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Partner Conventions and Organizations

Joint Web Site of the Biodiversity Related Conventions

There are five global biodiversity-related Conventions: the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar), and the World Heritage Convention (WHC).

The work undertaken by these conventions should be complementary and mutually reinforcing. As stated in the CMS Strategic Plan for 2000-2005, "Increasingly, attention needs to be given to coordinating action, creating synergies and avoiding duplication among the respective treaty bodies and other concerned partners within the non-governmental community".

The other conventions and other institutions also mention the increasing importance of cooperation and coordination in the field of sustainable development in general and biodiversity in particular:

  • CITES Strategic Plan 2005 states that "Numerous linkages [...] exist between the aims of CITES and those of other multilateral environmental agreements. [...] Cooperation and coordina­tion with species management conventions and agreements are equally important. A number of international organizations [...] have a wealth of scientific and technical information at their disposal and continue to increase this knowl­edge through research programmes as well as the updating and maintenance of extensive databases. Again, close cooperation with these organizations is essential for an efficient distribution of responsi­bilities."

  • Ramsar's Strategic Plan 1997-2002 is oriented, inter alia, towards a greater emphasis on strengthened partnerships with other conventions and agencies, especially those linked with the UN Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio in 1992.

  • At its fourth meeting, in 1998, the Conference of the Parties to the CBD requested that the Executive Secretary considers matters of liaison, cooperation and collaboration as a key responsibility, and that he continues to coordinate with the secretariats of relevant biodiversity-related conventions, institutions and processes, and to cooperate with related processes at regional and sub-regional levels, with a view to facilitating the exchange of information and experience.

  • In the report on the Global Status of Biological Diversity, the Secretary-General of the United Nations underlines the urgent need for the development of a coordinated biodiversity monitoring programme in order to provide adequate information in support of policy development and decision-making on the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources (Commission on Sustainable Development acting as the preparatory committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, May 2001). He also stresses the need for greater international cooperation and collaboration among global and regional multilateral environment agreements (MEAs).

  • Furthermore, the programme approved by the XIXth Special Session of the UN General Assembly, held in 1997 for the further implementation of Agenda 21 gives special priority to collaboration among the Conventions and to the enhancement of information capacities as requisites for sustainable development.

It is thus widely recognized that while each convention does stand on its own, with its own defined objectives and commitments, there are also linkages and potential synergies to be gained. The conventions operate in the same ecosystems. If they are implemented collaboratively, progress can be made on all fronts and results can be obtained that are greater than the sum of the five.

Below is a short introduction to each of the biodiversity-related conventions and a table of Internet links to important information about the conventions:


The objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from commercial and other utilization of genetic resources. The agreement covers all ecosystems, species, and genetic resources.


The aim of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is to ensure that international trade in species and specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.


The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also known as the CMS or the Bonn Convention) aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range. Parties to the CMS work together to conserve migratory species and their habitats by providing strict protection for endangered migratory species, by concluding multilateral agreements for the conservation and management of migratory species, and by undertaking co-operative research activities.


The Convention on Wetlands (known popularly as the Ramsar Convention) provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The convention covers all aspects of wetland conservation and wise use, recognizing wetlands as ecosystems that are extremely important for biodiversity conservation in general and for the well-being of human communities.


The primary mission of the World Heritage Convention (WHC) is to identify and conserve the world's cultural and natural heritage, by drawing up a list of sites whose outstanding values should be preserved for all humanity and to ensure their protection through a closer co-operation among nations.


Click on the icons to link to the page containing the relevant information.


  Convention on Biological Diversity Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Convention on Migratory Species Convention on Wetlands World Heritage Convention







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