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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 20 December 2022


Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 20 December 2022


Contents

  1. COP15 approves historic biodiversity deal  
  2. Young Children’s Role in Creating a Gender-Equal Society

COP15 Approves Historic Biodiversity Deal


Context

In a historic UN Biodiversity agreement, over 190 countries agreed to protect 30% of the planet by 2030, while pledging to achieve 23 targets to reverse ecosystem degradation under four overarching goals for survival of the natural world.

Relevance:

GS Paper-3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Mains Question

The successful implementation of a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework(GBF) will depend on the “ways and means we put in place for an equally ambitious ‘Resource Mobilization Mechanism'” . Discuss this statement in light of the recent Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) Conference of Parties (COP 15) in Montreal, Canada. (250 Words)


United Nations Biodiversity Conference: 

  • The UN Biodiversity Conference is the regular meeting of the countries who have signed (and are therefore ‘parties to’) the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
    • CBD is an international agreement for conserving biodiversity with the vision of “living in harmony with nature by 2050”.
    • The convention was adopted in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit.
  • The first Conference of the Parties to the convention (COP 1) took place in Nassau, Bahamas in 1994.
    • The COP is a venue for international governments to meet and review progress on the convention’s goals, as well as to establish new measures to support them.
  • The objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity include both social and economic aspects: o biological diversity conservation; o sustainable use of its components; and o fair and equitable sharing of biological diversity benefits.

What has been accomplished thus far?

  • Areas of progress in biodiversity conservation include: o The incorporation of biodiversity values into national accounting systems; \so A decline in the rate of deforestation globally of about one-third in 2020 compared with the previous decade; \so The expansion of protected terrestrial and marine areas and areas of particular importance for biodiversity; \so An increase in available data and information on biodiversity; \so A doubling of financial resources available fo
  • The conferences also resulted in the adoption of supplementary agreements, such as the o Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (2000), which governs the movement of living modified organisms from one country to another, and the o Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing (2010), which aims to ensure that the benefits of genetic resources – which refer to living organisms with perceived value – are managed or distributed in a fair and equitable manner.
  • In addition to the Nagoya Protocol, the COP-10 adopted a ten-year framework for all countries to take action to save biodiversity.
  • Officially known as “Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020”, it provided a set of 20 ambitious yet achievable targets collectively known as the Aichi Targets for biodiversity.

Countries that are signatories to the Convention

  • The Convention on Biological Diversity is signed by 196 countries (including India), with the United States conspicuously absent.
  • Each country is required to develop National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) outlining how the principles of biological resource conservation and sustainable use will be incorporated into national policies.

Concerning the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15):

  • COP15 has been divided into two parts, the first of which will be held online in October 2021.
  • The second instalment took place recently in Montreal, Canada.
  • The COP15 was significant in that a new “post-2020 global biodiversity framework” was expected to be finalised, and it was.
  • UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called this conference an opportunity to “call a ceasefire” on the human-inflicted destruction of ecosystems, which he has labelled a “suicidal war against nature”.
  • Under the presidency of China, the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the UN Biodiversity took place in Montreal, Canada from 7th December to 19th December, 2022.
  • The parties have reached a historic deal that would represent the most significant effort to protect the world’s lands and oceans and provide critical financing to save biodiversity in the developing world.

Highlights of the Framework:

  • The deal calls for raising $200 billion by 2030 for biodiversity from a range of sources.
  • As part of the financing package, the framework proposes increasing the amount of money going to poor countries to at least $20 billion per year by 2025.
    • By 2030, that figure would have risen to $30 billion per year.
  • As part of the agreement, countries agreed to reduce harmful government subsidies worth $500 billion per year.
  • The agreement also requires countries to monitor and report on a large set of headlines and other indicators related to progress toward the GBF’s goals and targets every five years or less.
  • The next COP, COP16, will take place in Turkey in 2024.

Young Children’s Role in Creating a Gender-Equal Society


Context

India ranks 135 out of 146 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index 2022 and is the worst performer in the world in the “health and survival” sub-index, where it ranks 146. In order to combat gender-based violence, gender equality becomes an essential topic of discussion.

Relevance:

GS Paper-1: Women Empowerment and related Issues; Gender Equality.

GS- Paper 2: Education and Skill Development.

Mains Question

“Closing the gender gap in various aspects of life has the potential to alter the position of women in society.” Comment (150 Words)


Key Highlights:

  • India ranks 146th in terms of health and survival, 143rd in terms of economic participation and opportunity, 107th in terms of educational attainment, and 48th in terms of political empowerment.
  • Although no country has attained full gender parity, the top 10 economies have closed at least 80% of their gender gaps, with Iceland (90.8%) leading the world.
  • To date, the majority of work on gender equality has focused on older individuals, but we develop our gender identities during early childhood.

What is Gender Unfairness?

  • Gender inequality is the social phenomenon in which men and women are not treated equally.
  • The disparity in treatment may result from biological, psychological, or cultural norms prevalent in society. Some of these distinctions appear to be socially constructed, while others are empirically supported.

When and why do gender prejudices emerge?

  • Family
    • The process begins in infancy when infant daughters and sons are treated differently by their parents.
    • By the time they are five or six years old, the majority of children strongly identify as either a girl or a boy; they understand how to dress and behave, as well as the clear social rules that they must follow.
  • Environment and Content o The environment in which children are raised and the gender-related messages they receive have a significant impact on the formation of their identities.
    • The primary components of a preschooler’s environment are her family, her preschool or anganwadi, and the messages she receives via media (books, digital games, nursery rhymes, TV, etc).
    • According to a survey conducted by the Pratham Education Foundation in 2021, the following will be true:
      • Mothers were responsible for the majority of child rearing, and fathers’ long work hours limited their time with their children, so children were closer to their mothers.
  • Mothers and fathers acknowledged that sons were indulged, whereas daughters were viewed as generally compliant, more mature, and dependable, despite not having the same freedom as boys.
  • Mothers desired for their daughters to have opportunities they never had and to eventually be self-sufficient.
  • All parents expressed a desire to educate daughters and sons equally, but were generally unsure of their children’s future careers.

Global Gender Gap Index

  • First published in 2006 by the World Economic Forum, the Global Gender Gap Report is an index designed to measure gender equality.
  • The Global Gender Gap Index measures gender equality across four key sub-indices or dimensions: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
  • It measures scores on a scale from 0 to 100, which can be interpreted as the distance toward gender equality or the percentage of the gender gap that has been closed.

How shall we approach them?

  • The spectre of unsafe spaces was used to control women; therefore, women must learn to navigate these spaces and claim them as their own.
  • Gender-neutral wage equality should be promoted for the overall development of women, as working outside the home brings engagement with the world and intellectual stimulation in addition to financial gain.
  • The curriculum should include gender-neutral stories featuring fathers in nurturing roles, differently abled children, and female protagonists.
  • Recent children’s literature performs better. The majority of books published by well-known publishers feature female and male protagonists who are equally inquisitive, kind, and problem-solving.
  • Despite some positive developments, children continue to be exposed to numerous gender-discriminatory messages.
    • Young children have the ability to influence family members and others in their social circles. Thirteen percent of India’s population is comprised of children aged 0 to 6 years.
    • If these children are exposed to gender-equal environments, they may be able to effect substantial change. Consequently, they must be included in gender equality efforts.

Way forward

  • There is a global push for gender-transformative education in early childhood, and gender equity is a guiding principle in the National Curriculum Framework.
  • These are welcome steps, but there is an urgent need for a multifaceted approach to creating gender-equal environments, an approach that includes policies and practises that help fathers be equal carers for their children, gender-equal programmes in schools and communities, and lots of gender-neutral activities.

 Conclusion

Closing the gender gap through the active participation of young children is essential for inclusive and sustainable development, which is a prerequisite for achieving developed country status by 2047.


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