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Women’s Caucus – UN CBD

Who We Are

CBD Women Caucus is a self-organized network with around 300-500 organizations from all over the world which continuously provides input into the global policy processes of the CBD and other biodiversity related international negotiations.

Women4Biodiversity coordinates a coalition of women rights organizations and convenes the CBD Women’s Caucus. This platform has the objective to bring into attention women’s human rights and working towards strengthening the gender-responsive actions to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in the policy framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), including strengthening the voices of women that are grounded in the local and national realities through advocacy, policy and capacity building. It aims to bridge the various experiences, evidence and solutions and works to amplify the voices of women from all over the world on biodiversity and related work to ensure a just and equitable implementation of actions that include the full and effective participation of women and their role in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, to a right to a healthy environment and the realisation of their rights in all aspects of environmental decisions that impacts them.

Strategies and Activities

  • Policy : Providing policy review and analysis of key discussions within the CBD, guided by the human rights-based approach to environmental justice, including the perspective of indigenous peoples’ and local communities and women.
  • Movement building: Coordinate information dissemination, sharing knowledge and experiences with and among Members.
  • Capacity building: Online capacity building, coordination of inputs to submissions and advocacy briefs, webinars on key thematic issues and priorities, including pre and post meeting calls and reporting back. On-site capacity building through prep-meetings, side-events, panel discussions, contributions to ECO (daily newsletter that is published during CBD meetings by CBD Alliance
  • Media and communication: Started video campaign in 2018 during the CBD COP 14 in Sharm-El-Sheikh on “Your Voices – What Women Want for Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”. The campaign continues with collecting testimonies during various meetings and gatherings. It is an effort to build a digital storytelling platform by the women, from the women, for the women to share, tell their stories to the world on their practices, knowledge and innovations and their contributions to a healthy environment. This also includes building a digital library of photos from meetings, testimonies and others. We are very focused on strengthening our media outreach through social spaces like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to amplify the work and contributions of women to biodiversity (#women4biodiversity, #biodiversity2020 #GenderisNOTPlanB)
  • Collaborations: For synergies collaboration is sort with other allied constituencies including the CBD Alliance (CSOs network), IIFB (Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Biodiversity), Global Biodiversity Youth Network (GBYN) who are recognized constituencies within the CBD, and including other existing constituencies within other international processes including UNFCCC, SDGs, UNCCD, UNEP and others.

Join the CBD Women Caucus

Our network comprises of members and strategic partners. The network provides a platform for sharing knowledge and expertise and brings together  various sectors with the intersectionality of gender and the environment looking from the nexus of biodiversity and women’s rights. The networks collectively bring together voices from the local to the global discussions on biodiversity conservation and advocates to bring forth good practices to contribute to the global biodiversity discussions.

Regional Advisors

Mrinalini Rai


As Women4Biodiversity director and UN CBD Women’s Caucus co-coordinator, Mrinalini draws from her experience as an international expert on biodiversity and gender, having worked several years in advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities and women and youth in various local to global dialogues. She strongly believes in the ground-level up movement and the strength of communities’ experiences and voices. She supports and advocates for the full, effective and meaningful participation of women and believes they are not only the key rights holders but that they are also a key for a transformative and just society. An indigenous woman herself, Mrinalini worked extensively with indigenous peoples before she focused on gender, which she sees inextricably linked with the indigenous experience and as an issue that cuts across sectors. She served as an indigenous advisor and gender expert for different organizations. She holds an MA in Sustainable Development from Chiang Mai University.

Sara Subba


Sara is a gender expert and also has several years of experience working on biodiversity and indigenous peoples’ rights. She was an instrumental part of the team to research on and develop a national Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) operational framework for the International Development Partners Group (IDPG) in Nepal. She also has expertise in overseeing mitigation, prevention and management of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in infrastructure and civil works projects. Her experience further expands to designing and managing mountain livelihood and conservation programme promoting and including the voices of women, indigenous peoples’ and local communities. She is also the Vice-President of Center for Indigenous Peoples Research and Development in Nepal.

Ana Di Pangracio


Ana is a lawyer (University of Buenos Aires), specialized in Environmental Law. She is the Biodiversity Coordinator and Deputy Director at Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN), based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Funded in 1985, FARN is a not-for-profit, non-partisan civil society organization which mission is to promote sustainable development through policy, law, and the institutional organization of society. She has extensive experience in biodiversity issues, including the follow up of global negotiations under the Convention on Biological Diversity. She is a lecturer at several Argentine universities.

Cicilia Githaiga


Cicilia is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. She has worked with local organizations in Kenya in providing guidance on matters relating to traditional knowledge, benefit sharing, conservation and customary use. She has vast experience of matters relating to environment and environmental justice, law and regulation having worked as in-house Counsel at the National Environment Management Authority for over 8 years where she was also litigation counsel in addition to other duties. She has offered technical and legal advice on environmental matters and implementation of various MEAs at both national and international levels particularly under the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Protocols with particular emphasis on matters involving the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefits Sharing (ABS) while in her capacity as in-house counsel.  

Ruth Spenser


Ruth has many years of experience engaging with CBD and UNCCD processes in Antigua and Barbuda. She has been able to effectively organize local dialogues bringing together key stakeholder actors including from policy makers to practitioners and showcasing the work done by the community. She builds networks and capacity of local community groups through education, training, resource mobilization and partnership-building, especially for climate action and biodiversity conservation. She received the 2019 inaugural International Women’s Day Award in Antigua and Barbuda for her contribution to the empowerment of women and girls with regard to Climate Change and the Environment. Ruth was highlighted by UN Women as a Climate Change Activist in the Caribbean. She has also set up a network of local groups and individuals in the island of Antigua and Barbuda to promote sustainable waste management.

UN CBD Women's Caucus

Amelia Arreguin

Women Caucus Coordinator

Amelia Arreguin has extensive experience in capacity development, advocacy, project management, and political communication, which she uses to advocate for gender and intergenerational justice in the environment, both at the international and national level. She has founded EcoMaxei, a Mexican environmental NGO with focus on women and human rights. She also co-founded Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) – Mexico and coordinated GYBN Latin America and the Caribbean. Additionally, she is part of IUCN’s Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy (CEESP), as well as a member of IUCN’s Commission on Education and Communication (CEC). Currently, she is pursuing her MSc in Environment and International Development at the University of East Anglia as a Chevening Scholar in the UK. She also holds a BA in Communications Sciences (Specialized in Political Communication) from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

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