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To what extent has the 1993 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) had an impact on biodiversity planning at both the national and regional levels?

In response to growing concerns about escalating biodiversity depletion across the globe, the landmark Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was launched two decades ago. This solution examines the impact that the Convention has had on biodiversity planning at both the international and national levels. As a part of this review, highlights of the biodiversity planning approaches developed by selected countries in response to the Convention are given. In ending, this solution gives a series of conclusions and highlights of areas where there are challenges for consideration in the future.

This solution would be especially helpful to students studying environmental studies, environmental management, environmental law and international development. It is a helpful introduction to the international environmental conventions.

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The Status of Biodiversity

According to Article 2 of the CBD, biological diversity is the diversity among organisms from any origin (such as land-based and aquatic ecosystems) as well as the ecological systems which they are part of (United Nations, 1992). Biodiversity is vital for the functioning of ecosystems and the maintenance of the ecosystem services critical for the well-being of people (Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity, n. d.). Biodiversity contributes to health, food security, livelihoods, economic development, poverty alleviation and healthy air and water (Secretariat for the CBD, n. d.). However even though it is of such great value, biodiversity is still being depleted (Secretariat for the CBD, n. d.). The extinction of flora and fauna due to peoples' activities continues rapidly and in fact the threat to biodiversity is greater today than it has ever been (Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat, n. d. a).

The CBD: International Biodiversity Planning

In 1993, the CBD entered into force and in 1994 the First Meeting of the Conference of the Parties for the Convention was convened (Secretariat for the CBD, 2004). Article 1 of the Convention states that the objectives of the Convention include "... the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components ..." (United Nations, 1992, p.3). Article 6 states that Contracting Parties shall "... develop national strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity ..." (United Nations, 1992, p.5). Hence, Article 6 establishes a requirement for biodiversity planning at the national level (Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat, n. d. b). National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) are major tools for implementation of the Convention by countries (Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat, n. d. c). National strategies highlight states' overall approach to meeting the Convention's objectives and action plans establish the specific steps needed (CBD Secretariat, n. d. b). According to St. Hill (1994), it is imperative that national biodiversity planning initiatives aimed at implementing Article 6 should not be a new layer of activity that duplicates on-going work. Margules and Nicholls (1988) note that in order to protect the most amount of biodiversity, a ...

Solution Summary

The goal of this 1070 word solution is to examine the Convention on Biological Diversity's impact on biodiversity planning. The reference list included is an excellent resource guide for identifying key biodiversity documents and links.