Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is most often associated with the earth’s vast variety of plants, animals, and microorganisms, but the term encompasses diversity at all levels—from genes to species to ecosystems to landscapes. Scientists estimate there are approximately 8.7 million species globally, of which approximately 2.2 million are marine. In spite of 250 years of research and over 1.2 million species already identified, it is possible 86% of existing species on Earth and 91% of species in the ocean still await description.

In each ecosystem, including those that occur within or among forests, wetlands, mountains, deserts, and rivers, living creatures interact with each other as well as with the air, water, and soil around them, forming an interconnected community. The ecosystem services provided by biodiversity are estimated to be worth trillions of dollars—double the world’s GDP. Biodiversity also includes genetic differences within species, such as different breeds and varieties, as well as chromosomes, genes, and genetic sequences (DNA). Biodiversity also has human benefits. For example, many new medicines are harvested from nature, such as the rosy periwinkle, which provides two very important cancer-fighting medicines.

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12th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Intersessional Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions and 1st Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Benefit-sharing from the Use of Digital Sequence Information on Genetic Resources

Although they appear distinct, the issues under the two Working Groups’ consideration are interrelated as they are developing ways to implement the targets and goals of the landmark Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and both address issues of fair and equitable participation and sharing of benefits in relation to biodiversity.
Event 12 November 2023 - 18 November 2023

GEO Week 2023

GEO Members adopted the GEO Post-2025 Strategy, which not only supports GEO’s continued leadership in enabling the provision and use of Earth observations but also introduces pathways for GEO to co-produce products and services with users and for users, thereby requiring GEO to adapt its operating model.
Event 6 November 2023 - 10 November 2023

77th Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee

Delegates faced with 77 agenda items, with over 101 related documents spanning some 2,700 pages, were unable to complete the entire agenda, but were able to make recommendations on 11 compliance cases, establishment of the CITES Global Youth Network, seizure reporting on big cats, monitoring elephant poaching, and stockpiling timber.
Event 6 November 2023 - 10 November 2023

25th Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 25) and Resumed Second Part of the 15th Meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties

Ten months after adopting the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), delegates met to provide expert advice on the scientific, technical, and technological aspects of GBF implementation. At the resumed 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP), delegates conducted elections and discussed the date and venue of COP 16.
Conference of the Parties (COP) 15 October 2023 - 20 October 2023

65th Meeting of the GEF Council

The 65th meeting of the Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) took place in a virtual setting, focusing on the GEF Strategy for Knowledge Management and Learning; enhancing policy coherence; and relations with Conventions and international institutions. Council Members further decided on the dates for the 66th to 68th Council meetings in 2024.
Event 10 October 2023

10th Session of the IPBES Plenary and Stakeholder Day

Delegates celebrated the launch of a new report on invasive alien species and their control. They also adopted terms of reference for the midterm review of the work programme, and approved the scoping process for a second global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and approved undertaking two fast-track methodological assessments.
Event 28 August 2023 - 2 September 2023

2023 CCICED Annual General Meeting

“A new paradigm of high-quality green development is well underway,” and China’s central role in driving this paradigm shift—and the lessons it offers for developing countries—was a key theme of the in-person meeting.
Event 28 August 2023 - 30 August 2023

7th GEF Assembly

In a watershed moment for biodiversity, GEF Assembly members unanimously agreed to ratify the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund—a new source of funding for protecting endangered species and their ecosystems globally. The meeting also featured the first-ever Partnership Forum, which brought together Indigenous Peoples, youth, women, and representatives of civil society organizations to discuss ways the GEF can support their empowerment and recognition.
Event 22 August 2023 - 26 August 2023