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A fundamental characteristic of the NBSAPs should be the active involvement of all social groups in their elaboration
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There are many ways in which gender makes a difference in biodiversity:
  • Across the globe, women predominate as wild plant gatherers, home gardeners and plant domesticators, herbalists and seed custodians
  • Research on 60 home gardens in Thailand revealed 230 different species, many of which had been rescued by women from neighboring forests before being cleared.
  • Women in different regions of Latin America, Asia and Africa manage the interface between wild and domesticated species of edible plants. This role dates back to 15,000-19,000 B.C.
  • Women and men often have different knowledge about, and preferences for, plants and animals. For example, women’s criteria for choosing certain food crop seeds may include cooking time, meal quality, taste, resistance to bird damage and ease of collection, processing, preservation and storage. Men are more likely to consider yield, suitability for a range of soil types and ease of storage. Both are essential for human welfare.
  • In a study in Sierra Leona, women could name 31 uses of trees on fallow land and in the forest, while men named eight different uses. This shows how men and women have distinct realms of knowledge and application for natural resource management, both of which are necessary for sustainable use and conservation.
  • Women provide close to 80% of the total wild vegetable food collected in 135 different subsistence-based societies. Women often have specialized knowledge about “neglected” species.
  • The majority of plant biodiversity research is not gender sensitive. This has led to incomplete or erroneous scientific results with respect to the diversity, characteristics and uses of plants, and the causes and potential responses to genetic erosion. Integrating women’s traditional knowledge into botanical and ethnobotanical research, and protecting all informants’ rights, are critical for improved knowledge and management.
  • The language used by the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Bonn Guidelines to address subjects related to indigenous and local communities is not gender-sensitive.

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