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Biodiversity knows no borders. International cooperation in addition to national measures for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity is therefore vital. 

Biodiversity and ecosystem services such as food, clean water and medicine are essential for the survival of humankind. Nonetheless, their status is deteriorating dramatically. The rate of global species extinction is dozens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the last ten million years. Up to one million species are threatened with extinction, many within the next few decades. These findings come from the global assessment report on the state of nature adopted by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in May 2019.

Around the world, many efforts are being made to conserve biodiversity. This objective is firmly anchored at the level of the United Nations, for instance as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. One of the targets of Goal 15 "Life on land" is to halt the loss of biodiversity. 

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was established in 1992. Internationally, it is the most comprehensive convention on biodiversity and aims to bring the ecological, economic and social aspects of biodiversity management into harmony. At the conference of the parties to the CBD in China in 2020, the international community will adopt a new post-2020 global framework for biodiversity. The BMU is working with its European and international partners for an ambitious framework and improved implementation.

Beyond political processes, the BMU directly promotes projects for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity around the world under its International Climate Initiative (IKI).

The linked pages present various agreements on and instruments for the international protection of biodiversity.