German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


International Guidelines on tourism and biodiversity

CBD Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development

Desert landscape in Patagonia / Chile (© B. Engels)
The picture shows the desert landscape of Patagonia/Chile.

The Berlin Declaration issued at the 1997 Conference of Ministers on Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism called for rules and guidelines to define how the needs of nature conservation and tourism can best be reconciled to allow sustainable tourism development and thus to implement the Convention on Biodiversity and the goals of Agenda 21.

The resolutions adopted gave rise to an international policy process to develop guidelines for environmentally and socially responsible, sustainable tourism. The United Nations General Assembly and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) assigned responsibility for this process and its progress to their Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and the CBD Secretariat.

The CSD adopted a working programme on sustainable tourism in 1999 and invited the CBD to cooperate in its implementation. The signatories accepted the invitation at the Fifth Conference of the Parties to the CBD in Nairobi in May 2000, paving the way for work to begin on establishing the  Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development.

After several years of consultation, draft guidelines compiled with substantial support from Germany were adopted at the Seventh Conference of the Parties to the CBD in Kuala Lumpur in February 2004. BfN and BMU were instrumental in producing the draft and fostered the negotiation process involved in establishing the Guidelines for Biodiversity and Tourism Development. This included workshops and testing the guidelines in model regions.


Brüggemann, J., Hernandez, M., Rodriguez, E., Soler, J. u. Tapper, R. (2002): Biodiversity and Tourism in the Framework of the CBD: The case of the Tayrona National Park, Colombia. BfN-Skripten 60.

Garbe, C., Meyer, M., Rohac, J., Straka, P. u. Tapper, R. (2002): Biodiversity and Tourism in the Framework of the CBD. The case of the natural and cultural heritage of Banska Stiavnica, Slovac Republic. BfN-Skripten 70.

Last Change: 22/01/2020