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Accueil > Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) - Mise à jour: 08-01-2003 2:13 pm

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The aims of the CBD 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’.  

The Convention is thus the first global comprehensive agreement to address all aspects of biological diversity: genetic resources, species and ecosystems. It recognizes -- for the first time – that the conservation of biological diversity is a common concern of humankind and an integral part of the development process. To achieve its objectives, the Convention – in accordance with the spirit of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development -- promotes a renewed partnership among countries. Its provisions on scientific and technical co-operation, access to genetic resources, and the transfer of environmentally sound technologies form the foundation of this partnership.

Within this spirit of partnership, biosphere reserves and World Heritage sites have provided a focus for several different types of co-operative links between UNESCO and the CBD. From January 1998 to May 2000, a staff member of UNESCO’s Division of Ecological Sciences was seconded to work with the CBD Secretariat in Montreal, with special responsibilities for coastal and marine biodiversity. UNESCO hosted the first meeting of CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) in Paris in September 1995, and has continued to contribute to subsequent sessions of the Subsidiary Body.

Contributions have also been made to technical meetings and studies convened or sponsored by the CBD in a range of subject areas, including indigenous knowledge, invasive alien species, taxonomy and systematics, and the ecosystem approach. Seminars linked to MAB and biosphere reserves have been held in association with meetings of the Conference of Parties (COP) of the CBD, such as that organized by the Slovak MAB National Committee prior to the fourth session of the COP in Bratislava in May 1998. A new global initiative has been launched on biodiversity education and public awareness . In May 2000, a UNESCO-MAB booklet on the ecosystem approach and biosphere reserves was made available to the fifth meeting of the COP heldin Nairobi.

But much more important than these links between UNESCO and the Convention on Biological Diversity is the framework and encouragement that the CBD has provided to countries in the development of their own national biodiversity strategies and action plans. In a number of countries, biosphere reserves and World Heritage sites have been embedded in these national biodiversity strategies and action plans in ways that provide a mechanism for these areas to contribute to national goals and priorities at the same time as receiving support through these same strategies and action plans.

For example, in Latvia, within the National Programme on Biological Diversity, the 475 000 ha Northern Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve is a special case in the country’s protected areas, ‘forming a region to promote sustainable development and conservation of natural and cultural-historical values’, with a specific legislative act pertaining to Northern Vidzeme as well as associated Cabinet of Ministers regulations. In Cuba, the national biodiversity strategy provides the overarching fraework for the development of the national network of biosphere reserves.

In several regions of the world, a number of individual biosphere reserves and World Heritage sites are currently testing the draft UNEP-CBD International Guidelines for Sustainable Tourism. And very significantly, for developing nations and countries-in-transition, being Party to the Convention opens funding opportunities through the Global Environment Facility, which thus constitutes a major indirect source of financing for biosphere reserves and for World Heritage sites.

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