of policy-making and implementation for biological diversity conservation … (CBD
1992 : preamble).
The CBD has been criticized for the failure of the 2002 Bonn Guidelines to
follow through on gender issues (see Alvarez-Castillo and Feinholz 2006 : 114).
However, by way of progress towards recognizing these concerns, the more recent
2004 CBD Akwé: Kon voluntary guidelines (for impact assessments regarding pro-
posed developments impacting sacred sites or indigenous lands) echoes the CBD
preamble, and actively recognizes gender considerations both in its general struc-
ture and in a number of its articles, explicitly recommending, for example, the:
[e]stablishment of effective mechanisms for indigenous and local community participa-
tion, including for the participation of women … in the impact assessment processes …
(CBD 2004 : procedural consideration 8(c)).
Even more significantly, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources
and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the
Convention on Biological Diversity, which opened for signature on 2 February
2011, 13 not only reiterates the CBD's original general position regarding women,
but does so specifically in relation to benefit sharing:
Recognizing also the vital role that women play in access and benefit-sharing and affirm-
ing the need for the full participation of women at all levels of policymaking and imple-
mentation for biodiversity conservation …(CBD 2010 ).
The protocol includes two articles specifically referring to the need to empha-
size the identification and enhancement of the capacity needs and priorities of
women. Article 22 states:
As a basis for appropriate measures in relation to the implementation of this Protocol,
developing country Parties, in particular the least developed countries and small island
developing States among them, and Parties with economies in transition should identify
their national capacity needs and priorities through national capacity self-assessments.
In doing so, such Parties should support the capacity needs and priorities of indigenous
and local communities and relevant stakeholders, as identified by them, emphasizing the
capacity needs and priorities of women (CBD 2010 : article 22.3).
Measures … may include … [s]pecial measures to increase the capacity of indigenous
and local communities with emphasis on enhancing the capacity of women within those
communities in relation to access to genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge asso-
ciated with genetic resources (CBD 2010 : article 22.5j).
Article 25 stipulates that in providing guidance in respect of the financial mecha-
nism related to capacity-building and development for developing country parties:
the Conference of the Parties … shall take into account … the capacity needs and pri-
orities of indigenous and local communities, including women within these communities
(CBD 2010 : article 25.3j).
These are welcome developments, but as the following discussion indicates, the
gap between goodwill and implementation is huge.
13 The protocol was adopted on 30 October 2010 at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the
Parties to the CBD ( 2010 ).