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246. Human beings are at the center of concern for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature. Women have an essential role to play in the development of sustainable and ecologically sound consumption and production patterns, and approaches to natural resource management, as was recognized at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and the International Conference on Population and Development as reflected throughout Agenda 21. Awareness of resource depletion, the degradation of natural systems and the dangers of polluting substances increased markedly in the past decade. These worsening conditions are destroying fragile ecosystems, and displacing communities, especially women, from productive activities and are an increasing threat to a safe and healthy environment. [retain: The major cause of the continued deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable pattern of consumption and production, particularly in industrialized countries. Rising sea levels as a result of global warming causes a grave and immediate threat to people living on island countries and coastal areas. The use of ozone depleting substances such as products with chlorofluoro-carbon, halons, foams and plastics are severely affecting the atmosphere by allowing harmful ultra violet rays reaching the earth's surface causing severe effects on the health of people.]
247. All States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, in order to decrease the disparities in standards of living and better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world. Poverty and environmental degradation are closely related. [retain: In addition, war, armed conflicts, foreign occupation and displacements are also closely related to environmental degradation.] The deterioration of natural resources displaces communities, especially women, from incomegenerating activities while greatly adding to unremunerated work. In both urban and rural areas, environmental degradation results in negative effects on the health, wellbeing and quality of life of the population at large, especially girls and women of all ages. Particular attention and recognition should be given to the role and the special situation of women living in rural areas and those working in the agricultural sector, where access to training, land, natural and productive resources, credit, development programmes and cooperative structures can help them increase their participation in sustainable development. Environmental risks in the home and workplace may have a disproportionate impact on women's health because of women's different susceptibilities to the toxic effects of various chemicals. These risks to women's health are particularly high [retain: in urban areas as well as in low-income areas], where there is a high concentration of polluting industrial facilities.
252. In addressing the lack of adequate recognition and support for women's contribution to conservation and management of natural resources and safeguarding the environment, Governments and other actors should promote an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies and programmes, [retain: so that before decisions are taken, an analysis is made of the effects on women and men respectively].
Strategic objective K.1 Involve women actively in environmental decision-making at all levels
253. By governments, at all levels, including municipal authorities, as appropriate:
(a) [retain: Ensure] opportunities for women, including indigenous women, to participate in environmental decision-making at all levels, including as managers, designers, and planners, and implementers and evaluators of environmental projects;
(c) [amend & retain: Encourage, through national legislation and subject to it, indigenous women's traditional knowledge, innovations and practices and skills, including those concerning traditional medicines, biodiversity, and indigenous technologies, ensure that they are protected and improved and are respected, preserved and maintained as envisaged in the Convention on Biological Diversity,28/ safeguard their intellectual property rights and (delete: encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the) ensure they are the primary beneficiaries of commercial utilization of such knowledge;]
Strategic objective K.3 Establish or strengthen mechanisms at the national, regional and international levels to assess the impact of development and environmental policies on women
258. By Governments, regional and international organizations and non-governmental organizations, as appropriate:
(ii) The impact on women of environmental and natural resource degradation, deriving from, inter alia, unsustainable production and consumption patterns, drought, poor quality water, global warming, desertification, sea-level rise, hazardous waste, natural disasters, toxic chemicals and pesticide residues, radioactive waste, armed conflicts [delete: and refugee flows]
(iv) Measures to develop and include environmental, economic, [retain: cultural], social and gender-sensitive analyses as an essential step in the development [retain: and monitoring] of programmes and policies;
(c) [retain: Prohibit the transboundary movement of hazardous toxic and radio active material waste;] [Next] [Previous] [Table of Contents]