Global Biodiversity Framework Targets

Target 23. Implementation follows a gender-responsive approach

Ensure gender equality in the implementation of the Framework through a gender-responsive approach, where all women and girls have equal opportunity and capacity to contribute to the three objectives of the Convention, including by recognizing their equal rights and access to land and natural resources and their full, equitable, meaningful and informed participation and leadership at all levels of action, engagement, policy and decision-making related to biodiversity.

Following are the guidance notes prepared by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) for Target 23

Gender roles in many countries influence the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity by impacting the ability of women to participate in decision-making and by affecting their access to and control of land, biological resources and other productive assets. Considering gender dimensions in biodiversity-related decision-making can lead to positive outcomes for biodiversity and gender equality. Women often play a vital role in managing natural resources and promoting sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries. When women have access to resources, land, education, healthcare and economic opportunities on par with men, they are better able to participate in decision-making processes and advocate for environmental protection. 

The focus of this target is on ensuring gender equality in the implementation of the Framework through a gender-responsive approach. Gender responsive is the process of ensuring that programmes, policies and institutions take into account the different needs and experiences of people based on their gender identity. It aims to create a society that is responsive to the diverse needs and realities of people, including those who may face discrimination or disadvantage because of their gender. The target further identifies elements to help accomplish this:

  • Equal opportunity, capacity and rights – Equality refers to the idea that everyone, regardless of their gender, should have the same rights, opportunities and access to resources, including land and natural resources. Discrimination and biases that may prevent individuals from achieving their full potential due to their gender need to be eliminated. 
  • Participation and leadership at all levels of action – Women are often not provided with the same opportunities to participate in decision-making as men or to serve in leadership roles. Analysis has shown that opportunities for effective action on biodiversity are missed due to insufficient involvement of women in these ways. Women's participation and representation in decision-making processes related to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use must be promoted. This includes ensuring that women are represented in policy-making bodies, community meetings and other decision-making forums. 
  • Equal rights and access to land and natural resources  Women are often the primary stewards of biodiversity, and when women have secure land tenure, they are more likely to engage in sustainable land use practices that conserve biodiversity and protect ecosystems. Women who own and control land are also better able to provide for their families, secure their livelihoods and invest in their communities, leading to improved health and education outcomes. This may require changes to laws and policies and cultural norms, including those related to rules around land registration and ownership, and practices.
  • Actions to reach Target 23 should take into account all of the considerations for implementation identified in section C of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework
  • Progress towards this target will contribute to the attainment of goals A and B of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Progress towards this target would also contribute to the attainment of all targets and in particular targets 910 and 11.
  • Elements of this target were previously addressed in Aichi Biodiversity Target 14.
  • Elements of Target 8 are also addressed in the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, including targets 5.1, 5.5 and 5.c
  • What processes or mechanisms are in place to ensure gender equality and a gender-responsive approach to biodiversity? How do these address access to land and resources? How do they affect decision-making processes? How effective have these been? What additional processes or mechanisms may be needed?
  • What are the opportunities for and constraints to improving gender equality? Who are the actors that may be affected? How can they be involved and their needs addressed?
  • What mechanisms are in place to ensure that women and girls have access to land and resources? How can these be improved or strengthened?
  • What additional resources (financial, human and technical) will be required to reach the national target? How can additional resources be raised? What are possible sources for these resources?

The monitoring framework for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework identifies the following indicators for this target: 

Component indicators:  

  • Proportion of seats held by women in (a) national parliaments and (b) local governments 
  • Indicator on national implementation of the gender plan of action 
  • Proportion of total adult population with secure tenure rights to land, (a) with legally recognized documentation, and (b) who perceive their rights to land as secure, by sex and type of tenure 

Complementary indicators: 

  • Percentage of positions in national and local institutions, including (a) the legislatures; (b) the public service; and (c) the judiciary, compared to national distributions, by sex, age, persons with disabilities and population groups 
  • Proportion of total agricultural population with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land, by sex; and (b) share of women among owners or rights bearers of agricultural land, by type of tenure 
  • Number of countries with systems to track and make public allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment 
  • Number of protected areas that have completed a site-level assessment of governance and equity (SAGE) 
  • Percentage of population who believe decision-making is inclusive and responsive, by sex, age, disability and population group  
  • Proportion of countries where the legal framework (including customary law) guarantees women’s equal rights to land ownership and/or control 

Note from the Secretariat: This guidance material provides an overview of the target by briefly introducing key terms, highlighting some of the implications for national target setting, and providing key points and guiding questions for consideration as part of national target-setting exercises. It also identifies the adopted indicators to monitor progress and resources that could assist with national target setting and implementation. This material should be considered a work in progress, and it will be periodically updated with inputs from Parties and partner organizations in the light of experiences with its use. This information is meant to serve as a resource that Parties and others may wish to consider as they implement the Global Biodiversity Framework. It does not replace or qualify decision 15/4 or 15/5