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8 Jan 2010

2010: International Year of Biodiversity

The United Nations has declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, located in Montréal, will oversee the worldwide biodiversity-protection awareness campaign deployed throughout the year.

The current year marks the close of the 2010 Biodiversity Challenge. Via this initiative, the countries that are party to the International Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) committed themselves in 2002 to significantly reduce losses of biodiversity. They will report on their progress in achieving this objective at the next Conference of the Parties to the CBD, in Nagoya Japan, in October 2010.

The International Year of Biodiversity is an opportunity to heighten people’s awareness of the essential role of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystems and the quality of human life. The Canadian campaign will be launched in Montréal on January 26, with the premiere of Paradis Perdu, a show created by Dominic Champagne and Jean Lemire. Among other activities, Québec’s largest city will also host the International Conference on Biological and Cultural Diversity in June 2010.

Convention on Biological Diversity

The CBD was signed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and came into force the following year. It is an international instrument with a virtually global scope, and has been ratified so far by 193 contracting parties. While recognizing the sovereign right of states to use their resources, the CBD is aimed at three objectives, namely the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of the components of biological diversity, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity facilitates the achievement of these objectives by the member governments. It was established in Montréal with support from the Québec government’s program for welcoming international organizations.

Québec’s biodiversity commitment

The Government of Québec shares the principles and objectives of the CBD and declared itself to be bound by the text in November 1992. It has thus created tools such as the Québec Biodiversity Strategy (third edition soon to be launched) and a related Action Plan. In 2006, it passed the Sustainable Development Act, one of the principles of which deals specifically with biodiversity preservation.

2010: International Year of Biodiversity
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Biodiversity in Québec – Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs
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