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Preamble


The Contracting Parties,


Conscious of the intrinsic value of biological diversity and of the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic values of biological diversity and its components,


Conscious also of the importance of biological diversity for evolution and for maintaining life sustaining systems of the biosphere,


Affirming that the conservation of biological diversity is a common concern of humankind,


Reaffirming that States have sovereign rights over their own biological resources,


Reaffirming also that States are responsible for conserving their biological diversity and for using their biological resources in a sustainable manner,


Concerned that biological diversity is being significantly reduced by certain human activities,


Aware of the general lack of information and knowledge regarding biological diversity and of the urgent need to develop scientific, technical and institutional capacities to provide the basic understanding upon which to plan and implement appropriate measures,


Noting that it is vital to anticipate, prevent and attack the causes of significant reduction or loss of biological diversity at source,


Noting also that where there is a threat of significant reduction or loss of biological diversity, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to avoid or minimize such a threat,


Noting further that the fundamental requirement for the conservation of biological diversity is the in-situ conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations of species in their natural surroundings,


Noting further that ex-situ measures, preferably in the country of origin, also have an important role to play,


Recognizing the close and traditional dependence of many indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles on biological resources, and the desirability of sharing equitably benefits arising from the use of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices relevant to the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components,


Recognizing also the vital role that women play in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and affirming the need for the full participation of women at all levels of policy-making and implementation for biological diversity conservation,


Stressing the importance of, and the need to promote, international, regional and global cooperation among States and intergovernmental organizations and the non-governmental sector for the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components,


Acknowledging that the provision of new and additional financial resources and appropriate access to relevant technologies can be expected to make a substantial difference in the world's ability to address the loss of biological diversity,


Acknowledging further that special provision is required to meet the needs of developing countries, including the provision of new and additional financial resources and appropriate access to relevant technologies,


Noting in this regard the special conditions of the least developed countries and small island States,


Acknowledging that substantial investments are required to conserve biological diversity and that there is the expectation of a broad range of environmental, economic and social benefits from those investments,


Recognizing that economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries,


Aware that conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity is of critical importance for meeting the food, health and other needs of the growing world population, for which purpose access to and sharing of both genetic resources and technologies are essential,


Noting that, ultimately, the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity will strengthen friendly relations among States and contribute to peace for humankind,

Desiring to enhance and complement existing international arrangements for the conservation of biological diversity and sustainable use of its components, and


Determined to conserve and sustainably use biological diversity for the benefit of present and future generations,


Have agreed as follows:

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme