Biodiversity Convention

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Convention on Biological Diversity
English name Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
French name Convention sur la diversité biologique
Seat of the organs Montreal , Canada
Member States 195
Official and working languages

Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish


June 5, 1992, Rio de Janeiro (signature); December 29, 1993 (entry into force)

The Biodiversity Convention (officially Convention on Biological Diversity ; English Convention on Biological Diversity , CBD ) is an international environmental agreement that came into force on December 29, 1993 . The document, drawn up from November 1988 onwards, was adopted at a specially convened UNEP conference in May 1992 and was signed on June 5, 1992 during the Rio conference . The convention now has (as of March 2019) 196 contracting parties and has been signed by 168 states and the European Union.

With the Cartagena Protocol adopted in 2000 , which came into force in 2003, and the Nagoya Protocol adopted in 2010 and entered into force in October 2014, there are two internationally binding agreements that are intended to implement the goals of the Convention. While the Cartagena Protocol regulates the cross-border movement of genetically modified organisms , the Nagoya Protocol establishes a legally binding framework for access to genetic resources and fair benefit sharing and formulates the so-called " Aichi Targets " for worldwide species protection .

On December 22nd, 2010, the United Nations proclaimed the years 2011 to 2020 to be the “ UN Decade of Biodiversity ”. They followed a recommendation made by the signatory states at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention in Nagoya, Japan, in October of that year .

The World Biodiversity Council (IPBES) was installed in April 2012 .


The convention has three equally important objectives:

Biodiversity or biodiversity includes the

Important elements of the Biodiversity Convention are: identification and monitoring of biodiversity; their protection “ in situ ”, i.e. in the ecosystem , and “ ex situ ” e.g. B. in corresponding facilities for storing seeds such as gene banks ; Research, education and public relations ; Regulation of access to genetic resources and the fair sharing of benefits when using them, mostly through valorization of genetic resources; Technology transfer , scientific cooperation and information exchange.

The Convention goes far beyond the purely ecological requirements in that it also addresses social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural and aesthetic concerns, as is already expressed in its preamble . In this context, it is important to emphasize the importance of traditional knowledge , which is particularly present among the original inhabitants of the last intact wilderness regions , who are often referred to colloquially as " primitive peoples ". Thus it says in Article 8, paragraph j):

"[...] each Contracting Party should, as far as possible , respect, preserve and preserve the knowledge, innovations and customs of indigenous and local communities with traditional economic forms that are relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, [...] "

- :

Developed countries are assigned a special responsibility for financing the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity .


The Convention has a permanent secretariat in Montreal . Here, experts are working on certain aspects of the Convention. The organization of clearinghouse mechanisms at the various levels of the treaty has become an important area of ​​work in recent years .

The Conference of the Parties (VSK; conference of the parties , COP) meets every two years . This is the highest organ of the Convention. Sub -protocols such as the Cartagena Protocol have their own meetings, the so-called COP-MOP (Conference of the Parties-Members of the Protocol), which mostly take place directly before the negotiating segment of the Conference of the Parties.

Working meetings on individual specialist areas take place between the Conference of the Parties. The Convention currently has four “Working Groups” on the subjects of protected areas , access and benefits sharing , Article 8 (indigenous knowledge) and a Working Group on the Review of Implementation of the Convention (WGRI) . A Scientific, Technical and Technological Advisory Board ( SBSTTA ) also prepares the decisions of the Conference of the Parties, reviews the status of implementation of the Convention and makes recommendations for the inclusion of new topics. The Global Environment Facility and other sponsors are used for funding.

The government agencies are responsible for the national implementation of so-called “focal points”. In Germany, these are the Federal Environment Ministry and its subordinate authority, the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) . The national actors develop their own strategies and report on their implementation in national biodiversity reports. The federal government's biodiversity strategy is an attempt to achieve the goals of the convention nationally.


With 196 contracting parties, the Biodiversity Convention is one of the most successful international treaties, but it has to contend with practical difficulties. The contracting states are obliged, but not compelled, to implement the convention under international law . Accordingly, many states have not yet submitted a national biodiversity strategy, although the convention entered into force on December 29, 1993.

The US signed the convention but has not yet ratified it . You can therefore negotiate, but you are not obliged to implement it.

A basic problem is the formulations of objectives that can be interpreted and are relatively non-binding in large parts of the Convention. Exceptions include the so-called 2010 goals and the 16 specific goals of the global strategy for the conservation of plants .

In 2007, as a signatory to the convention, the German federal government adopted a national strategy on biological diversity that defines 330 goals and around 430 measures in the most important fields of action for the preservation of biological diversity. German nature conservation organizations strongly question the serious implementation of these measures. Even if the first measures were financed with the federal program for biological diversity from 2011 onwards, some of the targets will not be achieved within the set timeframe (target achievement should usually be 2020), and some will be pursued politically rather than with nature conservation expertise.

Conference of the Parties (COP CBD)

In order to implement the Biodiversity Convention and its further development, representatives of the signatory states now meet every two years at a “Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity” (COP CBD).

COP 1 (CBD) 1994 Nassau

The first official corresponding meeting took place from November 28 to December 9, 1994 in Nassau (Bahamas) .

COP 2 (CBD) 1995 Jakarta

The second official meeting of the contracting states took place from November 6 to 17, 1995 in Jakarta ( Indonesia ).

COP 3 (CBD) 1996 Buenos Aires

The 3rd Conference of the Parties took place from November 4th to 15th, 1996 in Buenos Aires ( Argentina ).

COP 4 (CBD) 1998 Bratislava

The fourth meeting of the “Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity” took place from May 4th to 15th, 1998 in Bratislava ( Slovakia ).

ExCOP 1 (CBD) 1999/2000 Cartagena / Montreal

On February 22 and 23, 1999 and from January 24 to 28, 2000, an “Extraordinary Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity” took place for the first time in Cartagena (Colombia) and in Montreal ( Canada ) .

COP 5 (CBD) 2000 Nairobi

The 5th Conference of the Parties took place from May 15 to 26, 2000 in Nairobi .

COP 6 (CBD) 2002 The Hague

The 6th Conference of the States of the Parties met in The Hague ( Netherlands ) from 7th to 19th April 2002 .

COP 7 (CBD) 2004 Kuala Lumpur

From February 9 to 27, 2004, the 7th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity took place in Kuala Lumpur ( Malaysia ).

COP 8 2006 Curitiba

The 8th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the 3rd Meeting of Member States (MOP3) of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety took place in Curitiba ( Brazil ) from March 20 to 31, 2006 .

On 20 December 2006, declared the UN General Assembly the year 2010 the " International Year of Biodiversity ". The Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity was commissioned with the coordination .

COP 9 (CBD) 2008 Bonn

The 9th Conference of the Parties to the Biodiversity Convention and the 4th Meeting of the Member States (MOP4) of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety took place in Bonn ( Maritim Hotel and World Conference Center ) in Germany from May 19 to 30, 2008 . The Federal Environment Ministry , the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and many non-governmental organizations concentrated their (public) work heavily on these conferences. The Business and Biodiversity Initiative was also founded during the conference . The aim of this initiative is to bind companies internationally more closely to the achievement of the objectives of the Biodiversity Convention by signing a "leadership declaration" and integrating the sustainable use of biodiversity into their operational management systems, developing and publishing " best practices " and at the 10th Participate actively in the Conference of the Parties in Japan in 2010

COP 10 (CBD) 2010 Nagoya

The 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity met in Nagoya ( Japan ) from October 18 to 29, 2010, and finally adopted the “ Nagoya Protocol ” with the “ Aichi Objectives ”.

COP 11 (CBD) 2012 Hyderabad

The 11th Conference of the Parties took place in Hyderabad (India) in 2012 . Until recently, the question of funding for the intended measures, especially in developing countries, was unclear: While these countries had previously spent an average of four billion euros (reference period 2006 to 2010) for their nature conservation efforts, this sum should be increased to eleven billion after a NABU demand. The African states had already promised at the beginning of the conference to increase their own contributions. It was decided that by 2015 eight billion euros would come from the industrialized countries worldwide for the protection of biodiversity.

In Hyderabad, over 190 countries around the world pledged to take further steps to protect the high seas. They promised to put ten percent of the seas under protection by 2020 and to identify the most valuable areas outside of national borders. It is precisely these that have not yet been protected. Depending on the region, the participants expected five to ten years before the network of protected areas on the high seas is actually implemented.

Brazil's attempt to keep biological diversity out of climate policy failed. In future, too, nature conservation aspects must at least be heard when it comes to biofuels or the reforestation of forests as greenhouse gas storage.

COP 12 (CBD) 2014 Pyeongchang

In 2014 the UN Conference on Species Conservation took place from October 6th to 17th in Pyeongchang , South Korea . Working meetings on the Cartagena Protocol have been held at the conference location since September 29th . It was decided to double the funding for species and environmental protection in developing and emerging countries . The total of eight billion euros earmarked for the corresponding purposes should remain at this level until at least 2020. For marine protection , more than 150 ecologically or biologically significant marine areas should be recognized worldwide.

COP 13 (CBD) 2016 Cancún

The 13th UN Species Conservation Summit took place in Cancún ( Mexico ) from December 4 to 17, 2016 . Among other things, it was the preservation of biological diversity in the forestry and agriculture , fishing and tourism sectors . The chairman Mexico called for biodiversity protection to be implemented on a broad basis and also to be applied to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the “ Sustainable Development Goals ” (SDG, “UN goals for sustainable development”). A final “Cancún Declaration” is intended to anchor biodiversity protection more firmly in international government action, and the responsibility of other sectors should also be made clear.


According to participants, there were considerable state obligations in the designation of protected areas, especially by the host Mexico: It wanted to put 23 percent of its 200-mile zone under protection. Indonesia pledged to stop the drainage of marshland and to flood drained peat soils again - an important contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Brazil wants to restore 220,000 square kilometers of forest and pastures to a near-natural state, just under the size of Great Britain . The conference also decided to apply the precautionary principle to “ gene drives ”.

COP 14 (CBD) 2018 Sharm El Sheik

The United Nations Conference on Biodiversity 2018 took place in Sharm El Sheikh , Egypt , from November 17 to 29, 2018 .

COP 15 (CBD) 2020 Beijing

During the 15th World Nature Conservation Conference to be held in China's capital Beijing in 2020 , Germany will hold the presidency of the Council of the European Union and will thus be able to play an important role.


The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation describes the Biodiversity Convention as "an international key instrument for the conservation, sustainable use and ensuring appropriate access to and fair sharing of benefits from the use of the earth's biological resources".

See also

Web links


  1. According to Anja von Hahn (see individual references) the direct German translation "indigenous and local communities with traditional ways of life" has been replaced by the scientifically more correct term "indigenous and local communities with traditional forms of economy".

Individual evidence

  1. ^ COP 2 Decision II / 19 - Location of the secretariat . Determination of the seat of the secretariat
  2. Federal Law Gazette, Part II, 1993 No. 32, pp. 1742 ff.
  3. .
  4. ^ List of ratifications .
  5. , October 6, 2014, Christian Mihatsch: The world is losing 380 animal and plant species every day
  6. Guardian: Biodiversity talks: Ministers in Nagoya adopt new strategy of October 29, 2010.
  7. About IPBES
  8. Anja von Hahn: Traditional knowledge of indigenous and local communities between intellectual property rights and the public domain. Springer, Berlin 2004.
  9. ^ Convention Bodies . Convention on Biological Diversity website. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  10. National Strategy on Biodiversity . ( Memento of February 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) BMU, accessed May 7, 2008.
  11. BUND, NABU: Biodiversity Protection in Germany ( Memento of August 14, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), press release of February 18, 2010 (PDF; 1.1 MB).
  12. Nicolas Schoof, Rainer Luick, Herbert Nickel, Marc Förschler, Paul Westrich, Edgar Reisinger: Promoting biodiversity with wild pastures in the 'wilderness areas' vision of the National Strategy for Biodiversity . tape 93 , no. 7 . Nature and landscape, July 2018, p. 314-322 ( ).
  13. a b c , Panorama , November 3, 2016: Humanity needs 1.6 earths (November 3, 2016)
  14. Internet presence of the CBD at Meetings , accessed on May 23, 2008.
  15. UN: Summary of the results of COP 11 ( PDF; 400 kB), press release of October 20, 2012.
  16. COP 12 from October 6th to 17th, 2014 in Pyeongchang
  17. IISD Reporting Services: Host of CBD COP 13 Releases Non-paper Supporting a Declaration on Biodiversity Mainstreaming | SDG Knowledge Hub | IISD . ( [accessed December 6, 2016]).
  18. a b Christian Mihatsch: UN conference sets the course for the preservation of animal and plant diversity. In: , (Economy), December 20, 2016
  19. a b UN World Conservation Conference: Nature is dying - and the world is looking away - SPIEGEL ONLINE. Retrieved December 2, 2018 .
  20. Biodiversity Summit in Sharm El Sheikh - ″ It could have come out more, but it wasn't a failure ″ . In: Deutschlandfunk . ( [accessed on December 2, 2018]).
  21. Ecology - biologist: shrinkage in species greater than growth . In: Deutschlandfunk . ( [accessed on December 2, 2018]).
  22., December 21, 2010: United Nations proclaims the Decade of Biological Diversity . Retrieved April 3, 2018.