Convention on Biological Diversity | WWF

Convention on Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a comprehensive, binding agreement covering the use and conservation of biodiversity.


It was created and adopted by governments at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, when world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for "sustainable development" – to meet current needs while ensuring a living planet for future generations.

Signed by 193 governments the CBD sets out commitments for maintaining the world's biodiversity which directly supports the livelihoods of billions and underpins global economic development.

The Convention has 3 main goals:
  1. the conservation of biological diversity,
  2. the sustainable use of its components, and
  3. the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources.

How does the CBD work?

The Conference of the Parties (COP) meets every 2 years to look at new issues and adopt targets and work programmes to address biodiversity loss.

Signatory governments to the CBD are required to develop national strategies and action plans based on COP decisions and report back on implementation

2020 Target

In 2010, governments gathered in Japan at the 10th Conference of the Parties to CBD and set a new strategy to save the world's valuable nature. A 20-point plan was adopted, to be implemented by governments in the next 10 years, to help tackle the mass extinction of species and the loss of vital habitats around the world. As part of the biodiversity rescue plan, governments agreed to boost the area of protected land in the world to 17%, and strive for marine protected areas covering 10% of our oceans by 2020.

WWF and the CBD

 WWF supported the development of the CBD in the 1980s and works at global and national level to advocate the adoption of strong targets and workplans by the COP and their implementation by national governments.

Action Now for Life on Earth: A Video. 2010 Biodiversity Target.

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