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Convention on Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) aims to promote the well-being of both nature and humans. Negotiated under the auspices of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), adopted on May 22, 1992, and entered into force on December 29, 1993, it is built on a threefold, interacting objective: ‘‘the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources’’ (art. 1).The convention is comprehensive in scope, as it includes all species and ecosystems worldwide, as well as the genetic diversity within species. There are currently 188 parties to the convention, which is governed by a conference of the parties (COP) that is supported by a Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice. The CBD secretariat is located in Montreal and has about 60 professionals and support staff.
The background for negotiating and strengthening the Convention on Biological Diversity was an increasing awareness and agreement among scientists that the current rate of species extinction was (and remains) extremely high compared to the natural average rate (Wilson 1988; Heywood 1995, 232). A rapid loss of genetic diversity in domesticated plants, with risks of reduced food security, was another central concern. Of the estimated 7 to 30 million species on earth, only 1.9 million have been scientifically described most of what is lost is scientifically unknown. Moreover, developments in the biotechnologies have increased economic interests in the world’s genetic resources. Genetic resources constitute important input factors in biotechnology, including the pharmaceutical sector and all development and breeding of plants and animals. Wild relatives of domestic crops provide genetic variability that can be crucial in circumstances such as overcoming disease outbreaks or adjusting to climatic changes. Species may contain compounds (genes, proteins) that can generate valuable pharmaceuticals or other products at some future date (Laird and Wynberg 2005).
Provisions on access to genetic resources, including the equitable sharing of the benefits of their use, form a central element of the CBD and are regarded as a prerequisite for the two first objectives of conservation and sustainable use. The CBD reconfirmed national sovereign rights to genetic resources (art. 15.1) and equitable sharing of benefits from use of those resources (art. 15.7). Access to the resources is based on mutually agreed terms and subject to prior informed consent (art. 15.4 and 15.5).
The value of products derived from genetic resources worldwide has been estimated at between U.S. $500 billion and $800 billion (Ten Kate and Laird 1999). In addition to the direct economic values of genetic resources, biodiversity as a whole provides a great range of ecosystem services, such as local water and climate regulation, and materials for building and firewood. There is also a great range of noneconomic values attached to biodiversity, such as cultural and intrinsic values. The average annual loss of wild habitats and populations is estimated to deprive people of ecosystemserviceswith a networth of about U.S. $250 billion every year (Millennium EcosystemAssessment 2005).The Convention on Biological Diversity parties have pledged to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2010.
To this end, the CBD parties have agreed to develop national biodiversity strategies, integrate biodiversity conservation in all policy levels and sectors, identify and monitor biodiversity, establish systems of protected areas, and identify activities that are likely to have adverse effects on biodiversity. Moreover, the parties must adopt economically and socially sound measures to act as incentives for conservation and sustainable use, establish programs for scientific and technical education and training for identification and conservation, and provide support for such training in developing countries. The CBD is equipped with a monitoring mechanism in the form of national reporting and an incentive mechanismin the formof theGlobal Environment Facility (GEF). The GEF has invested nearly U.S. $4.2 billion for biodiversity conservation in developing countries since its establishment in 1991.
In several respects, the CBD constitutes a framework agreement open for further developments and specifications. For example, article 19.3 commits parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to consider the elaboration of a protocol to protect biodiversity from potential risks from genetically modified organisms. On this basis, the parties negotiated the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which was adopted in 2000 and entered into force in 2003. The protocol builds on a precautionary approach and establishes an advance informed agreement (AIA) procedure to help countries make decisions before agreeing to the import of such organisms into their territory.
The COP has initiated work on seven thematic work programs. These address marine and coastal biodiversity, agricultural biodiversity, forest biodiversity, island biodiversity, the biodiversity of inland waters, dry and subhumid lands, and mountain biodiversity. In addition, work has been initiated on biosafety; access to genetic resources; traditional knowledge, innovations, and practices (art. 8[j]); intellectual property rights; indicators; taxonomy; public education and awareness; incentives; and alien species.
The ecosystem approach is the primary framework for action under the convention. It is a strategy for integratedmanagement of land, water, and living resources that aims to promote conservation and sustainable use in an equitable manner. The ecosystem approach recognizes that humans, with their cultural diversity, are an integral component of ecosystems. As the greatest threat to biodiversity lies in the replacement of undeveloped land by alternative systems of land use, the approach recommendsmanagement in an economic context in order to reduce market distortions, which undervalue natural systems and provide perverse incentives and subsidies.
The COP has requested close collaboration with relevant international instruments and processes to enhance policy coherence. These include biodiversity- related conventions (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Convention on Migrating Species, and World Heritage Convention), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), as well as intergovernmental organizations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, UNESCO, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, and the World Trade Organization (WTO). There is a joint Web site for biodiversity-related conventions (see Further Reading, at the end of this article).
The CBD and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands are implementing a joint work plan, including the River Basin Initiative. The secretariats of the CBD and the CCD are developing a joint work program. The COP has also called for greater cooperation with the UNFCCC on issues such as drylands, forest biodiversity, coral reefs, and incentive measures. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change examines linkages between climate change and biodiversity and prepares scientific advice on the integration of biodiversity considerations into implementation of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol. The Secretariat is collaborating with UNESCO on the development of a global initiative on biodiversity education, training, and public awareness. The COP also emphasizes the importance of developing a common understanding of the relationship between the CBD and the WTO agreements, including the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). It has called for further work with respect to the relationship between intellectual property rights (IPRs), relevant provisions of TRIPS, and the Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular those on technology transfer and on traditional knowledge and biological diversity. The COP has invited the WTO to explore the interrelationship between the CBD and the TRIPS. The COP has also sought to initiate cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on the issue of IPRs arising fromthe implementation of the convention, such as those in access and benefit sharing and article 8(j) and related provisions. A memorandum of cooperation was signed with WIPO in 2003. See also Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS); Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES); Global Environment Facility; multilateral environmental agreements; trade and the environment


2 июля 2011 17:49

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You’ve got it in one. Couldn’t have put it beettr.
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