Share page with AddThis

Why it works

A Paris agreement for nature

In 2021, the biodiversity summit (CBD CoP15) will take place in Kunming, China. This is a key moment for global biodiversity, as world leaders will gather to discuss and agree how we can conserve biodiversity and guarantee the viability of our planet. The goal is to adopt ‘A New Deal for Nature and People’ that, taking the Paris Climate Agreement as an example, sets concrete goals and targets to conserve global biodiversity. The current targets, the so-called Aichi targets, will end in 2020.

Dutch contribution to biodiversity targets

The Netherlands will also take part in this world summit for biodiversity. A recent report by the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) showed that global biodiversity is deteriorating at an unprecedented pace, posing enormous risks to humanity’s wellbeing. The report emphasizes the need for transformational change. Together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), IUCN NL is developing an ambitious Dutch contribution to the Biodiversity Treaty. But we need to discuss more than just goals and objectives. Concrete actions that can be taken to reach the biodiversity targets are vital.

The Dutch action agenda needs to record the many initiatives for biodiversity in society.  To collect these, IUCN NL organizes several consultations and events (see timeline). Showcasing these initiatives will accelerate more ambitious agreements on biodiversity, in the Netherlands as well as in the rest of the world.

Cooperation for ambitious Dutch position

In cooperation with the Ministry of LNV, IUCN NL mobilizes NGOs, companies, citizens and knowledge institutions to contribute to the Dutch action agenda. We are compiling and mapping non-state initiatives to bring about an ambitious Dutch contribution to the new targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Once the new biodiversity targets have been set, it is important that the Netherlands actually commits to reaching them. They need to be translated into policy and embedded in the initiatives that are taken by non-state actors.

Want to know more?

Contact our expert.


  • The IPBES warns that 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction
  • The CBD is the only international agreement on biodiversity and nature
  • Out of the 20 biodiversity targets for 2020, progress has been made on only 4
  • Progress has been made on the target of conserving at least 17 % of terrestrial and inland water

We humans possess the ability to articulate a vision of where we want to go, and to reach for it collectively. As the most powerful agents in our ecosystems, we also possess the ability to restore its balance —if we put our minds to it.

- Dr. Cristiana Pasca Palmer, Executive Secretary, UN Convention on Biological Diversity


What is the Convention on Biological Diversity?

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is one of the three treaties that were established at the UN Conference on Environment & Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. In addition to the Convention on Climate Change, a treaty to conserve biodiversity was opened for signature at the summit. In 2011, a strategic plan for biodiversity conservation was set up. This plan consists of 20 concrete targets, the so-called Aichi targets. These targets will end in 2020, which means that new targets need to be determined. Coming up with this framework is one of the main goals of the summit in Kunming.

What have countries committed themselves to?

By ratifying the treaty, countries are obliged to: 1. conserve biodiversity; 2. sustainably use its components, and 3. fairly and equitably share its benefits.

Who is involved?

The CBD was signed by 196 countries, making it one of the most widely supported international environmental treaties. The Netherlands also signed the agreement.

Why is it important?

The CBD is the key global governance mechanism to address biodiversity loss. Because of the many and transboundary causes of biodiversity loss, international cooperation is crucial in addressing the issue. The CBD is the most important event where this international cooperation can be realized.

What is the process like?

The parties involved in the CBD gather every two years for a Conference of the Parties (CoP). Here, concrete decisions are made to advance the implementation of the CBD. In addition to this, targets are set to protect biodiversity over a longer period of time (10 years). Every few years, the countries provide reports on their progress towards reaching the targets. The summit in Kunming will be the 15th edition of this conference (CoP15).

Leading up to this conference, different commissions and working groups have set up global, regional and thematic consultations. The participating countries can also organize their own preparatory meetings to involve NGOs, companies, knowledge institutions and governments in their contribution to the new biodiversity targets. 

What is The Netherlands’ role in the process?

The Netherlands is one of the countries who signed the treaty in 1992 and will therefore be present at the Biodiversity summit in 2020. As a member of the European Union, the Netherlands has also committed itself to the EU Biodiversity strategy for 2020.

Therefore, it is important that the government develops a concrete and ambitious Dutch contribution to the treaty. Together with NGOs, companies and citizens, the government needs to develop an action agenda which shows what Dutch state and non-state actors will contribute to achieve the CBD’s objectives and develop new biodiversity targets.

What is IUCN NL’s role in the process?

IUCN NL is working towards an ambitious and widely supported Dutch biodiversity agenda that contributes to the new biodiversity targets, with the involvement of different stakeholder groups. To this end, we organize several consultations and events (see timeline). Our aim is to conserve and restore biodiversity in the Netherlands, decrease the Dutch biodiversity footprint outside the Netherlands and strengthen the role of biodiversity in Dutch development cooperation. We are also striving for a collective Dutch position on the new targets that need to be set in 2021.




More info

Dec - April 2019 Consultation | Non-state actors (NGOs, companies and the public) formulate contributions by non-state actors to the Dutch action agenda Contact us to get involved
Jan 15 2020

Event | In actie tegen uitsterving (Dutch only), Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam

Visit event page
Jan 23 2020 Event | How can Dutch businesses contribute to the action agenda? at New Economy 2020, Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam Visit event page
March - September 2020 Consultation | Non-state actors (NGOs, companies and the public) submit pledges on their contribution to the Dutch action agenda Fill out the pledge form
October 7 2020 Event | Presentation of Dutch action agenda for biodiversity, Naturalis biodiversity center, Leiden Visit event page 
Jan 7-15 2021 Event | Non-state actor commitments: inspiring examples from The Netherlands at World Conservation Congress, Marseille (France) Visit event page
2021 [specific date to be added] Event | UN 2021 Biodiversity Conference (CBD CoP15), Kunming (China)  

To get an overview of global events leading up to CBD CoP15, visit

View timeline

Get involved

Do you or does your organization have an initiative that contributes to biodiversity?

Let us know by making a pledge for the Dutch Action Agenda for Nature and People.

Fill out the pledge form


ShareShare page with AddThis