The Convention on Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the major international agreement that is focussed on biological diversity. The CBD was one of the important outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992.

The objectives of the CBD are:

  • Conservation of biological diversity,
  • Sustainable use of its components, and,
  • Fair and equitable sharing of benefits

The CBD also identifies as possible strategies for achieving these objectives i.e.

  • Appropriate access to ,
  •  Appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and;
  • Appropriate funding.

Recognition of the rights over technologies and genetic resources implies that the CBD is closely linked with a number of issues that need to be taken into account in its implementation:

o   Close linkage with Intellectual Property Rights issues

o   Close linkage with access to genetic resources and benefit sharing

o   Close linkage to Indigenous Knowledge related issues.

Microbial, plant or animal material that contains genetic material that has actual or potential value.