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Convention on Biological Diversity

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Convention on Biological Diversity

SUMMARY OF:

Council Decision 93/626/EEC on the EU’s conclusion of the Convention on Biological Diversity

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THIS DECISION DO?

It gives the EU’s approval to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity signed in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. The convention has 3 aims:

  • conservation of biological diversity (i.e. the variety of living things found on Earth);
  • sustainable use of the components of biological diversity;
  • fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources.

Biological diversity has major ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, leisure and aesthetic benefits.

The decision confirms EU countries’ commitment to implement the convention’s provisions.

KEY POINTS

The convention stipulates that each signatory government will:

  • cooperate with fellow governments and international organisations to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity;
  • develop appropriate strategies and integrate protection of biodiversity into national decision-making, cross-cutting plans, programmes and policies;
  • identify and monitor biodiversity and factors that influence it;
  • conserve biodiversity by:
    • establishing and duly managing protected areas and protecting ecosystems and natural habitats;
    • promoting environmentally sound and sustainable development in areas adjacent to protected areas;
    • restoring degraded ecosystems and helping recovery of threatened species;
    • regulating, managing or controlling the risks associated with the use and release of living modified organisms from biotechnology (i.e. genetically modified organisms);
    • preventing the introduction of, controlling or eradicating invasive alien species;
    • protecting and encouraging traditional use of biological resources;
    • adopting complementary conservation measures.

The convention further provides that signatories shall:

  • integrate biodiversity considerations into national decision-making;
  • avoid or minimise adverse impact from the use of biological resources (e.g. by means of environmental impact assessments);
  • encourage cooperation on biodiversity conservation between authorities and the private sector and put in place incentives;
  • assist developing countries to identify, conserve and make sustainable use of their biological diversity by providing research, scientific and technical education and appropriate training;
  • promote awareness among the general public of the importance of biological diversity;
  • assess the impact that decisions might have on biodiversity or on their neighbours.

National governments will facilitate access to their genetic resources for environmentally sound uses on mutually agreed terms, and subject to prior informed consent.

Parties shall ensure fair sharing of monetary and non-monetary benefits from the use (research and development) of those genetic resources.

National governments agree to:

  • share technology, particularly with developing countries;
  • exchange publicly available information on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity;
  • promote international and scientific cooperation;
  • share the results and benefits of biotechnologies from genetic resources.

The Global Environment Facility provides financial resources to developing countries to implement the convention. Its core budget comes from national governments with significant additional voluntary contributions.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DECISION APPLY?

It applies from 25 October 1993.

BACKGROUND

Two protocols have been agreed under the convention. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety governs the movements of living modified organisms from modern biotechnology from one country to another. The second is the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing. The EU is party to both.

In October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, the parties to the convention agreed on a 10-year strategic plan to combat biodiversity loss and defined 20 targets, known as the Aichi targets, to achieve this objective. These commitments are reflected in the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020.

For more information, see ‘Nature and biodiversity’ on the European Commission’s website.

ACT

Council Decision 93/626/EEC of 25 October 1993 concerning the conclusion of the Convention on Biological Diversity (OJ L 309, 13.12.1993, pp. 1-2)

RELATED ACTS

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions — Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 (COM(2011) 244 final of 3.5.2011)

Council Decision 2002/628/EC of 25 June 2002 concerning the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community, of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (OJ L 201, 31.7.2002, pp. 48-49)

Council Decision 2014/283/EU of 14 April 2014 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity (OJ L 150, 20.5.2014, pp. 231-233)

Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species (OJ L 317, 4.11.2014, pp. 35-55)

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — The mid-term review of the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 (COM(2015) 478 final of 2.10.2015)

last update 26.04.2016

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