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Biodiversity - International Conventions on Biodiversity Conservation
                                                                                                    December 19, 2017

International Conventions on Biodiversity Conservation

Conserving biodiversity is not an issue confined to any one country or community. It is a crucial global concern. Several international treaties and agreements are in place in the attempt to strengthen international participation and commitment towards conserving biodiversity.

Some of these are:

1. The Convention on Biological Diversity:
This was signed during the Earth Summit in 1992. It focuses not only on conserving biodiversity but also on sustainable use of biological resources and equitable sharing of benefits arising from its use.

2. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES):
This is an international treaty which is designed to protect wild plants and animals affected by international trade. The treaty, in force since 1975, controls the export, import and re-export of endangered and threatened wildlife.

3. The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention):
This Convention, also known as the Ramsar Convention, was signed in Ramsar (Iran) in 1971 and came into force in December 1975. It provides a framework for international cooperation for the conservation of wetland habitats which have been designated to the ‘List of Wetlands of International Importance’.

4. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
The CMS, or the Bonn Convention aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range. Parties to the CMS work together to conserve migratory species and their habitats by providing strict protection for the most endangered migratory species, by concluding regional multilateral agreements for the conservation and management of specific species or categories of species, and by undertaking co-operative research and conservation activities.

5. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
The objectives of the Treaty are the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of their use, in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity, for sustainable agriculture and food security. The Treaty covers all plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, while its Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing covers a specific list of 64 crops and forages. The Treaty also includes provisions on Farmers’ Rights.

6. World Heritage Convention (WHC)
The primary mission of the WHC is to identify and conserve the world’s cultural and natural heritage, by drawing up a list of sites whose outstanding values should be preserved for all humanity and to ensure their protection through a closer co-operation among nations.

7. International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)
The IPPC aims to protect world plant resources, including cultivated and wild plants by preventing the introduction and spread of plant pests and promoting the appropriate measures for their control. The convention provides the mechanisms to develop the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs), and to help countries to implement the ISPMs and the other obligations under the IPPC, by facilitating the national capacity development, national reporting and dispute settlement. The Secretariat of the IPPC is hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

8. Basel Convention
It is designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs).