Skip to main content

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a multilateral biodiversity treaty that entered into force on 29 December 1993.

It has 3 main objectives:

  • The conservation of biological diversity
  • The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
  • The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources

In 2006, the CBD asked Bioversity International, together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) to take the joint lead to develop the evidence base for a cross-cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition.  The evidence so far suggests that many local plant species and varieties, including food tree species and varieties, are nutrient-rich and only require low inputs, so could make a greater contribution to healthy sustainable diets. 

The Global Biodiversity Goals

The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 was adopted at the tenth meeting of the conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) in Nagoya City, Aichi in October 2010. In addition, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (20 individual targets with the target year set at 2015 or 2020) were set and later linked to the Sustainable Development Goals - set in 2015. The Aichi Targets are connected not only to Goal 15, which includes halting the biodiversity loss, but also all of the Goals since the conservation and use of biodiversity is essential to sustainable development.

Find out more 

“It is a false dichotomy to choose between producing food and protecting biodiversity. Thriving ecosystems enable us to grow food, while greater genetic diversity in the crops we grow can increase yields and even improve the nutritional quality of foods” – Cristiana Pasca Palmer, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity

We don't have to choose between food and biodiversity
Devex, February 2019

14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP14)

17 - 29 November 2018 - Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

On 17 - 29 November 2018 the United Nations called on decision-makers from more than 190 countries to step up efforts to halt the biodiversity loss and protect the ecosystems that support food and water security and health for billions of people.

The UN Biodiversity Conference (14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity - COP 14) was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The UN Biodiversity Conference is the governing body of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and advances implementation of the Convention through the decisions it takes at its periodic meetings. In addition, on the margins of the UN Biodiversity Conference, pledges and commitments in support of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 were made by governments, business, NGOs and intergovernmental organizations, cities and subnational authorities, indigenous peoples and local communities, youth and civil society.


Find out more about mainstreaming biodiversity into agricultural sectors

Integrating wild & agrobiodiversity conservation

Find out more

Traditional Sri Lankan dishes and vegetables. Credit: Bioversity International/S.Landersz

Biodiversity for food and nutrition

Find out more

Mutual implementation of Plant Treaty and Nagoya Protocol

Find out more

Mainstreaming Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems

The scientific basis for agrobiodiversity’s role in delivering multiple benefits is set out in Bioversity International's open-acces book Mainstreaming Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems: Scientific Foundations for an Agrobiodiversity Index.