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HTML Document What are the main milestones of the Convention on Biological Diversity?

Release date 01/08/2006
Geographical coverage World
Keywords Conference of the Parties (COP)

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed during the Rio Earth Summit, in Brazil, on 5 June 1992, and entered into force on 29 December 1993. 


The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the assembly where political decisions are taken.

So far (2014), there have been twelve meetings of the Conferences of the Parties. The information below summarises some of their outputs. It is not exhaustive. For more information, we refer you to the website of the CBD Secretariat.

COP-1, Nassau (Bahamas), November-December 1994.

Delegates reached agreement on basic issues of implementation:

  • the adoption of a general programme of work for the Convention;
  • the designation of the permanent Secretary;
  • the establishment of the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSSTA);
  • the designation of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as the interim structure for the financial mechanism.

COP-2, Jakarta (Indonesia), November 1995.

It initiated the process of major decisions including:

  • the designation of the permanent location of the international Secretariat in Montreal;
  • the establishment of a working group on biosafety issues;
  • the consideration of its first major issue, 'marine and coastal biodiversity'.

COP-3, Buenos Aires (Argentina), November 1996.

It led to

  • the elaboration of a programme of work on agricultural biodiversity;
  • the establishment of a 'Memorandum of Understanding' with the GEF;
  • an agreement to hold a workshop on indigenous communities' traditional knowledge on biological diversity (also referred to as Art. 8j).

COP-4, Bratislava (Slovakia), May 1998.

The COP adopted

  • three programmes of work on inland water ecosystems, marine and coastal biodiversity, and forest biodiversity;
  • the long-term general programme of work for the Convention.
  • various decisions on specific topics (e.g. agricultural biodiversity, national reports, cooperation with other agreements, institutions and processes, etc.);

COP-5, Nairobi (Kenya), May 2000.

The fifth meeting adopted

  • a programme of work on dry and sub-humid lands;
  • the description and principles of the ecosystem approach,
  • various decisions on cross-cutting issues (e.g. indicators, access to genetic resources, alien species, sustainable use, biodiversity and tourism, impact assessment, etc.).

COP-6, The Hague (the Netherlands), April 2002.

Major decisions concerned the adoption of

  • a revised programme of work on forest biodiversity;
  • guiding principles on invasive alien species;
  • the Bonn Guidelines on access and benefit-sharing (ABS);
  • the Strategic Plan of the Convention.

COP-7, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), February 2004.

The COP adopted

  • programmes of work on mountain biodiversity, protected areas and technology transfer and cooperation,
  • a decision to initiate negotiations on an international regime on access and benefit-sharing (ABS).
  • a decision to review the implementation of the Convention, including its Strategic Plan and the progress towards achieving the 2010 target;
  • various decisions on specific topics (communication, education and public awareness, tourism, sustainable use, incentive measures, etc.).

COP-8, Curitiba (Brazil), March 2006.

COP-8 adopted, among others,

  • a programme of work on island biodiversity;
  • priority activities for communication, education and public awareness;
  • a decision to evaluate the evaluation of progress towards implementation of the Convention.
  • various decisions on specific topics (e.g. biodiversity of dry and sub-humid lands, the Global Taxonomy Initiative, technology transfer, cooperation with other conventions, and the engagement of the private sector).

COP-9, Bonn (Germany), May 2008.

The COP adopted

  • the Strategy for Resource Mobilization,
  • scientific criteria and guidance for marine areas in need of protection
  • a roadmap for the negotiation of the international ABS regime
  • and established an ad hoc technical expert group (AHTEG) on biodiversity and climate change.
  • various decisions on specific topics (Agricultural biodiversity; Global Strategy for Plant Conservation; Invasive alien species; Forest biodiversity; Incentive measures; Ecosystem approach; Progress in the implementation of the Strategic Plan and progress towards the 2010 target and relevant Millennium Development Goals; Financial resources and the financial mechanism)

COP-10, Nagoya (Japan), October 2010.

The CBD COP adopted:

  • the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization, which sets out rules and procedures for implementing the Convention’s third objective
  • the CBD Strategic Plan for the period 2011-2020, including the Aichi biodiversity targets
  • a decision on activities and indicators for the implementation of the Resource Mobilization Strategy.
  • various decisions on specific topics (Inland waters biodiversity, Marine and coastal biodiversity, Mountain biodiversity, Protected areas, Sustainable use of biodiversity, Biodiversity and climate change)

COP-11, Hyderabad (India), October 2012.

COP 11 marked the move from policy-making to implementation. The meeting adopted a set of decisions including on

  • ecosystem restoration,
  • marine and coastal biodiversity and
  • customary sustainable use, with a focus on implementation at the national and local levels.
  • an interim target of doubling biodiversity-related international financial resource flows to developing countries by 2015
  • maintaining this level until 2020, coupled with targets aiming to improve the robustness of baseline information, as well as a preliminary reporting framework for monitoring resource mobilization.

COP-12, Pyeongchang (Republic of Korea), October 2014.

Highlights from COP 12 include:

  • Agreement on the Pyeongchang Roadmap, containing five decisions on:
    • mid-term review of progress towards the goals of the Strategic Plan; and the Aichi targets;
    • biodiversity and sustainable development;
    • review of progress in providing support in implementing the objectives of the Convention;
    • cooperation with other conventions;
    • strategy for resource mobilization.
  • The launch of the fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4).
  • Deliberations also focused on: resource mobilization and other finance-related matters; improving the efficiency of the Convention’s processes; biodiversity and sustainable development; biodiversity and health; cooperation with other organizations; marine and coastal biodiversity; biodiversity and climate change; biofuels; Article 8(j) (traditional knowledge); sustainable wildlife management; invasive alien species (IAS); synthetic biology; and ecosystem conservation and restoration.
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