Biological Diversity



Convention on Biological Diversity

Structure and Agreements

The Convention was established in June 92 with the objective to ensure the conservation of Biological Diversity and the sustainable use of its components. Entering into force in December 93, by April 98 173 parties had signed up to the Convention, with 12 signatories yet to ratify the agreement. More specifically the Convention works to promote a fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources.

There are no protocols to the Convention to date, although at COP-2, November 95, processes were initiated to develop a protocol on bio-safety. The objective of this draft protocol is to minimise the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern bio-technology. The scope of the agreement will cover the transboundary movement and transfer of these organisms and will address both accidental and trade releases. An open-ended working group has been established with the aim to develop the protocol to a state of completion by 1998.

Due to the cross-sectoral nature of the issues relating to bio-diversity, the Convention has close relationships with a number of other UN Conventions. In line with this the COP has requested collaboration between the Conventions work programmes in order to integrate bio-diversity. These other UN agencies include the UN Conventions on Climate Change, Desertification, and intergovernmental organisations such as the FAO and UNESCO. This has resulted in a memoranda of co-operation being signed on prescribed matters between respective secretariats.

Obligations and follow-up

Parties to the Convention are contracted to undertake the following provisions

to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity
to integrate the conservation and sustainable use of bio-diversity in to sectoral and cross-sectoral programmes and policies 
to identify and monitor components of its bio-diversity important of its conservation and sustainable use 
to identify activities likely to have a significant adverse impacts on the conservation of bio-diversity 
to integrate considerations of the sustainable use and conservation of bio-diversity into national decision making
to introduce the requirement of environmental impact assessment to proposed projects likely to adversely effect bio-diversity
to adopt economic, social and scientific measures necessary to ensure conservation of bio-diversity.

Review Process

The COP is responsible for reviewing the implementation of the Convention, whilst the parties are obligated to present reports of measures taken in the implementation of the Convention. These reports should also include details of the effectiveness in meeting the objectives of the Convention. By May 98 100 reports should have been submitted, at which point the form of future reports and the frequency of submissions was determined.

For further information on the Convention refer to:

For information on the status and ratification of the Convention refer to:


Earth Summit 2002 / Partners / Acronyms / Staff / Issues

UN Conventions Focus / Global Agencies / UN Conference Focus

Site Map / Major Group Organisations / UN Commissions Focus/ Regional Agencies


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