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Getting involved

Overview

Being as they are at the interface of Government public policy formulation and the general public, parliamentarians are in a preeminent position to increase the visibility of biodiversity, to make people more aware of the consequences of its loss and to put biodiversity considerations in the forefront of all national and local policy debates. Parliamentarians can play a significant role in promoting implementation of the CBD at the national level. More specifically, parliaments have the responsibility to ensure that Parties take the necessary legislative, administrative and/or policy actions in order to honor the obligations of the Convention. In addition to their activities in parliament, parliamentarians can also promote awareness of biodiversity issues and sustainable use at the local level in their constituencies, working as appropriate with local government and with civil society and business organizations.

Parliamentarians and COP decisions

As legislators and monitors of government policy, parliamentarians can ensure that their government is complying with the requirements of the CBD, which is a legally binding international treaty. In this regard, many COP decisions are of relevance to parliamentarians. For example, decision VIII/15 presents a framework for monitoring implementation of the achievement of the 2010 target and integration of targets into the thematic programmes of work. Article 11 of this decision states that the Parties are urged “to develop national and/or regional goals and targets and related national indicators, considering submissions from indigenous and local communities and other stakeholders, as appropriate, and to incorporate them into relevant plans, programmes and initiatives….” Thus parliamentarians can promote the establishment of national targets for 2010 and ensure that the necessary policies and programmes are put in place, and that the required budgetary resources are made available.

Click here to view all COP decisions.

Parliamentarians' involvement

Aware of the importance of biodiversity and acknowledging the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the CBD, the Environment Committee of the German Parliament exceptionally held its session in Bonn on 27 May 2008 at the margins of COP 9. On this occasion, the Executive Secretary has called upon all Parties to nominate Parliamentarian delegates to participate in a meeting with the German parliamentarians on 27 May 2008 in order to further promote the role of parliamentarians in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. The Bonn Declaration on Parliamentarians and Biodiversity, demonstrating the commitment of parliamentarians toward the achievement of the objectives of the Convention, was adopted at this meeting.

Bonn Declaration in English
Bonn Declaration in French
Bonn Declaration in Spanish

Interesting events

You are invited to consult the calendar of events to learn more about interesting events related to the involvement of parliamentarians in the battle for life on Earth.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme