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Logo from the CBD Web site
Logo from the CBD Web site

Background

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was ratified in 1995, as a follow up to UNCED. Its objectives 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". It recognizes (Article 3) that 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.

During the same year, the Members of FAO adopted the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) with which the CBD shares a number of key objectives related to sustainable use, conservation and equity. As a consequence, even when this is not made explicit, implementation of one of the instruments contributes indirectly to some extent to the implementation of the other. An example of the complementarity between the CBD and the CCRF is in the area of introduced species (Table 1).

Table 1. Examples of complementary articles on introduced species in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the Convention on Biological Diversity
FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries UN Convention on Biological Diversity
9.2.3 Consult with neighbors on making an introduction 14c Notify neighboring countries when introductions are made
9.2.3 Create information systems 7d Maintain and organize data
9.2.5 Monitor aquatic environment 7b Monitor components of bio-diverisity
9.3.1 Conserve genetic diversity and ecosystems 9.3.3 Minimize disease transfer 8d Protect ecosystems 8g Manage living modified organisms 14a Environmental impact assessment
9.3.2 Develop codes of practice 8h Manage alien species
7.5 Precautionary approach Prologue - Precautionary approach

In addition, two internationally accepted work plans drafted under the CBD directly relate to fisheries - the Jakarta Mandate on marine and coastal ecosystems and the work plan on inland water ecosystems. Both of these work plans of the CBD contain elements on the conservation of aquatic biodiversity and the habitats that support them, the sustainable use of aquatic resources, the management of alien (introduced) species and genotypes, integrated areas management, the use of the precautionary approach and an ecosystem approaches to development and risk assessment (Malawi Principles). The ecosystem approach explicitly includes humans and the CBD also strives to protect cultural diversity along with fair and equitable sharing of benefits.

 
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