Introduction to the GBF

Section A. Background


1.    Biodiversity is fundamental to human well-being, a healthy planet, and economic prosperity for all people, including for living well in balance and in harmony with Mother Earth. We depend on it for food, medicine, energy, clean air and water, security from natural disasters as well as recreation and cultural inspiration, and it supports all systems of life on Earth. 

2.   The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework seeks to respond to the Global Assessment Report of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services issued by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES),[1] the fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook,[2] and many other scientific documents that provide ample evidence that, despite ongoing efforts, biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide at rates unprecedented in human history. As the IPBES global assessment report states:[3]

An average of around 25 per cent of species in assessed animal and plant groups are threatened, suggesting that around 1 million species already face extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken to reduce the intensity of drivers of biodiversity loss. Without such action, there will be a further acceleration in the global rate of species extinction, which is already at least tens to hundreds of times higher than it has averaged over the past 10 million years. 

The biosphere, upon which humanity as a whole depends, is being altered to an unparalleled degree across all spatial scales. Biodiversity – the diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems – is declining faster than at any time in human history. 

Nature can be conserved, restored and used sustainably while other global societal goals are simultaneously met through urgent and concerted efforts fostering transformative change. 

The direct drivers of change in nature with the largest global impact have been (starting with those with the most impact) changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution and invasion of alien species. Those five direct drivers result from an array of underlying causes, the indirect drivers of change, which are, in turn, underpinned by social values and behaviours (…)The rate of change in the direct and indirect drivers differs among regions and countries.

3.   The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, building on the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020, its achievements, gaps, and lessons learned, and the experience and achievements of other relevant multilateral environmental agreements, sets out an ambitious plan to implement broad-based action to bring about a transformation in our societies’ relationship with biodiversity by 2030, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals, and ensure that, by 2050, the shared vision of living in harmony with nature is fulfilled.


Section B. Purpose


4.   The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework aims to catalyze, enable and galvanize urgent and transformative action by Governments, and subnational and local authorities, with the involvement of all of society, to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, to achieve the outcomes it sets out in its Vision, Mission, Goals and Targets, and thereby contribute to the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity and to those of its Protocols. Its purpose is the full implementation of the three objectives of the Convention in a balanced manner.

5.   The Framework is action- and results-oriented and aims to guide and promote, at all levels, the revision, development, updating, and implementation of policies, goals, targets, and national biodiversity strategies and actions plans, and to facilitate the monitoring and review of progress at all levels in a more transparent and responsible manner.

6.   The Framework promotes coherence, complementarity and cooperation between the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Protocols, other biodiversity related conventions, and other relevant multilateral agreements and international institutions, respecting their mandates, and creates opportunities for cooperation and partnerships among diverse actors to enhance implementation of the Framework.


Section C. Considerations for the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework


7.         The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, including its Vision, Mission, Goals and Targets, is to be understood, acted upon, implemented, reported and evaluated, consistent with the following:

Contribution and rights of indigenous peoples and local communities 

(a)        The Framework acknowledges the important roles and contributions of indigenous peoples and local communities as custodians of biodiversity and as partners in its conservation, restoration and sustainable use. The Framework’s implementation must ensure that the rights, knowledge, including traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity, innovations, worldviews, values and practices of indigenous peoples and local communities are respected, and documented and preserved with their free, prior and informed consent,[4] including through their full and effective participation in decision-making, in accordance with relevant national legislation, international instruments, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,[5] and human rights law. In this regard, nothing in this framework may be construed as diminishing or extinguishing the rights that indigenous peoples currently have or may acquire in the future;

Different value systems

(b)        Nature embodies different concepts for different people, including biodiversity, ecosystems, Mother Earth, and systems of life. Nature’s contributions to people also embody different concepts, such as ecosystem goods and services and nature’s gifts. Both nature and nature’s contributions to people are vital for human existence and good quality of life, including human well-being, living in harmony with nature, and living well in balance and harmony with Mother Earth. The Framework recognizes and considers these diverse value systems and concepts, including, for those countries that recognize them, rights of nature and rights of Mother Earth, as being an integral part of its successful implementation;

Whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach

(c)        This is a framework for all - for the whole of government and the whole of society. Its success requires political will and recognition at the highest level of government and relies on action and cooperation by all levels of government and by all actors of society;

National circumstances, priorities and capabilities

(d)        The goals and targets of the Framework are global in nature. Each Party would contribute to attaining the goals and targets of the Framework in accordance with national circumstances, priorities and capabilities;

Collective effort towards the targets

(e)        The Parties will catalyse implementation of the Framework through mobilization of broad public support at all levels;

Right to development

(f)         Recognizing the 1986 United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development,[6] the Framework enables responsible and sustainable socioeconomic development that, at the same time, contributes to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;

Human rights-based approach

(g)        The implementation of the Framework should follow a human rights-based approach, respecting, protecting, promoting and fulfilling human rights. The Framework acknowledges the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment;[7] 


(h)        Successful implementation of the Framework will depend on ensuring gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, and on reducing inequalities;

Fulfilment of the three objectives of the Convention and its Protocols and their balanced implementation

(i)         The goals and targets of the Framework are integrated and are intended to contribute in a balanced manner to the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Framework is to be implemented in accordance with these objectives, with the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and with the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing, as applicable;

Consistency with international agreements or instruments

(j)         The Framework needs to be implemented in accordance with relevant international obligations. Nothing in this Framework should be interpreted as agreement to modify the rights and obligations of a Party under the Convention or any other international agreement;

Principles of the Rio Declaration

(k)        The Framework recognizes that reversing the loss of biological diversity, for the benefit of all living beings, is a common concern of humankind. Its implementation should be guided by the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development;[8]

Science and innovation

(l)         The implementation of the Framework should be based on scientific evidence and traditional knowledge and practices, recognizing the role of science, technology and innovation;

Ecosystem approach 

(m)       This Framework is to be implemented based on the ecosystem approach of the Convention;[9]

Intergenerational equity

(n)        The implementation of the Framework should be guided by the principle of intergenerational equity which aims to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and to ensure meaningful participation of younger generations in decision-making processes at all levels;

Formal and informal education

(o)        Implementation of the Framework requires transformative, innovative and transdisciplinary education, formal and informal, at all levels, including science-policy interface studies and lifelong learning processes, recognizing diverse world views, values and knowledge systems of indigenous peoples and local communities;

Access to financial resources

(p)        The full implementation of the Framework requires adequate, predictable and easily accessible financial resources;

Cooperation and synergies

(q)        Enhanced collaboration, cooperation and synergies between the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Protocols, other biodiversity-related conventions, other relevant multilateral agreements and international organizations and processes, in line with their respective mandates, including at the global, regional, subregional and national levels, would contribute to and promote the implementation of the Framework in a more efficient and effective manner;

Biodiversity and health 

(r)         The Framework acknowledges the interlinkages between biodiversity and health and the three objectives of the Convention. The Framework is to be implemented with consideration of the One Health Approach, among other holistic approaches that are based on science, mobilize multiple sectors, disciplines and communities to work together, and aim to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals, plants and ecosystems, recognizing the need for equitable access to tools and technologies including medicines, vaccines and other health products related to biodiversity, while highlighting the urgent need to reduce pressures on biodiversity and decrease environmental degradation to reduce risks to health, and, as appropriate, develop practical access and benefit-sharing arrangements. 


Section D.  Relationship with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development


8.   The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework is a contribution to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the same time, progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the achievement of sustainable development in all its three dimensions (environmental, social and economic) is necessary to create the conditions necessary to fulfil the goals and targets of the Framework. It will place biodiversity, its conservation, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, at the heart of the sustainable development agenda, recognizing the important linkages between biological and cultural diversity.


Section E. Theory of change


9.   The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework is built around a theory of change which recognizes that urgent policy action is required globally, regionally and nationally to achieve sustainable development so that the drivers of undesirable change that have exacerbated biodiversity loss will be reduced and/or reversed to allow for the recovery of all ecosystems and to achieve the Convention’s Vision of living in harmony with nature by 2050.


[1] IPBES (2019): Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. IPBES secretariat, Bonn, Germany. 

[2] Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2020). Global Biodiversity Outlook 5. Montreal.

[3] IPBES (2019): The following paragraphs are taken from key messages A6, A, D and B respectively, of the Summary for policymakers of the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. IPBES secretariat, Bonn, Germany.

[4]In this framework, free, prior and informed consent refers to the tripartite terminology of “prior and informed consent” or “free, prior and informed consent” or “approval and involvement”.

[5] A/RES/61/295.

[6] A/RES/41/128.

[7] UN General Assembly Resolution 76/300 of 28 July 2022.

[8] Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (A/CONF.151/26/Rev.l (vol.I)), United Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.1.8.

[9] Decision V/6.