At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for "sustainable development" - meeting global needs while ensuring a healthy and viable world for future generations. One of the key agreements adopted at Rio was the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The CBD provides a global legal framework for action on biodiversity and establishes three main goals:
The conservation of biological diversity,
The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity,
The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
The Convention was opened for signature on 5th of June 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Rio "Earth Summit"). It remained open for signature until 4th of June 1993, by which time it had received 168 signatures. It entered into force on 29th of December 1993, and today 193 Countries are Parties to Convention.
It brings together the Parties in the Conference of the Parties (COP) which is the Convention’s governing body that meets every two years, or as needed, to review progress in the implementation of the Convention, to adopt programs of work, to achieve its objectives, and provide policy guidance.
To date, the COP has held 11 ordinary meetings, and one extraordinary meeting (the latter, to adopt the Biosafety Protocol, was held in two parts).
The Eleventh meeting of the COP was held in Hyderabad, India (18 - 20 October 2012). The Twelfth meeting will take place in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea (6 - 17 October 2014).