Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)


    In News

    • Recently, India pushed for a new fund to reverse biodiversity loss at the U.N. biodiversity conference (COP-15) in Canada’s Montreal.

    Key Points of CBD CoP 15

    • Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF): 
      • The draft GBF, set to replace the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, comprises 22 targets and four goals proposed for 2030—a stepping stone to the 2050 goal of Living in Harmony with Nature.
      • The GBF targets include reducing pollution, pesticides, subsidies harmful to nature and the rate of introduction of invasive alien species among others.
      • It will cater to a new set of goals and targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.
      • As the 196 parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) finalise negotiations for a post-2020 GBF, there have been calls for the inclusion of the CBDR principle in finance-related targets.
    • Fund at present: 
      • Presently, the Global Environment Facility caters to multiple conventions, including the UNFCCC and UN Convention to Combat Desertification.
      • It remains the only source of funding for biodiversity conservation right now.
    • Subsidy elimination: 
      • Eliminating subsidies that are harmful to the environment, such as subsidies for fossil fuel production, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, by at least $500 billion (one billion = 100 crore) annually.
      • This money will be used for biodiversity conservation.
    • Target: 
      • It aims at achieving a historic deal to halt and reverse biodiversity loss on par with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, when all countries agreed to holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.


    • It was established as the seventh principle of the Rio Declaration adopted at the Earth Summit in 1992.
    • CBDR is defined as “states have common but differentiated responsibilities in view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation”.
    • Applying the CBDR principle to biodiversity conservation has not been straightforward as compared to climate negotiations, and there have been repeated disagreements between the global north and south on the issue.

    India’s Stand

    • Fund: 
      • There is an urgent need to create a new and dedicated fund to help developing countries successfully implement a post-2020 global framework to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.
    • ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities’ (CBDR): 
      • Conservation of biodiversity must also be based on CBDR as climate change also impacts nature. 
    • Implementation of GBF: 
      • The successful implementation of a post-2020 GBF will depend on the ways and means country’s put in place for an equally ambitious ‘Resource Mobilisation Mechanism’.
      • The goals and targets set in the GBF should be ambitious, but also realistic and practical.
    • Subsidy elimination:
      • India is against reducing the agriculture-related subsidy and redirecting the savings for biodiversity conservation.
      • Reason: 
        • Majority of the rural population in India is dependent on agriculture and allied sectors and the government provides a variety of subsidies, including seed, fertilizer, irrigation, power, export, credit, agriculture equipment, agriculture infrastructure for supporting the livelihoods of farmers mainly, small and marginal.
        • When food security is of utmost importance for developing countries, prescribing numerical targets in pesticide reductions is unnecessary and must be left to countries to decide, based on national circumstances, priorities and capabilities.
    • Biodiversity conservation:
      • It requires ecosystems to be conserved and restored holistically and in an integrated manner.  


    • Not enough funds: Existing multilateral sources are not up to the task of meeting the requirements of the GBF.
    • Improper distribution of responsibility: Greater ambition in GBF means greater cost and the burden of this cost falls disproportionately on the countries that can least afford them.
    • Giving up subsidy: For the developing nations, agriculture is a paramount economic driver for rural communities, and the critical support provided to these sectors cannot be redirected.

    Way Ahead

    • There is a need to create a new and dedicated mechanism for the provision of financial resources to developing-country parties. 
    • Such a fund should be operationalised at the earliest to ensure effective implementation of the post-2020 GBF by all countries.
    • Ecosystem approaches for conservation of biodiversity need to be adopted rather than going for nature-based solutions.
    • The GBF must be framed considering science and equity and the sovereign right of countries over their resources.
      • The GBF must recognise the responsibility of the developing countries towards poverty eradication and sustainable development.

    Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

    • The CBD is known informally as the Biodiversity Convention.
    • It is a multilateral treaty.
    • The convention was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and entered into force in 1993.
    • The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is based in Montreal, Canada.
    • Ratification:
      • It has been ratified by 196 nations.
      • The United States is the only UN member state which has not ratified the convention.
    • Two supplementary agreements:
      • The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty governing the movements of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology from one country to another.
      • The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is another supplementary agreement to the CBD.
    • The CBD’s governing body is the Conference of the Parties (COP). 
      • This ultimate authority of all governments (or Parties) that have ratified the treaty meets every two years to review progress, set priorities and commit to work plans.

    Source: TH