Biodiversity and the CBD

Farfalla eliconia, Argentina

BirdLife uses a number of mechanisms and opportunities to advocate for a stronger recognition of the underpinning role of biodiversity and nature for sustainable development.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a major focus for BirdLife’s biodiversity policy and advocacy work at local, national and international levels, working to address the pressures on biodiversity, through concerted and coordinated actions by governments, business and civil society to halt the extinction of species and stem the loss of natural habitats.


BirdLife and the CBD     

The BirdLife Strategy 2013-2020 is directly linked to, and fully supportive of, the CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. BirdLife has been working with the CBD for many years, through the Conference of the Parties (COP), the Subsidiary Body on Scientific Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) and the Secretariat. We have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Convention, as a platform for coordination of activities in support of achieving the 20 Aichi Targets.

Globally, BirdLife is the CBD Thematic Focal point for birds for the Clearing-House Mechanism, through which information relevant to decision making and implementation of the Convention is channelled. BirdLife holds detailed information on birds and makes this widely accessible to help governments, businesses and others to implement and monitor the CBD and its programmes of work. Birds are very useful  indicators of species richness and endemism patterns. Changes in bird populations can also provide a useful indication of broader environmental change.

Implementation of CBD is mainly at the national level, and the BirdLife Partnership supports national Governments to ensure the Convention is used effectively in support of national action to meet the 20 Aichi Targets. This support includes encouraging synergies between biodiversity-related Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) where this adds value. 

BirdLife Partners have contributed to the development and the implementation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) by using birds and BirdLife data to help set targets at the national level, focus action to meet these targets, and provide data to monitor success. For information on how BirdLife Partners support implementation of the Convention at the national level please visit the Case Studies session in this page.

The nine BirdLife Conservation Programmes have a strong policy component, all of which contribute to the implementation of the Convention.


More about the Convention on Biological Diversity - CBD

The Convention on Biological Diversity is currently the most prominent and comprehensive international biodiversity agreement. The Parties to the Convention have recently adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 which provides a comprehensive global framework for achieving the vision of ‘Living in harmony with nature’, including the 20 headline Aichi Targets for 2015 and 2020, in order to achieve the Convention´s three objectives.

CBD Parties are tasked with translating this global Strategic Plan to the national level, through new or revised National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). Countries have been invited to set their own targets within this flexible framework, taking into account national needs and priorities.

For more information on CBD please visit: Mechanisms for Implementation, Programmes of Work, Decisions taken at the Conference of the Parties (COP). Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, Working Group on the Review of Implementation


Policy positions, briefs and meeting reports     

BirdLife actively participates in many work streams within the CBD. Work areas with which BirdLife is currently engaged include:

  •   The mobilisation of financial resources for biodiversity;
  •   Marine and Coastal Biodiversity - Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs);
  •   Supporting the revision and development of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs);
  •   The Programme of work on Protected Areas;
  •   Indicators for the Aichi Targets. View the 2016 scorecard.
  •   Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+);
  •   Invasive Alien Species;
  •   Synergies between Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements;

BirdLife attends all major CBD meetings including the Conference of Parties and subsidiary body meetings, and prepares policy briefings in advance of these meetings on key agenda items and priority issues. Regular reports are also produced following meetings outlining key decisions, achievements, priorities and future actions.



CBD COP12 BirdLife joint NGOs policy position on Resource Mobilization: EnglishEspanolFrancais
CBD COP12 BirdLife policy position on EBSAs
CBD COP12 BirdLife policy position on various topics
CBD COP12 - BirdLife list of support tools for Biodiversity Targets


Key publications and tools

Developing and implementing NBSAPs – BirdLife report 2012

Marine e-atlas 

Implementation support for the CBD

EU Biodiversity Strategy report (pdf file)

Position on the Review of Implementation of the Strategy for Resource Mobilization (pdf file English, Español, Français)

Marine and Coastal Biodiversity: Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas

Positions on selected topics: NBSAPs, indicators, invasive alien species, REDD+, business, development and fisheries

Aichi Targets Country progress - 2016 Scorecard