Biodiversity forms the web of life of which we are an integral part and upon which we fully depend. Biodiversity is vital for human societies, it directly provides products such as water, food, and material for industry. Nevertheless, it is an under-appreciated resource which is being lost at an unprecedented rate.
The overall challenge is to increase the visibility of biodiversity and to make people aware of the consequences of its loss. Biodiversity considerations need to be put at the forefront of policy debates. The integration of biodiversity concerns into national legislation is urgent and essential to the achievement of the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Parliamentarians are members of parliament or, in other words, representatives elected by the voters of an electoral district to a parliament. They are legislators and monitors of government policy at the national level, as well as the guardians of the public will and conscience as elected representatives of the population.
As the decision-makers of policies, governmental plans and budgets, the parliamentarians are the main players in deciding on legislation deriving from decisions from the Conference of the Parties to the Convention. By creating, amending and ratifying laws, they can therefore translate the consensus reached internationally under the Convention on Biological Diversity into tangible actions at the national and local levels.
Parliamentarians can also strengthen the mandate of CBD National Focal Points, in their efforts to promote the implementation of the COP decisions and activities.