Cooperation and Partnerships

The Rio Conventions

The three Rio Conventions—on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification—derive directly from the 1992 Earth Summit. Each instrument represents a way of contributing to the sustainable development goals of Agenda 21. The three conventions are intrinsically linked, operating in the same ecosystems and addressing interdependent issues.

Convention on Biological Diversity

The objectives 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 from commercial and other utilization of genetic resources. The agreement covers all ecosystems, species, and genetic resources.

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

The UNCCD aims to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa, through effective actions at all levels, supported by international co-operation and partnership arrangements, in the framework of an integrated approach which is consistent with Agenda 21, with a view to contributing to the achievements of sustainable development in affected areas.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The UNFCCC sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change. Its objectives are to stabilize greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change; to ensure that food production is not threatened; to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.

The Conferences of the Parties (COP) to each Rio Convention have underlined through numerous articles and decisions the need for enhanced collaboration among the conventions, in order to enhance synergy and reduce duplication of activities. In August 2001, the Conventions established a Joint Liaison Group as an informal forum for exchanging information, exploring opportunities for synergistic activities and increasing coordination. Options for collaboration have been explored in several meetings and documents, and a number of collaborative activities are already underway.

Results of the RIO Joint Activities Survey