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Image: Sabine Bernert | ©


The Convention was adopted in 1992 as a way to help develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

The Convention recognised for the first time in international law that the conservation of biological diversity is “a common concern of humankind”. The agreement covers all ecosystems, species, and genetic resources.

The Convention has three main goals:

  1. conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity)
  2. sustainable use of its components
  3. fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

As of May 2018, 196 countries had ratified the Convention.

The New Zealand National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan expresses New Zealand’s commitment to stem the loss of biodiversity worldwide.

Preparations underway for a new global biodiversity framework

In 2020, the international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will adopt a new global biodiversity framework. So the New Zealand Government has invited people to submit their views on what the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and targets should be, and how to achieve them.

This public consultation is being coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). The period for submissions to MFAT closed on the 31 March 2019. 

Further submissions must now be made directly to the CBD at the UN, by 15 April 2019.

More information:

New Zealand and the Convention on Biological Diversity

The work done by New Zealand in the CBD is listed on the New Zealand page of the CBD website. This includes information on our National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, actions taken to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and other biodiversity activities under way in New Zealand.

The CBD web page will also includes a link to New Zealand’s latest (Sixth) National Report under the Convention on Biological Diversity, once it has been uploaded.

You can also access New Zealand’s Sixth National Report (PDF, 2099K) on this website.

Convention Bodies

To guide the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity Conservation, a governing body and a number of working groups have been established. Read the summary of these bodies below.

Matauranga Kura Taiao Fund supports tangata whenua initiatives in traditional Māori knowledge and practices in biodiversity management.

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