International biological diversity

Biodiversity knows no borders. Therefore, in addition to national measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, international cooperation is therefore vital.

Biodiversity and ecosystem services such as food, clean water and medicine are essential for the survival of humankind. Yet their condition is deteriorating dramatically, with the rate of species extinction at least dozens to hundreds of times higher today than the average over the past ten million years. Up to one million species are threatened with extinction, many within the next few decades. These are the conclusions reached in the global report on the state of nature adopted by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in May 2019.

Around the world, many efforts are being made to conserve biodiversity. This objective is firmly anchored at the level of the United Nations, for instance as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. One of the objectives of Goal 15 “Life on land” is to halt the loss of biodiversity.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was established in 1992. Internationally, it is the most comprehensive convention on biodiversity and aims to bring the environmental, economic and social aspects of biodiversity management into harmony. At the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP 15), which took place under Chinese Presidency in December 2022 in Montreal, the international community adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). This agreement seeks to turn the tide of biodiversity loss, from the destruction of nature to its restoration. The aim is to stop biodiversity loss and reverse the trend by 2030. To that end, the international community adopted four long-term goals for 2050 and 23 medium-term targets for 2030. A key goal of the new framework is to ensure that at least 30 percent of terrestrial and marine areas are effectively conserved by 2030.

Beyond political processes, the BMUV directly promotes projects for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity around the world under its International Climate Initiative (IKI). The IKI plays an active role in implementing the goals of the GBF with a number of new initiatives such as the NBSAP Accelerator Partnership, the Global ICCA Support Initiative 30x30, the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures, the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership and the Biodiversity Finance Initiative launched in 2013.

The IKI is one of the German government’s most important financing instruments for international climate action and biodiversity conservation. Since 2011, conserving biological diversity has been a separate funding priority within the initiative. In this area, the IKI supports partner countries in achieving the objectives of the CBD in order to counteract the global loss of our natural foundations of life. Since the IKI was founded in 2008, more than 419 biodiversity-relevant projects have been supported with a total funding volume of 1.9 billion euros.

The links below present various agreements and instruments relating to international biodiversity conservation.

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The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity

The most important international convention for the conservation of Earth’s biological diversity.

read more about The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity

Further information on biodiversity conservation

Last updated: 30.04.2024

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