What is the CBD? 

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), convened in 1993, brings governments together to establish global strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and the fair and equitable sharing of its benefits.

The main agreements to come out of the CBD so far are: 

The Cartagena Protocol on biosafety, in 2003
The Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing for genetic resources, in 2014. 

After the unsuccessful completion of the 2011-2020 Aichi Targets, negotiations for its successor the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework are still under way.

Our work in the Convention on Biological Diversity

In response to the threat of biodiversity collapse and the global effects of deforestation Friends of the Earth International has been participating in the CBD since 2004. The biodiversity crisis is inextricably linked to the environmental, climatic and social crises. To save biodiversity and tackle these multiple crises, we will need system change. Working closely with the CBD Alliance and providing in-depth analysis, we are pushing for system change and for real people- led solutions to biodiversity loss at the CBD, including our vision of a successful Global Biodiversity Framework.  

Throughout its 30 year existence, the CBD has agreed much that works for civil society and Indigenous Peoples and local communities around the world. 

Governments have, however, failed to implement the previous 10-year framework, which includes the  Aichi targets. And rather than amending what was a strong agreement, the CBD chose to negotiate a new Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) – to be adopted in 2020 – negotiations for which are ongoing due to Covid-19 restrictions.  

Yet the need for urgent action remains, as the 2019 IPBES global biodiversity assessment report has shown.

Friends of the Earth International advocates for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, who are biodiversity’s true custodians. We believe the rights of communities are deeply intertwined with the protection of the ecosystems in which they live. When corporations invade these territories, environmental defenders step up to defend their communities and the ecosystems in those territories. We advocate for the inclusion of human rights defenders in the global biodiversity framework. 

Protecting nature means ensuring there are clear enforceable rules for corporations to fully protect biodiversity, ecosystems, Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ rights and human rights. We must address the root causes as well as the direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss. We must ensure that biodiversity is integral to all economic sectors. We must address Industrial agriculture, which has a huge impact on biodiversity. 

We cannot commercialise biodiversity, make it market-dependent, or allow offsetting. Technological solutions alone are not the answer and must be based on the precautionary approach. We must live within planetary boundaries. The solutions to the biodiversity crisis are out there in the form of agroecology and community based solutions, we just need to scale them up as part of a strong and truly effective, people-led global biodiversity framework.  

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