Convention on Biological Diversity CBD

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, and was implemented in 1993; 160 of the 189 countries of the UN are signatories. This is an interdisciplinary convention (see Fig. 5.4.3; WBGU 1999) the goal of which was not only to maintain biological diversity, but also to sustain development and the equity of uses and advantages (Fig. 5.5.4). From this diverse focus and from the all-encompassing starting position stem the conflicts of the dual goals of protection and use, especially at the margins of agriculture and forestry. The convention also clarified the legal principles related to the use of genetic resources; these are no longer a collective property that all have access to but are property of nations. Thus the interests of industries, the rights of local and indigenous peoples with their traditional knowledge, and the sovereignty of the nations have been brought together. The use of biotechnology (Biosafety) was added as an appendix in 1999. After terrestrial genetic resources belong to sovereign nations, only the sea remains as a collective resource. It is still unclear whether the transfer of the ownership of genetic resources also carries with it the responsibility of nations to maintain them for humanity.

Sustainable use

Presentation of biological diversity

Sustainable use

Balanced and equitable sharing of benefits

Presentation of biological diversity

Balanced and equitable sharing of benefits

I Fig. 5.5.4. Integration of the Biodiversity Convention into environmental politics. (WBGU 1999)
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