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Understanding the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Background and objective
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was signed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, and entered into force on 29 December 1993. Over 150 member nations, including Australia, signed the document at the Rio conference and since then more than 180 countries have ratified the agreement.
The CBD is the first global agreement to cover all aspects of biodiversity. It has three main goals:
- to conserve biodiversity
- to sustainably use the components of biodiversity
- to share the benefits arising from the commercial and other use of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way.
Under Article 8 of the CBD all member nations agreed to establish a system of protected areas or areas where special measures need to be taken to conserve biodiversity.
The CBD is a legally binding global treaty and the Conference of the Parties (COP) is the governing body of the Convention which advances its implementation through the decisions it makes at its periodic meetings.
In 2002, 10 years after the CBD was opened for signature, the COP developed a strategic plan with the mission '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.'
This 2010 target was then endorsed by the Heads of State and Government at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2002.
2010 Biodiversity Target
In November 2003 the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to the Convention recommended a global target to 'provide effective protection for at least 10%* of each habitat type globally.' It also recommended establishing 'at least 10 marine and coastal protected areas in areas outside of national jurisdiction, as a step towards a longer term target of including 20 to 30% of each habitat type in effectively managed marine and coastal protected areas.'
According to the SBSTTA, marine and coastal protected areas are essential for the conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal biodiversity.
Progressing the 2010 Biodiversity Target
In 2004 the COP adopted a framework of goals and targets to progress the 2010 Biodiversity Target. Under decision V11/30 one of the key areas for guiding action included ’reducing the rate of loss of the components of biodiversity, including (i) biomes, habitats and ecosystems; (ii) species and populations; and (iii) genetic diversity.’
In order to protect the components of biodiversity the following goal was adopted:
Goal 1—Promote the conservation of the biodiversity of ecosystems, habitats and biomes
Target 1.1—At least 10% * of each of the world's ecological regions effectively conserved
The COP further recommended that this target could be directly applied to marine and coastal ecosystems by having "at least 10%* of each marine and coastal ecological region globally effectively conserved."
Convention on Biological Diversity (2007) viewed 29 November 2007 www.cbd.int/convention/default.shtml.
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) Convention on biological diversity (with annexes), concluded at Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992, registered ex officio on 29 December 1993.
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2000) Sustaining life on earth: how the Convention on Biological Diversity promotes nature and human well-being, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity ( Canada) and United Nations Environment Program ( Switzerland).
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2006) Global biodiversity outlook 2, Montreal.
United Nations Environment Program and the Convention on Biological Diversity (2003) Item 7 of the provisional agenda: Integration of outcome oriented targets into the programmes of work of the Convention, taking into account the 2010 Biodiversity Target, the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, and relevant targets set by the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Montreal.
United Nations Environment Program and the Convention on Biological Diversity (2004) Decisions adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Kuala Lumpur, February 2004.
* Refer to the Expert Advisory Panel's Scientific Guiding Principles for the Moreton Bay Marine Park Zoning Plan review for information on how the CBD 10% target should be applied (that is, in "no take" areas). The Scientific Guiding Principles are available from the National Parks, Sport and Racing website www.npsr.qld.gov.au.
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