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
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: