English  |  Español  |  Français

Background

Sustainable use of biological diversity, one of the three objectives of the Convention, is essential to achieving the broader goal of sustainable development and is a cross-cutting issue relevant to all biological and natural resources. Sustainable use entails the introduction and application of methods and processes for the utilization of biodiversity to prevent its long term decline, thereby maintaining its potential to meet current and future human needs and aspirations.

Article 10 of the Convention sets the sustainable use agenda for Parties, which should:

integrate consideration of the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources into national decision-making;

adopt measures relating to the use of biological resources to avoid or minimize adverse impacts on biological diversity;

protect and encourage customary use of biological resources in accordance with traditional cultural practices that are compatible with conservation or sustainable use requirements;

support local populations to develop and implement remedial action in degraded areas where biological diversity has been reduced; and

encourage cooperation between its governmental authorities and its private sector in developing methods for sustainable use of biological resources.

At its fifth meeting, in May 2002, the Conference of the Parties considered sustainable use of biological diversity as a priority issue and adopted decision V/24, on sustainable use as a cross-cutting issue, and decision V/25, on the relationship between biological diversity and tourism within the context of sustainable use.

The Conference of the Parties recognized that conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity are essential to the survival of species and also benefits humankind, particularly those people who are dependent on biological diversity for their livelihoods. The importance of integrating the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity into sectoral or cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies and of addressing this issue in national biodiversity strategies and action plans was also recognized.

By decision V/24 the Conference of the Parties requested the Executive Secretary to assemble practical principles, operational guidelines and associated instruments, and guidance to specific sectors and biomes, which would assist Parties and Governments to develop ways to achieve sustainable use of biological diversity. Moreover, Parties, Governments and relevant organizations were requested to undertake actions to assist other Parties to increase their capacity to implement sustainable use practices, programme and policies. Suggested appropriate actions included, inter alia, the organization of workshops. In response to these requests the Secretariat organized, with financial support from the Government of The Netherlands, a series of three workshops on the sustainable use of biological diversity.

At its sixth meeting in April 2002 the Conference of the Parties requested the Executive Secretary to organize a fourth open-ended workshop on the sustainable use of biological diversity to synthesize the outcomes of the three workshops, integrate different views and regional differences and develop a final set of practical principles and operational guidelines for the sustainable use of biological diversity (decision VI/13). The Fourth Open-ended Workshop for the Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity was held from 6 to 8 May 2003 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It developed a set of fourteen practical principles and operational guidelines for the sustainable use of biodiversity (see report of the meeting). The results of the fourth workshop were submitted to the ninth session of the Convention's Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice for its consideration in November 2003 and subsequently forwarded to the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-7) in February 2004. COP-7 adopted the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity.

The Conference of the Parties also requested the Executive Secretary to undertake further work on issues pertaining to use of terms for sustainable use, adaptive management, monitoring and indicators building on the outcome of the Addis Ababa workshop and to convene a series of technical experts workshops on ecosystem services assessment, financial costs and benefits associated with conservation of biodiversity, and sustainable use of biological resources. The work of the Secretariat of the Convention pertaining to sustainable use for the next biennium will focus on the aforementioned issues.

For other requests to the executive Secretary, parties and relevant organizations please see Decision VII/12.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme