International agreements

Apart from the CBD, the other two "Rio Conventions" are most important and have their implications for the Biodiversity Convention and biodiversity trends in the world. These are:

The Netherlands also ratified or is party to the following international conventions and agreements relevant to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use:

European Biodiversity Agreements

Also within the framework of European cooperation several agreements have been reached about elements of Biodiversity. For example:

  • Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) which aims at ensuring conservation of wild flora and fauna species and their habitats.
  • As a member of the European Union, the Netherlands has to comply with the regulations given in the following EC Directives:
    • Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds;
    • Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora;
  • Mammals in the North-Eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean (including the North Sea) are protected under the ‘ASCOBANS’-treaty. The Netherlands is party to it. For stranded whales in 2020 a guidelinge was drawn up: Guidance document stranded whales and large tooth whales (in Dutch);
  • In addition to the Convention on Biodiversity, the European Union in 2011 adopted the Biodiversity strategy ‘Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020’. Goals of this communitarian policy were: 1) halting the loss of biodiversity in Europe by 2020; 2) strengthen the Natura 2000 network of protected areas; 3) make sure that societal sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism and trade take care of biodiversity through the principle of ‘No Net Loss’ (compensating for biodiversity loss); 4) restoring 15% of degraded ecosystems within the EU;
  • The European Union has drawn up an EU Forest Strategy, which had the prime purpose of establishing sustainable forest management in the entire EU by 2020;
  • In 2020 the European commission launched the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 with annexed action plan. This strategy covers four main themes: 1) A coherent network of protected areas; 2) An EU Nature Restoration Plan: restoring ecosystems across land and sea; 3) Enabling transformative change; 4) The European Union for an ambitious global biodiversity agenda.