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PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA

University of the City of Manila


College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-1
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EARTH SUMMIT ........................................................................................................................ 3


EARTH SUMMIT AGREEMENTS .......................................................................................... 4
AGENDA 21 ............................................................................................................................. 5
RIO DECLERATION ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT ......................... 22
STATEMENT OF FOREST PRINCIPLES ....................................................................... 27
UN FOLLOW-UP ...................................................................................................................... 36
UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).............................................. 38
STANDARD SETTING ......................................................................................................... 39
FINANCING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT............................................................. 40
FIVE YEARS AFTER RIO ...................................................................................................... 41
CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY ................................................................. 42
INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................... 42
SUSTAINING LIFE ON EARTH ........................................................................................ 43
THE WEB OF LIFE .......................................................................................................... 43
WE ARE CHANGING LIFE ON EARTH...................................................................... 44
AN AGREEMENT FOR ACTION ................................................................................... 47
NATIONAL LEVEL ............................................................................................................ 50
INTERNATIONAL LEVEL ............................................................................................... 54
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS .................................................................................... 58
CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................... 62
CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY ............................................................. 62

International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-2
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

EARTH SUMMIT
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
(UNCED), otherwise known as the Earth Summit, was held in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992, attended by representatives from over 178
governments.

In terms of both its size and the scope of its


concerns, it was an unprecedented event. Twenty years
after the first global environment conference, the UN
sought to help Governments rethink economic
development and find ways to halt the destruction of
irreplaceable natural resources and pollution of the
planet. Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of
life were drawn into the Rio process. They persuaded their leaders to go to Rio
and join other nations in making the difficult decisions needed to ensure a
healthy planet for generations to come.

The Secretary General of the Conference was Maurice Strong.

The Summit’s message — that nothing less than a transformation of our


attitudes and behaviour would bring about the necessary changes — was
transmitted by almost 10,000 on-site journalists and heard by millions around
the world. The message reflected the complexity of the problems facing us: that
poverty as well as excessive consumption by affluent populations place damaging
stress on the environment.

Governments recognized the need to redirect international and national


plans and policies to ensure that all economic decisions fully took into account
any environmental impact. And the message has produced results, making eco-
efficiency a guiding principle for business and governments alike.

The two-week Earth Summit was the climax of a process, begun in


December 1989, of planning, education and negotiations among all Member
States of the United Nations, leading to the adoption of Agenda 21, a wide-
ranging blueprint for action to achieve sustainable development worldwide.

Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally,


nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System,

International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-3
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the
environment.

In addition to Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and


Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management
of Forests were adopted.

At its close, Maurice Strong, the Conference Secretary-General, called the


Summit a “historic moment for humanity”. Although Agenda 21 had been
weakened by compromise and negotiation, he said, it was still the most
comprehensive and, if implemented, effective programme of action ever
sanctioned by the international community.

The Earth Summit influenced all subsequent UN conferences, which have


examined the relationship between human rights, population, social
development, women and human settlements — and the need for
environmentally sustainable development. The World Conference on Human
Rights, held in Vienna in 1993, for example, underscored the right of people to
a healthy environment and the right to development, controversial demands that
had met with resistance from some Member States until Rio.

EARTH SUMMIT AGREEMENTS


In Rio, Governments — 108 represented by heads of State or Government
— adopted three major agreements aimed at changing the traditional approach
to development:

• Agenda 21 — a comprehensive programme of action for global action in


all areas of sustainable development;

• The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development — a series of


principles defining the rights and responsibilities of States;

• The Statement of Forest Principles — a set of principles to underlie the


sustainable management of forests worldwide.

In addition, two legally binding Conventions aimed at preventing global


climate change and the eradication of the diversity of biological species were
opened for signature at the Summit, giving high profile to these efforts:
International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-4
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

• The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

• The Convention on Biological Diversity

AGENDA 21
Agenda 21 is an environmental action plan for the next century. It is not
legally binding but forms the basis for a new international partnership for
sustainable development and environmental protection worldwide.

Agenda 21 was the major overall document


coming out of Rio and was devised to deal with
some of the fundamental problems of resource
degradation and aid to the developing world. It
addresses many issues with respect to global
sustainability and includes core chapters related
to financing, the implementation of technology
transfer and institutional follow-up to
UNCED. The primary goal of Agenda 21 is to
ensure that development proceeds in a
sustainable manner: "the system of incentives
and penalties which motivate economic
behaviour must be reoriented to become a strong
force for sustainability." Another goal is
ultimately to eliminate poverty throughout the world through better management
of energy and natural resources and improvement of the quality of life by
ensuring access to shelter and clean water, sewage and solid waste treatment.
Agenda 21 also attempts to achieve the sustainable use of global and regional
resources such as atmosphere, oceans, seas and freshwater, and marine
organisms. The final goal is for improved management of chemicals and wastes.
It is estimated that one third of the deaths in the third world are caused by food
and water contaminated with human or industrial waste.

Agenda 21 addresses all those groups and professions involved in the


achievement of its goals. This will lead to an increase in the transfer of
environmental technologies and highlights the need for financing from the
industrialized world to the developing world.

International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-5
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

A number of contentious Agenda 21 issues were not agreed upon prior to


the conference, including forest protection, desertification, financing, and who
would oversee implementation of Agenda 21. The developing countries suspect
that the preservation of their forests is advocated only so that these can act as a
sink for the carbon dioxide produced in the West. The North-South standoff on
this point was resolved by changing the language to read, "the parties will
consider calling for a treaty on forest issues."

Desertification affects one-quarter of the earth's landmass and is a


particular problem in Africa. Over 100 countries and some 800 million people
are affected by it, with Australia, the U.S. and the Commonwealth of Independent
States heading the list of industrialized countries. It can be combated by
reforestation, afforestation and soil conservation. The wording describing the
issue of desertification raised opposition from the South, which wanted a firm
commitment to negotiate a treaty, whereas the U.S. recommended attacking the
causes of desertification. The final outcome was a call for the adoption of an
international convention on this subject.

The final major area of contention concerned who would oversee the
implementation and finances of Agenda 21. Most countries wanted the
establishment of a new UN monitoring agency to be called the Commission for
Sustainable Development. This was finally agreed to, but the details of
implementation have not yet been determined. A recommendation that funding
be handled by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) met with opposition from
the Third World, whose concerns were based on the GEF's connection to the
World Bank and thus the industrialized world. The World Bank's environmental
record has been poor, and the Third World has had little influence over it in the
past. In the compromise agreed to the funds will be directed through a variety of
entities including the GEF, regional banks and bilateral aid.

It is believed that the minimum amount of funding needed to implement


Agenda 21 was not committed. The current total for development assistance from
the industrialized world is $55 billion annually. It was hoped that the average
assistance would amount to 0.7% of each industrial country's gross national
product (GNP) to total U.S. $625 billion, the estimated annual cost of
implementing the 115 projects of Agenda 21. The figure of 0.7% was originally
suggested at the 1972 Conference in Stockholm. Only Norway, Sweden,
Denmark and the Netherlands have reached that goal.
International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-6
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

In funding calculations, environmentalism is often perceived as costly and


involving expensive technologies and measures. Those opposed to increasing
funding do not take into account the longer-term benefits that would accrue or
the economic opportunities in environmental fields; they do not encourage the
adoption of more environmentally friendly economic development in Western
countries.

Governments agreed that durable solutions must be found to the debt


problems of low and middle-income nations. Creditors were requested to provide
debt relief to the poorest heavily indebted countries that are pursuing structural
adjustment.

Delegates largely avoided the population issue and its relation to poverty
and development. Dr. George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, had hoped
that his statements on Rome's doctrinal opposition to artificial birth control
would help put the issue on to the agenda at the Earth Summit, in spite of the
Vatican's efforts to keep it off. The argument that the population increase in the
Third World is no more damaging than that in the developed world has some
merit; a child in the west will consume 18 times more than a child in the
developing world. On the other hand, it is naive to believe that the population
crisis is not a large problem and the cause of much environmental degradation.
The developing world must slow its population growth and the developed world
must use fewer resources per person. Both approaches are important.

Lastly, the use of environmental destruction as a weapon of war was not


examined, nor was the need for more open trade and its environmental and
developmental impacts.

Overview of Agenda 21

SECTION ONE: SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS

The preamble and the following eight chapters consider the challenges that the
adaptation of human behaviour to sustainable development pose to prevailing
social and economic structures and institutions.

1. PREAMBLE

The preamble concludes, "Agenda 21 is a dynamic program. It will be carried out


over time by the various actors according to the different situations, capacities
International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-7
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

and priorities of countries and regions...The process marks the beginning of a


new global partnership..."

2. ACCELERATING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Calls for a global partnership to provide a dynamic and growing world economy
based on an "...open, equitable, secure, non-discriminatory, and predictable
multilateral trading system," in which commodity exports of the developing
countries can find markets at fair prices free of tariff and nontariff barriers.

3. COMBATING POVERTY

Suggests that factors creating policies of development, resource management,


and poverty be integrated. This objective is to be sought by improving access of
the poor to education and health care, to safe water and sanitation, and to
resources, especially land; by restoration of degraded resources; by
empowerment of the disadvantaged, especially women, youth, and indigenous
peoples; by ensuring that "women and men have the same right and the means
to decide freely and responsibly on the number of spacing of their children."

4. CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

"One of the most serious problems now facing the planet is that associated with
historical patterns of unsustainable consumption, and production, particularly
in the industrialized countries." Social research and policy should bring forward
new concepts of status and lifestyles which are "less dependent on the Earth's
finite resources and more in harmony with its carrying capacity." Greater
efficiency in the use of energy and resources--for example, reducing wasteful
packaging of products-- must be sought by new technology and new social
values.

5. POPULATION AND SUSTAINABILITY

Urges governments to develop and implement population policies integral with


their economic development programs. Health services should "include women-
centered, women-managed, safe and effective reproductive health care and
affordable, accessible services, as appropriate, for the responsible planning of
family size..." Health services are to emphasize reduction of infant death rates
which converge with low birth rates to stabilize world population at a sustainable
number at the end of the century.
International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-8
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

6. PROTECTING AND PROMOTING HUMAN HEALTH

Calls for meeting basic health needs of all populations; provide necessary
specialized environmental health services; co-ordinate involvement of citizens,
and the health sector, in solutions to health problems. Health service coverage
should be achieved for population groups in greatest need, particularly those
living in rural areas. The preventative measures urged include reckoning with
urban health hazards and risks from environmental pollution.

7. SUSTAINABLE HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

Addresses the full range of issues facing urban-rural settlements, including:


access to land, credit, and low-cost building materials by homeless poor and
unemployed; upgrading of slums to ease the deficit in urban shelter; access to
basic services of clean water, sanitation, and waste collection; use of appropriate
construction materials, designs, and technologies; increased use of high-
occupancy public transportation and bicycle and foot paths; reduction of long-
distance commuting; support for the informal economic sector; development of
urban renewal projects in partnership with non-governmental organizations;
improved rural living conditions and land-use planning to prevent urban sprawl
onto agricultural land and fragile regions.

8. MAKING DECISIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Calls on governments to create sustainable development strategies to integrate


social and environmental policies in all ministries and at all levels, including
fiscal measures and the budget. Encourages nations and corporate enterprises
to integrate environmental protection, degradation, and restoration costs in
decision-making at the outset, and to mount without delay the research
necessary to reckon such costs, to develop protocols bringing these
considerations into procedures at all levels of decision-making.

SECTION TWO: CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES

The environment itself is the subject of chapters 9 through 22, dealing with the
conservation and management of resources for development.

9. PROTECTING THE ATMOSPHERE

International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-9
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

Urges constraint and efficiency in energy production and consumption,


development of renewable energy sources; and promotion of mass transit
technology and access thereto for developing countries. Conservation and
expansion of "all sinks for greenhouse gases" is extolled, and transboundary
pollution recognized as "subject to international controls." Governments need to
develop more precise ways of predicting levels of atmospheric pollutants;
modernize existing power systems to gain energy efficiency; and increase energy
efficiency education and labelling programs.

10. MANAGING LAND SUSTAINABLY

Calls on governments to develop policies that take into account the land-
resource base, population changes, and the interests of local people; improve
and enforce laws and regulations to support the sustainable use of land, and
restrict the transfer of productive arable land to other uses; use techniques such
as landscape ecological planning that focus on an ecosystem or a watershed, and
encourage sustainable livelihoods; include appropriate traditional and
indigenous land-use practices, such as pastoralism, traditional land reserves,
and terraced agriculture in land management; encourage the active participation
in decision-making of those affected groups that have often been excluded, such
as women, youth, indigenous people, and other local communities; test ways of
putting the value of land and ecosystems into national reports on economic
performance; ensure that institutions that deal with land and natural resources
integrate environmental, social, and economic issues into planning.

11. COMBATING DEFORESTATION

Calls for concerted international research and conservation efforts to control


harvesting of forests and "uncontrolled degradation and conversion to other
types of land use," to develop the values of standing forests under sustained
cultivation by indigenous technologies and agroforestry, and to expand the
shrunken world-forest cover. Governments, along with business,
nongovernmental and other groups should: plant more forests to reduce
pressure on primary and old-growth forests; breed trees that are more productive
and resistant to stress; protect forests and reduce pollutants that affect them,
including air pollution that flows across borders; limit and aim to halt destructive
shifting cultivation by addressing the underlying social and ecological causes;
use environmentally sound, more efficient and less polluting methods of

International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-10
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

harvesting; minimize wood waste; promote small-scale enterprises; develop


urban forestry for the greening of all places where people live; and encourage
low-impact forest use and sustainable management of areas adjacent to forests.

12. COMBATING DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Calls for intensive study of the process in its relation to world climate change to
improve forecasting, study of natural vegetation succession to support large-
scale revegetation and afforestation, checking and reversal of erosion, and like
small-and grand-scale measures. For inhabitants whose perilously adapted
livelihoods are threatened or erased, resettlement and adaptation to new life
ways must be assisted. Governments must: adopt national sustainable landuse
plans and sustainable management of water resources; accelerate planting
programs; and help to reduce the demand for fuelwood through energy efficiency
and alternative energy programs.

13. SUSTAINABLE MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT

Calls for study, protection, and restoration of these fragile ecosystems and
assistance to populations in regions suffering degradation. Governments should:
promote erosion-control measures that are low-cost, simple, and easily used;
offer people incentives to conserve resources and use environment-friendly
technologies; produce information on alternative livelihoods; create protected
areas to save wild genetic material; identify hazardous areas that are most
vulnerable to erosion floods, landslides, earthquakes, snow avalanches, and
other natural hazards and develop early-warning systems and disaster-response
teams; identify mountain areas threatened by air pollution from neighbouring
industrial and urban areas; and create centres of information on mountain
ecosystems.

14. SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Rising population food needs must be met through: increased productivity and
co-operation involving rural people, national governments, the private sector,
and the international community; wider access to techniques for reducing food
spoilage, loss to pests, and for conserving soil and water resources; ecosystem
planning; access of private ownership and fair market prices; advice and training
in modern and indigenous conservation techniques including conservation
tillage, integrated pest management, crop rotation, use of plant nutrients,
International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-11
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

agroforestry, terracing and mixed cropping; and better use and equitable
distribution of information on plant and animal genetic resources.

15. CONSERVATION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

Recognizing the need to conserve and maintain genes, species, and ecosystems,
urges nations, with the co-operation of the United Nations, nongovernmental
organizations, the private sector, and financial institutions, to: conduct national
assessments on the state of biodiversity; develop national strategies to conserve
and sustain biological diversity and make these part of overall national
development strategies; conduct long-term research into importance of
biodiversity for ecosystems that produce goods and environmental benefits;
protect natural habitats; encourage traditional methods of agriculture,
agroforestry, forestry, range and wildlife management which use, maintain, or
increase biodiversity.

16. MANAGEMENT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY

Calls for the transfer of biotechnology to the developing countries and the
creation of the infrastructure of human capacity and institutions to put it to
work there. Highlights need for internationally agreed principles on risk
assessment and management of all aspects of biotechnology, to: improve
productivity and the nutritional quality and shelf-life of food and animal feed
products; develop vaccines and techniques for preventing the spread of diseases
and toxins; increase crop resistance to diseases and pests, so that there will be
less need for chemical pesticides; develop safe and effective methods for the
biological control of disease-transmitting insects, especially those resistant to
pesticides; contribute to soil fertility; treat sewage, organic chemical wastes, and
oil spills more cheaply and effectively than conventional methods; and tap
mineral resources in ways that cause less environmental damage.

17. PROTECTING AND MANAGING THE OCEANS

Sets out goals and programs under which nations may conserve "their" oceanic
resources for their own and the benefit of the nations that share oceans with
them, and international programs that may protect the residual commons in the
interests even of land-locked nations, such as: anticipate and prevent further
degradation of the marine environment and reduce the risk of long-term or
irreversible effects on the oceans; ensure prior assessment of activities that may
International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-12
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

have significant adverse impact on the seas; make marine environmental


protection part of general environmental, social, and economic development
policies; apply the "polluter pays" principle, and use economic incentives to
reduce polluting of the seas; improve the living standards of coast-dwellers;
reduce or eliminate discharges of synthetic chemicals that threaten to
accumulate to dangerous levels in marine life; control and reduce toxic-waste
discharges; stricter international regulations to reduce the risk of accidents and
pollution from cargo ships; develop land-use practices that reduce run-off of soil
and wastes to rivers, and thus to the seas; stop ocean dumping and the
incineration of hazardous wastes at sea.

18. PROTECTING AND MANAGING FRESH WATER

Sets out measures, from development of long-range weather and climate


forecasting to cleanup of the most obvious sources of pollution, to secure the
supply of fresh water for the next doubling of the human population. Focus is
on developing low-cost but adequate services that can be installed and
maintained at the community level to achieve universal water supply by 2025.
The interim goals set for 2000 include: to provide all urban residents with at
least 40 liters of safe drinking water per person per day; provide 75% of urban
dwellers with sanitation; establish standards for the discharge of municipal and
industrial wastes; have three-quarters of solid urban waste collected and
recycled, or disposed of in an environmentally safe way; ensure that rural people
everywhere have access to safe water and sanitation for healthy lives, while
maintaining essential local environments; control water-associated diseases.

19. SAFER USE OF TOXIC CHEMICALS

Seeks objectives such as: full evaluation of 500 chemicals before the year 2000;
control of chemical hazards through pollution prevention, emission inventories,
product labelling; use limitations, procedures for safe handling and exposure
regulations; phase-out or banning of high-risk chemicals; consideration of
policies based on the principle of producer liability; reduced risk by using less-
toxic or non-chemical technologies; review of pesticides whose acceptance was
based on criteria now recognized as insufficient or outdated; efforts to replace
chemicals with other pest-control methods such as biological control; provision
to the public of information on chemical hazards in the languages of those who
use the materials; development of a chemical-hazard labelling system using

International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-13
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

easily understandable symbols; control of the export of banned or restricted


chemicals and provision of information on any exports to the importing
countries.

20. MANAGING HAZARDOUS WASTES

Seeks international support in restraint of the trade and for containing the
hazardous cargoes in safe sinks. Governments should: require and assist in the
innovation by industry of cleaner production methods and of preventive and
recycling technologies; encourage the phasing out of processes that produce high
risks because of hazardous waste management; hold producers responsible for
the environmentally unsound disposal of the hazardous wastes they generate;
establish public information programs and ensure that training programs
provided for industry and government workers on hazardous-waste issues,
especially use minimization; build treatment centres for hazardous wastes,
either at the national or regional level; ensure that the military conforms to
national environmental norms for hazardous-waste treatment and disposal; ban
the export of hazardous wastes to countries that are not equipped to deal with
those wastes. Industry should: treat, recycle, reuse, and dispose of wastes at or
close to the site where they are created.

21. MANAGING SOLID WASTES AND SEWAGE

Governments should urge waste minimization and increased reuse/recycling as


strategies toward sound waste treatment and disposal; encourage "life-cycle"
management of the flow of material into and out of manufacturing and use;
provide incentives to recycling; fund pilot programs, such as small-scale and
cottage-based recycling industries, compost production, irrigation using treated
waste water, and the recovery of energy from wastes; establish guidelines for the
safe reuse of waste and encourage markets for recycled and reused products.

22. MANAGING RADIOACTIVE WASTES

Calls for increasingly stringent measures to encourage countries to co-operate


with international organizations to: promote ways of minimizing and limiting the
creation of radioactive wastes; provide for the sage storage, processing,
conditioning, transportation, and disposal of such wastes; provide developing
countries with technical assistance to help them deal with wastes, or make it
easier for such countries to return used radioactive material to suppliers;
International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-14
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

promote the proper planning of safe and environmentally sound ways of


managing radioactive wastes, possibly including assessment of the
environmental impact; strengthen efforts to implement the Code of Practice on
the Transboundary Movements of Radioactive Wastes; encourage work to finish
studies on whether the current voluntary moratorium on disposal of low-level
radioactive wastes at sea should be replaced by a ban; not promote or allow
storage or disposal of radioactive wastes near seacoasts or open seas, unless it
is clear that this does not create an unacceptable risk to people and the marine
environment; not export radioactive wastes to countries that prohibit the import
of such waste.

SECTION THREE: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF MAJOR GROUPS

The issues of how people are to be mobilized and empowered for their various
roles in sustainable development are addressed in chapters 23 through 32.

23. PREAMBLE

"Critical to the effective implementation of the objectives, policies, and


mechanisms agreed to by Governments in all program areas of Agenda 21 will
be the commitment and involvement of all social groups..."

24. WOMEN IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Urges governments to face the status question; give girls equal access to
education; reduce the workloads of girls and women; make health-care systems
responsive to female needs; open employment and careers to women; and bring
women into full participation in social, cultural, and public life. Governments
should: ensure a role for women in national and international ecosystem
management and control of environmental degradation; ensure women's access
to property rights, as well as agricultural inputs and implements; take all
necessary measures to eliminate violence against women, and work to eliminate
persistent negative images, stereotypes, and attitudes, and prejudices against
women; develop consumer awareness among women to reduce or eliminate
unsustainable consumption; and begin to count the value of unpaid work.

25. CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Calls on governments, by the year 2000, to ensure that 50% of their youth,
gender balanced, have access to secondary education or vocational training;
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PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
College of Engineering and Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering

teach students about the environment and sustainable development through


their schooling; consult with and let youth participate in decisions that affect the
environment; enable youth to be represented at international meetings, and
participate in decision-making at the United Nations; combat human rights
abuses against youth and see that their children are healthy, adequately fed,
educated, and protected from pollution and toxic substances; and develop
strategies that deal with the entitlement of young people to natural resources.

26. STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Urges governments to enrol indigenous peoples in full global partnership,


beginning with measures to protect their rights and conserve their patrimony;
recognize that indigenous lands need to be protected from environmentally
unsound activities, and from activities the people consider to be socially and
culturally inappropriate; develop a national dispute resolution procedure to deal
with settlement and land-use concerns; incorporate their rights and
responsibilities into national legislation; recognize and apply elsewhere
indigenous values, traditional knowledge and resource management practices;
and provide indigenous people with suitable technologies to increase the
efficiency of their resource management.

27. PARTNERSHIPS WITH NONGOVERNMENTAL GROUPS [CIVIC GROUPS ]

Calls on governments and the United Nations system to: invite nongovernmental
groups to be involved in making policies and decisions on sustainable
development; make NGOs a part of the review process and evaluation of
implementing Agenda 21; provide NGOs with timely access to information;
encourage partnerships between NGOs and local authorities; review financial
and administrative support for NGOs; utilize NGO expertise and information;
and create laws enabling NGOs the right to take legal action to protect the public
interest.

28. LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Calls on local authorities, by 1996, to undertake to promote a consensus in their


local populations on "a local Agenda 21;" and, at all times, to invite women and
youth into full participation in the decision-making, planning, and
implementation process; to consult citizens and community, business, and
industrial organizations to gather information and build a consensus on
International Treaties and Conventions Castillo | Saligue | Santos | Sison | Torres | Yepes B-16
PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA
University of the City of Manila
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sustainable development strategies. This consensus would help them reshape


local programs, policies, laws, and regulations to achieve desired objectives. The
process of consultation would increase people's awareness of sustainable
development issues.

29. WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS

Challenges governments, businesses, and industries to work toward the goal of


full employment, which contributes to sustainable livelihoods in safe, clean, and
healthy environments, at work and beyond, by fostering the active and informed
participation of workers and trade unions in shaping and implementing
environment and development strategies at both the national and international
levels; increase worker education and training, both in occupational health and
safety and in skills for sustainable livelihoods; and promote workers' rights to
freedom of association and the right to organize. Unions and employees should
design joint environmental policies, and set priorities to improve the working
environment and the overall environmental performance of business and develop
more collective agreements aimed at achieving sustainability.

30. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

Calls on governments to: use economic incentives, laws, standards, and more
streamlined administration to promote sustainably managed enterprises with
cleaner production; encourage the creation of venture-capital funds; and co-
operate with business, industry, academia, and international organizations to
support training in the environmental aspects of enterprise management.
Business and industry should: develop policies that result in operations and
products that have lower environmental impacts; ensure responsible and ethical
management of products and processes from the point of view of health, safety,
and the environment; make environmentally sound technologies available to
affiliates in developing countries without prohibitive charges; encourage overseas
affiliates to modify procedures in order to reflect local ecological conditions and
share information with governments; create partnerships to help people in
smaller companies learn business skills; establish national councils for
sustainable development, both in the formal business community and in the
informal sector, which includes small-scale businesses, such as artisans;
increase research and development of environmentally sound technologies and
environmental management systems; report annually on their environmental

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records; and adopt environmental and sustainable development codes of


conduct.

31. SCIENTISTS AND TECHNOLOGISTS

Indicates that governments should: decide how national scientific and


technological programs could help make development more sustainable; provide
for full and open sharing of information among scientists and decision-makers;
fashion national reports that are understandable and relevant to local
sustainable development needs; form national advisory groups to help scientists
and society develop common values on environmental and developmental ethics;
and put environment and development ethics into education and research
priorities. Scientists and technologies have special responsibilities to: search for
knowledge, and to help protect the biosphere; increase and strengthen dialogue
with the public; and develop codes of practice and guidelines that reconcile
human needs and environmental protection.

32. STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF FARMERS

To develop sustainable farming strategies, calls on governments to collaborate


with national and international research centres and nongovernmental
organizations to: develop environmentally sound farming practices and
technologies that improve crop yields, maintain land quality, recycle nutrients,
conserve water and energy, and control pests and weeds; help farmers share
expertise in conserving land, water, and forest resources, making the most
efficient use of chemicals and reducing or re-using farm wastes; encourage self-
sufficiency in low-input and low-energy technologies, including indigenous
practices; support research on equipment that makes optimal use of human
labour and animal power; delegate more power and responsibility to those who
work the land; give people more incentive to care for the land by seeing that men
and women can get land tenure, access to credit, technology, farm supplies, and
training. Researchers need to develop environment-friendly farming techniques
and colleges need to bring ecology into agricultural training.

SECTION FOUR: MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION

Chapters 33 through 40 deal with the ways and means of implementing Agenda
21.

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33. FINANCING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

At UNCED, countries committed to the consensus of a global partnership,


holding that the eradication of poverty "is essential to meeting national and
global sustainability objectives;" that "the cost of inaction could outweigh the
financial costs of implementing Agenda 21;" that "the huge sustainable
development programs of Agenda 21 will require the provision to developing
countries of substantial new and additional financial resources;" and that "the
initial phase will be accelerated by substantial early commitments of
concessional funding." Further, the developed countries "reaffirmed their
commitments to reach the accepted United Nations target of 0.7% of GNP for
concessional funding... as soon as possible."

34. TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

Economic assistance would move from the developed to the developing counties
principally in the form of technology. Developing countries would be assisted in
gaining access to technology and know-how in the public domain and to that
protected by intellectual property rights as well, "taking into account
developments in the process of negotiating an international code of conduct on
the transfer of technology" proceeding under the United Nations Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade. To enhance access of developing countries to environmentally
sound technology, a collaborative network of laboratories is to be established.

35. SCIENCE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Sustainable development requires expansion of the ongoing international


collaborative enterprises in the study of the geochemical cycles of the biosphere
and the establishment of strong national scientific enterprises in the developing
countries. The sciences link fundamental understanding of the Earth system to
development of strategies that build upon its continued healthy functioning. "In
the face of threats of irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific
understanding should not be an excuse for postponing actions which are
justified in their own right." Countries need to develop tools for sustainable
development, such as: quality-of-life indicators covering health, education, social
welfare, and the state of environment, and the economy; economic incentives
that will encourage better resource management; and ways of measuring the
environmental soundness of new technologies. They should use information on

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the links between the state of ecosystems and human health when weighing the
costs and benefits of different development policies, and conduct scientific
studies to help map our national and regional pathways to sustainable
development. When sustainable development plans are being make, the public
should be involved in setting long-term goals for society.

36. EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND PUBLIC AWARENESS

Because sustainable development must ultimately enlist everyone, access to


education must be hastened for all children; adult illiteracy must be reduced to
half of its 1990 level, and the curriculum must incorporate environmental and
developmental learning. Nations should seek to: introduce environment and
development concepts, including those related to population growth, into all
educational programs, with analyses of the causes of the major issues. They
should emphasize training decision-makers; involve schoolchildren in local and
regional studies on environmental health, including safe drinking water,
sanitation, food, and the environmental and economic impacts of resource use;
set up training programs for school and university graduates to help them
achieve sustainable livelihoods; encourage all sectors of society to train people
in environmental management; provide locally trained and recruited
environmental technicians to give local communities services they require,
starting with primary environmental care; work with the media, theatre groups,
entertainment, and advertising industries to promote a more active public debate
on the environment; and bring indigenous peoples' experience and
understanding of sustainable development into education and training.

37. CREATING CAPACITY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Developing countries need more technical co-operation and assistance in setting


priorities so that they can deal with new long-term challenges, rather than
concentrating only on immediate problems. For example, people in government
and business need to learn how to evaluate the environmental impact of all
development projects, starting from the time the projects are conceived.
Assistance in the form of skills, knowledge, and technical know-how can come
from the United Nations, national governments, municipalities,
nongovernmental organizations, universities, research centres, and business
and other private organizations. The United Nations Development Program has

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been given responsibility for mobilizing international funding and co-ordination


programs for capacity building.

38. ORGANIZING FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

To the existing UN system, the General Assembly as the supreme deliberative


and policymaking body, the Economic and Social Council as the appropriate
overseer of system-wide coordination reporting to the General Assembly, the
Secretary General as chief executive, and the technical agencies seeing to their
special functions, Agenda 21 proposes to add a Commission on Sustainable
Development to monitor implementation of Agenda 21, reporting to the General
Assembly through ECOSOC. The Conference also recommended that the UN
Secretary-General appoint a high-level board of environment and development
experts to advise on other structural change required in the UN system. The
United Nations Environment Program will need to develop and promote natural
resource accounting and environmental economics, develop international
environmental law, and advise governments on how to integrate environmental
considerations into their development policies and programs.

39. INTERNATIONAL LAW

The major goals in international law on sustainable development should include:


the development of universally negotiated agreements that create effective
international standards for environmental protection, taking account of the
different situations and abilities of various countries; an international review of
the feasibility of establishing general rights and obligations of nations as in the
field of sustainable development; and measures to avoid or settle international
disputes in the field of sustainable development. These measures can range from
notification and talks on issues that might lead to disputes, to the use of the
International Court of Justice.

40. INFORMATION FOR DECISION-MAKING

Calls on governments to ensure that local communities and resource users get
the information and skills needed to manage their environment and resources
sustainably, including application of traditional and indigenous knowledge;
more information about the status of urban air, fresh water, land resources,
desertification, soil degradation, biodiversity, the high seas, and the upper
atmosphere; more information about population, urbanization, poverty, health,
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and rights of access to resources. Information is also needed about the


relationships of groups, including women, indigenous peoples, youth, children
and the disabled with environment issues. Current national accounting reckons
environmental costs as "externalities." Internalization of such costs, the
amortization of non-renewable resources, and the development of indicators of
sustainability all require not only new data but new thinking.

RIO DECLERATION ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT


It had been hoped that the Earth Charter drafted five years ago as a moral
framework for environmental development would be adopted as a legally binding
document at the Conference. It affirmed the rights of all citizens to a clean
environment and the rights of developing countries to pursue sustainable
development. Instead, the Earth Charter was replaced by a 27-clause statement
of principles called the Rio Declaration.

PREAMBLE

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development,

Having met at Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992,

Reaffirming the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human


Environment, adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972, and seeking to build upon
it,

With the goal of establishing a new and equitable global partnership through the
creation of new levels of co-operation among States, key sectors of societies and
people,

Working towards international agreements which respect the interests of all and
protect the integrity of the global environmental and developmental system,

Recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our home,

Proclaims that:

PRINCIPLE 1

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Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They
are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.

PRINCIPLE 2

States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the
principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources
pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the
responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not
cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits
of national jurisdiction.

PRINCIPLE 3

The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental


and environmental needs of present and future generations.

PRINCIPLE 4

In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall


constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered
in isolation from it.

PRINCIPLE 5

All States and all people shall co-operate in the essential task of eradicating
poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, in order
to decrease the disparities in standards of living and better meet the needs of the
majority of the people of the world.

PRINCIPLE 6

The special situation and needs of developing countries, particularly the least
developed and those most environmentally vulnerable, shall be given special
priority. International actions in the field of environment and development
should also address the interests and needs of all countries.

PRINCIPLE 7

States shall co-operate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and


restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. In view of the different

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contributions to global environmental degradation, States have common but


differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries acknowledge the
responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable
development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global
environment and of the technologies and financial resources they command.

PRINCIPLE 8

To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people,
States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and
consumption and promote appropriate demographic policies.

PRINCIPLE 9

States should co-operate to strengthen endogenous capacity-building for


sustainable development by improving scientific understanding through
exchanges of scientific and technological knowledge, and by enhancing the
development, adaptation, diffusion and transfer of technologies, including new
and innovative technologies.

PRINCIPLE 10

Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned
citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have
appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by
public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities
in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making
processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and
participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial
and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be
provided.

PRINCIPLE 11

States shall enact effective environmental legislation. Environmental standards,


management objectives and priorities should reflect the environmental and
developmental context to which they apply. Standards applied by some countries
may be inappropriate and of unwarranted economic and social cost to other
countries, in particular developing countries.

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PRINCIPLE 12

States should co-operate to promote a supportive and open international


economic system that would lead to economic growth and sustainable
development in all countries, to better address the problems of environmental
degradation. Trade policy measures for environmental purposes should not
constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised
restriction on international trade. Unilateral actions to deal with environmental
challenges outside the jurisdiction of the importing country should be avoided.
Environmental measures addressing transboundary or global environmental
problems should, as far as possible, be based on an international consensus.

PRINCIPLE 13

States shall develop national law regarding liability and compensation for the
victims of pollution and other environmental damage. States shall also co-
operate in an expeditious and more determined manner to develop further
international law regarding liability and compensation for adverse effects of
environmental damage caused by activities within their jurisdiction or control to
areas beyond their jurisdiction.

PRINCIPLE 14

States should effectively co-operate to discourage or prevent the relocation and


transfer to other States of any activities and substances that cause severe
environmental degradation or are found to be harmful to human health.

PRINCIPLE 15

In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely


applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of
serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used
as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental
degradation.

PRINCIPLE 16

National authorities should endeavour to promote the internalization of


environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account
the approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution,

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with due regard to the public interest and without distorting international trade
and investment.

PRINCIPLE 17

Environmental impact assessment, as a national instrument, shall be


undertaken for proposed activities that are likely to have a significant adverse
impact on the environment and are subject to a decision of a competent national
authority.

PRINCIPLE 18

States shall immediately notify other States of any natural disasters or other
emergencies that are likely to produce sudden harmful effects on the
environment of those States. Every effort shall be made by the international
community to help States so afflicted.

PRINCIPLE 19

States shall provide prior and timely notification and relevant information to
potentially affected States on activities that may have a significant adverse
transboundary environmental effect and shall consult with those States at an
early stage and in good faith.

PRINCIPLE 20

Women have a vital role in environmental management and development. Their


full participation is therefore essential to achieve sustainable development.

PRINCIPLE 21

The creativity, ideals and courage of the youth of the world should be mobilized
to forge a global partnership in order to achieve sustainable development and
ensure a better future for all.

PRINCIPLE 22

Indigenous people and their communities, and other local communities, have a
vital role in environmental management and development because of their
knowledge and traditional practices. States should recognize and duly support

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their identity, culture and interests and enable their effective participation in the
achievement of sustainable development.

PRINCIPLE 23

The environment and natural resources of people under oppression, domination


and occupation shall be protected.

PRINCIPLE 24

Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States shall


therefore respect international law providing protection for the environment in
times of armed conflict and co-operate in its further development, as necessary.

PRINCIPLE 25

Peace, development and environmental protection are interdependent and


indivisible.

PRINCIPLE 26

States shall resolve all their environmental disputes peacefully and by


appropriate means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

PRINCIPLE 27

States and people shall co-operate in good faith and in a spirit of partnership in
the fulfilment of the principles embodied in this Declaration and in the further
development of international law in the field of sustainable development.

STATEMENT OF FOREST PRINCIPLES


Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles For a Global
Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of
All Types of Forests

The state of the world's forests calls for action; as a result of exploitation,
fire, acid rain and alternative land use, they may not be sustainable.
Deforestation is fast becoming one of the most pressing environmental issues. It
contributes to global warming, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, desertification

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and flooding, as well as depletion of an otherwise sustainable resource.


Deforestation is a global phenomenon that is most prevalent in the tropics, where
demographic pressures convert forests into other land uses. In 1980, 0.58% of
tropical forests were being lost annually, according to the latest UN Food and
Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimates. This had increased to 1.0% annual
loss by 1990, a total of 17 million hectares a year. The developing countries are
losing their forests to agricultural clearing, settlement, fuel, building materials
and export. Although these are all valuable for mankind, trees and forests
provide other essential services by modulating climate, acting as carbon sinks,
moderating the water cycle and supporting biodiversity. This loss is not
restricted to the tropics.

The Earth Summit did not produce the convention on world forest
management sought by Canada and several other countries. It did agree on a
declaration of principles for future progress, as a result of the efforts of the G-7
group of industrialized nations. Though it was originally intended to be a legally
binding forest convention, some environmentalists believe it was so watered
down that it is less stringent than the World Bank standards already in place.
Efforts by the Western governments to persuade tropical countries to accept
international supervision of their rainforests ended in failure. India, China and
Malaysia were the most vocal opponents to any suggestion that their natural
resources should be "internationalized." Some developing countries felt a legally
binding convention would infringe on their sovereign right to exploit their
resources; they wanted any legally binding document to cover all nations and
forest resources equally.

All that survived was a general statement about balancing forest


exploitation with conservation and a basic commitment to keep "forest principles
under assessment of their adequacy with regard to further international
cooperation on forest principles." Among the principles articulated were the
recognition of the right of states to develop their forests to meet their socio-
economic needs, promotion of the transfer of technology to developing countries
to help them manage their forests sustainably, and the need for all countries to
make efforts to "green the world" through reforestation and forest development.
Although it sets no rules for forest management, the declaration endorses the
formulation of "internationally agreed methodologies and criteria" on which
future guidelines for sustainable management may be based.

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The document is a non-legally-binding authoritative statement of


principles for a global consensus on the management, conservation and
sustainable development of all types of forests.

Forest Principles

PREAMBLE

(a) The subject of forests is related to the entire range of environmental and
development issues and opportunities, including the right to socio-economic
development on a sustainable basis.

(b) The guiding objective of these principles is to contribute to the management,


conservation and sustainable development of forests and to provide for their
multiple and complementary functions and uses.

(c) Forestry issues and opportunities should be examined in a holistic and


balanced manner within the overall context of environment and development,
taking into consideration the multiple functions and uses of forests, including
traditional uses, and the likely economic and social stress when these uses are
constrained or restricted. as well as the potential for development that
sustainable forest management can offer.

(d) These principles reflect a first global consensus on forests. In committing


themselves to the prompt implementation of these principles, countries also
decide to keep them under assessment for their adequacy with regard to further
international cooperation on forest issues

(e) These principles should apply to all types of forests, both natural and planted,
in all geographical regions and climatic zones, including austral, boreal,
subtemperate, temperate, subtropical and tropical.

(f) All types of forests embody complex and unique ecological processes which
are the basis for their present and potential capacity to provide resources to
satisfy human needs as well as environmental values, and as such their sound
management and conservation are of concern to the Governments of the
countries to which they belong and are of value to local communities and to the
environment as a whole.

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(g) Forests are essential to economic development and the maintenance of all
forms of life.

(h) Recognizing that the responsibility for forest management, conservation and
sustainable development is in many States allocated among federal/national,
state/ provincial and local levels of government, each State, in accordance with
its constitution and/or national legislation, should pursue these principles at
the appropriate level of government.

PRINCIPLES/ELEMENTS

1. (a) States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the
principles of international law. the sovereign right to exploit their own resources
pursuant to their own environmental policies and have the responsibility to
ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to
the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national
jurisdiction.

(b) The agreed full incremental cost of achieving benefits associated with forest
conservation and sustainable development requires increased international
cooperation and should be equitably shared by the international community

2. (a) States have the sovereign and inalienable right to utilize, manage and
develop their forests in accordance with their development needs and level of
socio-economic development and on the basis of national policies consistent with
sustainable development and legislation, including the conversion of such areas
for other uses within the overall socio-economic development plan and based on
rational land-use policies.

(b) Forest resources and forest lands should be sustainably managed to meet the
social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual needs of present and future
generations. These needs are for forest products and services. such as wood and
wood products, water, food, fodder, medicine, fuel, shelter, employment,
recreation, habitats for wildlife, landscape diversity, carbon sinks and reservoirs,
and for other forest products. Appropriate measures should be taken to protect
forests against harmful effects of pollution, including airborne pollution, fires,
pests and diseases, in order to maintain their full multiple value.

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(c) The provision of timely, reliable and accurate information on forests and forest
ecosystems is essential for public understanding and informed decision-making
and should be ensured.

(d) Governments should promote and provide opportunities for the participation
of interested parties, including local communities and indigenous people,
industries, labour, non-governmental organizations and individuals, forest
dwellers and women, in the development, implementation and planning of
national forest policies.

3. (a) National policies and strategies should provide a framework for increased
efforts, including the development and strengthening of institutions and
programmes for the management, conservation and sustainable development of
forests and forest lands.

(b) lnternational institutional arrangements. building on those organizations and


mechanisms already in existence, as appropriate, should facilitate international
cooperation in the field of forests. (c) All aspects of environmental protection and
social and economic development as they relate to forests and forest lands
should be integrated and comprehensive.

4. The vital role of all types of forests in maintaining the ecological processes and
balance at the local' national, regional and global levels through, inter alia, their
role in protecting fragile ecosystems, watersheds and freshwater resources and
as rich storehouses of biodiversity and biological resources and sources of
genetic material for biotechnology products, as well as photosynthesis should be
recognized.

5. (a) National forest policies should recognize and duly support the identity,
culture and the rights of indigenous people, their communities and other
communities and forest dwellers. Appropriate conditions should be promoted for
these groups to enable them to have an economic stake in forest use, perform
economic activities, and achieve and maintain cultural identity and social
organization, as well as adequate levels of livelihood and well-being, through,
inter alia, those land tenure arrangements which serve as incentives for the
sustainable management of forests. ‘

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(b) The full participation of women in all aspects of the management,


conservation and sustainable development of forests should be actively
promoted.

6. (a) All types of forests play an important role in meeting energy requirements
through the provision of a renewable source of bio-energy, particularly in
developing countries, and the demands for fuelwood for household and
industrial needs should be met through sustainable forest management,
afforestation and reforestation. To this end, the potential contribution of
plantations of both indigenous and introduced species for the provision of both
fuel and industrial wood should be recognized.

(b) National policies and programs should take into account the relationship,
where it exists. between the conservation, management and sustainable
development of forests and all aspects related to the production, consumption,
recycling and/or final disposal of forest products.

(c) Decisions taken on the management, conservation and sustainable


development of forest resources should benefit, to the extent practicable, from a
comprehensive assessment of economic and non-economic values of forest goods
and services and of the environmental costs and benefits. The development and
improvement of methodologies for such evaluations should be promoted.

(d) The role of planted forests and permanent agricultural crops as sustainable
and environmentally sound sources of renewable energy and industrial raw
material should be recognized, enhanced and promoted. Their contribution to
the maintenance of ecological processes, to offsetting pressure on primary/old-
growth forests and to providing regional employment and development with the
adequate involvement of local inhabitants should be recognized and enhanced.

(e) Natural forests also constitute a source of goods and services, and their
conservation, sustainable management and use should be promoted

7. (a) Efforts should be made to promote a supportive international economic


climate conducive to sustained and environmentally sound development of
forests in all countries, which include, inter alia, the promotion of sustainable
patterns of production and consumption, the eradication of poverty and the
promotion of food security.

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(b) Specific financial resources should be provided to developing countries with


significant forest areas which establish programmes for the conservation of
forests including protected natural forest areas. These resources should be
directed notably to economic sectors which would stimulate economic and social
substitution activities.

8. (a) Efforts should be undertaken towards the greening of the world. All
countries, notably developed countries, should take positive and transparent
action towards reforestation. afforestation and forest conservation, as
appropriate.

(b) Efforts to maintain and increase forest cover and forest productivity should
be undertaken in ecologically, economically and socially sound ways through the
rehabilitation, reforestation and re-establishment of trees and forests on
unproductive, degraded and deforested lands, as well as through the
management of existing forest resources.

(c) The implementation of national policies and programmes aimed at forest


management, conservation and sustainable development, particularly in
developing countries, should be supported by international financial and
technical cooperation, including through the private sector, where appropriate.

(d) Sustainable forest management and use should be carried out in accordance
with national development policies and priorities and on the basis of
environmentally sound national guidelines. In the formulation of such
guidelines, account should be taken, as appropriate and if applicable, of relevant
internationally agreed methodologies and criteria.

(e) Forest management should be integrated with management of adjacent areas


so as to maintain ecological balance and sustainable productivity.

(f) National policies and/or legislation aimed at management, conservation and


sustainable development of forests should include the protection of ecologically
viable representative or unique examples of forests, including primary/old-
growth forests and other unique and valued forests of national, cultural,
spiritual, historical and religious importance.

(g) Access to biological resources, including genetic material, shall be with due
regard to the sovereign rights of the countries where the forests are located and

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to the sharing on mutually agreed terms of technology and profits from


biotechnology products that are derived from these resource

(h) National policies should ensure that environmental impact assessments


should be carried out where actions are likely to have significant adverse impacts
on important forest resources, and where such actions are subject to a decision
of a competent national authority.

9. (a) The efforts of developing countries to strengthen the management,


conservation and sustainable development of their forest resources should be
supported by the international community, taking into account the irnportance
of redressing external indebtedness, particularly where aggravated by the net
transfer of resources to developed countries, as well as the problem of achieving
at least the replacement value of forests through improved market access for
forest products, especially processed products. In this respect, special attention
should also be given to the countries undergoing the process of transition to
market economies.

(b) The problems that hinder efforts to attain the conservation and sustainable
use of forest resources and that stem from the lack of alternative options
available to local communities, in particular the urban poor and poor rural
populations who are economically and socially dependent on forests and forest
resources, should be addressed by Governments and the international
community.

(c) National policy formulation with respect to all types of forests should take
account of the pressures and demands imposed on forest ecosystems and
resources from influencing factors outside the forest sector, and intersectoral
means of dealing with these pressures and demands should be sought.

10. New and additional financial resources should be provided to developing


countries to enable them to sustainably manage, conserve and develop their
forest resources, including through afforestation, reforestation and combating
deforestation and forest and land degradation.

11. In order to enable, in particular, developing countries to enhance their


endogenous capacity and to better manage, conserve and develop their forest
resources, the access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies and
corresponding know-how on favorable terms, including on concessional and
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preferential terms, as mutually agreed, in accordance with the relevant


provisions of Agenda 21, should be promoted, facilitated and financed, as
appropriate.

12. (a) Scientific research, forest inventories and assessments carried out by
national institutions which take into account, where relevant, biological,
physical, social and economic variables, as well as technological development
and its application in the field of sustainable forest management, conservation
and development, should be strengthened through effective modalities, including
international cooperation. In this context, attention should also be given to
research and development of sustainably harvested non-wood products.

(b) National and, where appropriate, regional and international institutional


capabilities in education, training. science, technology, economics, anthropology
and social aspects of forests and forest management are essential to the
conservation and sustainable development of forests and should be
strengthened.

(c) International exchange of information on the results of forest and forest


management research and development should be enhanced and broadened, as
appropriate, making full use of education and training institutions, including
those in the private sector.

(d) Appropriate indigenous capacity and local knowledge regarding the


conservation and sustainable development of forests should, through
institutional and financial support and in collaboration with the people in the
local communities concerned, be recognized, respected, recorded, developed and,
as appropriate, introduced in the implementation of programmes. Benefits
arising from the utilization of indigenous knowledge should therefore be
equitably shared with such people.

13. (a) Trade in forest products should be based on non-discriminatory and


multilaterally agreed rules and procedures consistent with international trade
law and practices. In this context, open and free international trade in forest
products should be facilitated.

(b) Reduction or removal of tariff barriers and impediments to the provision of


better market access and better prices for higher-value-added forest products

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and their local processing should be encouraged to enable producer countries to


better conserve and manage their renewable forest resources.

(c) Incorporation of environmental costs and benefits into market forces and
mechanisms, in order to achieve forest conservation and sustainable
development, should be encouraged both domestically and internationally.

(d) Forest conservation and sustainable development policies should be


integrated with economic, trade and other relevant policies.

(e) Fiscal, trade, industrial, transportation and other policies and practices that
may lead to forest degradation should be avoided. Adequate policies, aimed at
management, conservation and sustainable development of forests, including,
where appropriate, incentives, should be encouraged.

14. Unilateral measures, incompatible with international obligations or


agreements, to restrict and/or ban international trade in timber or other forest
products should be removed or avoided, in order to attain long-term sustainable
forest management.

15. Pollutants, particularly airborne pollutants, including those responsible for


acidic deposition, that are harmful to the health of forest ecosystems at the local,
national, regional and global levels should be controlled.

UN FOLLOW-UP
The Earth Summit succeeded in presenting new perspectives on economic
progress. It was lauded as the beginning of a new era and its success would be
measured by the implementation — locally, nationally and internationally — of
its agreements. Those attending the Summit understood that making the
necessary changes would not be easy: it would be a multi-phased process; it
would take place at different rates in different parts of the world; and it would
require the expenditure of funds now in order to prevent much larger financial
and environmental costs in the future.

In Rio, the UN was given a key role in the implementation of Agenda 21.
Since then, the Organization has taken steps to integrate concepts of sustainable
development into all relevant policies and programmes. Income-generating
projects increasingly take into account environmental consequences.
Development assistance programmes are increasingly directed towards women,
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given their central roles as producers and as caretakers of families. Efforts to


manage forests in a sustainable manner begin with finding alternatives to meet
the needs of people who are overusing them. The moral and social imperatives
for alleviating poverty are given additional urgency by the recognition that poor
people can cause damage to the environment. And foreign investment decisions
increasingly take into account the fact that drawing down the earth’s natural
resources for short-term profit is bad for business in the long run.

In adopting Agenda 21, the Earth Summit also requested the United
Nations to initiate talks aimed at halting the rapid depletion of certain fish stocks
and preventing conflict over fishing on the high seas. After negotiations spanning
more than two years, the UN Agreement on High Seas Fishing was opened for
signature on 4 December 1995. It provides for all species of straddling and highly
migratory fish — those which swim between national economic zones or migrate
across broad areas of the ocean — to be subject to quotas designed to ensure
the continued survival of fish for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.

Also at the Summit, Governments requested the UN to hold negotiations


for an international legal agreement to prevent the degradation of drylands. The
resulting International Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa, was
opened for signing in October 1994 and entered into force in December 1996. It
calls for urgent action to be taken in Africa, where some 66 per cent of the
continent is desert or drylands and 73 per cent of agricultural drylands are
already degraded.

In order to promote the well-being of people living in island countries, the


Summit called for the UN to convene a Global Conference on the Sustainable
Development of Small Island Developing States . The Conference was held in
Barbados in May 1994 and produced a programme of action designed to assist
these environmentally and economically vulnerable countries.

In addition, three bodies were created within the United Nations to ensure
full support for implementation of Agenda 21 worldwide:

• The UN Commission on Sustainable Development, which first met in June


1993;

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• The Inter-agency Committee on Sustainable Development, set up by the


Secretary-General in 1992 to ensure effective system-wide cooperation and
coordination in the follow-up to the Summit; and

• The High-level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development, established


in 1993 to advise the Secretary-General and the Commission on issues
relating to the implementation of Agenda 21.

UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)


The Earth Summit called on the General Assembly to establish the
Commission under the Economic and Social Council as a means of supporting
and encouraging action by Governments, business, industry and other non-
governmental groups to bring about the social and economic changes needed for
sustainable development. Each year, the Commission reviews implementation of
the Earth Summit agreements, provides policy guidance to Governments and
major groups involved in sustainable development and strengthens Agenda 21
by devising additional strategies where necessary. It also promotes dialogue and
builds partnerships between Governments and the major groups which are seen
as key to achieving sustainable development worldwide. The work of the
Commission was supported by numerous inter-sessional meetings and activities
initiated by Governments, international organizations and major groups. In June
1997, the General Assembly will hold a special session to review overall progress
following the Earth Summit.

Under a multi-year thematic work programme, the Commission has


monitored the early implementation of Agenda 21 in stages. Each sectoral issue
such as health, human settlements, freshwater, toxic chemicals and hazardous
waste, land, agriculture, desertification, mountains, forests, biodiversity,
atmosphere, oceans and seas, was reviewed between 1994 and 1996.
Developments on most “cross-sectoral” issues are considered each year. These
issues, which must be addressed if action in sectoral areas is to be effective, are
clustered as follows: critical elements of sustainability (trade and environment,
patterns of production and consumption, combating poverty, demographic
dynamics); financial resources and mechanisms; education, science, transfer of
environmentally sound technologies, technical cooperation and capacity-
building; decision-making; and activities of the major groups, such as business
and labour. (For further details click here on UNCSD.)

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In 1995, the Commission established under its auspices the


Intergovernmental Panel on Forests with a broad mandate covering the entire
spectrum of forest-related issues and dealing with conservation, sustainable
development and management of all types of forests. The Panel will submit its
final report containing concrete conclusions and proposals for action to the 1997
session of the CSD.

Reports submitted annually by Governments are the main basis for


monitoring progress and identifying problems faced by countries. By mid-1996,
some 100 Governments had established national sustainable development
councils or other coordinating bodies. More than 2,000 municipal and town
governments had each formulated a local Agenda 21 of its own. Many countries
were seeking legislative approval for sustainable development plans, and the
level of NGO involvement remained high.

STANDARD SETTING
Central to the ability of Governments to formulate policies for
sustainability and to regulate their impact is the development of a set of
internationally accepted criteria and indicators for sustainable development. The
Commission on Sustainable Development is spearheading this work, which will
enable countries to gather and report the data needed to measure progress on
Agenda 21. It is hoped that a “menu” of indicators — from which Governments
will choose those appropriate to local conditions — will be used by countries in
their national plans and strategies and, subsequently, when they report to the
Commission.

Achieving sustainable development worldwide depends largely on


changing patterns of production and consumption — what we produce, how it is
produced and how much we consume, particularly in the developed countries.
CSD’s work programme in this area focuses on projected trends in consumption
and production; impacts on developing countries, including trade opportunities;
assessment of the effectiveness of policy instruments, including new and
innovative instruments; progress by countries through their timebound
voluntary commitments; and extension and revision of UN guidelines for
consumer protection.

In 1995, the Commission also adopted a work programme on the transfer


of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity building. The

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programme places an emphasis on three interrelated priority areas: access to


and dissemination of information, capacity building for managing technological
change, and financial and partnership arrangements. The Commission is
working with the World Trade Organization, the UN Conference on Trade and
Development and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to ensure
that trade, environment and sustainable development issues are mutually
reinforcing.

FINANCING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT


At Rio, it was agreed that most financing for Agenda 21 would come from
within a country’s own public and private sectors. However, new and additional
external funds were considered necessary if developing countries were to adopt
sustainable development practices. Of the estimated $600 billion required
annually by developing countries to implement Agenda 21, most — $475 billion
— was to be transferred from economic activities in those countries.

A further $125 billion would be needed in new and additional funds from
external sources, some $70 billion more than current levels of official
development assistance (ODA). According to the Organisation for Economic Co-
operation and Development (OECD), between 1992 and 1995, levels of ODA fell
from about $60.8 billion to $59.2 billion, despite a call at Rio for donor countries
to more than double their official assistance.

Other monies are available for implementation of Agenda 21. The Global
Environment Facility (GEF) was set up in 1991. It is implemented by the World
Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations
Environment Programme. The GEF provides funding for activities aimed at
achieving global environmental benefits in four areas: climate change, loss of
biodiversity, pollution of international waters and the depletion of the ozone
layer. At Rio, the Facility became the funding mechanism for activities under the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention
on Biological Diversity. In 1994, the scope of the GEF’s funding was broadened
to include land degradation, primarily desertification and deforestation, where
this is linked to the four focal areas above. Since 1992, some $2 billion has been
pledged for activities supported by the GEF.

In the years since the Earth Summit, the level of funding channelled to
many of the developing countries as direct private investment has increased

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significantly and now far outstrips official flows. In 1995, this reportedly
amounted to some $95 billion. Efforts are being made to ensure that activities
supported by these funds are also environmentally sustainable.

FIVE YEARS AFTER RIO


In June 1997, the world’s attention will again focus on the Earth Summit. When
Governments meet in New York for the UN General Assembly’s special session
to review progress since Rio, the question will be: What changes have the major
players — including Governments, international policy makers, businesses,
trade unions, farmers and women’s groups — been able to bring about in the
five years since Rio? A great deal has happened, but, in the view of some, not
nearly enough to achieve the Summit’s goals. There is growing awareness of the
many “negative incentives” which continue to encourage people to become
wasteful consumers. The Commission intends to elaborate for the 1997 special
session of the GA concrete proposals for mechanisms and policy instruments to
facilitate achieving the aims of Rio.

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CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY


The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force on 29 December
1993. It has 3 main objectives:

1. The conservation of biological diversity

2. The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity

3. The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization
of genetic resources

INTRODUCTION
The Earth's biological resources are vital to humanity's economic and
social development. As a result, there is a growing recognition that biological
diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to present and future generations.
At the same time, the threat to species and ecosystems has never been so great
as it is today. Species extinction caused by human activities continues at an
alarming rate.

In response, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)


convened the Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts on Biological Diversity in
November 1988 to explore the need for an. international convention on biological
diversity. Soon after, in May 1989, it established the Ad Hoc Working Group of
Technical and Legal Experts to prepare an international legal instrument for the
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. The experts were to take
into account "the need to share costs and benefits between developed and
developing countries" as well as "ways and means to support innovation by local
people".

By February 1991, the Ad Hoc Working Group had become known as the
Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee. Its work culminated on 22 May 1992
with the Nairobi Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention
on Biological Diversity.

The Convention was opened for signature on 5 June 1992 at the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Rio "Earth Summit").
It remained open for signature until 4 June 1993, by which time it had received
168 signatures. The Convention entered into force on 29 December 1993, which

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was 90 days after the 30th ratification. The first session of the Conference of the
Parties was scheduled for 28 November – 9 December 1994 in the Bahamas.

The Convention on Biological Diversity was inspired by the world


community's growing commitment to sustainable development. It represents a
dramatic step forward in the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable
use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from
the use of genetic resources.

SUSTAINING LIFE ON EARTH


THE WEB OF LIFE
Biological diversity - or biodiversity - is the term given to the variety of life
on Earth and the natural patterns it forms. The biodiversity we see today is the
fruit of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and,
increasingly, by the influence of humans. It forms the web of life of which we are
an integral part and upon which we so fully depend.

This diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants,


animals and microorganisms. So far, about 1.75 million species have been
identified, mostly small creatures such as insects. Scientists reckon that there
are actually about 13 million species, though estimates range from three to 100
million.

Biodiversity also includes genetic differences within each species - for


example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock. Chromosomes,
genes, and DNA-the building blocks of life-determine the uniqueness of each
individual and each species.

Yet another aspect of biodiversity is the variety of ecosystems such as


those that occur in deserts, forests, wetlands, mountains, lakes, rivers, and
agricultural landscapes. In each ecosystem, living creatures, including humans,
form a community, interacting with one another and with the air, water, and soil
around them.

It is the combination of life forms and their interactions with each other
and with the rest of the environment that has made Earth a uniquely habitable
place for humans. Biodiversity provides a large number of goods and services
that sustain our lives.

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At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a


comprehensive strategy for "sustainable development" -- meeting our needs while
ensuring that we leave a healthy and viable world for future generations. One of
the key agreements adopted at Rio was the Convention on Biological Diversity.
This pact among the vast majority of the world's governments sets out
commitments for maintaining the world's ecological underpinnings as we go
about the business of economic development. The Convention establishes three
main goals: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its
components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of
genetic resources.

WE ARE CHANGING LIFE ON EARTH


The rich tapestry of life on our planet is the outcome of over 3.5 billion
years of evolutionary history. It has been shaped by forces such as changes in
the planet's crust, ice ages, fire, and interaction among species. Now, it is
increasingly being altered by humans. From the dawn of agriculture, some
10,000 years ago, through the Industrial Revolution of the past three centuries,
we have reshaped our landscapes on an ever-larger and lasting scale. We have
moved from hacking down trees with stone tools to literally moving mountains
to mine the Earth's resources. Old ways of harvesting are being replaced by more
intensive technologies, often without controls to prevent over-harvesting. For
example, fisheries that have fed communities for centuries have been depleted
in a few years by huge, sonar-guided ships using nets big enough to swallow a
dozen jumbo jets at a time. By consuming ever more of nature's resources, we
have gained more abundant food and better shelter, sanitation, and health care,
but these gains are often accompanied by increasing environmental degradation
that may be followed by declines in local economies and the societies they
supported.

In 1999, the world's population hit 6 billion. United Nations experts predict
the world will have to find resources for a population of 9 billion people in 50
years. Yet our demands on the world's natural resources are growing even faster
than our numbers: since 1950, the population has more than doubled, but the
global economy has quintupled. And the benefits are not equally spread: most of
the economic growth has occurred in a relatively few industrialized countries.

At the same time, our settlement patterns are changing our relationship
with the environment. Nearly half the world's people live in towns and cities. For
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many people, nature seems remote from their everyday lives. More and more
people associate food with stores, rather than with their natural source.

The value of biodiversity

Protecting biodiversity is in our self-interest. Biological resources are the


pillars upon which we build civilizations. Nature's products support such diverse
industries as agriculture, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper,
horticulture, construction and waste treatment. The loss of biodiversity
threatens our food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and
sources of wood, medicines and energy. It also interferes with essential ecological
functions.

Our need for pieces of nature we once ignored is often important and
unpredictable. Time after time we have rushed back to nature's cupboard for
cures to illnesses or for infusions of tough genes from wild plants to save our
crops from pest outbreaks. What's more, the vast array of interactions among
the various components of biodiversity makes the planet habitable for all species,
including humans. Our personal health, and the health of our economy and
human society, depends on the continuous supply of various ecological services
that would be extremely costly or impossible to replace. These natural services
are so varied as to be almost infinite. For example, it would be impractical to
replace, to any large extent, services such as pest control performed by various
creatures feeding on one another, or pollination performed by insects and birds
going about their everyday business.

"Goods and Services" provided by ecosystems include:

• Provision of food, fuel and fibre

• Provision of shelter and building materials

• Purification of air and water

• Detoxification and decomposition of wastes

• Stabilization and moderation of the Earth's climate

• Moderation of floods, droughts, temperature extremes and the forces of


wind

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• Generation and renewal of soil fertility, including nutrient cycling

• Pollination of plants, including many crops

• Control of pests and diseases

• Maintenance of genetic resources as key inputs to crop varieties and


livestock breeds, medicines, and other products

• Cultural and aesthetic benefits

• Ability to adapt to change

Biodiversity under threat

When most people think of the dangers besetting the natural world, they
think of the threat to other creatures. Declines in the numbers of such
charismatic animals as pandas, tigers, elephants, whales, and various species
of birds, have drawn world attention to the problem of species at risk. Species
have been disappearing at 50-100 times the natural rate, and this is predicted
to rise dramatically. Based on current trends, an estimated 34,000 plant and
5,200 animal species - including one in eight of the world's bird species - face
extinction. For thousands of years we have been developing a vast array of
domesticated plants and animals important for food. But this treasure house is
shrinking as modern commercial agriculture focuses on relatively few crop
varieties. And, about 30% of breeds of the main farm animal species are currently
at high risk of extinction. While the loss of individual species catches our
attention, it is the fragmentation, degradation, and outright loss of forests,
wetlands, coral reefs, and other ecosystems that poses the gravest threat to
biological diversity. Forests are home to much of the known terrestrial
biodiversity, but about 45 per cent of the Earth's original forests are gone, cleared
mostly during the past century. Despite some regrowth, the world's total forests
are still shrinking rapidly, particularly in the tropics. Up to 10 per cent of coral
reefs - among the richest ecosystems - have been destroyed, and one third of the
remainder face collapse over the next 10 to 20 years. Coastal mangroves, a vital
nursery habitat for countless species, are also vulnerable, with half already gone.

Global atmospheric changes, such as ozone depletion and climate change,


only add to the stress. A thinner ozone layer lets more ultraviolet-B radiation
reach the Earth's surface where it damages living tissue. Global warming is
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already changing habitats and the distribution of species. Scientists warn that
even a one-degree increase in the average global temperature, if it comes rapidly,
will push many species over the brink. Our food production systems could also
be seriously disrupted.

The loss of biodiversity often reduces the productivity of ecosystems,


thereby shrinking nature's basket of goods and services, from which we
constantly draw. It destabilizes ecosystems, and weakens their ability to deal
with natural disasters such as floods, droughts, and hurricanes, and with
human-caused stresses, such as pollution and climate change. Already, we are
spending huge sums in response to flood and storm damage exacerbated by
deforestation; such damage is expected to increase due to global warming.

The reduction in biodiversity also hurts us in other ways. Our cultural


identity is deeply rooted in our biological environment. Plants and animals are
symbols of our world, preserved in flags, sculptures, and other images that define
us and our societies. We draw inspiration just from looking at nature's beauty
and power. While loss of species has always occurred as a natural phenomenon,
the pace of extinction has accelerated dramatically as a result of human activity.
Ecosystems are being fragmented or eliminated, and innumerable species are in
decline or already extinct. We are creating the greatest extinction crisis since the
natural disaster that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. These
extinctions are irreversible and, given our dependence on food crops, medicines
and other biological resources, pose a threat to our own well-being. It is reckless
if not downright dangerous to keep chipping away at our life support system. It
is unethical to drive other forms of life to extinction, and thereby deprive present
and future generations of options for their survival and development.

Can we save the world's ecosystems, and with them the species we value
and the other millions of species, some of which may produce the foods and
medicines of tomorrow? The answer will lie in our ability to bring our demands
into line with nature's ability to produce what we need and to safely absorb what
we throw away.

AN AGREEMENT FOR ACTION


While concern for the environment is constant in history, heightened
concern about environmental destruction and loss of species and ecosystems in
the seventies led to concerted action.

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In 1972, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment


(Stockholm) resolved to establish the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP). Governments signed a number of regional and international agreements
to tackle specific issues, such as protecting wetlands and regulating the
international trade in endangered species. These agreements, along with controls
on toxic chemicals and pollution, have helped to slow the tide of destruction but
have not reversed it. For example, an international ban and restrictions on the
taking and selling of certain animals and plants have helped to reduce over-
harvesting and poaching.

In addition, many endangered species survive in zoos and botanical


gardens, and key ecosystems are preserved through the adoption of protective
measures. However, these are stopgap actions. The long-term viability of species
and ecosystems depends on their being free to evolve in natural conditions. This
means that humans have to learn how to use biological resources in a way that
minimizes their depletion. The challenge is to find economic policies that
motivate conservation and sustainable use by creating financial incentives for
those who would otherwise over-use or damage the resource.

In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development (the


Brundtland Commission) concluded that economic development must become
less ecologically destructive. In its landmark report, Our Common Future, it said
that: "Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable-to ensure that
it meets needs of the present without compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs". It also called for "a new era of
environmentally sound economic development".

A new philosophy

In 1992, the largest-ever meeting of world leaders took place at the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
An historic set of agreements was signed at the "Earth Summit", including two
binding agreements, the Convention on Climate Change, which targets industrial
and other emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, and the
Convention on Biological Diversity, the first global agreement on the
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. The biodiversity treaty
gained rapid and widespread acceptance. Over 150 governments signed the

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document at the Rio conference, and since then more than 187 countries have
ratified the agreement.

The Convention has three main goals:

• The conservation of biodiversity,

• Sustainable use of the components of biodiversity, and

• Sharing the benefits arising from the commercial and other utilization of
genetic resources in a fair and equitable way

The Convention is comprehensive in its goals, and deals with an issue so


vital to humanity's future, that it stands as a landmark in international law. It
recognizes-for the first time-that the conservation of biological diversity is "a
common concern of humankind" and is an integral part of the development
process. The agreement covers all ecosystems, species, and genetic resources. It
links traditional conservation efforts to the economic goal of using biological
resources sustainably. It sets principles for the fair and equitable sharing of the
benefits arising from the use of genetic resources, notably those destined for
commercial use. It also covers the rapidly expanding field of biotechnology,
addressing technology development and transfer, benefit-sharing and biosafety.
Importantly, the Convention is legally binding; countries that join it are obliged
to implement its provisions.

The Convention reminds decision-makers that natural resources are not


infinite and sets out a new philosophy for the 21st century, that of sustainable
use. While past conservation efforts were aimed at protecting particular species
and habitats, the Convention recognizes that ecosystems, species and genes
must be used for the benefit of humans. However, this should be done in a way
and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity.

The Convention also offers decision-makers guidance based on the


precautionary principle that where there is a threat of significant reduction or
loss of biological diversity, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as
a reason for postponing measures to avoid or minimize such a threat. The
Convention acknowledges that substantial investments are required to conserve
biological diversity. It argues, however, that conservation will bring us significant
environmental, economic and social benefits in return.

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Some of the many issues dealt with under the Convention include:

• Measures and incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of


biological diversity.

• Regulated access to genetic resources.

• Access to and transfer of technology, including biotechnology.

• Technical and scientific cooperation.

• Impact assessment.

• Education and public awareness.

• Provision of financial resources.

• National reporting on efforts to implement treaty commitments.

NATIONAL LEVEL
The Convention on Biological Diversity, as an international treaty,
identifies a common problem, sets overall goals and policies and general
obligations, and organizes technical and financial cooperation. However, the
responsibility for achieving its goals rests largely with the countries themselves.

Private companies, landowners, fishermen, and farmers take most of the


actions that affect biodiversity. Governments need to provide the critical role of
leadership, particularly by setting rules that guide the use of natural resources,
and by protecting biodiversity where they have direct control over the land and
water. Under the Convention, governments undertake to conserve and
sustainably use biodiversity. They are required to develop national biodiversity
strategies and action plans, and to integrate these into broader national plans
for environment and development. This is particularly important for such sectors
as forestry, agriculture, fisheries, energy, transportation and urban planning.
Other treaty commitments include:

• Identifying and monitoring the important components of biological


diversity that need to be conserved and used sustainably.

• Establishing protected areas to conserve biological diversity while


promoting environmentally sound development around these areas.

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• Rehabilitating and restoring degraded ecosystems and promoting the


recovery of threatened species in collaboration with local residents.

• Respecting, preserving and maintaining traditional knowledge of the


sustainable use of biological diversity with the involvement of indigenous
peoples and local communities.

• Preventing the introduction of, controlling, and eradicating alien species


that could threaten ecosystems, habitats or species.

• Controlling the risks posed by organisms modified by biotechnology.

• Promoting public participation, particularly when it comes to assessing


the environmental impacts of development projects that threaten biological
diversity.

• Educating people and raising awareness about the importance of biological


diversity and the need to conserve it.

• Reporting on how each country is meeting its biodiversity goals.

Surveys

One of the first steps towards a successful national biodiversity strategy is


to conduct surveys to find out what biodiversity exists, its value and importance,
and what is endangered. On the basis of these survey results, governments can
set measurable targets for conservation and sustainable use. National strategies
and programmes need to be developed or adapted to meet these targets.

Conservation and sustainable use

The conservation of each country's biological diversity can be achieved in


various ways. "In-situ" conservation - the primary means of conservation -
focuses on conserving genes, species, and ecosystems in their natural
surroundings, for example by establishing protected areas, rehabilitating
degraded ecosystems, and adopting legislation to protect threatened species.
"Ex-situ" conservation uses zoos, botanical gardens and gene banks to conserve
species.

Promoting the sustainable use of biodiversity will be of growing importance


for maintaining biodiversity in the years and decades to come. Under the
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Convention, the "ecosystem approach to the conservation and sustainable use


of biodiversity" is being used as a framework for action, in which all the goods
and services provided by the biodiversity in ecosystems are considered. The
Convention is promoting activities to ensure that everyone benefits from such
goods and services in an equitable way.

There are many examples of initiatives to integrate the objectives of


conservation and sustainable use:

• In 1994, Uganda adopted a programme under which protected wildlife


areas shared part of their tourism revenues with local people. This
approach is now being used in several African countries.

• In recognition of the environmental services that forests provide to the


nation, Costa Rica's 1996 Forestry Law includes provisions to compensate
private landowners and forest managers who maintain or increase the area
of forest within their properties.

• In different parts of the world, farmers are raising crops within mixed
ecosystems. In Mexico, they are growing "shade coffee," putting coffee trees
in a mixed tropical forest rather than in monoculture plantations that
reduce biodiversity. These farmers then rely entirely on natural predators
common to an intact ecosystem rather than on chemical pesticides.

• Tourists, attracted in large numbers by the spectacular beauty of marine


and coastal diversity of the Soufrière area of St. Lucia, had a negative
impact on the age-old and thriving fishing industry. In 1992, several
institutions joined with fisherfolk and other groups with an interest in
conservation and sustainable management of the resources and, together,
established the Soufrière Marine Management Area. Within this
framework, problems are dealt with on a participatory basis with the
involvement of all stakeholders.

• Through weekly "farmer field schools," rice farmers in several Asian


countries have developed their understanding of the functioning of the
tropical rice ecosystem - including the interactions between insect pests of
rice, their natural enemies, fish farmed in the rice paddies, and the crop
itself - to improve their crop management practices. This way they have
increased their crop yields, while at the same time almost eliminating
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insecticide use with positive benefits in terms of environmental and


human health. About 2 million farmers have benefited from this approach.

• In Tanzania, problems surrounding the sustainable use of Lake Manyara,


a large freshwater lake, arose following increased usage in recent decades.
The formation of the Lake Manyara Biosphere Reserve to combine both
conservation of the Lake and surrounding high value forests with
sustainable use of the wetlands area and simple agriculture has brought
together key users to set management goals. The Biosphere Reserve has
fostered studies for the sustainable management of the wetlands,
including monitoring the ground water and the chemistry of the
escarpment water source.

• Clayoquot Sound on the western coast of Vancouver Island, Canada,


encompasses forests and marine and coastal systems. The establishment
of adaptive management to implement the ecosystem approach at the local
level is currently under development with the involvement of indigenous
communities, with a view to ensuring rational use of the forest and marine
resources.

• Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve in Mexico has great cultural value with its
23 recorded Mayan and other archaeological sites while also being the
home of some 800 people, mainly of Mayan descent. The reserve forms
part of the extensive barrier reef system along the eastern coastline of
Central America and includes coastal dunes, mangroves, marshes and
inundated and upland forests. The inclusion of local people in its
management helps maintain the balance between pure conservation and
the need for sustainable use of resources by the local community.

Reporting

Each government that joins the Convention is to report on what it has


done to implement the accord, and how effective this is in meeting the objectives
of the Convention. These reports are submitted to the Conference of the Parties
(COP) - the governing body that brings together all countries that have ratified
the Convention. The reports can be viewed by the citizens of all nations. The
Convention secretariat works with national governments to help strengthen
reporting and to make the reports of various countries more consistent and

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comparable, so that the world community can get a clearer picture of the big
trends. Part of that work involves developing indicators for measuring trends in
biodiversity, particularly the effects of human actions and decisions on the
conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The national reports,
particularly when seen together, are one of the key tools for tracking progress in
meeting the Convention's objectives.

INTERNATIONAL LEVEL
The Convention's success depends on the combined efforts of the world's
nations. The responsibility to implement the Convention lies with the individual
countries and, to a large extent, compliance will depend on informed self-interest
and peer pressure from other countries and from public opinion. The Convention
has created a global forum-actually a series of meetings-where governments,
non-governmental organizations, academics, the private sector and other
interested groups or individuals share ideas and compare strategies.

The Convention's ultimate authority is the Conference of the Parties (COP),


consisting of all governments (and regional economic integration organizations)
that have ratified the treaty. This governing body reviews progress under the
Convention, identifies new priorities, and sets work plans for members. The COP
can also make amendments to the Convention, create expert advisory bodies,
review progress reports by member nations, and collaborate with other
international organizations and agreements.

The Conference of the Parties can rely on expertise and support from
several other bodies that are established by the Convention:

• The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice


(SBSTTA). The SBSTTA is a committee composed of experts from member
governments competent in relevant fields. It plays a key role in making
recommendations to the COP on scientific and technical issues.

• The Clearing House Mechanism. This Internet-based network promotes


technical and scientific cooperation and the exchange of information.

• The Secretariat. Based in Montreal, it is linked to United Nations


Environment Programme. Its main functions are to organize meetings,
draft documents, assist member governments in the implementation of the
programme of work, coordinate with other international organizations, and

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collect and disseminate information. In addition, the COP establishes ad


hoc committees or mechanisms as it sees fit. For example, it created a
Working Group on Biosafety that met from 1996 to 1999 and a Working
Group on the knowledge of indigenous and local communities.

Thematic programmes and "cross-cutting" issues

The Convention's members regularly share ideas on best practices and


policies for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity with an
ecosystem approach. They look at how to deal with biodiversity concerns during
development planning, how to promote transboundary cooperation, and how to
involve indigenous peoples and local communities in ecosystem management.
The Conference of the Parties has launched a number of thematic programmes
covering the biodiversity of inland waters, forests, marine and coastal areas,
drylands, and agricultural lands. Cross-cutting issues are also addressed on
matters such as the control of alien invasive species, strengthening the capacity
of member countries in taxonomy, and the development of indicators of
biodiversity loss.

Financial and technical support

When the Convention was adopted, developing countries emphasized that


their ability to take national actions to achieve global biodiversity benefits would
depend on financial and technical assistance. Thus, bilateral and multilateral
support for capacity building and for investing in projects and programmes is
essential for enabling developing countries to meet the Convention's objectives.

Convention-related activities by developing countries are eligible for


support from the financial mechanism of the Convention: the Global
Environment Facility (GEF). GEF projects, supported by the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) and the World Bank, help forge international cooperation and finance
actions to address four critical threats to the global environment: biodiversity
loss, climate change, depletion of the ozone layer and degradation of
international waters. By the end of 1999, the GEF had contributed nearly $ 1
billion for biodiversity projects in more than 120 countries.

The Biosafety Protocol

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Since the domestication of the first crops and farm animals, we have
altered their genetic makeup through selective breeding and cross-fertilization.
The results have been greater agricultural productivity and improved human
nutrition.

In recent years, advances in biotechnology techniques have enabled us to


cross the species barrier by transferring genes from one species to another. We
now have transgenic plants, such as tomatoes and strawberries that have been
modified using a gene from a cold water fish to protect the plants from frost.
Some varieties of potato and corn have received genes from a bacterium that
enables them to produce their own insecticide, thus reducing the need to spray
chemical insecticides. Other plants have been modified to tolerate herbicides
sprayed to kill weeds. Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) -- often known as
genetically modified organisms (GMOs) -- are becoming part of an increasing
number of products, including foods and food additives, beverages, drugs,
adhesives, and fuels. Agricultural and pharmaceutical LMOs have rapidly
become a multi-billion-dollar global industry.

Biotechnology is being promoted as a better way to grow crops and produce


medicines, but it has raised concerns about potential side effects on human
health and the environment, including risks to biological diversity. In some
countries, genetically altered agricultural products have been sold without much
debate, while in others, there have been vocal protests against their use,
particularly when they are sold without being identified as genetically modified.

In response to these concerns, governments negotiated a subsidiary


agreement to the Convention to address the potential risks posed by cross-border
trade and accidental releases of LMOs. Adopted in January 2000, the Cartagena
Protocol on Biosafety allows governments to signal whether or not they are
willing to accept imports of agricultural commodities that include LMOs by
communicating their decision to the world community via a Biosafety Clearing
House, a mechanism set up to facilitate the exchange of information on and
experience with LMOs. In addition, commodities that may contain LMOs are to
be clearly labeled as such when being exported.

Stricter Advanced Informed Agreement procedures will apply to seeds, live


fish, and other LMOs that are to be intentionally introduced into the
environment. In these cases, the exporter must provide detailed information to

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each importing country in advance of the first shipment, and the importer must
then authorize the shipment. The aim is to ensure that recipient countries have
both the opportunity and the capacity to assess risks involving the products of
modern biotechnology. The Protocol will enter into force after it has been ratified
by 50 governments.

Sharing the benefits of genetic resources

An important part of the biodiversity debate involves access to and sharing


of the benefits arising out of the commercial and other utilization of genetic
material, such as pharmaceutical products. Most of the world's biodiversity is
found in developing countries, which consider it a resource for fueling their
economic and social development. Historically, plant genetic resources were
collected for commercial use outside their region of origin or as inputs in plant
breeding. Foreign bioprospectors have searched for natural substances to
develop new commercial products, such drugs. Often, the products would be
sold and protected by patents or other intellectual property rights, without fair
benefits to the source countries.

The treaty recognizes national sovereignty over all genetic resources, and
provides that access to valuable biological resources be carried out on "mutually
agreed terms" and subject to the "prior informed consent" of the country of origin.
When a microorganism, plant, or animal is used for a commercial application,
the country from which it came has the right to benefit. Such benefits can
include cash, samples of what is collected, the participation or training of
national researchers, the transfer of biotechnology equipment and know-how,
and shares of any profits from the use of the resources.

Work has begun to translate this concept into reality and there are already
examples of benefit-sharing arrangements. At least a dozen countries have
established controls over access to their genetic resources, and an equal number
of nations are developing such controls. Amongst the examples:

• In 1995, the Philippines required bioprospectors to get "prior informed


consent" from both the government and local peoples.

• Costa Rica's National Institute of Biodiversity (INBIO) signed a historic


bioprospecting agreement with a major drug company to receive funds and
share in benefits from biological materials that are commercialized.
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• Countries of the Andean Pact (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and


Venezuela) have adopted laws and measures to regulate access to their
genetic resources. The bio-prospector is required to meet certain
conditions, such as the submission of duplicate samples of genetic
resources collected to a designated institution; including a national
institution in the collection of genetic resources; sharing existing
information; sharing research results with the competent national
authority; assisting in the strengthening of institutional capacities; and
sharing specific financial or related benefits.

Through the Convention, countries meet to develop common policies on


these matters.

Traditional knowledge

The Convention also recognizes the close and traditional dependence of


indigenous and local communities on biological resources and the need to ensure
that these communities share in the benefits arising from the use of their
traditional knowledge and practices relating to the conservation and sustainable
use of biodiversity. Member governments have undertaken "to respect, preserve
and maintain" such knowledge and practices, to promote their wider application
with the approval and involvement of the communities concerned, and to
encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from their utilization.

WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS


Economic development is essential to meeting human needs and to
eliminating the poverty that affects so many people around the world. The
sustainable use of nature is essential for the long-term success of development
strategies. A major challenge for the 21st century will be making the conservation
and sustainable use of biodiversity a compelling basis for development policies,
business decisions, and consumer desires.

Promoting the long term

The Convention has already accomplished a great deal on the road to


sustainable development by transforming the international community's
approach to biodiversity. This progress has been driven by the Convention's
inherent strengths of near universal membership, a comprehensive and science-
driven mandate, international financial support for national projects, world-class

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scientific and technological advice, and the political involvement of governments.


It has brought together, for the first time, people with very different interests. It
offers hope for the future by forging a new deal between governments, economic
interests, environmentalists, indigenous peoples and local communities, and the
concerned citizen.

However, many challenges still lie ahead. After a surge of interest in the
wake of the Rio Summit, many observers are disappointed by the slow progress
towards sustainable development during the 1990s. Attention to environmental
problems was distracted by a series of economic crises, budget deficits, and local
and regional conflicts. Despite the promise of Rio, economic growth without
adequate environmental safeguards is still the rule rather than the exception.

Some of the major challenges to implementing the Convention on


Biological Diversity and promoting sustainable development are:

• Meeting the increasing demand for biological resources caused by


population growth and increased consumption, while considering the
long-term consequences of our actions

• Increasing our capacity to document and understand biodiversity, its


value, and threats to it.

• Building adequate expertise and experience in biodiversity planning.

• Improving policies, legislation, guidelines, and fiscal measures for


regulating the use of biodiversity.

• Adopting incentives to promote more sustainable forms of biodiversity use.

• Promoting trade rules and practices that foster sustainable use of


biodiversity.

• Strengthening coordination within governments, and between


governments and stakeholders.

• Securing adequate financial resources for conservation and sustainable


use, from both national and international sources.

• Making better use of technology.

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• Building political support for the changes necessary to ensure biodiversity


conservation and sustainable use.

• Improving education and public awareness about the value of biodiversity.

The Convention on Biological Diversity and its underlying concepts can be


difficult to communicate to politicians and to the general public. Nearly a decade
after the Convention first acknowledged the lack of information and knowledge
regarding biological diversity, it remains an issue that few people understand.
There is little public discussion of how to make sustainable use of biodiversity
part of economic development. The greatest crunch in sustainable development
decisions is the short- versus the long-term time frame. Sadly, it often still pays
to exploit the environment now by harvesting as much as possible as fast as
possible because economic rules do little to protect long-term interests.

Truly sustainable development requires countries to redefine their policies


on land use, food, water, energy, employment, development, conservation,
economics, and trade. Biodiversity protection and sustainable use requires the
participation of ministries responsible for such areas as agriculture, forestry,
fisheries, energy, tourism, trade and finance.

The challenge facing governments, businesses, and citizens is to forge


transition strategies leading to long-term sustainable development. It means
negotiating trade-offs even as people are clamoring for more land and businesses
are pressing for concessions to expand their harvests. The longer we wait, the
fewer options we will have.

Information, education, and training

The transition to sustainable development requires a shift in public


attitudes as to what is an acceptable use of nature. This can only happen if
people have the right information, skills, and organizations for understanding
and dealing with biodiversity issues. Governments and the business community
need to invest in staff and training, and they need to support organizations,
including scientific bodies, that can deal with and advise on biodiversity issues.

We also need a long-term process of public education to bring about


changes in behaviour and lifestyles, and to prepare societies for the changes

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needed for sustainability. Better biodiversity education would meet one of the
goals set out in the Convention.

What can I do about biodiversity?

While governments should play a leadership role, other sectors of society


need to be actively involved. After all, it is the choices and actions of billions of
individuals that will determine whether or not biodiversity is conserved and used
sustainably.

In an era when economics is a dominant force in world affairs, it is more


important than ever to have business willingly involved in environmental
protection and the sustainable use of nature. Some companies have revenues
far greater than those of entire countries, and their influence is immense.
Fortunately, a growing number of companies have decided to apply the principles
of sustainable development to their operations. For example, a number of
forestry companies-often under intense pressure from environmental boycotts-
have moved from clear-cutting to less destructive forms of timber harvesting.
More and more companies have also found ways to make a profit while reducing
their environmental impacts. They view sustainable development as ensuring
long-term profitability and increased goodwill from their business partners,
employees, and consumers. Local communities play a key role since they are the
true "managers" of the ecosystems in which they live and, thus, have a major
impact on them. Many projects have been successfully developed in recent years
involving the participation of local communities in the sustainable management
of biodiversity, often with the valuable assistance of NGOs and
intergovernmental organizations.

Finally, the ultimate decision-maker for biodiversity is the individual


citizen. The small choices that individuals make add up to a large impact
because it is personal consumption that drives development, which in turn uses
and pollutes nature. By carefully choosing the products they buy and the
government policies that they support, the general public can begin to steer the
world towards sustainable development. Governments, companies, and others
have a responsibility to lead and inform the public, but finally it is individual
choices, made billions of times a day, that count the most.

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CONCLUSION
Although still in its infancy, the Convention on Biological Diversity is
already making itself felt. The philosophy of sustainable development, the
ecosystem approach, and the emphasis on building partnerships are all helping
to shape global action on biodiversity. The data and reports that governments
are gathering and sharing with each other are providing a sound basis for
understanding the challenges and collaborating on the solutions.

Much, much more needs to be done. The passage of the Earth's


biodiversity through the coming century will be its most severe test. With human
population expected to rise dramatically, particularly in developing countries,
and the consumer revolution set for exponential expansion - not to mention the
worsening stresses of climate change, ozone depletion, and hazardous chemicals
- species and ecosystems will face ever more serious threats. Unless we take
action now, children born today will live in an impoverished world.

The Convention offers a comprehensive, global strategy for preventing


such a tragedy. A richer future is possible. If governments and all sectors of
society apply the concepts embodied in the Convention and make the
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity a real priority, we can
ensure a new and sustainable relationship between humanity and the natural
world for the generations to come.

CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY


Preamble

The Contracting Parties.

Conscious of the intrinsic value of biological diversity and of the ecological,


genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and
aesthetic values of biological diversity and its components.

Conscious also of the importance of biological diversity for evolution and for
maintaining life sustaining systems of the biosphere,

Affirming that the conservation of biological diversity is a common concern of


humankind.

Reaffirming that States have sovereign rights over their own biological resources.

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Reaffirming also that States are responsible for conserving their biological
diversity and for using their biological resources in a sustainable manner.

Concerned that biological diversity is being significantly reduced by certain


human activities.

Aware of the general lack of information and knowledge regarding biological


diversity and of the urgent need to develop scientific, technical and institutional
capacities to provide the basic understanding upon which to plan and implement
appropriate measures.

Noting that it is vital to anticipate, prevent and attack the causes of significant
reduction or loss of biological diversity at source.

Noting also that where there is a threat of significant reduction or loss of


biological diversity, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason
for postponing measures to avoid or minimize such a threat.

Noting further that the fundamental requirement for the conservation of


biological diversity is the in-situ conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats
and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations of species in their
natural surroundings.

Noting further that ex-situ measures, preferably in the country of origin, also
have an important role to play.

Recognizing the close and traditional dependence of many indigenous and local
communities embodying traditional lifestyles on biological resources, and the
desirability of sharing equitably benefits arising from the use of traditional
knowledge, innovations and practices relevant to the conservation of biological
diversity and the sustainable use of its components.

Recognizing also the vital role that women play in the conservation and
sustainable use of biological diversity and affirming the need for the full
participation of women at all levels of policy-making and implementation for
biological diversity conservation.

Stressing the importance of, and the need to promote, international, regional and
global cooperation among States and intergovernmental organizations and the

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non-governmental sector for the conservation of biological diversity and the


sustainable use of its components,

Acknowledging that the provision of new and additional financial resources and
appropriate access to relevant technologies can be expected to make a
substantial difference in the world's ability to address the loss of biological
diversity,

Acknowledging further that special provision is required to meet the needs of


developing countries, including the provision of new and additional financial
resources and appropriate access to relevant technologies,

Noting in this regard the special conditions of the least developed countries and
small island States,

Acknowledging that substantial investments are required to conserve biological


diversity and that there is the expectation of a broad range of environmental,
economic and social benefits from those investments,

Recognizing that economic and social development and poverty eradication are
the first and overriding priorities of developing countries,

Aware that conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity is of critical


importance for meeting the food, health and other needs of the growing world
population, for which purpose access to and sharing of both genetic resources
and technologies are essential,

Noting that, ultimately, the conservation and sustainable use of biological


diversity will strengthen friendly relations among States and contribute to peace
for humankind,

Desiring to enhance and complement existing international arrangements for the


conservation of biological diversity and sustainable use of its components, and

Determined to conserve and sustainably use biological diversity for the benefit
of present and future generations.

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1: Objectives

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The objectives of this Convention, to be pursued in accordance with its relevant


provisions, are 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, including by appropriate access to genetic
resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into
account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate
funding.

Article 2: Use of Terms

For the purposes of this Convention:

"Biological diversity" means the variability among living organisms from all
sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems
and the ecological complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity
within species, between species and of ecosystems.

"Biological resources' includes genetic resources, organisms or parts thereof,


populations, or any other biotic component of ecosystems with actual or
potential use or value for humanity.

"Biotechnology" means any technological application that uses biological


systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or
processes for specific use.

"Country of origin of genetic resources" means the country which possesses


those genetic resources in in-situ conditions.

"Country providing genetic resources' means the country supplying genetic


resources collected from in-situ sources, including populations of both wild and
domesticated species, or taken from ex-situ sources, which may or may not have
originated in that country.

"Domesticated or cultivated species' means species in which the evolutionary


process has been influenced by humans to meet their needs.

"Ecosystem" means a dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism


communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit.

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"Ex-situ conservation" means the conservation of components of biological


diversity outside their natural habitats.

"Genetic material" means any material of plant, animal, microbial or other origin
containing functional units of heredity.

"Genetic resources" means genetic material of actual or potential value.

'Habitat" means the place or type of site where an organism or population


naturally occurs.

“In-situ conditions” means conditions where genetic resources exist within


ecosystems and natural habitats, and. in the case of domesticated or cultivated
species, in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive
properties.

"In-situ conservation' means the conservation of ecosystems and natural


habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations of species in
their natural surroundings and, in the case of domesticated or cultivated species,
in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive properties.

"Protected area" means a geographically defined area which is designated or


regulated and managed to achieve specific conservation objectives.

“Regional economic integration organization" means an organization constituted


by sovereign States of a given region, to which its member States have
transferred competence in respect of matters governed by this Convention and
which has been duly authorized, in accordance with its internal procedures, to
sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to it.

"Sustainable use" means the use of components of biological diversity in a way


and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity,
thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present
and future generations.

“Technology” includes biotechnology.

Article 3: Principle

States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the
principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources
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pursuant to their own environmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure


that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the
environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

Article 4: Jurisdictional Scope

Subject to the rights of other States, and except as otherwise expressly


provided in this Convention, the provisions of this Convention apply, in relation
to each Contracting Party:

(a) In the case of components of biological diversity, in areas within the limits of
its national jurisdiction; and

(b) In the case of processes and activities, regardless of where their effects occur,
carried out under its jurisdiction or control, within the area of its national
jurisdiction or beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

Article 5: Cooperation

Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate, cooperate


with other Contracting Parties, directly or. where appropriate, through
competent international organizations, in respect of areas beyond national
jurisdiction and on other matters of mutual interest, for the conservation and
sustainable use of biological diversity.

Article 6. General Measures for Conservation and Sustainable Use

Each Contracting Party shall, in accordance with its particular conditions and
capabilities:

(a) Develop national strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and
sustainable use of biological diversity or adapt for this purpose existing
strategies, plans or programmes which shall reflect, inter alia, the measures set
out in this Convention relevant to the Contracting Party concerned; and

(b) Integrate, as far as possible and as appropriate, the conservation and


sustainable use of biological diversity into relevant sectoral or cross-sectoral
plans, programmes and policies.

Article 7. Identification and Monitoring

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Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate, in particular


for the purposes of Articles 8 to 10:

(a) Identify components of biological diversity important for its conservation and
sustainable use having regard to the indicative list of categories set down in
Annex I:

(b) Monitor, through sampling and other techniques, the components of


biological diversity identified pursuant to subparagraph (a) above, paying
particular attention to those requiring urgent conservation measures and those
which offer the greatest potential for sustainable use;

(c) Identify processes and categories of activities which have or are likely to have
significant adverse impacts on the conservation and sustainable use of biological
diversity, and monitor their effects through sampling and other techniques; and

(d) Maintain and organize, by any mechanism data, derived from identification
and monitoring activities pursuant to subparagraphs (a), (b) and (c) above.

Article 8. In-situ Conservation

Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate:

(a) Establish a system of protected areas or areas where special measures need
to be taken to conserve biological diversity:

(b) Develop, where necessary, guidelines for the selection, establishment and
management of protected areas or areas where special measures need to be
taken to conserve biological diversity:

(c) Regulate or manage biological resources important for the conservation of


biological diversity whether within or outside protected areas, with a view to
ensuring their conservation and sustainable use;

(d) Promote the protection of ecosystems, natural habitats and the maintenance
of viable populations of species in natural surroundings:

(e) Promote environmentally sound and sustainable development in areas


adjacent to protected areas with a view to furthering protection of these areas:

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(f) Rehabilitate and restore degraded ecosystems and promote the recovery of
threatened species, inter alia, through the development and implementation of
plans or other management strategies:

(g) Establish or maintain means to regulate, manage or control the risks


associated with the use and release of living modified organisms resulting from
biotechnology which are likely to have adverse environmental impacts that could
affect the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also
into account the risks to human health:

(h) Prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which
threaten ecosystems, habitats or species:

(i) Endeavour to provide the conditions needed for compatibility between present
uses and the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its
components:

(j) Subject to its national legislation, respect, preserve and maintain knowledge,
innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying
traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity and promote their wider application with the approval and
involvement of the holders of such knowledge, innovations and practices and
encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of
such knowledge, innovations and practices:

(k) Develop or maintain necessary legislation and/or other regulatory provisions


for the protection of threatened species and populations:

(l) Where a significant adverse effect on biological diversity has been determined
pursuant to Article 7, regulate or manage the relevant processes and categories
of activities: and

(m) Cooperate in providing financial and other support for in-situ conservation
outlined in subparagraphs (a) to (1) above, particularly to developing countries.

Article 9. Ex-si tu Conservation

Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate, and


predominantly for the purpose of complementing in-situ measures:

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(a) Adopt measures for the ex-si tu conservation of components of biological


diversity, preferably in tne country of origin of such components :

(b) Establish and maintain facilities for ex-situ conservation of and research on
plants, animals and micro-organisms, preferably in the country of origin of
genetic resources:

(c) Adopt measures for the recovery and rehabilitation of threatened species and
for their reintroduction into their natural habitats under appropriate conditions;

(d) Regulate and manage collection of biological resources from natural habitats
for ex-situ conservation purposes so as not to threaten ecosystems and in-situ
populations of species, except where special temporary ex-si tu measures are
required under subparagraph (c) above: and

(e) Cooperate in providing financial and other support for ex-situ conservation
outlined in subparagraphs (a) to (d) above and in the establishment and
maintenance of ex-situ conservation facilities in developing countries.

Article 10. Sustainable Use of Components of Biological Diversity

Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate:

(a) Integrate consideration of the conservation and sustainable use of biological


resources into national decision-making;

(b) Adopt measures relating to the use of biological resources to avoid or minimize
adverse impacts on biological diversity;

(c) Protect аnd encourage customary use of biological resources in accordance


with traditional cultural practices that are compatible with conservation or
sustainable use requirements;

(d) Support local populations to develop and implement remedial action in


degraded areas where biological diversity has been reduced; and

(e) Encourage cooperation between its governmental authorities and its private
sector in developing methods for sustainable use of biological resources.

Article 11. Incentive Measures

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Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate, adopt


economically and socially sound measures that act as incentives for the
conservation and sustainable use of components of biological diversity.

Article 12. Research and Training

The Contracting Parties, taking into account the special needs of developing
countries, shall:

(a) Establish and maintain programmes for scientific and technical education
and training in measures for the identification, conservation and sustainable use
of biological diversity and its components and provide support for such
education and training for the specific needs of developing countries:

(b) Promote and encourage research which contributes to the conservation and
sustainable use of biological diversity, particularly in developing countries, inter
alia, in accordance with decisions of the Conference of the Parties taken in
consequence of recommendations of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical
and Technological Advice: and

(c) In keeping with the provisions of Articles 16. 13 and 20. promote and
cooperate in the use of scientific advances in biological diversity research in
developing methods for conservation and sustainable use of biological resources.

Article 13. Public Education and Awareness

The Contracting Parties shall:

(a) Promote and encourage understanding of the importance of. and the
measures required for, the conservation of biological diversity, as well as its
propagation through media, and the inclusion of these topics in educational
programmes; and

(b) Cooperate, as appropriate, with other States and international organizations


in developing educational and public awareness programmes, with respect to
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

Article 14. Impact Assessment and Minimizing Adverse Impacts

1. Each Contracting Party, as far as possible and as appropriate, shall:

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(a) Introduce appropriate procedures requiring environmental impact


assessment of its proposed projects that are likely to have significant adverse
effects on biological diversity with a view to avoiding or minimizing such effects
and, where appropriate. allow for public participation in such procedures;

(b) Introduce appropriate arrangements to ensure that the environmental


consequences of its programmes and policies that are likely to have significant
adverse impacts on biological diversity are duly taken into account:

(c) Promote, on the basis of reciprocity, notification, exchange nf information and


consultation on activities under their jurisdiction or control which are likely to
significantly affect adversely the biological diversity of other States or areas
beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, by encouraging the conclusion of
bilateral, regional or multilateral arrangements, as appropriate;

(d) In the case of imminent or grave danger or damage, originating under its
jurisdiction or control, to biological diversity within the area under jurisdiction
of other States or in areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, notify
immediately the potentially affected States of such danger or damage, as well as
initiate action to prevent or minimize such danger or damage; and

(e) Promote national arrangements for emergency responses to activities or


events, whether caused naturally or otherwise, which present a grave and
imminent danger to biological diversity and encourage international cooperation
to supplement such national efforts and, where appropriate and agreed by the
States or regional economic Integration organizations concerned, to establish
joint contingency plans.

2. The Conference of the Parties shall examine, on the basis of studies to be


carried out, the issue of liability and redress, including restoration and
compensation, for damage to biological diversity, except where such liability is a
purely internal matter.

Article 15. Access to Genetic Resources

1. Recognizing the sovereign rights of States over their natural resources, the
authority to determine access to genetic resources rests with the national
governments and is subject to national legislation.

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2. Each Contracting Party shall endeavour to create renditions to facilitate access


to genetic resources for environmentally sound uses by other Contracting Parties
and not to impose restrictions that run counter to the objectives of this
Convention.

3. For the purpose of this Convention, the genetic resources being provided by a
Contracting Party, as referred to in this Article and Articles 16 and 19, are only
those that are provided by Contracting Parties that are countries of origin of such
resources or by the Parties that have acquired the genetic resources in
accordance with this Convention.

4. Access, where granted, shall be on mutually agreed terms and subject to the
provisions of this Article.

5. Access to genetic resources shall be subject to prior informed consent of the


Contracting Party providing such resources, unless otherwise determined by
that Party.

6. Each Contracting Party shall endeavour to develop and carry out scientific
research based on genetic resources provided by other Contracting Parties with
the full participation of, and where possible in. such Contracting Parties.

7. Each Contracting Party shall take legislative, administrative or policy


measures, as appropriate, and in accordance with Articles 16 and 19 and, where
necessary, through the financial mechanism established by Articles 20 and 21
with the aim of sharing in a fair and equitable way the results of research and
development and the benefits arising from the commercial and other utilization
of genetic resources with the Contracting Party providing such resources. Such
sharing shall be upon mutually agreed terms.

Article 16. Access to and Transfer of Technology

1. Each Contracting Party, recognizing that technology includes biotechnology,


and that both access to and transfer of technology among Contracting Parties
are essential elements for the attainment of the objectives of this Convention,
undertakes subject to the provisions of this Article to provide and/or facilitate
access for and transfer to other Contracting Parties of technologies that are
relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity or make
use of genetic resources and do not cause significant damage to the environment.

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2. Access to and transfer of technology referred to in paragraph 1 above to


developing countries shall be provided and/or facilitated under fair and most
favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms where
mutually agreed, and, where necessary, in accordance with the financial
mechanism established by Articles 20 and 21. In the case of technology subject
to patents and other intellectual property rights, such access and transfer shall
be provided on terms which recognize and are consistent with the adequate and
effective protection of intellectual property rights. The application of this
paragraph shall be consistent with paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 below.

3. Each Contracting Party shall take legislative, administrative or policy


measures, as appropriate, with the aim that Contracting Parties, in particular
those that are developing countries, which provide genetic resources are
provided access to and transfer of technology which makes use of those
resources, on mutually agreed terms, including technology protected by patents
and other intellectual property rights, where necessary, through the provisions
of Articles 20 and 21 and in accordance with international law and consistent
with paragraphs 4 and 5 below.

4. Each Contracting Party shall take legislative, administrative or policy


measures, as appropriate, with the aim that the private sector facilitates access
to, joint development and transfer of technology referred to in paragraph 1 above
for the benefit of both governmental institutions and the private sector of
developing countries and in this regard shall abide by the obligations included
in paragraphs 1. 2 and 3 above.

5. The Contracting Parties, recognizing that patents and other intellectual


property rights may have an influence on the implementation of this Convention,
shall cooperate in this regard subject to national legislation and international
law in order to ensure that such rights are supportive of and do not run counter
to its objectives.

Article 17. Exchange of Information

1. The Contracting Parties shall facilitate the exchange of information, from all
publicly available sources, relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity, taking into account the special needs of developing
countries.

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2. Such exchange of information shall include exchange of results of technical,


scientific and socio-economic research, as well as information on training and
surveying programmes, specialized knowledge, indigenous and traditional
knowledge as such and in combination with the technologies referred to in Article
16, paragraph 1. It shall also, where feasible, include repatriation of information.

Article 18. Technical and Scientific Cooperation

1. The Contracting Parties shall promote international technical and scientific


cooperation in the field of conservation and sustainable use of biological
diversity, where necessary, through the appropriate international and national
institutions.

2. Each Contracting Party shall promote technical and scientific cooperation with
other Contracting Parties, in particular developing countries, in implementing
this Convention, inter alia, through the development and implementation of
national policies. In promoting such cooperation, special attention should be
given to the development and strengthening of national capabilities, by means of
human resources development and institution building.

3. The Conference of the Parties, at its first meeting, shall determine how to
establish a clearing-house mechanism to promote and facilitate technical and
scientific cooperation.

4. The Contracting Parties shall, in accordance with national legislation and


policies, encourage and develop methods of cooperation for the development and
use of technologies, including indigenous and traditional technologies, in
pursuance of the objectives of this Convention. For this purpose, the Contracting
Parties shall also promote cooperation in the training of personnel and exchange
of experts.

5. The Contracting Parties shall, subject to mutual agreement, promote the


establishment of joint researcn programmes and joint ventures for the
development of technologies relevant to the objectives of this Convention.

Article 19. Handling of Biotechnology' and Distribution of its Benefits

1. Each Contracting Party shall take legislative, administrative or policy


measures, as appropriate. to provide for the Affective participation in
biotechnological research activities by those Contracting Parties, especially
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developing countries, which provide the genetic resources for such research, and
where feasible in such Contracting Parties.

2. Each Contracting Party shall take all practicable measures to promote and
advance priority access on a fair and equitable basis by Contracting Parties,
especially developing countries, to т!ле results and benefits arising from
biotechnologies based upon genetic resources provided by those Contracting
Parties. Such access shall be on mutually agreed terms.

3. The Parties shall consider the need for and modalities of a protocol setting out
appropriate procedures, including, in particular, advance informed agreement,
in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of any living modified organism
resulting from biotechnology that may have adverse effect on the conservation
and sustainable use of biological diversity.

4. Each Contracting Party shall, directly or by requiring any natural or legal


person under its jurisdiction providing the organisms referred to in paragraph 3
above, provide any available information about the use and safety regulations
required by that Contracting Party in handling such organisms, as well as any
available information on the potential adverse impact of the specific organisms
concerned to the Contracting Party into which those organisms are to be
introduced.

Article 20. Financial Resources

1. Each Contracting Party undertakes to provide, in accordance with its


capabilities, financial support and incentives in respect of those national
activities which are intended to achieve the objectives of this Convention, in
accordance with its national plans, priorities and programmes.

2. The developed country Parties shall provide new and additional financial
resources to enable developing country Parties to meet the agreed full
incremental costs to them of implementing measures which fulfil the obligations
of this Convention and to benefit from its provisions and which costs are agreed
between a developing country Party and the institutional structure referred to in
Article 21, in accordance with policy, strategy, programme priorities and
eligibility criteria and an indicative list of incremental costs established by the
Conference nf the Parties. Other Parties, including countries undergoing the
process of transition to a market economy, may voluntarily assume the
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obligations of the developed country Parties. For the purpose of this Article, the
Conference of the Parties, shall at its first meeting establish a list of developed
country Parties and other Parties which voluntarily assume the obligations of
the developed country Parties. The Conference of the Parties shall periodically
review and if necessary amend the list. Contributions from other countries and
sources on a voluntary basis would also be encouraged. The implementation of
these commitments shall take into account the need for adequacy, predictability
and timely flow of funds and the importance of burden-sharing among the
contributing Parties included in the list.

3. The developed country Parties may also provide, and developing country
Parties avail themselves of, financial resources related to the implementation of
this Convention through bilateral, regional and other multilateral channels.

4. The extent to which developing country Parties will effectively implement their
commitments under this Convention will depend on the effective implementation
by developed country Parties of their commitments under this Convention
related to financial resources and transfer of technology and will take fully into
account the fact that economic and social development and eradication of
poverty are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country Parties.

5. The Parties shall take full account of the specific needs and special situation
of least developed countries in their actions with regard to funding and transfer
of technology.

6. The Contracting Parties shall also take into consideration the special
conditions resulting from the dependence on, distribution and location of.
biological diversity within developing country Parties, in particular small island
States.

7. Consideration shall also be given to the special situation of developing


countries, including those that are most environmentally vulnerable, such as
those with arid and semi-arid zones, coastal and mountainous areas.

Article 21. Financia] Mechanism

1. There shall be a mechanism for the provision of financial resources to


developing country Parties for purposes of this Convention on a "grant or
concessional basis the essential elements of which are described in this Article.

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The mechanism shall function under the authority and guidance of, and be
accountable to. the Conference of the Parties for purposes of this Convention.
The operations of the mechanism shall be carried out by such institutional
structure as may be decided upon by the Conference of the Parties at its first
meeting. For purposes of this Convention, the Conference of the Parties shall
determine the policy, strategy, programme priorities and eligibility criteria
relating to the access to and utilization of such resources. The contributions
shall be such as to take into account the need for predictability, adequacy and
timely flow of funds referred to in Article 20 in accordance with the amount of
resources needed to be decided periodically by the Conference of the Parties and
the importance of burden-sharing among the contributing Parties included in
the list referred to in Article 20, paragraph 2. Voluntary contributions may also
be made by the developed country Parties and by other countries and sources.
The mechanism shall operate within a democratic and transparent system of
governance.

2. Pursuant to the objectives of this Convention, the Conference of the Parties


shall at its first meeting determine the policy, strategy and programme priorities,
as well as detailed criteria and guidelines for eligibility for access to and
utilization of the financial resources including monitoring and evaluation on a
regular basis of such utilization. The Conference of the Parties shall decide on
the arrangements to give effect to paragraph 1 above after consultation with the
institutional structure entrusted with the operation of the financial mechanism.

3. The Conference of the Parties shall review the effectiveness of the mechanism
established under this Article, including the criteria and guidelines referred to
in paragraph 2 above, not less than two years after the entry into force of this
Convention and thereafter on a regular basis. Based on such review, it shall take
appropriate action to improve the effectiveness of the mechanism if necessary.

4. The Contracting Parties shall consider strengthening existing financial


institutions to provide financial resources for the conservation and sustainable
use of biological diversity.

Article 22. Relationship with Other International Conventions

1. The provisions of this Convention shall not affect the rights and obligations of
any Contracting Party deriving from any existing international agreement, except

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where the exercise of those rights ana obligations would cause a serious damage
or threat to biological diversity. 2. Contracting Parties shall implement this
Convention with respect to the marine environment consistently with the rights"
and obligations of States under the law of the sea.

Article 23. Conference of the Parties

1. A Conference of the Parties is hereby established. The first meeting of the


conference of the Parties shall be convened by the Executive Director of the
United Nations Environment Programme not later than one year after the entry
into force of this Convention. Thereafter, ordinary meetings of the Conference of
the Parties shall be held at regular intervals to be determined by the Conference
at its first meeting.

2. Extraordinary meetings of the Conference of the Parties shall be held at such


other times as may be deemed necessary by the Conference, or at the written
request of any Party, provided that, within six months of the request being
communicated to them by the Secretariat, it is supported by at least one third of
the Parties.

3. The Conference of the Parties shall by consensus agree upon and adopt rules
of procedure for itself and for any subsidiary body it may establish, as well as
financial rules governing the funding of The Secretariat. At each ordinary
meeting, it shall adopt a budget for The financial period until the next ordinary
meeting'.

4. The Conference of the Parties shall keep under review the implementation of
this Convention, and, for this purpose, shall:

(a) Establish the form and the intervals for transmitting the information to be
submitted in accordance with Article 26 and consider sucn information as weii
as reports submitted by any subsidiary body:

(b) Review scientific, technical and technological advice on biological diversity


provided in accordance with Article 25:

(c) Consider ana adopt, as required, protocols in accordance with Article 28:

(d) Consider and adopt, as required, in accordance with Articles 29 and 30,
amendments to this Convention and its annexes:

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(e) Consider amendments to any protocol, as well as to any annexes thereto, and.
if so decided, recommend their adoption to the parties to the protocol concerned:

(f) Consider and adopt, as required, in accordance with Article 30. additional
annexes to this Convention:

(g) Establish such subsidiary bodies, particularly to provide scientific and


technical advice, as are deemed necessary for the implementation of this
Convention:

(h) Contact, through the Secretariat, the executive bodies of conventions dealing
with matters covered by this Convention with a view to establishing appropriate
forms of cooperation with them; and

(i) Consider and undertake any additional action that may be required for the
achievement of the purposes of this Convention in the light of experience gained
in its operation.

5. The United Nations. its specialized agencies and the International Atomic
Energy Agency, as well as any State nor Party to this Convention, may be
represented as observers at meetings of the Conference of the Parties. Any other
body or agency, whether governmental or nongovernmental, qualified in fields
relating to conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, which has
informed the Secretariat of its wish to be represented as an observer at a meeting
of the Conference of the Parties, may be admitted unless at least one third of the
Parties present object. The admission and participation of observers shall be
subject to the rules of procedure adopted by the Conference of the Parties.

Article 24. Secretariat

1. A secretariat is hereby established. Its functions shall be:

(a) To arrange for and service meetings of the Conference of the Parties provided
for in Article 23:

(b) To perform the functions assigned to it by any protocol:

(c) To prepare reports on the execution of its functions under this Convention
and present them to the Conference of the Parties:

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(d) To coordinate with other relevant international bodies and, in particular to


enter into such administrative and contractual arrangements as may be required
for the effective discharge of its functions; and

(e) To perform such other functions as may be determined by the Conference of


the Parties.

2. At its first ordinary meeting, the Conference of the Parties shall designate the
secretariat from amongst those existing competent international organizations
which have signified their willingness to carry out the secretariat functions under
this Convention.

Article 25. Subsidiary Body on Scientific. Technical and Technological Advice

1. A subsidiary body for the provision of scientific, technical and technological


advice is hereby established to provide the Conference of the Parties and, as
appropriate, its other subsidiary bodies with timely advice relating to the
implementation of this Convention. This body shall be open to participation by
all Parties and shall be multidisciplinary. It shall comprise government
representatives competent in the relevant field of expertise. It shall report
regularly to the Conference of the Parties on all aspects of its work.

2. Under the authority of and in accordance with guidelines laid down by the
Conference of the Parties, and upon its request, this body shall:

(a) Provide scientific and technical assessments of the status of biological


diversity;

(b) Prepare scientific and technical assessments of the effects of types of


measures taken in accordance with the provisions of this Convention;

(c) Identify innovative, efficient and state-of-the-art technologies and know-how


relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and advise
on the ways and means of promoting development and/or transferring such
technologies:

(d) Provide advice on scientific programmes and international Cooperation in


research and development related to conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity; and

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(e) Respond to scientific. technical. technological and methodological questions


that the Conference of the Parties and its subsidiary bodies may put to the body.

3. The functions, terms of reference, organization and operation of this body may
be further elaborated by the Conference of the Parties.

Article 26. Reports

Each Contracting Party shall, at intervals to be determined by the Conference of


the Parties, present to the Conference of the Parties, reports on measures which
it has taken for the implementation of the provisions of this Convention and their
effectiveness in meeting the objectives of this Convention.

Article 27. Settlement of Disputes

1. In the event of a dispute between Contracting Parties concerning the


interpretation or application of this Convention, the parties concerned shall seek
solution by negotiation.

2. If the parties concerned cannot reach agreement by negotiation, they may


jointly seek the good offices of, or request mediation by, a third party.

3. When ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to this Convention, or at any


time thereafter, a State or regional economic integration organization may
declare in writing to the Depositary that for a dispute not resolved in accordance
with paragraph 1 or paragraph 2 above, it accepts one or both of the following
means of dispute settlement as compu1sory:

(a) Arbitration in accordance with the procedure laid down in Part 1 of Annex II;

(b) Submission of the dispute to the International Court of Justice.

4. If the parties to the dispute have not. in accordance with paragraph 3 above,
accepted the same or any procedure, the dispute shall be submitted to
conciliation in accordance with Part 2 of Annex II unless the parties otherwise
agree.

5. The provisions of this Article shall apply with respect to any protocol except
as otherwise provided in the protocol concerned.

Article 28. Adoption of Protocols

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1. The Contracting Parties shall cooperate in the formulation and adoption of


protocols to this Convention.

2. Protocols shall be adopted at a meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

3. The text of any proposed protocol shall be communicated to the Contracting


Parties by the Secretariat at least six months before such a meeting.

Article 29. .Amendment of the Convention or Protocols

1. Amendments to this Convention may be proposed by any Contracting Party.


Amendments to any protocol may be proposed by any Party to that protocol.

2. Amendments to this Convention shall be adopted at a meeting of the


Conference of the Parties. Amendments to any protocol shall be adopted at a
meeting of the Parties to the Protocol in question. The text of any proposed
amendment to this Convention or to any protocol, except as may otherwise be
provided in such protocol, shall be communicated то the Parties to the
instrument in question by the secretariat at least six months before the meeting
at which it is proposed for adoption. The secretariat shall also communicate
proposed amendments to the signatories to this Convention for information.

3. The Parties shall make every effort to reach agreement in any proposed
amendment to this Convention or to any protocol by consensus. If all efforts at
consensus have been exhausted, and no agreement reached, the amendment
shall as a last resort be adopted by a two-third majority vote of the Parties to the
instrument in question present and voting at the meeting, and shall be
submitted by the Depositary to all Parties for ratification, acceptance or approval.

4. Ratification, acceptance or approval of amendments shall he notified to the


Depositary in writing. Amendments adopted in accordance with paragraph 3
above shall enter into force among Parties having accepted them on the ninetieth
day after the deposit of instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval by at
least two thirds of the Contracting Parties to this Convention or of the Parties to
the protocol concerned. except as may otherwise be provided in such protocol.
Thereafter the amendments shall enter into force for any other Party on the
ninetieth 'lay after that Party deposits its instrument of ratification, acceptance
or approval of the amendments.

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5. For the purposes of this Article. "Parties present and voting" means Parties
present and casting an affirmative or negative vote.

Article 30. Adoption and Amendment of Annexes

1. The annexes to this Convention or to any protocol shall form an integral part
of the Convention or of such protocol, as the case may be. and, unless expressly
provided otherwise, a reference to this Convention or its protocols constitutes at
the same time a reference to any annexes thereto. Such annexes shall be
restricted to procedural, scientific, technical and administrative matters.

2. Except as may be otherwise provided in any protocol with respect to its


annexes, the following procedure shall apply to the proposal, adoption and entry
into force of additional annexes to this Convention or of annexes to any protocol:

(a) Annexes to this Convention or to any protocol shal1 be proposed and adopted
according to the procedure laid down in Article 29:

(b) Any Party that is unable to approve an additional annex to this Convention
or an annex to any protocol to which it is Party shall so notify the Depositary, in
writing, within one year from the date of the communication of the adoption by
the Depositary. The Depositary shall without delay notify ail Parties of any such
notification received. A Party may at any time withdraw a previous declaration
of objection and the annexes shal1 thereupon enter into force for that Party
subject to subparagraph (c) below:

(c) On the expiry of one year from the date of the communication of the adoption
by the Depositary, the annex shall enter into force for all Parties to this
Convention or to any protocol concerned which have not submitted a notification
in accordance with the provisions of subparagraph (b) above.

3. The proposal. adoption and entry into force of amendments to annexes to this
Convention or to any protocol shall be subject to the same procedure as for the
proposal. adoption and entry into force of annexes to the Convention or annexes
to any protocol.

4. If an additional annex or an amendment to an annex is related to an


amendment to this Convention or to any protocol. the additional annex or
amendment shall not enter into force until such time as the amendment to the
Convention or to the protocol concerned enters into force.
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Article 31. Right to Vote

1. Except as provided for in paragraph 2 below, each Contracting Party to this


Convention or to any protocol shall have one vote.

2. Regional economic integration organizations, in matters within their


competence, shall exercise their right to vote with a number of votes equal to the
number of their member States which are Contracting Parties to this Convention
or the relevant protocol. Such organizations shall not exercise their right to vote
if their member States exercise theirs, and vice versa.

Article 32. Relationship between this Convention and Its Protocols

1. A State or a regional economic integration organization may not become a


Party to a protocol unless it is, or becomes at the same time, a Contracting Party
to this Convention.

2. Decisions under any protocol shall be taken only by the Parties to the protocol
concerned. Any Contracting Party that has not ratified, accepted or approved a
protocol may participate as an observer in any meeting of the parties to that
protocol. Article 33. Signature This Convention shall be open for signature at Rio
de Janeiro by ail States and any regional economic integration organization from
5 June 1992 until 14 June 1992, and at the United Nations Headquarters in
New York from 15 June 1992 to 4 June 1993.

Article 34. Ratification, Acceptance or Approval

1. This Convention and any protocol shall be subject to ratification. acceptance


or approval by States and by regional economic integration organizations.
Instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the
Depositary.

2. Any organization referred to in paragraph 1 above which becomes a


Contracting Party to this Convention or any protocol without any of its member
States being a Contracting Party shall be bound by al l the obligations under the
Convention or the protocol, as the case may be. In the case of such organizations,
one or more of whose member States is a Contracting Party to this Convention
or relevant protocol. the organization and its member States shall decide on their
respective responsibilities for the performance of their obligations under the
Convention or protocol, as the case may be. In such cases, the organization and
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the member States shall not be entitled to exercise rights under the Convention
or relevant protocol concurrently.

3. In their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval, the organizations


referred to in paragraph 1 above shall declare the extent of their competence
with respect to the matters governed by the Convention or the relevant protocol.
These organizations shall also inform the Depositary of any relevant modification
in the extent of their competence.

Article 35. Accession

1. This Convention and any protocol shall be open for accession by States and
by regional economic integration organizations from the date on which the
Convention or the protocol concerned is closed for signature. The instruments of
accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.

2. In their instruments of accession, the organizations referred to in paragraph


1 above shall declare the extent of their competence with respect to the matters
governed by the Convention or the relevant protocol. These organizations shall
also inform the Depositary of any relevant modification in the extent of their
competence.

3. The provisions of Article 34, paragraph 2 shall apply to regional economic


integration organizations which accede to this Convention or any protocol.

Article 36. Entry Into Force

1. This Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of
deposit of the thirtieth instrument of ratification. acceptance, approval or
accession.

2. Any protocol shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit
of the number of instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession,
specified in that protocol, has been deposited.

3. For each Contracting Party which ratifies, accepts or approves this Convention
or accedes thereto 'after the deposit of the thirtieth instrument of ratification,
acceptance, approval or accession, it shall enter into force on the ninetieth day
after the date of deposit by such Contracting Party of its instrument of
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

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4. Any protocol, except as otherwise provided in such protocol, shall enter into
force for a Contracting Party that ratifies, accepts or approves that protocol or
accedes thereto after its entry into force pursuant to paragraph 2 above. on the
ninetieth day after the date on which that Contracting Party deposits its
instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, or on the date on
which this Convention enters into force for that Contracting Party, whichever
shall be the later.

5. For the purposes of paragraphs 1 and 2 above, any instrument deposited by


a regional economic integration organization shall not be counted as additional
to those deposited by member States of such organization.

Article 37. Reservations

No reservations may be made to this Convention.

Article 38. Withdrawals

1. At any time after two years from the date on which this Convention has entered
into force for a Contracting Party, that Contracting Party may withdraw from the
Convention by giving written notification to the Depositary.

2. Any such withdrawal shall take place upon expiry of one year after the date of
its receipt by the Depositary, or on such later date as may be specified in the
notification of the withdrawal.

3. Any Contracting Party which withdraws from this Convention shall he


considered as also having withdrawn from any protocol to which it is party. ,
Article 39. Financial Interim Arrangements Provided that it has been fully
restructured in accordance with the requirements of Article 21. the Global
Environment Facility of the United Nations Development Programme, the United
Nations Environment Programme and the International Bank for Reconstruction
and Development shall be the institutional structure referred to in Article 21 on
an interim basis, for the period between the entry into force of this Convention
and the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties or until the Conference of
the Parties decides which institutional structure will be designated in accordance
with Article 21.

Article 40. Secretariat Interim Arrangements

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The secretariat to be provided by the Executive Director of the united Nations


Environment Programme shall be the secretariat referred to in Article 24,
paragraph 2 on an interim basis for the period between the entry into force of
this Convention and the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

Article 41. Depositary

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall assume the functions of


Depositary of this Convention and any protocols.

Article 42. Authentic Texts

The original of this Convention, of which the Arabic. Chinese. English, French,
Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations. IN WITNESS WHEREOF the
undersigned, being duly authorized to that effect, have signed this Convention.
Done at Rio de Janeiro on this fifth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and
ninety-two.

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