The Convention on Biological Diversity

Sustaining Life on Earth

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How the Convention on Biological Diversity promotes nature and human well-being



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.

For more information about the Convention, please contact:

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
World Trade Centre
413 St Jacques Street, Suite 800
Montreal, Quebec Canada H2Y 1N9
Phone: + 1 (514) 288 2220
Fax: + 1 (514) 288 6588
Web site:

United Nations Environment Programme Division of Environmental Conventions/IUC International Environment House
15, chemin des Anémones 1219 Châtelaine, Switzerland
Phone : +41-22-917-8242/8196
Fax : +41-22-717-9283
Email :
Web site :

To obtain information on national reports submitted by governments under the Convention, contact your national government's focal point, usually with the ministry responsible for environment or natural resources. National reports are also available electronically on the Convention's web site at Biodiversity-UNEP Booklet 23