Biology Reference
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and Technical Experts (between November 1990 and March 1991). This group was
eventually renamed the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the CBD.
At the Nairobi conference in 1992, three resolutions were passed, of which
Resolution 2 was articulated in a very broad framework:
Further recognizing that the preparation of biological diversity country studies is the first
systematic attempt to assist countries in establishing baseline information on their biologi-
cal diversity and is the basis for national action programmes on conservation of biological
diversity and the sustainable use of its components … (CBD 2005 : 404).
Resolution 2 also suggested that the CBD Secretariat would identify compo-
nents of biological diversity that were of importance for conservation and sustain-
able use, including the collection of data needed for effective monitoring, upon
request from the national governments, and while doing so would also evaluate
potential economic implications. The text consistently referred to 'biological'
and 'genetic' resources. Nowhere did it confine itself to plant-based components
of biological or genetic diversity. In Resolution 3, however, while identifying the
work agenda, the conference narrowed this definition to 'plant genetic resources
for food and sustainable agriculture' (CBD 2005 : 407) and further:
Recognize[d] the need for the provision of support to the implementation of all activi-
ties agreed upon in the programme area on conservation and sustainable utilization of
plant genetic resources for food and sustainable agriculture and in the programme area on
conservation and utilization of animal genetic resources for sustainable agriculture in the
Agenda 21 proposed to be adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development in Rio de Janeiro (CBD 2005 : 408).
This narrowing of the focus of the CBD was contested by some member coun-
tries. The definition of biological resources was one area where a lack of initial
consensus about the scope of the CBD was evident in individual country submis-
sions to the process. For instance, in the early stages of drafting, Peru observed that:
1. Article 2 lacks a definition of the term 'conservation of biological diversity,' which
should cover the preservation or integral protection, maintenance, sustainable use and
recovery of its components.
In Article 19, paragraph 3, there is no express mention of the human being within the
scope of this paragraph, that is, the protection of the human being from the adverse
effects that may be produced by living organisms modified by biotechnology (CBD
2005 : 392).
Biological Diversity
It is evident from the literature that approaches to defining the scope of this con-
cept have remained ambiguous. The four major concepts that appeared in the
1970s and 1980s - biological diversity, biological resources, genetic diversity and
genetic resources - were never fully defined or adopted. The expression 'genetic
diversity' appears in the Stockholm Declaration (1972), the World Conservation
Strategy (1980), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
General Assembly Resolution (1984) and the Protocol Concerning Mediterranean
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