly identifying solutions to sensitively deal with social and cultural factors that may prevent their fruitful engagement.;
- Be aware and adopt gender-sensitive language in all documents, including BIOFIN reports, job descriptions, etc.;
- Engage gender experts to obtain professional advice on the above; and
- Foster partnerships with specialized organizations promoting gender considerations, such as Government Gender Focal Points, UN Women and national women’s alliances and organizations.
In the Biodiversity Finance Policy and Institutional Review
- Use gender lenses in reviewing and analysing policies, strategies, legislation and institutions, e.g. by identifying opportunities and/ or adverse effects towards female empowerment or reflecting on how to bridge gender gaps;
- Examine to what extent the national biodiversity plan has integrated gender aspects; and
- Review and report on the literature tackling gender equality and empowerment. For example, in Uganda the PIR reported the cost of the gender gap in agricultural productivity (US$67 million per year).
In the Biodiversity Expenditure Review
- Apply an additional gender tag for biodiversity expenditures contributing directly to gender equality and empowerment.
In the Financial Needs Assessment
- Ensure gender-related actions are adequately weighted during the prioritization process.
In the Biodiversity Finance Plan
- Ensure gender implications are adequately weighed during the screening and prioritization of finance solutions; and
- Select at least one finance solution with measurable contribution to gender equality and empowerment. The Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation developed a Gender Equality Strategy for their grants and operations.
In the Biodiversity Finance Plan Implementation
- Apply gender lenses and indicators through the design, implementation and monitoring of finance solutions; for example, to observe whether men and women have different payment preferences when designing payments for ecosystem services: In Vietnam, men were reported to prefer cash payments while women preferred non-cash payments.