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Article 2. Use of Terms


For the purposes of this Convention:


"Biological diversity" means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.


"Biological resources" includes genetic resources, organisms or parts thereof, populations, or any other biotic component of ecosystems with actual or potential use or value for humanity.


"Biotechnology" means any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify


products or processes for specific use.


"Country of origin of genetic resources" means the country which possesses those genetic resources in in-situ conditions.


"Country providing genetic resources" means the country supplying genetic resources collected from in-situ sources, including populations of both wild and domesticated species, or taken from ex-situ sources, which may or may not have originated in that country.


"Domesticated or cultivated species" means species in which the evolutionary process has been influenced by humans to meet their needs.


"Ecosystem" means a dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit.


"Ex-situ conservation" means the conservation of components of biological diversity outside their natural habitats.


"Genetic material" means any material of plant, animal, microbial or other origin containing functional units of heredity.


"Genetic resources" means genetic material of actual or potential value.


"Habitat" means the place or type of site where an organism or population naturally occurs.


"In-situ conditions" means conditions where genetic resources exist within ecosystems and natural habitats, and, in the case of domesticated or cultivated species, in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive properties.


"In-situ conservation" means the conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations of species in their natural surroundings and, in the case of domesticated or cultivated species, in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive properties.


"Protected area" means a geographically defined area which is designated or regulated and managed to achieve specific conservation objectives.


"Regional economic integration organization" means an organization constituted by sovereign States of a given region, to which its member States have transferred competence in respect of matters governed by this Convention and which has been duly authorized, in accordance with its internal procedures, to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to it.


"Sustainable use" means the use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations.


"Technology" includes biotechnology.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme