The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
It is known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international legally binding treaty. The Convention has three main goals:
- Conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity);
- Sustainable use of its components; and
- Fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources
In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development.
The Convention was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993.
2010 was the International Year of Biodiversity. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the focal point for the International Year of Biodiversity. At the 2010 10th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October in Nagoya, Japan, the Nagoya Protocol was adopted. On 22 December 2010, the UN declared the period from 2011 to 2020 as the UN-Decade on Biodiversity. They, hence, followed a recommendation of the CBD signatories during COP10 at Nagoya in October 2010.
How does the CBD work?
The Conference of the Parties (COP) meets every 2 years to look at new issues and adopt targets and work programmes to address biodiversity loss.
Signatory governments to the CBD are required to develop national strategies and action plans based on COP decisions and report back on implementation
In 2010, governments gathered in Japan at the 10th Conference of the Parties to CBD and set a new strategy to save the world's valuable nature. A 20-point plan was adopted, to be implemented by governments in the next 10 years, to help tackle the mass extinction of species and the loss of vital habitats around the world. As part of the biodiversity rescue plan, governments agreed to boost the area of protected land in the world to 17%, and strive for marine protected areas covering 10% of our oceans by 2020.
WWF and the CBD
WWF supported the development of the CBD in the 1980s and works at global and national level to advocate the adoption of strong targets and work plans by the COP and their implementation by national governments.
The Nagoya Protocol on Access & Benefit Sharing (ABS) was adopted on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan and will enter into force 90 days after the fiftieth instrument of ratification. Its objective is the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It provides a transparent legal framework for the effective implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.