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UN says global goals to protect nature need women to succeed by Laurie Goering September 16,2020   |  Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Women - who gather much of the world's wood and water, and carry out a large share of its farming - have too little say in how land is used, one key reason countries are failing to halt rapid losses of nature, environmental officials said on Tuesday.

Giving women a bigger voice in decision-making "is essential to achieve our biodiversity goals", said David Cooper, deputy executive director of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The United Nations released a sobering update on global efforts to protect forests, plants, wildlife, fish and other forms of nature, noting that none of the 2020 goals countries set themselves a decade ago had been fully met.

"The capacity of ecosystems to provide the essential services on which societies depend continues to decline," with women and poor communities worst-affected, the report noted.

Losses of native plants and forests, which help support rainfall and stem erosion, have hit crop yields and access to water, fuel-wood and plants used as natural medicines, it said.

About half of the world's people are expected to live in water-scarce areas by 2050, especially in Asia, it added, while floods and soil erosion are increasing as land degrades.

Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment

 

© Thomson Reuters Foundation

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