Glossary
Biodiversity, Food and Farming for a Healthy Planet








What is the Convention on Biological Diversity?


How does the CBD work?

One hundred and eighty-nine (189) countries and the European Community, making 190 Parties (the governments of the countries), have joined the CBD. That means 190 Parties across the planet have promised to achieve the goals of the Convention. The Convention is like a textbook that explains how parties should turn those goals into action. It suggests ways for Parties to help each other by sharing resources and technology so that all biodiversity benefits. Individually and collectively we can all make a difference by helping to preserve and protect the natural and biological resources of our precious planet.


The Convention on Biological Diversity’s office is known as the Secretariat. It is located in Montreal, Canada. The head of the Secretariat is called the Executive Secretary. The Executive Secretary is an Assistant Secretary-General in the United Nations system – a very high position. The Executive Secretary, along with a staff of scientists, economists, lawyers, programme assistants and administrative staff, assist countries in carrying out their biodiversity work. The Secretariat also runs a web portal. To learn more about biological diversity around the world, visit the children and youth portal and our main web portal.