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CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

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1.Done at Rio de Janeiro on June 5, 1992;
Entered into force on 29 December 1993Preamble

The Contracting Parties,
Conscious of the intrinsic value of biological diversity and of
the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific,
educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic values of
biological diversity and its components,
Conscious also of the importance of biological diversity for
evolution and for maintaining life sustaining systems of the
biosphere,
Affirming that the conservation of biological diversity is a
common concern of humankind,
Reaffirming that States have sovereign rights over their own
biological resources,
Reaffirming also that States are responsible for conserving
their biological diversity and for using their biological
resources in a sustainable manner,
Concerned that biological diversity is being significantly
reduced by certain human activities,
Aware of the general lack of information and knowledge regarding
biological diversity and of the urgent need to develop
scientific, technical and institutional capacities to provide
the basic understanding upon which to plan and implement
appropriate measures,
Noting that it is vital to anticipate, prevent and attack the
causes of significant reduction or loss of biological diversity
at source,
Noting also that where there is a threat of significant
reduction or loss of biological diversity, lack of full
scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for
postponing measures to avoid or minimize such a threat,
Noting further that the fundamental requirement for the
conservation of biological diversity is the in-situ conservation
of ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and
recovery of viable populations of species in their natural
surroundings,
Noting further that ex-situ measures, preferably in the country
of origin, also have an important role to play,
Recognizing the close and traditional dependence of many
indigenous and local communities embodying traditional
lifestyles on biological resources, and the desirability of
sharing equitably benefits arising from the use of traditional
knowledge, innovations and practices relevant to the
conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of
its components,
Recognizing also the vital role that women play in the
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and
affirming the need for the full participation of women at all
levels of policy-making and implementation for biological
diversity conservation,
Stressing the importance of, and the need to promote,
international, regional and global cooperation among States and
intergovernmental organizations and the non-governmental sector
for the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable
use of its components,
Acknowledging that the provision of new and additional financial
resources and appropriate access to relevant technologies can be
expected to make a substantial difference in the world's ability
to address the loss of biological diversity,
Acknowledging further that special provision is required to meet
the needs of developing countries, including the provision of
new and additional financial resources and appropriate access to
relevant technologies,
Noting in this regard the special conditions of the least
developed countries and small island States,
Acknowledging that substantial investments are required to
conserve biological diversity and that there is the expectation
of a broad range of environmental, economic and social benefits
from those investments,
Recognizing that economic and social development and poverty
eradication are the first and overriding priorities of
developing countries,
Aware that conservation and sustainable use of biological
diversity is of critical importance for meeting the food, health
and other needs of the growing world population, for which
purpose access to and sharing of both genetic resources and
technologies are essential,
Noting that, ultimately, the conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity will strengthen friendly relations among
States and contribute to peace for humankind,
Desiring to enhance and complement existing international
arrangements for the conservation of biological diversity and
sustainable use of its components, and
Determined to conserve and sustainably use biological diversity
for the benefit of present and future generations,
Have agreed as follows:

Article 1. Objectives
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 genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of
relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those
resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding.

Article 2. Use of Terms
For the purposes of this Convention:
"Biological diversity" means the variability among living
organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial,
marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes
of which they are part; this includes diversity within species,
between species and of ecosystems.
"Biological resources" includes genetic resources, organisms or
parts thereof, populations, or any other biotic component of
ecosystems with actual or potential use or value for humanity.
"Biotechnology" means any technological application that uses
biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to
make or modify products or processes for specific use.
"Country of origin of genetic resources" means the country which
possesses those genetic resources in in-situ conditions.
"Country providing genetic resources" means the country
supplying genetic resources collected from in-situ sources,
including populations of both wild and domesticated species, or
taken from ex-situ sources, which may or may not have originated
in that country.
"Domesticated or cultivated species" means species in which the
evolutionary process has been influenced by humans to meet their
needs.
"Ecosystem" means a dynamic complex of plant, animal and
micro-organism communities and their non-living environment
interacting as a functional unit.
"Ex-situ conservation" means the conservation of components of
biological diversity outside their natural habitats.
"Genetic material" means any material of plant, animal,
microbial or other origin containing functional units of
heredity.
"Genetic resources" means genetic material of actual or
potential value.
"Habitat" means the place or type of site where an organism or
population naturally occurs.
"In-situ conditions" means conditions where genetic resources
exist within ecosystems and natural habitats, and, in the case
of domesticated or cultivated species, in the surroundings where
they have developed their distinctive properties.
"In-situ conservation" means the conservation of ecosystems and
natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable
populations of species in their natural surroundings and, in the
case of domesticated or cultivated species, in the surroundings
where they have developed their distinctive properties.
"Protected area" means a geographically defined area which is
designated or regulated and managed to achieve specific
conservation objectives.
"Regional economic integration organization" means an
organization constituted by sovereign States of a given region,
to which its member States have transferred competence in
respect of matters governed by this Convention and which has
been duly authorized, in accordance with its internal
procedures, to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to it.
"Sustainable use" means the use of components of biological
diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the
long-term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining
its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and
future generations.
"Technology" includes biotechnology.

Article 3. Principle
States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United
Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign
right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own
environmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that
activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause
damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the
limits of national jurisdiction.

Article 4. Jurisdictional Scope
Subject to the rights of other States, and except as otherwise
expressly provided in this Convention, the provisions of this
Convention apply, in relation to each Contracting Party:
(a) In the case of components of biological diversity, in areas
within the limits of its national jurisdiction; and
(b) In the case of processes and activities, regardless of where
their effects occur, carried out under its jurisdiction or
control, within the area of its national jurisdiction or
beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

Article 5. Cooperation
Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as
appropriate, cooperate with other Contracting Parties, directly
or, where appropriate, through competent international
organizations, in respect of areas beyond national jurisdiction
and on other matters of mutual interest, for the conservation
and sustainable use of biological diversity.

Article 6. General Measures for Conservation and Sustainable Use
Each Contracting Party shall, in accordance with its particular
conditions and capabilities:
(a) Develop national strategies, plans or programmes for the
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity or
adapt for this purpose existing strategies, plans or
programmes which shall reflect, inter alia, the measures set
out in this Convention relevant to the Contracting Party
concerned; and
(b) Integrate, as far as possible and as appropriate, the
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity
into relevant sectoral or cross-sectoral plans, programmes
and policies.

Article 7. Identification and Monitoring
Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as
appropriate, in particular for the purposes of Articles 8 to 10:
(a) Identify components of biological diversity important for
its conservation and sustainable use having regard to the
indicative list of categories set down in Annex I;
(b) Monitor, through sampling and other techniques, the
components of biological diversity identified pursuant to
subparagraph (a) above, paying particular attention to those
requiring urgent conservation measures and those which offer
the greatest potential for sustainable use;
(c) Identify processes and categories of activities which have
or are likely to have significant adverse impacts on the
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity,
and monitor their effects through sampling and other
techniques; and
(d) Maintain and organize, by any mechanism data, derived from
identification and monitoring activities pursuant to
subparagraphs (a), (b) and (c) above.

Article 8. In-situ Conservation
Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as
appropriate:
(a) Establish a system of protected areas or areas where special
measures need to be taken to conserve biological diversity;
(b) Develop, where necessary, guidelines for the selection,
establishment and management of protected areas or areas
where special measures need to be taken to conserve
biological diversity;
(c) Regulate or manage biological resources important for the
conservation of biological diversity whether within or
outside protected areas, with a view to ensuring their
conservation and sustainable use;
(d) Promote the protection of ecosystems, natural habitats and
the maintenance of viable populations of species in natural
surroundings;
(e) Promote environmentally sound and sustainable development in
areas adjacent to protected areas with a view to furthering
protection of these areas;
(f) Rehabilitate and restore degraded ecosystems and promote the
recovery of threatened species, inter alia, through the
development and implementation of plans or other management
strategies;
(g) Establish or maintain means to regulate, manage or control
the risks associated with the use and release of living
modified organisms resulting from biotechnology which are
likely to have adverse environmental impacts that could
affect the conservation and sustainable use of biological
diversity, taking also into account the risks to human
health;
(h) Prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those
alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or
species;
(i) Endeavour to provide the conditions needed for compatibility
between present uses and the conservation of biological
diversity and the sustainable use of its components;
(j) Subject to its national legislation, respect, preserve and
maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous
and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles
relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity and promote their wider application
with the approval and involvement of the holders of such
knowledge, innovations and practices and encourage the
equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the
utilization of such knowledge, innovations and practices;
(k) Develop or maintain necessary legislation and/or other
regulatory provisions for the protection of threatened
species and populations;
(l) Where a significant adverse effect on biological diversity
has been determined pursuant to Article 7, regulate or
manage the relevant processes and categories of activities;
and
(m) Cooperate in providing financial and other support for
in-situ conservation outlined in subparagraphs (a) to (l)
above, particularly to developing countries.

Article 9. Ex-situ Conservation
Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as
appropriate, and predominantly for the purpose of complementing
in-situ measures:
(a) Adopt measures for the ex-situ conservation of components of
biological diversity, preferably in the country of origin of
such components;
(b) Establish and maintain facilities for ex-situ conservation
of and research on plants, animals and micro- organisms,
preferably in the country of origin of genetic resources;
(c) Adopt measures for the recovery and rehabilitation of
threatened species and for their reintroduction into their
natural habitats under appropriate conditions;
(d) Regulate and manage collection of biological resources from
natural habitats for ex-situ conservation purposes so as not
to threaten ecosystems and in-situ populations of species,
except where special temporary ex-situ measures are required
under subparagraph (c) above; and
(e) Cooperate in providing financial and other support for
ex-situ conservation outlined in subparagraphs (a) to (d)
above and in the establishment and maintenance of ex-situ
conservation facilities in developing countries.

Article 10. Sustainable Use of Components of Biological
Diversity
Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as
appropriate:
(a) Integrate consideration of the conservation and sustainable
use of biological resources into national decision-making;
(b) Adopt measures relating to the use of biological resources
to avoid or minimize adverse impacts on biological
diversity;
(c) Protect and encourage customary use of biological resources
in accordance with traditional cultural practices that are
compatible with conservation or sustainable use requirements
;
(d) Support local populations to develop and implement remedial
action in degraded areas where biological diversity has been
reduced; and
(e) Encourage cooperation between its governmental authorities
and its private sector in developing methods for sustainable
use of biological resources.

Article 11. Incentive Measures
Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as
appropriate, adopt economically and socially sound measures that
act as incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of
components of biological diversity.

Article 12. Research and Training
The Contracting Parties, taking into account the special needs
of developing countries, shall:
(a) Establish and maintain programmes for scientific and
technical education and training in measures for the
identification, conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity and its components and provide support
for such education and training for the specific needs of
developing countries;
(b) Promote and encourage research which contributes to the
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity,
particularly in developing countries, inter alia, in
accordance with decisions of the Conference of the Parties
taken in consequence of recommendations of the Subsidiary
Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice; and
(c) In keeping with the provisions of Articles 16, 18 and 20,
promote and cooperate in the use of scientific advances in
biological diversity research in developing methods for
conservation and sustainable use of biological resources.

Article 13. Public Education and Awareness
The Contracting Parties shall:
(a) Promote and encourage understanding of the importance of,
and the measures required for, the conservation of
biological diversity, as well as its propagation through
media, and the inclusion of these topics in educational
programmes; and
(b) Cooperate, as appropriate, with other States and
international organizations in developing educational and
public awareness programmes, with respect to conservation
and sustainable use of biological diversity.

Article 14. Impact Assessment and Minimizing Adverse Impacts
1. Each Contracting Party, as far as possible and as
appropriate, shall:
(a) Introduce appropriate procedures requiring environmental
impact assessment of its proposed projects that are likely
to have significant adverse effects on biological diversity
with a view to avoiding or minimizing such effects and,
where appropriate, allow for public participation in such
procedures;
(b) Introduce appropriate arrangements to ensure that the
environmental consequences of its programmes and policies
that are likely to have significant adverse impacts on
biological diversity are duly taken into account;
(c) Promote, on the basis of reciprocity, notification,
exchange of information and consultation on activities
under their jurisdiction or control which are likely to
significantly affect adversely the biological diversity of
other States or areas beyond the limits of national
jurisdiction, by encouraging the conclusion of bilateral,
regional or multilateral arrangements, as appropriate;
(d) In the case of imminent or grave danger or damage,
originating under its jurisdiction or control,
to biological diversity within the area under jurisdiction
of other States or in areas beyond the limits of national
jurisdiction, notify immediately the potentially affected
States of such danger or damage, as well as initiate action
to prevent or minimize such danger or damage; and
(e) Promote national arrangements for emergency responses to
activities or events, whether caused naturally or otherwise
, which present a grave and imminent danger to biological
diversity and encourage international cooperation to
supplement such national efforts and, where appropriate and
agreed by the States or regional economic integration
organizations concerned, to establish joint contingency
plans.
2. The Conference of the Parties shall examine, on the basis of
studies to be carried out, the issue of liability and redress
, including restoration and compensation, for damage to
biological diversity, except where such liability is a purely
internal matter.

Article 15. Access to Genetic Resources
1. Recognizing the sovereign rights of States over their natural
resources, the authority to determine access to genetic
resources rests with the national governments and is subject
to national legislation.
2. Each Contracting Party shall endeavour to create conditions
to facilitate access to genetic resources for environmentally
sound uses by other Contracting Parties and not to impose
restrictions that run counter to the objectives of this
Convention.
3. For the purpose of this Convention, the genetic resources
being provided by a Contracting Party, as referred to in this
Article and Articles 16 and 19, are only those that are
provided by Contracting Parties that are countries of origin
of such resources or by the Parties that have acquired the
genetic resources in accordance with this Convention.
4. Access, where granted, shall be on mutually agreed terms and
subject to the provisions of this Article.
5. Access to genetic resources shall be subject to prior
informed consent of the Contracting Party providing such
resources, unless otherwise determined by that Party.
6. Each Contracting Party shall endeavour to develop and carry
out scientific research based on genetic resources provided
by other Contracting Parties with the full participation of,
and where possible in, such Contracting Parties.
7. Each Contracting Party shall take legislative, administrative
or policy measures, as appropriate, and in accordance with
Articles 16 and 19 and, where necessary, through the
financial mechanism established by Articles 20 and 21 with
the aim of sharing in a fair and equitable way the results of
research and development and the benefits arising from the
commercial and other utilization of genetic resources with
the Contracting Party providing such resources. Such sharing
shall be upon mutually agreed terms.

Article 16. Access to and Transfer of Technology
1. Each Contracting Party, recognizing that technology includes
biotechnology, and that both access to and transfer of
technology among Contracting Parties are essential elements
for the attainment of the objectives of this Convention,
undertakes subject to the provisions of this Article to
provide and/or facilitate access for and transfer to other
Contracting Parties of technologies that are relevant to the
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity or
make use of genetic resources and do not cause significant
damage to the environment.
2. Access to and transfer of technology referred to in paragraph
1 above to developing countries shall be provided and/or
facilitated under fair and most favourable terms, including
on concessional and preferential terms where mutually agreed,
and, where necessary, in accordance with the financial
mechanism established by Articles 20 and 21. In the case of
technology subject to patents and other intellectual property
rights, such access and transfer shall be provided on terms
which recognize and are consistent with the adequate and
effective protection of intellectual property rights. The
application of this paragraph shall be consistent with
paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 below.
3. Each Contracting Party shall take legislative, administrative
or policy measures, as appropriate, with the aim that
Contracting Parties, in particular those that are developing
countries, which provide genetic resources are provided
access to and transfer of technology which makes use of those
resources, on mutually agreed terms, including technology
protected by patents and other intellectual property rights,
where necessary, through the provisions of Articles 20 and 21
and in accordance with international law and consistent with
paragraphs 4 and 5 below.
4. Each Contracting Party shall take legislative, administrative
or policy measures, as appropriate, with the aim that the
private sector facilitates access to, joint development and
transfer of technology referred to in paragraph 1 above for
the benefit of both governmental institutions and the private
sector of developing countries and in this regard shall abide
by the obligations included in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 above.
5. The Contracting Parties, recognizing that patents and other
intellectual property rights may have an influence on the
implementation of this Convention, shall cooperate in this
regard subject to national legislation and international law
in order to ensure that such rights are supportive of and do
not run counter to its objectives.

Article 17. Exchange of Information
1. The Contracting Parties shall facilitate the exchange of
information, from all publicly available sources, relevant to
the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity,
taking into account the special needs of developing countries.
2. Such exchange of information shall include exchange of
results of technical, scientific and socio-economic research,
as well as information on training and surveying programmes,
specialized knowledge, indigenous and traditional knowledge
as such and in combination with the technologies referred to
in Article 16, paragraph 1. It shall also, where feasible,
include repatriation of information.

Article 18. Technical and Scientific Cooperation
1. The Contracting Parties shall promote international technical
and scientific cooperation in the field of conservation and
sustainable use of biological diversity, where necessary,
through the appropriate international and national
institutions.
2. Each Contracting Party shall promote technical and scientific
cooperation with other Contracting Parties, in particular
developing countries, in implementing this Convention, inter
alia, through the development and implementation of national
policies. In promoting such cooperation, special attention
should be given to the development and strengthening of
national capabilities, by means of human resources
development and institution building.
3. The Conference of the Parties, at its first meeting, shall
determine how to establish a clearing-house mechanism to
promote and facilitate technical and scientific cooperation.
4. The Contracting Parties shall, in accordance with national
legislation and policies, encourage and develop methods of
cooperation for the development and use of technologies,
including indigenous and traditional technologies, in
pursuance of the objectives of this Convention. For this
purpose, the Contracting Parties shall also promote
cooperation in the training of personnel and exchange of
experts.
5. The Contracting Parties shall, subject to mutual agreement,
promote the establishment of joint research programmes and
joint ventures for the development of technologies relevant
to the objectives of this Convention.

Article 19. Handling of Biotechnology and Distribution of its
Benefits
1. Each Contracting Party shall take legislative, administrative
or policy measures, as appropriate, to provide for
the effective participation in biotechnological research
activities by those Contracting Parties, especially
developing countries, which provide the genetic resources for
such research, and where feasible in such Contracting Parties
.
2. Each Contracting Party shall take all practicable measures to
promote and advance priority access on a fair and equitable
basis by Contracting Parties, especially developing countries
, to the results and benefits arising from biotechnologies
based upon genetic resources provided by those Contracting
Parties. Such access shall be on mutually agreed terms.
3. The Parties shall consider the need for and modalities of a
protocol setting out appropriate procedures, including, in
particular, advance informed agreement, in the field of the
safe transfer, handling and use of any living modified
organism resulting from biotechnology that may have adverse
effect on the conservation and sustainable use of biological
diversity.
4. Each Contracting Party shall, directly or by requiring any
natural or legal person under its jurisdiction providing the
organisms referred to in paragraph 3 above, provide any
available information about the use and safety regulations
required by that Contracting Party in handling such organisms
, as well as any available information on the potential
adverse impact of the specific organisms concerned to the
Contracting Party into which those organisms are to be
introduced.

Article 20. Financial Resources
1. Each Contracting Party undertakes to provide, in accordance
with its capabilities, financial support and incentives in
respect of those national activities which are intended to
achieve the objectives of this Convention, in accordance
with its national plans, priorities and programmes.
2. The developed country Parties shall provide new and
additional financial resources to enable developing country
Parties to meet the agreed full incremental costs to them of
implementing measures which fulfil the obligations of this
Convention and to benefit from its provisions and which costs
are agreed between a developing country Party and the
institutional structure referred to in Article 21, in
accordance with policy, strategy, programme priorities and
eligibility criteria and an indicative list of incremental
costs established by the Conference of the Parties. Other
Parties, including countries undergoing the process of
transition to a market economy, may voluntarily assume the
obligations of the developed country Parties. For the purpose
of this Article, the Conference of the Parties, shall at its
first meeting establish a list of developed country Parties
and other Parties which voluntarily assume the obligations of
the developed country Parties. The Conference of the Parties
shall periodically review and if necessary amend the list.
Contributions from other countries and sources on a voluntary
basis would also be encouraged. The implementation of these
commitments shall take into account the need for adequacy,
predictability and timely flow of funds and the importance of
burden-sharing among the contributing Parties included in the
list.
3. The developed country Parties may also provide, and
developing country Parties avail themselves of, financial
resources related to the implementation of this Convention
through bilateral, regional and other multilateral channels.
4. The extent to which developing country Parties will
effectively implement their commitments under this Convention
will depend on the effective implementation by developed
country Parties of their commitments under this Convention
related to financial resources and transfer of technology and
will take fully into account the fact that economic and
social development and eradication of poverty are the first
and overriding priorities of the developing country Parties.
5. The Parties shall take full account of the specific needs and
special situation of least developed countries in their
actions with regard to funding and transfer of technology.
6. The Contracting Parties shall also take into consideration
the special conditions resulting from the dependence on,
distribution and location of, biological diversity within
developing country Parties, in particular small island
States.
7. Consideration shall also be given to the special situation of
developing countries, including those that are most
environmentally vulnerable, such as those with arid and semi-
arid zones, coastal and mountainous areas.

Article 21. Financial Mechanism
1. There shall be a mechanism for the provision of financial
resources to developing country Parties for purposes of this
Convention on a grant or concessional basis the essential
elements of which are described in this Article. The
mechanism shall function under the authority and guidance of,
and be accountable to, the Conference of the Parties for
purposes of this Convention. The operations of the mechanism
shall be carried out by such institutional structure as may
be decided upon by the Conference of the Parties at its first
meeting. For purposes of this Convention, the Conference of
the Parties shall determine the policy, strategy, programme
priorities and eligibility criteria relating to the access to
and utilization of such resources. The contributions shall be
such as to take into account the need for predictability,
adequacy and timely flow of funds referred to in Article 20
in accordance with the amount of resources needed to be
decided periodically by the Conference of the Parties and the
importance of burden-sharing among the contributing Parties
included in the list referred to in Article 20, paragraph 2.
Voluntary contributions may also be made by the developed
country Parties and by other countries and sources. The
mechanism shall operate within a democratic and transparent
system of governance.
2. Pursuant to the objectives of this Convention, the Conference
of the Parties shall at its first meeting determine the
policy, strategy and programme priorities, as well as
detailed criteria and guidelines for eligibility for access
to and utilization of the financial resources including
monitoring and evaluation on a regular basis of such
utilization. The Conference of the Parties shall decide on
the arrangements to give effect to paragraph 1 above after
consultation with the institutional structure entrusted with
the operation of the financial mechanism.
3. The Conference of the Parties shall review the effectiveness
of the mechanism established under this Article, including
the criteria and guidelines referred to in paragraph 2 above,
not less than two years after the entry into force of this
Convention and thereafter on a regular basis. Based on such
review, it shall take appropriate action to improve the
effectiveness of the mechanism if necessary.
4. The Contracting Parties shall consider strengthening existing
financial institutions to provide financial resources for the
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

Article 22. Relationship with Other International Conventions
1. The provisions of this Convention shall not affect the rights
and obligations of any Contracting Party deriving from any
existing international agreement, except where the exercise
of those rights and obligations would cause a serious damage
or threat to biological diversity.
2. Contracting Parties shall implement this Convention with
respect to the marine environment consistently with the
rights and obligations of States under the law of the sea.

Article 23. Conference of the Parties
1. A Conference of the Parties is hereby established. The first
meeting of the Conference of the Parties shall be convened by
the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment
Programme not later than one year after the entry into force
of this Convention. Thereafter, ordinary meetings of the
Conference of the Parties shall be held at regular intervals
to be determined by the Conference at its first meeting.
2. Extraordinary meetings of the Conference of the Parties shall
be held at such other times as may be deemed necessary by the
Conference, or at the written request of any Party, provided
that, within six months of the request being communicated to
them by the Secretariat, it is supported by at least one
third of the Parties.
3. The Conference of the Parties shall by consensus agree upon
and adopt rules of procedure for itself and for any
subsidiary body it may establish, as well as financial rules
governing the funding of the Secretariat. At each ordinary
meeting, it shall adopt a budget for the financial period
until the next ordinary meeting.
4. The Conference of the Parties shall keep under review the
implementation of this Convention, and, for this purpose,
shall:
(a) Establish the form and the intervals for transmitting the
information to be submitted in accordance with Article 26
and consider such information as well as reports submitted
by any subsidiary body;
(b) Review scientific, technical and technological advice on
biological diversity provided in accordance with Article 25
;
(c) Consider and adopt, as required, protocols in accordance
with Article 28;
(d) Consider and adopt, as required, in accordance with
Articles 29 and 30, amendments to this Convention and its
annexes;
(e) Consider amendments to any protocol, as well as to any
annexes thereto, and, if so decided, recommend their
adoption to the parties to the protocol concerned;
(f) Consider and adopt, as required, in accordance with Article
30, additional annexes to this Convention;
(g) Establish such subsidiary bodies, particularly to provide
scientific and technical advice, as are deemed necessary
for the implementation of this Convention;
(h) Contact, through the Secretariat, the executive bodies of
conventions dealing with matters covered by this Convention
with a view to establishing appropriate forms of
cooperation with them; and
(i) Consider and undertake any additional action that may be
required for the achievement of the purposes of this
Convention in the light of experience gained in its
operation.
5. The United Nations, its specialized agencies and the
International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as any State not
Party to this Convention, may be represented as observers at
meetings of the Conference of the Parties. Any other body or
agency, whether governmental or non-governmental, qualified
in fields relating to conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity, which has informed the Secretariat of
its wish to be represented as an observer at a meeting of the
Conference of the Parties, may be admitted unless at least
one third of the Parties present object. The admission and
participation of observers shall be subject to the rules of
procedure adopted by the Conference of the Parties.

Article 24. Secretariat
1. A secretariat is hereby established. Its functions shall be:
(a) To arrange for and service meetings of the Conference of
the Parties provided for in Article 23;
(b) To perform the functions assigned to it by any protocol;
(c) To prepare reports on the execution of its functions under
this Convention and present them to the Conference of the
Parties;
(d) To coordinate with other relevant international bodies and,
in particular to enter into such administrative and
contractual arrangements as may be required for the
effective discharge of its functions; and
(e) To perform such other functions as may be determined by the
Conference of the Parties.
2. At its first ordinary meeting, the Conference of the Parties
shall designate the secretariat from amongst those existing
competent international organizations which have signified
their willingness to carry out the secretariat functions
under this Convention.

Article 25. Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and
Technological Advice
1. A subsidiary body for the provision of scientific, technical
and technological advice is hereby established to provide the
Conference of the Parties and, as appropriate, its other
subsidiary bodies with timely advice relating to the
implementation of this Convention. This body shall be open to
participation by all Parties and shall be multidisciplinary.
It shall comprise government representatives competent in the
relevant field of expertise. It shall report regularly to the
Conference of the Parties on all aspects of its work.
2. Under the authority of and in accordance with guidelines laid
down by the Conference of the Parties, and upon its request,
this body shall:
(a) Provide scientific and technical assessments of the status
of biological diversity;
(b) Prepare scientific and technical assessments of the effects
of types of measures taken in accordance with the
provisions of this Convention;
(c) Identify innovative, efficient and state-of-the-art
technologies and know-how relating to the conservation and
sustainable use of biological diversity and advise on the
ways and means of promoting development and/or transferring
such technologies;
(d) Provide advice on scientific programmes and international
cooperation in research and development related to
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity;
and
(e) Respond to scientific, technical, technological and
methodological questions that the Conference of the Parties
and its subsidiary bodies may put to the body.
3. The functions, terms of reference, organization and operation
of this body may be further elaborated by the Conference of
the Parties.

Article 26. Reports
Each Contracting Party shall, at intervals to be determined by
the Conference of the Parties, present to the Conference of the
Parties, reports on measures which it has taken for the
implementation of the provisions of this Convention and their
effectiveness in meeting the objectives of this Convention.

Article 27. Settlement of Disputes
1. In the event of a dispute between Contracting Parties
concerning the interpretation or application of this
Convention, the parties concerned shall seek solution by
negotiation.
2. If the parties concerned cannot reach agreement by
negotiation, they may jointly seek the good offices of, or
request mediation by, a third party.
3. When ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to this
Convention, or at any time thereafter, a State or regional
economic integration organization may declare in writing to
the Depositary that for a dispute not resolved in accordance
with paragraph 1 or paragraph 2 above, it accepts one or both
of the following means of dispute settlement as compulsory:
(a) Arbitration in accordance with the procedure laid down in
Part 1 of Annex II;
(b) Submission of the dispute to the International Court of
Justice.
4. If the parties to the dispute have not, in accordance with
paragraph 3 above, accepted the same or any procedure, the
dispute shall be submitted to conciliation in accordance with
Part 2 of Annex II unless the parties otherwise agree.
5. The provisions of this Article shall apply with respect to
any protocol except as otherwise provided in the protocol
concerned.

Article 28. Adoption of Protocols
1. The Contracting Parties shall cooperate in the formulation
and adoption of protocols to this Convention.
2. Protocols shall be adopted at a meeting of the Conference of
the Parties.
3. The text of any proposed protocol shall be communicated to
the Contracting Parties by the Secretariat at least six
months before such a meeting.

Article 29. Amendment of the Convention or Protocols
1. Amendments to this Convention may be proposed by any
Contracting Party. Amendments to any protocol may be proposed
by any Party to that protocol.
2. Amendments to this Convention shall be adopted at a meeting
of the Conference of the Parties. Amendments to any protocol
shall be adopted at a meeting of the Parties to the Protocol
in question. The text of any proposed amendment to this
Convention or to any protocol, except as may otherwise be
provided in such protocol, shall be communicated to the
Parties to the instrument in question by the secretariat at
least six months before the meeting at which it is proposed
for adoption. The secretariat shall also communicate proposed
amendments to the signatories to this Convention for
information.
3. The Parties shall make every effort to reach agreement on any
proposed amendment to this Convention or to any protocol by
consensus. If all efforts at consensus have been exhausted,
and no agreement reached, the amendment shall as a last
resort be adopted by a two-third majority vote of the Parties
to the instrument in question present and voting at the
meeting, and shall be submitted by the Depositary to all
Parties for ratification, acceptance or approval.
4. Ratification, acceptance or approval of amendments shall be
notified to the Depositary in writing. Amendments adopted in
accordance with paragraph 3 above shall enter into force
among Parties having accepted them on the ninetieth day after
the deposit of instruments of ratification, acceptance or
approval by at least two thirds of the Contracting Parties to
this Convention or of the Parties to the protocol concerned,
except as may otherwise be provided in such protocol.
Thereafter the amendments shall enter into force for any
other Party on the ninetieth day after that Party deposits
its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval of the
amendments.
5. For the purposes of this Article, "Parties present and
voting" means Parties present and casting an affirmative or
negative vote.

Article 30. Adoption and Amendment of Annexes
1. The annexes to this Convention or to any protocol shall form
an integral part of the Convention or of such protocol, as
the case may be, and, unless expressly provided otherwise, a
reference to this Convention or its protocols constitutes at
the same time a reference to any annexes thereto. Such
annexes shall be restricted to procedural, scientific,
technical and administrative matters.
2. Except as may be otherwise provided in any protocol with
respect to its annexes, the following procedure shall apply
to the proposal, adoption and entry into force of additional
annexes to this Convention or of annexes to any protocol:
(a) Annexes to this Convention or to any protocol shall be
proposed and adopted according to the procedure laid down
in Article 29;
(b) Any Party that is unable to approve an additional annex to
this Convention or an annex to any protocol to which it is
Party shall so notify the Depositary, in writing, within
one year from the date of the communication of the adoption
by the Depositary. The Depositary shall without delay
notify all Parties of any such notification received. A
Party may at any time withdraw a previous declaration of
objection and the annexes shall thereupon enter into force
for that Party subject to subparagraph (c) below;
(c) On the expiry of one year from the date of the
communication of the adoption by the Depositary, the annex
shall enter into force for all Parties to this Convention
or to any protocol concerned which have not submitted a
notification in accordance with the provisions of
subparagraph (b) above.
3. The proposal, adoption and entry into force of amendments to
annexes to this Convention or to any protocol shall be
subject to the same procedure as for the proposal, adoption
and entry into force of annexes to the Convention or annexes
to any protocol.
4. If an additional annex or an amendment to an annex is related
to an amendment to this Convention or to any protocol, the
additional annex or amendment shall not enter into force
until such time as the amendment to the Convention or to the
protocol concerned enters into force.

Article 31. Right to Vote
1. Except as provided for in paragraph 2 below, each Contracting
Party to this Convention or to any protocol shall have one
vote.
2. Regional economic integration organizations, in matters
within their competence, shall exercise their right to vote
with a number of votes equal to the number of their member
States which are Contracting Parties to this Convention or
the relevant protocol. Such organizations shall not exercise
their right to vote if their member States exercise theirs,
and vice versa.

Article 32. Relationship between this Convention and Its
Protocols
1. A State or a regional economic integration organization may
not become a Party to a protocol unless it is, or becomes at
the same time, a Contracting Party to this Convention.
2. Decisions under any protocol shall be taken only by the
Parties to the protocol concerned. Any Contracting Party that
has not ratified, accepted or approved a protocol may
participate as an observer in any meeting of the parties to
that protocol.

Article 33. Signature
This Convention shall be open for signature at Rio de Janeiro by
all States and any regional economic integration organization
from 5 June 1992 until 14 June 1992, and at the United Nations
Headquarters in New York from 15 June 1992 to 4 June 1993.

Article 34. Ratification, Acceptance or Approval
1. This Convention and any protocol shall be subject to
ratification, acceptance or approval by States and by
regional economic integration organizations. Instruments of
ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with
the Depositary.
2. Any organization referred to in paragraph 1 above which
becomes a Contracting Party to this Convention or any
protocol without any of its member States being a Contracting
Party shall be bound by all the obligations under the
Convention or the protocol, as the case may be. In the case
of such organizations, one or more of whose member States is
a Contracting Party to this Convention or relevant protocol,
the organization and its member States shall decide on their
respective responsibilities for the performance of their
obligations under the Convention or protocol, as the case may
be. In such cases, the organization and the member States
shall not be entitled to exercise rights under the Convention
or relevant protocol concurrently.
3. In their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval,
the organizations referred to in paragraph 1 above shall
declare the extent of their competence with respect to the
matters governed by the Convention or the relevant protocol.
These organizations shall also inform the Depositary of any
relevant modification in the extent of their competence.

Article 35. Accession
1. This Convention and any protocol shall be open for accession
by States and by regional economic integration organizations
from the date on which the Convention or the protocol
concerned is closed for signature. The instruments of
accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.
2. In their instruments of accession, the organizations referred
to in paragraph 1 above shall declare the extent of their
competence with respect to the matters governed by the
Convention or the relevant protocol. These organizations
shall also inform the Depositary of any relevant modification
in the extent of their competence.
3. The provisions of Article 34, paragraph 2, shall apply to
regional economic integration organizations which accede to
this Convention or any protocol.

Article 36. Entry Into Force
1. This Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day
after the date of deposit of the thirtieth instrument of
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
2. Any protocol shall enter into force on the ninetieth day
after the date of deposit of the number of instruments of
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, specified in
that protocol, has been deposited.
3. For each Contracting Party which ratifies, accepts or
approves this Convention or accedes thereto after the deposit
of the thirtieth instrument of ratification, acceptance,
approval or accession, it shall enter into force on the
ninetieth day after the date of deposit by such Contracting
Party of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval
or accession.
4. Any protocol, except as otherwise provided in such protocol,
shall enter into force for a Contracting Party that ratifies,
accepts or approves that protocol or accedes thereto after
its entry into force pursuant to paragraph 2 above, on the
ninetieth day after the date on which that Contracting Party
deposits its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval
or accession, or on the date on which this Convention enters
into force for that Contracting Party, whichever shall be the
later.
5. For the purposes of paragraphs 1 and 2 above, any instrument
deposited by a regional economic integration organization
shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by
member States of such organization.

Article 37. Reservations
No reservations may be made to this Convention. Article 38.
Withdrawals
1. At any time after two years from the date on which this
Convention has entered into force for a Contracting Party,
that Contracting Party may withdraw from the Convention by
giving written notification to the Depositary.
2. Any such withdrawal shall take place upon expiry of one year
after the date of its receipt by the Depositary, or on such
later date as may be specified in the notification of the
withdrawal.
3. Any Contracting Party which withdraws from this Convention
shall be considered as also having withdrawn from any
protocol to which it is party.

Article 39. Financial Interim Arrangements
Provided that it has been fully restructured in accordance with
the requirements of Article 21, the Global Environment Facility
of the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations
Environment Programme and the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development shall be the institutional
structure referred to in Article 21 on an interim basis, for the
period between the entry into force of this Convention and the
first meeting of the Conference of the Parties or until the
Conference of the Parties decides which institutional structure
will be designated in accordance with Article 21.

Article 40. Secretariat Interim Arrangements
The secretariat to be provided by the Executive Director of the
United Nations Environment Programme shall be the secretariat
referred to in Article 24, paragraph 2, on an interim basis for
the period between the entry into force of this Convention and
the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

Article 41. Depositary
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall assume the
functions of Depositary of this Convention and any protocols.

Article 42. Authentic Texts
The original of this Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese,
English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally
authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary- General of the
United Nations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized to
that effect, have signed this Convention.

Done at Rio de Janeiro on this fifth day of June, one thousand
nine hundred and ninety- two.
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