The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international agreement adopted at the Earth Summit, in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992. It has three main objectives:
- to conserve biological diversity
- to use its components in a sustainable way
- to share fairly and equitably the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.
The CBD was negotiated under the guidance of the United Nations. It was signed by more than 150 government leaders at the Rio Earth Summit (which official denomination is the 'United Nations Conference on Environment and Development'). The Convention is now one of the most widely ratified international treaties on environmental issues, with 194 member countries.
Unlike other international agreements that set compulsory targets and obligations, the CBD takes a flexible approach to implementation. It identifies general goals and policies, and countries are free to determine how they want to implement them.
One of the CBD's greatest achievements so far has been to generate an enormous amount of interest in biodiversity, both in developed and developing countries. Biodiversity is now seen as a critically important environment and development issue.
If you are interested to know how Belgium implements the Convention on Biological Diversity, please navigate our our section on 'Implementation', where you will find information on the ratification process, the authorities in charge, the legislation, the main documents and reports produced for the Convention, and much more.