While the primary responsibility of carrying out the Convention on Biological Diversity lies with the Parties, the non-governmental community plays an essential role in the promotion of sustainable development, including the conservation and preservation of the world's vast biological diversity and the sustainable use of its many components.
One of the best evidence of the importance of non-governmental organizations' (NGOs) contributions to the protection of life on Earth is the leading role they played in the initial conception, negotiation and adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the Earth Summit of Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Still today, NGOs continue to shape policy development by being active participants in the CBD regime.
NGOs are also constant partners in the implementation of the Convention. From the smallest local groups organizing waterfront clean-ups to major environmental organizations overseeing networks of protected areas, NGOs have worked tirelessly to translate the ideas and innovations of the Convention into practical projects at the local, national and international levels.
Last but not least, NGOs are key to the success of the Convention as they are a major contributor to public education and outreach all over the world.