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Folder Biodiversity related international agreements ratified by the Netherlands

SchipholThe Netherlands is working to halt the loss of biodiversity around the world in a wide range of international forums. There have been a number of distinct milestones:     

  • SkyscrapersThe signing of the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) in 1992. This convention has three objectives: to conserve biodiversity, to use the natural resources derived from it sustainably, and to share the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources fairly and equitably. These objectives are now part of the aforementioned Millennium Development Goals.;

  • The agreement made by world leaders in Johannesburg in 2002 to significantly reduce the loss of biodiversity by 2010.

  • The decision of the European Union to halt the loss of biodiversity within the EU entirely by 2010. This ambitious target places the European Union at the forefront of global efforts to address the loss of biodiversity. In 2006, the European Commission published a Communication and Action Plan setting out a detailed agenda for achieving this objective (see box). 

Boys to cartSeparate agreements have been concluded on a number of aspects, including reducing the risks of transboundary movements of genetically modified organisms (The Protocol on Biosafety to the CBD), sustainable fishing and Access and Benefit Sharing. Finally, it is worth noting that the Netherlands has invested heavily in biodiversity in the European region in recent years, for example by continuing to develop a Pan-European Ecological Network (PEEN) and by integrating biodiversity into economic sectors. The subject of biodiversity in countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Russia and Ukraine, which is so important for Europe, has also been a prime topic in the government's bilateral contacts with those countries. The relations with the countries that have already joined the EU, in the area of biodiversity, are no longer bilateral but take place within the EU context.


10 European objectives:

Biodiversity and the EU

  • To protect the EU's most important habitats and species.
  • To conserve and restore biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU rural areas.
  • To conserve and restore biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU marine environment.
  • To reinforce compatibility of regional and territorial development with biodiversity in the EU.
  • To substantially reduce the impact of invasive alien species and alien genotypes on EU biodiversity.

The EU and global biodiversity

  • To substantially strengthen the effectiveness of international governance for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • To substantially strengthen support for biodiversity and ecosystem services in EU external assistance.
  • To substantially reduce the impact of international trade on global biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Biodiversity and climate change

  • To support biodiversity adaptation to climate change.
  • To substantially strengthen the knowledge base for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the EU and globally.

Source: European Commission, 2006. Communication of the Commission ‘Halting the loss of Biodiversity in 2010 - and beyond. Sustaining ecosystem services for human well-being'.