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Colombia recognizes the primordial role played by ecosystems and the services they provide in the generation of human wellbeing, the provision of water and food resources. Countries have sovereign rights over their biological resources, land and the marine ecosystems in their territory, as well as the genetic resources derived from plants, animals and/or micro-organisms.

Colombia is rich in biodiversity, has close to 14% of the biodiversity of the planet, in spite of representing only 0.7% of the world continental surface area. Likewise, 7% of the entire Amazon jungle is in or country. Colombia is a member of the Convention on Biological Diversity and, within this framework, of the Group of Like-Minded Mega-diverse Countries, a key actor on the world biological diversity scenario.

In the exercise of its functions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates national positions on international and regional scenarios regarding issues such as protected areas, genetic resources, bio-security, ecosystems services, modified live organisms, international trade in endangered species, Amazonia and phyto-genetic resources, among others, always endeavoring to safeguard national interests in these areas.

At national level, biological diversity has been included as one of the essential areas of the 2010-2014 National Development Plan, under which conservation strategies for its protection and the provision of ecosystem services to support and contribute to human wellbeing will be promoted.

In February 2011, Colombia led the negotiation of, and signed the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity. This instrument facilitated progress in the effective fight against bio-piracy, a phenomenon that is particularly harmful to mega-diverse countries. Within this legal framework of the control of access exercised by the users of these resources, what is sought is to guarantee distribution of the monetary and non-monetary benefits among the countries which are the owners of their biodiversity and to protect the traditional knowledge associated with them.

The main international conventions of which we form part are:

  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB)

            Link to the Convention website: www.cbd.int

  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

            Link to the Convention website: www.cites.org

  • International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling

            Link to the Convention website: http://iwcoffice.org/index.htm

  • Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance

            Link to the Convention website: www.ramsar.org