Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is most often associated with the earth’s vast variety of plants, animals, and microorganisms, but the term encompasses diversity at all levels—from genes to species to ecosystems to landscapes. Scientists estimate there are approximately 8.7 million species globally, of which approximately 2.2 million are marine. In spite of 250 years of research and over 1.2 million species already identified, it is possible 86% of existing species on Earth and 91% of species in the ocean still await description.

In each ecosystem, including those that occur within or among forests, wetlands, mountains, deserts, and rivers, living creatures interact with each other as well as with the air, water, and soil around them, forming an interconnected community. The ecosystem services provided by biodiversity are estimated to be worth trillions of dollars—double the world’s GDP. Biodiversity also includes genetic differences within species, such as different breeds and varieties, as well as chromosomes, genes, and genetic sequences (DNA). Biodiversity also has human benefits. For example, many new medicines are harvested from nature, such as the rosy periwinkle, which provides two very important cancer-fighting medicines.

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Resumed Review Conference on the UN Fish Stocks Agreement

At a time when the world’s oceans along with declining fisheries and marine biodiversity are attracting increasing attention, the United Nations will assess the effectiveness of its efforts to conserve straddling and highly migratory fish stocks.
Event 22 May 2023 - 26 May 2023

14th Meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative

Held in a spirit of celebration of recent international progress, notably the newly agreed UN high seas treaty, the 14th Meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative discussed options for ocean conservation and a sustainable blue economy. Debates centered on fisheries, marine protected areas, ecosystem restoration and scaling solutions.
Event 20 March 2023

Resumed 5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on BBNJ

Governments agreed on a draft treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. The eventual treaty will address exploitation of marine genetic resources, including benefit-sharing; establish area-based management tools, such as marine protected areas; set procedures for environmental impact assessments; and provide capacity building and transfer of marine technology.
Event 20 February 2023 - 4 March 2023

The Environmental Negotiation Leaps of 2022

Never in the history of humanity has the world faced so many environmental threats. Climate change is now called a climate emergency. We are losing biodiversity at an alarming rate. Our oceans are being choked with plastic, and we continue to produce toxic chemicals that are harmful to humans and wildlife. For millions of people, access to fresh water and sanitation is a growing challenge. The basic human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights are at risk. As Article 3 of the Declaration states: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Sadly, too many lives are being lost because of our profligate abuse of the natural environment.

Linking the Rio Conventions: Where we saw progress in 2022

The three Rio Conventions have been linked—at least on paper—since the 1992 Earth Summit. While each treaty stands on its own, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), both of which were opened for signature at the Rio Earth Summit, and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the negotiation of which was called for in the Rio Earth Summit outcome—Agenda 21, remain intricately linked because they address interconnected and interdependent issues.

5th International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5)

Ocean conservation experts and high-level officials gathered to discuss how to advance Ocean protection and a way forward to achieve conservation targets, including to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and Ocean by 2030 (30 by 30).
Event 3 February 2023 - 9 February 2023

Biodiversity Action for and by the Global South

Given the combined strength of countries from the global South to cooperate and collaborate in securing the future of this Planet, this event discussed opportunities for enhancing inter and intra-regional cooperation to realize the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Event 18 December 2022