Capacity Building on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to strengthen scientific and environmental communication


Although the Convention on Biological Diversity with its 193 parties is one of the most important conventions and exists already since 1992 the reception in the broader public is by far less then e.g. the Kyoto Protocol. In Germany media interest only rose when the Conference of the Parties (COP 9) was held in Bonn in May 2008. The word biodiversity as such remains poorly understood and the relevance of biological diversity for a wide range of societal sectors nearly ignored. Nevertheless, the implementation of the CBD can only be achieved with the help of many societal actors, one being the community of biodiversity related scientists. Unfortunately, this potential is not fully used as scientists have little access to the CBD and existing scientific results are not adequately communicated to political decision makers to be used effectively.
In many universities and research institutions the CBD is poorly known although the convention has a high relevance and direct links to curricula of biological/environmental disciplines or forest and agriculture related studies. In social disciplines the convention is even less known although topics like poverty reduction or migration after environmental disasters are directly related to sustainable use of biological diversity. Teacher curricula also make small use of the CBD.
For individual universities or departments the effort to follow CBD negotiations parallel to the own research programmes is hard to achieve. There is a need for mediation between the levels of CBD negotiations and biodiversity related research to foster communication and transfer of results. Furthermore, there is a need to translate the diplomatic language of the CBD into understandable language in order to enlighten the direct link between the CBD and the research performed by the respective scientists. As a consequence, universities and scientific communities are rarely present at CBD meetings and know little about processes and procedures.
Viewpoints and needs of the scientific community are underrepresented in many CBD meetings and missing knowledge on procedural questions leads to missing the opportunities to integrate scientific findings into the negotiation processes in time. Therefore it has to be stated that the communication at the science-policy interface is not working adequately and scientific potentials for the implementation of the CBD remain unused.


Main goal of the project was to contribute to a better implementation of the CBD on the basis of scientific results. This needs a better communication at the science-policy interface. The project wanted to build the capacity of scientists to get in closer touch with the topics and tasks of the CBD and wanted to strengthen the capability to present scientific results in way to be relevant for political decision making.


To fill this need capacity building for scientists was offered via two subsequent CBD-academies in 2010. These two seminars build upon each other and their results were published in the ibn series. The report is available via our ibn office. Next to the seminar documentation more information material on CBD issues is available on the ibn website. Presentations can be given on request. Please contact Dr. Cornelia Paulsch.

Infos to the CBD-Academies

The CBD-Academies of three days each were held in the Umweltbildungszentrum Wiesenfelden in Bavaria.

1. CBD-Academy from 08 – 12. March 2010
Programme, report and participants (German)

2. CBD-Academie from 06 – 10. September 2010
Programme, report and participants (German)