Biodiversity issues have been high on the agenda of the IUCN Environmental Law Programme (ELP) since its inception. In particular, the ELP has contributed significantly to the development of a number of important international conventions on the conservation and sustainable use of species and ecosystems, as well as biodiversity per se. Among them: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The ELP has also addressed a wide range of issues related to the implementation of biodiversity-related international instruments. Recently, key topics have included Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS), Marine Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, Protected Areas and other cross cutting issues.
The ELP has been actively engaged in numerous events concerning international environmental governance, including the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20), the International Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the IUCN World Conservation Congress and the Conference of Parties to the UN conventions on biodiversity and climate change.