Biological diversity – biodiversity

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Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity

Biodiversity is more than the sum of all genes, species and ecosystems. Biodiversity is the entire spectrum of life on Earth. It is not just about animals and plants but also – and perhaps most significantly – about humankind: we are an integral part of this biodiversity and we rely on it for our survival. Human activity can help to create and maintain diversity, and it can also bring about its loss.

Biodiversity is currently declining worldwide at an unprecedented rate. This is jeopardising both the natural resources on which we depend and the opportunities for economic and cultural development of current and future generations. Measures to maintain ecosystems and habitats and to ensure that they are used sustainably are vital if we are to reduce poverty, and are thus an important element of development policy. Between 2009 and 2012, the German Government therefore made an additional 500 million euros available for the conservation of biodiversity, forests and other ecosystems. From 2013 onwards, 500 million euros a year will be provided for this purpose.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the binding international legal framework on which national regulations and strategies for conserving biodiversity are based. The 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD in 2010 adopted a new Strategic Plan (2011-2020). It also adopted the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization.

GIZ’s programme dedicated to implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity advises the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in international negotiations on biodiversity. It pilots approaches and methods for conserving biodiversity and using genetic resources sustainably and in a fair way. The programme also maintains close links with other regional projects working on these issues.