Some countries in the ASEAN region already have institutional structures in place that are mandated to promote inter-ministerial coordination and collaboration among focal points or various conventions; however, sustainability of these structures and their capacities need to be reinforced. There has been increasing focus on the need for coordination among biodiversity and environment related ministries and agencies that are dealing with sectoral issues such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism, infrastructure, and mining. Some countries in the region have taken measures on gender mainstreaming to promote women’s participation in decision-making bodies; however, the capacity to implement gender inclusive actions as well as resources is limited.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been at the forefront to strengthen the cooperation and synergies among biodiversity related conventions with a focus on linkages with the Sustainable Development Goals and gender mainstreaming towards the post-2020 global biodiversity framework at both local and regional levels. Under the Environmental Treaties Programme – realizing synergies for biodiversity funded by the Government of Switzerland and the European Union, UNEP recently developed a Data and Reporting Tool for Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), DaRT, which enhances coherent data collection and reporting on the implementation of the biodiversity targets. The tool gives a platform for a collective national working space that helps with organizing, sharing, and maintaining documentation in the context of national reports to biodiversity related agreements. The tool will further help capture how gender mainstreaming are being effectively implemented by Member States as highlighted in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Majority of Member States in the ASEAN region face significant challenges in terms of monitoring and reporting on various Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). Formats and requirements for data vary according to different conventions, and there is need for storing the overlapping data in one place coherently. UNEP collaborated with the Government of Cambodia and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), to train and enhance the understanding of government officials from the ASEAN Member States, on tools and methodologies that can increase synergies and cooperation among biodiversity-related conventions and gender mainstreaming into the global biodiversity framework. Eight ASEAN Member States (Cambodia, LAO PDR, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) got an opportunity to work together and identify priority areas of actions in promoting synergies and coordination among biodiversity related conventions, SDGs, and gender mainstreaming at national and regional levels. The meeting also served as an opportunity for ASEAN Member States to prepare their coordinated inputs to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, that reflects the need for synergies among biodiversity-related Conventions, SDGs and gender mainstreaming. Experience from national level efforts towards promoting synergies, strengthening links with SDGs and mainstreaming gender into NBSAPs, undertaken with support from UNEP and its partners, were also shared at the meeting.
Men and women often have distinct roles when it comes to using biodiversity, which leads to their developing different knowledge and expertise. Women’s roles, knowledge and expertise is not always as visible, understood or valued as that of men. This is because it is expected of the men to play the greater parts in public spheres and in commercial activities. Women’s contribution to biodiversity in crucial. However, these contributions are hardly accurately captured in the official statistics. Also, gender disaggregated data is significantly lacking when it comes to reporting on the implementation of biodiversity targets. UNEP will continue to tackle these issues and support countries to integrate gender-responsiveness in biodiversity-related goals and targets.
For more information, please contact: Diane.Klaimi[at]un.org I Kazuhiko.Seriu[at]un.org I Makiko Yashiro (Yashiro[at]un.or) I Catherine.Abuto[at]un.org