Convention on Biological Diversity

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 29/12/1993


Environment and products

Sub category

Flora and fauna



What is it about?

The objectives of this instrument are 1) the conservation of biological diversity, 2) the sustainable use of its components and 3) the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. The term biological diversity refers to the variability among living organisms from all sources, including diversity within species, between species and ecosystems. Each Contracting Party agrees to cooperate for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. They also agree to share genetic resources and to provide financial support and incentives towards national activities that are intended to achieve the objectives of the Convention. The Cartagena Protocol (29 January 2000) seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. It establishes an Advance Informed Agreement (AIA) procedure which ensures that countries are provided with the information necessary to make informed decisions before agreeing to the import of such organisms into their territory (the protocol is concerned with seeds and products destined for animal and human consumption).

Why is it relevant?

By recognizing the sovereign rights of States over their natural resources, the authority to determine access to genetic resources stays with national governments and is subject to national legislation. Developing countries can thus benefit. It also allows the sustainable economic usage of its components.

Additional Information

The 1992 Convention established a Secretariat that is headquartered in Montreal. A Conference of the Parties regularly examinations the implementation of the Convention.


Country ratifications

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Treaties analysis

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