Biodiversity is the basis of ecosystemic services and provides nutritional, forestry, medicinal and economic resources. Women and men have managed biodiversity through gathering, hunting, fishing and agriculture, with the aim of getting the necessary resources for everyday life.
Management of biodiversity includes three groups of activities: productive, post-productive and distributive. Depending on populations, ecosystems and period, the three activities are equally shared by women and men using the same tools, or are carried out differentially or exclusively.
Women produce half the foodstuffs consumed by the world population, albeit with big time and population differences for the animal and plant species they manage, the activities they do, the places where they are carried out and the time spent on them. In high income countries, less than a third of rural women now work in agriculture, whereas nearly 80% do so in the poorest countries. Men have devoted themselves more to tasks that require physical strength, the use of heavy tools and machinery; and also to tasks destined to the commercial distribution of the resources provided by biodiversity or the terrain, which leads to frequent absence from the family group.
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB-1992) recognised this important contribution of women to the management of biodiversity though their work in rural areas, and the need to disseminate their knowledge, protect their intellectual property rights, and foment their participation in the making of political decisions about the preservation of biodiversity at all levels.