For global biodiversity the present most important overall initiative is the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity from 1992.

The preparations and the convention period put the focus very much on what biodiversity is and what it means to mankind and what the globe will be like for our children if we fail in safeguarding biodiversity at all its levels. But it is in the follow-up activities after the Convention that biodiversity concerns must become an everyday issue, at all levels from local to global. The actual broad, publicly understood and continued cross-sectorial follow-up activities are the most important part of the work.

As part of the follow-up activities all parties to the Convention shall develop or adapt strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and integrate the conservation and sustainable use into relevant sectoral or cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies.

This is not an easy task for any country, it takes time and resources and new ways of thinking and it involves many acting parties not normally collaborating. Each country has to find its own solution to its own problems. The European Environment Agency has wished to analyse this process and to inform on the many and varied experiences in order that it may be an inspiration for future similar work. The analysis took part during 1996 and concerned the activities as they were developing at that time. Since then countries have naturally continued to work. The results of the report should therefore be used to understand and evaluate the huge combined and global effort made on biodiversity during these years and not to look at individual countries.

The report contains an overall analysis of material collected during late 1996 and brought up to date by early 1997. As background for the analysis the Agency held a workshop in September 1996. The Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Monks Wood, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, PE17 2LS, United Kingdom, managed the workshop and has produced both the technical report from the workshop and this report.


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