Convention on Biological Diversity

In response to the growing threat posed by human activity to biodiversity and inspired by the world community's growing commitment to sustainable development, during the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro world leaders adopted the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It is the most important Convention dealing with biodiversity conservation.

The Convention has three main objectives:

1. To conserve biological diversity
2. To use biological diversity in a sustainable way
3. To share the benefits of biological diversity fairly and equitably.

IUCN has been involved in the CBD since its drafting and through its further development. Its policy work has helped to ensure that decisions taken by the Parties to the Convention are as effective as possible to achieve the CBD objectives.

The Tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity will take place from 18 to 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. To keep up to date with all the important developments in negotiations leading up to this landmark event, visit our negotiation update section.

The Biodiversity Target

Many global environmental agreements and conventions have integrated targets into their strategies. The most important one from the biodiversity perspective is the 2010 Biodiversity Target. It was adopted in May 2002 during the sixth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Target aimed to achieve, by 2010 ‘a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth’.

Unfortunately, we now know that this aim is far from being met. As we are facing an ever-increasing biodiversity crisis, we need a new, clear and realistic target to respond to it.

Negotiations on the new post-2010 framework will be taking place throughout this year, paving the way for the 10th Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October. This meeting is set to be a milestone for the Convention. It is during this event that the Parties of the Convention are expected to adopt a new set of post-2010 biodiversity targets. They will also agree upon an international regime to regulate access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits that we gain from their use. 

Negotiation update

2010 is a landmark year for biodiversity conservation and for Convention processes. IUCN is actively involved in these processes and its representatives will be participating in each of the key events.

Visit this section for a regular update on the latest negotiation developments, background information and expert opinion.

Mangrove resources in the Solomon Islands

Final push to the negotiations on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing

Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity are meeting in Montreal from 10 till 16 July to agree on the details of a new global legal agreement to regulate the provision and use of the world’s genetic resources. The results of these negotiations, to be presented to the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention to take place in Nagoya, Japan in October this year, will significantly improve the management of the genetic diversity of our planet contributing to the three objectives of the Convention and - ultimately - to human well-being. …   | Spanish

15 Jul 2010 | News story

Cozumel Emerald Hummingbird

Governments to debate planet "bailout"

Never has the world faced a more pressing crisis than the current loss of biodiversity, which affects every man, woman and child. The gap between the pressure on our natural resources and governments’ response to the deterioration is widening. IUCN is calling for governments to come up with a “bailout plan,” a 10-year strategy that will help countries halt and reverse this loss. …  

06 May 2010 | International news release

Opuntia ficus-indica (Indian Fig Opuntia) is a species of cactus and a long-domesticated crop plant important in agricultural economies throughout arid and semiarid parts of the world, Matehuala, Mexico

Final Meeting of the Access and Benefit Sharing Working Group kicks off in Colombia

Around 600 delegates representing Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), non-governmental and international organizations, and partners, are currently gathered in the sunny city of Cali in Colombia to give the final push to the negotiations on the international regime to regulate access to genetic resources and the distribution of the benefits derived from their use. …  

24 Mar 2010 | News story

Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Healthy biodiversity is no luxury - it's the foundation of all life on earth

IUCN calls for a clear post-2010 Strategic Plan on Biodiversity. We have failed to meet the target adopted through the Convention on Biological Diversity to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 and we are currently witnessing the greatest extinction crisis since dinosaurs disappeared from our planet 65 million years ago. Urgent action is needed to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences, both for nature and for people around the world. …   | Chinese

23 Mar 2010 | International news release

Gray whale breaching

What next for biodiversity targets

The 2010 biodiversity target was adopted in May 2002 during the sixth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It aimed to achieve, by 2010 ‘a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth’. Unfortunately, the latest analysis of the IUCN Red List shows this target has not been met. As we are facing an ever-increasing biodiversity crisis, we need a new, clear and realistic target to respond to it.  …  

01 Mar 2010 | Audio

Convention on Biological Diversity

Three main objectives:

1. To conserve biological diversity
2. To use biological diversity in a sustainable way
3. To share the benefits of biological diversity fairly and equitably.

The appliance of science: IUCN and the Convention on Biological Diversity Nairobi, 10-21 May
  • The appliance of science

    The appliance of science

    Photo: GBRMPA/Paul Marshall

  • CBD SBSTTA 14

    CBD SBSTTA 14

    Photo: IUCN