Global Biodiversity Outlook 1

(PDF version)

BACKGROUND

The second meeting of the Conference of the Parties called for the preparation of a periodic report on biological diversity: the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO). It suggested that the GBO should provide a summary of the status of biological diversity and an analysis of the steps being taken by the global community to ensure that biodiversity is conserved and used sustainably, and that benefits arising from the use of genetic resources are shared equitably.

Specifically, the Conference of the Parties endorsed the recommendation I/6 of its Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to include in the GBO the following:

  • A brief summary of the status and trends of biological diversity at global and regional level.
  • A presentation on the implementation of the decisions of the Conference of the Parties and the recommendations adopted by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA).
  • An analysis of the global and regional trends in the implementation of the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity on the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources.
  • An overview of the cooperation with other biological diversity related conventions and intergovernmental processes.
  • A summary of the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the national level on the basis of the information contained in national reports to be submitted by Parties in accordance with Article 26 of the Convention.

The Executive Secretary constituted an advisory group to help guide the process of developing the report and to review drafts. The advisory group met in November 1999 and January 2001 to consider the aims and audience of the GBO and to review drafts of the report.

The first edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook was published and launched in November 2001.

At its sixth meeting, the Conference of the Parties welcomed the publication of the Global Biodiversity Outlook and decided that the Global Biodiversity Outlook should continue to be prepared as a periodic report on biological diversity and the implementation of the Convention, and be made available in all official United Nations languages.

By Decision VI/25, the Conference of the Parties decided that the second edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook should be prepared for publication in 2004, drawing upon information contained in the second national reports, the thematic reports on the items for in-depth consideration at its sixth and seventh meetings, and on the review of progress in the implementation of the Strategic Plan to be undertaken in 2003.

The aims and audience of the GBO

The goal of the GBO is to provide a tool for use by Contracting Parties and other stakeholders to:

  • review progress made by the Convention toward its three objectives,
  • identify barriers to implementation,
  • help set priorities for implementation, and
  • communicate progress and advocate needs to decision-makers.

The users of the GBO are principally key players in implementation of the Convention, and other decision-makers and planners who need to take account of achievements in and limitations to meeting the objectives of the Convention, in such sectors as trade, finance, agriculture, fisheries and industry.

There is an increasingly accessible body of literature on world environmental issues, and a number of recent comprehensive studies on global biological diversity are available. The GBO draws on these in order to illustrate the urgency of the issues and to show how the implementation of the Convention - through its thematic and cross-cutting programmes of work and through cooperation with other bodies - seeks to reverse the current loss of biodiversity and provide a basis for sustainable development in all countries.

The concept of "biodiversity" and the importance of arresting its decline are ideas increasingly familiar to policy-makers, opinion-formers and the concerned public. It is, however, much less clear to many observers, not directly involved in the intergovernmental process or unfamiliar with the specialist literature, just how the international community sets about addressing these problems, and how international commitments can be turned into concrete action at all levels. The aim of the GBO is to provide this overview, by focusing on the extent and effectiveness of responses adopted by the global community, and the measures being implemented at national and international levels in the context of the Convention.

First edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook

The first edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook was published in November 2001. Copies of this edition are available upon request from the Secretariat:

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
393 Saint-Jacques Ouest, Suite 300
Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1N9 Canada
Tel: (+1) 514 287 7058
Fax: (+1) 514 288 6588
e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int

A PDF format version of the Global Biodiversity Outlook is also available by clicking here

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme