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Colombia is a world power in biodiversity, with some 14% of the planet´s total. It is therefore part of the group of Like-Minded Mega-diverse Countries, and is a key actor in that scenario. Colombia considers biodiversity to be a priority issue in foreign policy, since it represents one of the country's greatest assets. Biological wealth represents a unique tool for long-term economic and social development and the eradication of poverty. Further, and in global terms, biodiversity contributes to the offer of environmental goods and services.

Colombia recognizes the leading part played by ecosystems and the services which they provide in the generation of human welfare. In multilateral scenarios, Colombia holds that countries have sovereign rights over their biological resources, their land and sea ecosystems within their territories, and the genetic resources derived from plants, animals and microorganisms. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates and defends national positions in the international and regional scenarios, on issues such as protected areas, genetic resources, biosecurity, ecosystems, services, living modified organisms (GMOs), the international commerce in threatened species, Amazonia, and genetic resources from plants.

In this way Colombia has distinguished itself, as a result of its leadership on the multilateral scene, and is part of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It is in this context that Colombia - having played a leading part in negotiations - signed the Nagoya Protocol in February 2011, in relation to access to genetic resources and a fair and equitable distribution of the benefits derived from their use.

Likewise, Colombia is positioning itself as a global leader in protection and the sustainable use of living aquatic resources. This leadership has been widely recognized by other countries that have worked with Colombia in order to propose amendments to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a particular, for greater protection for sharks and manta rays. In March 2013, the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP 16) was held, and Colombia made the preparatory arrangements in coordination and cooperation with Germany, and Brazil, the United States and the European Union. As a result, and after years of effort, the Conference secured protection of five species of sharks and two species of the manta-rays. With this measure, the Parties to CITES will have to implement schemes of control of the catching and sale of these threatened species. Likewise, approval was given to provisions referring to the Introduction From The Sea, as a tool that complements measures for the protection and conservation of marine species caught in their international waters.

Principal international conventions of which Colombia is party:

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