Convention on Biological Diversity


October 17, 2021

The Convention on Biological Diversity (abbreviated to Biodiversity Convention, English Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD) is an international environmental agreement that came into force on December 29, 1993. The CBD is the most important multilateral agreement for the protection of biodiversity on earth. The document drawn up from November 1988 was adopted at a specially convened UNEP conference in May 1992 and was signed on June 5, 1992 during the Rio Conference. The convention now (as of March 2019) has 196 contracting parties and has been signed by 168 states and the European Union. In an international context, only Andorra, Iraq, Somalia and the United States have not ratified the treaty to date (as of 2020), with the Cartagena Protocol adopted in 2000, which came into force in 2003, and the one adopted in 2010 and entered into force in October 2014 After the Nagoya Protocol, there are two legally binding agreements with which the goals of the convention are to be implemented. While the Cartagena Protocol regulates the cross-border movement of genetically modified organisms, the Nagoya Protocol establishes a legally binding framework for access to genetic resources and fair benefit sharing and formulates the so-called "Aichi Targets" for worldwide species protection. On December 22, 2010, the United Nations proclaimed 2011 to 2020 the “UN Decade of Biodiversity”. They followed a recommendation of the signatory states at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention in October of that year in Nagoya, Japan. In order to further strengthen the international community's awareness of the importance of biodiversity alongside other environmental and climate policy issues, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided in December 2010 to create the so-called Biodiversity Council "Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services" (IPBES) . Similar to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which advises governments scientifically on climate change, the IPBES - quasi a World Biodiversity Council - is supposed to scientifically record the development of natural biodiversity on earth and advise on environmental policy. Germany had been campaigning for the creation of this platform for a long time and finally successfully applied for the seat of the IPBES secretariat at the UN location in Bonn. The IPBES secretariat has been located on the UN campus on the Rhine since the beginning of 2014.


The convention has three equally important objectives: Protection of biodiversity, Sustainable use of their components, Access regulation and fair compensation of advantages that arise from the use of genetic resources (Access and Benefit Sharing, ABS), including biological diversity Biodiversity, genetic diversity within individual species as well Diversity of ecosystems Important elements of the Biodiversity Convention are: identification and monitoring of biodiversity; their protection “in situ”, i.e. in the ecosystem, and “ex situ” e.g. B. in corresponding facilities for storing seeds such as gene banks; Research, education and public relations; Regulation of access to genetic resources and the fair sharing of benefits when using them, mostly through the valorization of genetic resources; Technology transfer, scientific cooperation and information exchange. The convention goes far beyond the purely ecological requirements in that it also addresses social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural and aesthetic concerns, as is already expressed in its preamble. In this context, the importance of traditional knowledge should be emphasized, especially among the original inhabitants of the last intact wilderness

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