The Conference of the Parties is the governing body of the Convention, and advances implementation of the Convention through the decisions it takes at its periodic meetings.
To date the Conference of the Parties has held eight ordinary meetings, and one extraordinary meeting (the latter, to adopt the Biosafety Protocol, was held in two parts). From 1994 to 1996, the Conference of the Parties held its ordinary meetings annually. Since then these meetings have been held somewhat less frequently and, following a change in the rules of procedure in 2000, will now be held every two years.
Meetings of the Conference of the Parties
No. of Decisions
First Ordinary Meeting (COP 1): (19 Documents)
28 November - 9 December 1994
Second Ordinary Meeting (COP 2):
6 - 17 November 1995
Third Ordinary Meeting (COP 3):
Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 - 15 November 1996
Fourth Ordinary Meeting (COP 4):
Bratislava, Slovak Republic
4 - 15 May 1998
First Extraordinary Meeting (ExCOP 1):
Cartagena, Colombia &
22 - 23 February 1999 & 24 - 28 January 2000
Fifth Ordinary Meeting (COP 5):
15 - 26 May 2000
Sixth Ordinary Meeting (COP6):
The Hague, The Netherlands
7 - 19 April 2002
Seventh Ordinary Meeting (COP7):
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
9 - 27 Feb. 2004
Eighth Ordinary Meeting (COP8):
20 - 31 March 2006
Ninth Ordinary Meeting (COP9):
19-30 May 2008
The agenda of the meetings of the Conference of the Parties is very wide-ranging, reflecting the programme of work the Conference of the Parties has established for itself. At its first meeting, the Conference of the Parties decided on a medium-term programme of work for the period 1995-1997. Implementation of this programme has laid the groundwork for the long-term implementation of the Convention itself. In particular it has seen the development of a number of thematic work programmes, and identified a series of key cross-cutting issues relevant to all work programmes.
Major themes at meetings of the Conference of the Parties
Meeting of the Conference of the Parties
Items for in-depth consideration
First ordinary meeting
Guidance to the financial mechanism;
Medium-term programme of work.
Second ordinary meeting
Marine and coastal biological diversity;
Access to genetic resources;
Conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity;
Third ordinary meeting
Financial resources and mechanism;
Identification, monitoring and assessment;
Intellectual property rights.
Fourth ordinary meeting
Inland water ecosystems;
Review of the operations of the Convention;
Article 8(j) and related issues (traditional knowledge);
Fifth ordinary meeting
Dryland, mediterranean, arid, semi-arid, grassland and savannah ecosystems;
Sustainable use, including tourism;
Access to genetic resources.
Sixth ordinary meeting
Strategic plan 2002-2010.
Seventh ordinary meeting
Transfer of technology and technology cooperation.
Eighth ordinary meeting (2006)
Biological diversity of dry and sub-humid lands;
Global Taxonomy Initiative;
Access and benefit-sharing (Article 15);
Article 8(j) and related provisions;
Communication, education and public awareness (Article 13).
Ninth ordinary meeting (2008)
Global Strategy for Plant Conservation;
Invasive alien species;
Progress in the implementation of the Strategic Plan and progress towards the 2010 target and relevant Millennium Development Goals;