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Women and the environment

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Women play decisive roles in managing and preserving biodiversity, water, land and other natural resources, yet their centrality is often ignored or exploited. This publication aims to make the links between women and the environment more visible, with an explicit focus on the gender-related aspects of dryland systems, water resources and biodiversity conservation and management. It argues that while many problems are global, solutions must be local. Indigenous and traditional knowledge systems must be kept intact, and formal education should build on these indigenous systems. Further, it is essential to link sustainable development to human rights and to the application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The report includes an overview of the most relevant policy developments in this area, along with key policy recommendations for integrating gender perspectives within environmental management. These include the need to:?ensure that women's knowledge is preserved by preventing the pirating and commercialisation of local and traditional knowledge;?raise awareness of the potential wealth of women's contributions in all forums and institutions dealing with the environment; and?execute - at institutional, programme and project level - gender analysis, gender budget studies and gender impact analysis on natural resources conservation and management.

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