The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in the UK
Biological diversity or, as it is more commonly referred
to, biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth.
Biodiversity gives us our food, clean water and air. It is
vital to humanity's economic and social development. The
biodiversity we have today is the result of evolution over billions
of years; it has been, and continues to be, shaped by natural
processes and, increasingly, by the impact of humans.
The Convention on Biological
Diversity (CBD) was adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil in June 1992, and entered into force in December
1993. As the first treaty to provide a legal framework for
biodiversity conservation in its entirety, the Convention
established three main goals: the conservation of biological
diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and
equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic
The UK Government ratified the Treaty on 3 June 1994.
It has extended the Convention to a number of its Overseas Territories and Crown
Dependencies, namely: British Virgin Islands, Cayman
Islands, Gibraltar, Jersey, Isle of Man, and St
Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.
As of February 2014, the UK is one of 193 Contracting
Parties, all of which are required to create and implement national
strategies and action plans to conserve, protect and enhance
biological diversity. They are also required to undertake action to
implement the thematic work programmes on ecosystems and a range of
cross-cutting issues which have been established to take forward
the provisions of the Convention.
Further information and resources