Sustainable Use of Biodiversity


Assuring the Convention remains an international tool for sustainable development.

Being one of the objectives of the Convention, sustainable use is a general framework that crystallises the text of the Convention into one of the first truly international tool to provide dynamism to sustainable development. Sustainable use entails the introduction and application of methods and processes for the utilization of biodiversity to prevent its long term decline, thereby maintaining its potential to meet current and future human needs and aspirations.

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Sustainable use is defined in the Convention as the “use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations” (Article 2).

Article 10 of the Convention link on the Sustainable Use of the Components of Biological Diversity provides that, inter alia, each Party shall adopt measures, as far as possible and as appropriate relating to the use of biological resources to avoid or minimize adverse impacts on biological diversity.

The Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties decided to consider sustainable use, including tourism, at the Fifth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-5) (decision IV/16, annex II). COP-5 considered sustainable use as a cross-cutting issue (decision V/24), and considered the relationship between biological diversity and tourism within the context of sustainable use (decision V/25, see below). References to sustainable use, or sustainable management of biological resources, have been made in each of the thematic work programmes of the Convention.

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At the fourth open-ended workshop on the sustainable use of biological diversity, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2003, the Convention produced the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the sustainable use of biodiversity, which were subsequently adopted at the Seventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties which was held in 2004 VII/12, paragraph 1.

One of the main tools developed under the Convention, the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable use of Biodiversity is a framework for advising stakeholders on how they can ensure that their use of the components of biodiversity will not lead to long-term biodiversity declines, but will instead promote conservation and contribute to poverty alleviation.

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