Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

HQ: Montreal, Canada

Focal Point: Paulo Tagliari  


Key Figures: Greenhouse gas emissions


Executive Secretary's message

"Biodiversity is affected by climate change, with negative consequences for human well-being, but biodiversity, through the ecosystem services it supports, also makes an important contribution to both climate-change mitigation and adaptation. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity will strive to fulfill its mandate to assist Parties to conserve, sustainably use and benefit from biodiversity, whilst at the same time reducing its carbon footprint."

Braulio F. de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary, CBD


The objectives of the Convention are the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding.

Reduction efforts

The Secretariat has undertaken measures to reduce the emissions that result from its activities.  The Secretariat has also worked on a number of measures to improve its environmental performance.  Most notably, the Secretariat has installed additional video conferencing units, implemented new document distribution practices to reduce printing and has made efforts to replace mission travel with video conferences in an effort to reduce emissions.

In the jurisdiction where the Secretariat is being located, electricity is primarily generated by hydro-electric generation, which leads to relatively low emissions for electricity usage.

The CBD's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint are part of a wider strategy to green its operations.  The plan for this was originally presented at CBD COP 9 in 2008 and includes a number of measures which have subsequently been increased and modified to improve environmental management.


No offsets were purchased though the CDM 2014.

Since 2008, the State Government of Paraná in Brazil committed to offset all carbon emissions arising out of the CBD Secretariat's operations since the ninth Conference of the Parties (COP), including the travel of funded Party representatives to attend official CBD meetings, estimated at around 10,200 tons of carbon equivalent. The commitment was made at the CBD COP 9 in Bonn, Germany, in a memorandum of cooperation signed on 27 May 2008. Since the signing, the agents of the State of Parana's Environment Office have supervised the planting of 57,000 tree saplings and have already surpassed the proposed tree planting goals. The initiative is part of a larger project called Riparian Reforestation Programme, led by the Parana state government, which has already planted over 80 million seedlings of endemic and locally occurring trees. The Reforestation Programme supports the restoration of ecosystems associated with the original Atlantic Rain Forest, protects river borders from erosion, and creates a buffer zone for the protected areas around Foz do Iguaçu National Park.

Other environmental measures

The building management in charge of the Secretariat offices has reliable monitoring and reporting of waste types and amounts and has adopted a waste management policy that takes advantage of opportunities for recycling and re-use. Staff members are encouraged not to print and printers set to double-sided printing. Major meetings of the Convention have begun to use a Print Smart approach to document production.  In collaboration with the Conference Service unit, the Information Technology unit has developed a PrintSmart application which allows meeting participants to download in-session documents or   to print on demand and collect their copies at a central kiosk. Furthermore, pre-session documents are no longer available in paper format and are made available on line for downloads or distributed in USB keys when requested.   These practices have resulted in reductions of more than 60% in paper usage compared to previous practices and has also impacted in the reduction of paper waste.

Next Steps

As stated above, the Secretariat is working on an emission reduction strategy which it plans to have endorsed by the Conference of the Parties at its meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation in May 2016.