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Convention on Biological Diversity International

The CBD is an international environmental agreement. The Convention's overall objectives are to conserve the Earth's biological diversity, to use it sustainably and to share fairly and equitably the benefits arising from the use of biological diversity.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Glass globe lying on moss
Source. Stock Adobe/Romolo Tavani

The CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) was adopted in 1992. It is one of the international agreements signed at the Rio de Janeiro environmental summit. It combines the goal of conserving biological diversity with that of sustainable use and sharing the benefits resulting from its use (see also ABS).

Agrobiodiversity is one of the CBD's thematic work programmes. Within this programme, there are important crosscutting initiatives for agriculture and food, including on the diversity of pollinators, soil diversity and nutrition. For the conservation and sustainable use of plant diversity, the Contracting Parties to the CBD adopted the Global Strategy for the Conservation of Plants (GSPC) in 2002, setting quantitative targets for 16 individual objectives for the first time. The GSPC was updated in 2010.

In order to stop the increasing loss of biodiversity, the Contracting Parties to the CBD adopted the "Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020" in 2010. It defines 20 concrete goals for action, the so-called Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Important Aichi Biodiversity Targets related to agriculture, forestry and fisheries

Target 5 "By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced."

Target 6 "By 2020 all fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem based approaches, so that overfishing is avoided, recovery plans and measures are in place for all depleted species, fisheries have no significant adverse impacts on threatened species and vulnerable ecosystems and the impacts of fisheries on stocks, species and ecosystems are within safe ecological limits."

Target 7 "By 2020 areas under agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are managed sustainably, ensuring conservation of biodiversity."

Target 13 "By 2020, the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and of wild relatives, including other socio-economically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity."