Protecting biodiversity

International policy

The Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 is one of the most significant global environment conferences. Crucially, it was attended by 172 governments, who recognised that the conservation of biological diversity is "a common concern of humankind." By the end, 10,000 on-site journalists relayed the following agreements to a waiting world:

  • The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity
  • The Convention on Climate Change
  • Agenda 21

The summit message - that a major shift in attitudes was needed to bring about change – had been heard loud and clear.

May 22nd is the International Day of International Biodiversity. Each year a biodiversity theme is selected for special celebration. Water and Biodiversity was the theme in 2013; Island Biodiversity was the theme for 2014; and Biodiversity for Sustainable Development was the theme for 2015.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an important policy in protecting biodiversity and there are many other important international agreements. Please see the CITES website for further information.

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