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Convention on Biological Diversity

193 countries have signed up to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) including France, Ireland, UK, and Spain.

It was inspired by the world community's growing commitment to sustainable development. Although not legally binding, the agreements made at the CBD Conference of the Parties demonstrates a serious commitment by participating countries and steers policy at an international, EU and national level.

The convention has three main objectives:

1. The conservation of biological diversity
2. The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
3. The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources

At the fifth meeting of the conference of the parties (COP5), the delegates agreed that implanting the ecosystem approach should be a priority and that guidelines would be useful. They defined the ecosystem approach, introduced 12 principles as a framework for management and produced five points of operational guidance.

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