About The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources.
With 196 Parties so far, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community.
The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing are supplementary agreements to the Convention. The Cartagena Protocol, which entered into force on 11 September 2003, seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 171 Parties have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies. It entered into force on12 October 2014 and to date it had been ratified by 105 Parties.
The Conference of the Parties
The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the highest governing body of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The COP brings together representatives of the Parties to the Convention along with other key players from civil society, business, indigenous and local communities, youth and others to review and advance the implementation of the Convention. The meetings are now held every two years.
Protocols have a Meeting of the Parties (MOP) as the main governing body. Composed of all Parties to the Protocol in question, the MOP serves the same function as set out for the Conference of the Parties (COP). At the Convention on Biological Diversity, the two Protocols established the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties as their main governing body.
The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol currently meets every two years in conjunction with the regular meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets provide an agreed overarching framework for action on biodiversity and a foundation for sustainable development for all stakeholders, including agencies across the UN system.
The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity includes a vision for 2050, five strategic goals and twenty Aichi Biodiversity Targets, mostly to be achieved by 2020. The twenty Aichi Biodiversity Targets are grouped under five strategic goals:
- Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
- Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
- Improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity
- Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building.
The 2050 Vision stresses the role of biodiversity for human wellbeing: “biodiversity to be valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy Planet and delivering benefits essential for all people”.
United Nations Decade on Biodiversity
The goal of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity is to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and to promote its overall vision of Living in Harmony with Nature.
The United Nations General Assembly at its 65th session declared the period 2011-2020 to be the “United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, with a view to contributing to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the period 2011-2020”.