A fundamental characteristic of the NBSAPs should be the active involvement of all social groups in their elaboration. However, in order to ensure genuine representation, it is necessary to recognize that there is diversity within social groups due to their sex, age, ethnic group, income, occupations and civil status, among others.
The use and development of genetic resources, if carried out without taking into consideration the needs and practices of communities, could endanger their livelihoods.
It is important that the Cartagena Protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity recognizes that the impact of introducing GMOs could be gender-differentiated because men and women have different knowledges, needs and vulnerabilities. Women worldwide, and specially women from indigenous groups and local communities, need to have access to information, skills, equipment, regulatory frameworks, and procedures.
Women have a unique relationship with biodiversity and across the globe, women predominate as wild plant gatherers, home gardeners, plant domesticators, herbalists and seed custodians. There are many examples that document that women and men have different uses, knowledge, and practices concerning biodiversity. These differing relationships with biodiversity result in gender-differentiated impacts when the abundance and composition of the biodiversity changes.
The third objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) seeks “the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies”. The achievement of this goal depends on the mainstreaming of gender considerations in ABS and TK governance.
In spite of the fact that an increasing number of experiences are highlighting the sustainable manner in which women use biological diversity, it is often true that women do so without equitable participation in the access and control of such resources. There is a tendency to ignore the natural spaces predominantly used by women in favor of those used by men, and to undervalue non-commercial (mostly female) production spaces in favor of commercial (mostly male) production spaces.
A pesar de que un mayor número de experiencias están destacando la manera sostenible en que las mujeres utilizan la diversidad biológica, también es verdad que las mujeres asumen esta responsabilidad sin participar de forma equitativa en el acceso y control de los recursos.