Convention on Biological Diversity

Signed by 150 government leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the Convention on Biological Diversity is dedicated to promoting sustainable development. Conceived as a practical tool for translating the principles of Agenda 21 into reality, the Convention recognizes that biological diversity is about more than plants, animals and micro organisms and their ecosystems – it is about people and the need for food security, medicines, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment in which to live.1

Goal: The objectives of this Convention are the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies.

Relevant Clauses:2

Article 3


States have […] the sovereign right to exploit their own resources […] and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment […].

Article 6

General Measures for Conservation and Sustainable Use

Each Contracting Party shall […]

(a) Develop national strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity or adapt for this purpose existing strategies, plans or programmes which shall reflect […]the measures set out in this Convention […]

(b) Integrate […] the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity into relevant sectoral or cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies.

 Article 10

Sustainable Use of Components of Biological Diversity

Each Contracting Party shall […]

(a) Integrate consideration of the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources into national decision-making;

(b) Adopt measures relating to the use of biological resources to avoid or minimize adverse impacts on biological diversity;

(c) Protect and encourage customary use of biological resources in accordance with traditional cultural practices […];

(d) Support local populations to develop and implement remedial action in degraded areas […];


(e) Encourage cooperation between its governmental authorities and its private sector in developing methods for sustainable use of biological resources.

  1. Convention on Biological Diversity (2014): Text of the Treaty []
  2. Convention on Biological Diversity (1992): Convention on Biological Diversity []