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Women and Biodiversity

“Biodiversity may be the basis of human well-being but human habits threaten to deplete it. Its definition is broad, spanning diversity between ecosystems and species, and also within species (genetic diversity). Agro-biodiversity encompasses all components of biological diversity of relevance to food, agriculture and the sustainability of agro-ecosystems. According to the UNEP Global Environment Outlook, the Earth supports almost 100 different types of ecosystem. Among these, the richest arrays of species are found in coral reefs and tropical forests, which cover less than 10 per cent of the Earth’s surface. Worldwide, there are an estimated 4 million species, of which some 1.75 million have been described. But the total of the Earth’s diversity has not yet been fully recorded. “ [UNEP]

Loss of biodiversity

Unfortunately, the loss of biodiversity is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. According to the World Conservation Union’s 2002 Red List of Threatened Species, over 11,167 species face extinction. The most important drivers of biodiversity loss are unsustainable production and consumption, inequities in distribution of wealth and resources, demographic developments, international conflict, and international trade and agricultural policies. These result in land conversion, climate change, pollution, atmospheric nitrogen deposition and unsustainable harvesting of natural resources. As ecosystems falter, threats to food and water security, health care and economies grow.

Role of women

The Convention on Biological Diversity in its preamble recognizes “the vital role that women play in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity” and affirms “the need for the full participation of women at all levels of policymaking and implementation for biological diversity conservation”.

[…Women and Biodiversity…]

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