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The Convention on Biological Diversity:[1]

The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature at the 1992 United Nations World Conference on Environment and Development or "Earth Summit". As of January 2004, there were a total of 188 Governments, and the European Union, who make up the "Parties" to the Convention . [2]

The Convention itself consists of 42 Articles and two Annexes. Article 1 sets out the Objectives of the Convention as follows:

"The objectives of this Convention, to be pursued in accordance with its relevant provisions, are the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding." (SCBD 2001: 4)

As this makes clear the Convention is in fact concerned with three objectives:

  • The conservation of biodiversity.
  • The sustainable use of biodiversity.
  • The exploitation of genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the exploitation of these resources.

By far the most difficult, and controversial, of these objectives is the third objective with which the issue of traditional knowledge is inextricably bound up (see below).



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Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities and the Convention

| Acknowledgements | About the Authors | Introduction | Dimensions of Diversity | Indigenous Peoples.. |
| From Policy to Implementation? | Executive Summary COP5 | Executive Summary COP6 |References |