German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (1992)

Logo of the CBD-Convention

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Contracting parties:

196 (as of July 2020), Germany has been a party since 1994.


The convention is one of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The convention has three objectives:

  • conservation of biological diversity (at the levels of ecosystems, species, and genetic diversity within species),
  • sustainable use of the components of biological diversity,
  • equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources.

The CBD is the most comprehensive worldwide agreement to protect nature and safeguard the natural life-support systems of humanity. Activities to implement the convention are to take account of ecological, economic and social aspects in a balanced manner.


The Convention on Biological Diversity is a legally binding framework agreement concretized by decisions taken by the Conference of the Parties (CoP) and protocols on specific themes (such as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the "Biosafety Protocol"). The decisions of the CoP are based upon recommendations produced by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) in consultation with further expert groups. CoP decisions must be implemented by convention parties, for instance through national laws, national strategies, plans of action or programmes. There are work programmes on various ecosystem-related themes (e.g. forest biodiversity) and on cross-cutting issues (e.g. protected areas). Regular reporting helps to monitor compliance. The CoP 2002 formulated the "2010 Biodiversity Target". This commits parties to achieve a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level by 2010.

A Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) has been established within the context of the convention. This aims to foster cooperation in the areas covered by the convention and to provide a platform for scientific cooperation, technology transfer and environmental education. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has been designated as the convention’s financing instrument, which helps countries lacking financial resources to bear the incremental costs arising through the implementation of the convention.


Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
413, Saint Jacques Street, suite 800
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
H2Y 1N9
Tel: +1 514 288 2220
Fax: +1 514 288 6588

BfN activities:

Contributions to the further development of the convention and international collaboration (externally directed activities) and national implementation of decisions and recommendations (internally directed activities). BfN’s work cuts across all themes, e.g. when organizing European expert meetings in the run-up to SBSTTA sessions, convening interdisciplinary expert meetings to review research activities in Germany, or providing advanced training for experts from Central and Eastern Europe. To advance specific focal themes, BfN organizes international conferences, e.g. to develop internationally applicable guidelines in the fields of access to genetic resources and sustainable tourism in ecologically sensitive areas. BfN further contributes to the Clearing-House Mechanism, to the development of the CBD programme of work on protected areas, financing issues and the concretization of the CBD ecosystem approach. BfN advises German and European research promotion institutions on their setting of priorities in biodiversity research.

Last Change: 28/07/2020