German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Convention on Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity


The Earth's biological resources are vital to humanity's economic and social development. As a result, there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to present and future generations. At the same time, the threat to species and ecosystems has never been so great as it is today. Species extinction caused by human activities continues at an alarming rate.
The international community realised the need for an international convention on biological diversity and agreed on "the need to share costs and benefits between developed and developing countries" and the need to develop "ways and means to support innovation by local people".
On 22 May 1992 the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity was agreed. The Convention was opened for signature on 5 June 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Rio "Earth Summit"). The Convention entered into force on 29 December 1993. Currently, the CBD has 196 parties.
The CBD was inspired by the world community's growing commitment to sustainable development. It represents a dramatic step forward in the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

The three main objectives of the CBD

  • the conservation of biological diversity
  • the sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
  • the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources

The integrated approach of the CBD

Through these objectives, the international community seeks to reconcile ecological, economic and social concerns as they relate to biodiversity. In this, the CBD goes far beyond previous mainstream approaches to nature conservation. In terms of aims and scope, it is the world's most comprehensive international agreement on nature conservation and development policy. Hence, the CBD is backed by a large and elaborate organisational structure. The most important instrument and decision making body is the Conference of the Parties (COP). But there exist also other instruments and mechanisms of the CBD.

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CBD research needs

Many of the Decisions of the CBD expressed research needs. These needs were identified and presented in tables that are following the order of the different work programmes.

Last Change: 20/03/2021