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The biodiversity of our planet is under threat from human activities. The complex ecosystems they live in are being destroyed by deforestation and pollution. Conservation efforts are attempting to stem the loss of biodiversity, particularly in the world's ecological hotspots.

There are many NGOs and UN organisations engaged with the conservation of biodiversity. There are also a number of living resources treaties which have a direct impact on conservation efforts around the world.


Useful websites

Living resources treaties

There are a number of international treaties and conventions for the conservation and protection of living resources.

The international agreements for the conservation of species and terrestrial living resources:

  • Antarctic Treaty, Washington DC, 1959.
  • World Heritage Convention Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Paris, 1972.
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Rio 1992.
  • The Convention has three main goals including: the conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity); the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources. The convention entered into force on 29 December 1993, following its signing at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992. The Nagoya Protocol was adopted at COP10 the 10th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October 2010.

  • Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), Bonn, 1979.
  • Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, (CITES), Washington DC, 1973.
  • Ramsar Convention Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat, Ramsar, 1971.
  • Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), Paris, 1994.
  • FAO International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources, Rome, 1983.
  • International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA, 2006).