Symbol of the Government of Canada

Canadian Biodiversity Strategy

GOAL 5 - International Cooperation

To work with other countries to conserve biodiversity, use biological resources in a sustainable manner and share equitably the benefits that arise from the utilization of genetic resources.


In ratifying the Convention, Canada has demonstrated a commitment to the international effort to conserve the planet's biodiversity and use biological resources in a sustainable manner. Canadians recognize that the protection of the global environment is the common concern of all nations. The international dimension of the Convention addresses the need for countries to coordinate and organize efforts on a global scale, while respecting each country's own priorities and sovereignty over its biological resources.

International Cooperation

Article 5:

Cooperate with other Contracting Parties through competent international organizations, in respect of areas beyond national jurisdiction and on other matters of mutual interest, for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Convention on Biological Diversity

One of the key features of the Convention is to share benefits arising from the use of genetic resources in a "fair and equitable way", particularly with respect to developing countries. Working with other countries involves participating in international biodiversity programs, activities, institutions and agreements. The international community will need to assist some countries in improving their capacity to address the objectives of the Convention. Canada realizes the importance of building partnerships with other countries by developing and sharing knowledge, expertise, technologies and genetic resources in a fair and equitable way. The establishment of a consistent framework for sharing benefits will be a key outcome of the Convention.

Canada is cooperating with developing countries on a broad range of activities in order to develop their capacity to conserve biodiversity and use biological resources in a sustainable manner. Through contributions to the Global Environment Facility, Canada has provided new and additional funding to address global environmental concerns, including biodiversity loss. Canada's Official Development Assistance programs provide resources and technical assistance to support sustainable development in developing countries, including projects and programs designed to help these countries reap long-term benefits from the sustainable use of their biological resources. Other Canadian government and non-government organizations also carry out valuable work in developing countries which support the objectives of the Convention. Canada is an active participant in international bodies devoted to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in these countries.

Strategic Directions:

  1. Participate in international efforts to coordinate and enhance activities related to the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of biological resources by:
    1. encouraging the implementation and integration of the objectives of the Convention;
    2. participating in international bodies to consider the development of international agreements to complement the Convention; and
    3. considering the objectives of the Convention in the context of, and in relation to, other international agreements.

    Wetlands of International Importance - The Ramsar Convention

    The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, was signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971 and came into force in 1975. This Convention provides a framework for international cooperation for the conservation of wetland habitats.

    Canada has designated over 30 Ramsar sites since its accession to the Convention in January 1981.

  2. Support the implementation of the Convention in developing countries by:
    1. providing assistance, in particular through the Global Environment Facility; and
    2. cooperating with developing countries to improve their capacities to plan and implement biodiversity conservation policies, strategies and plans and to use biological resources in a sustainable manner.
  3. Explore mechanisms to facilitate the transfer of environmentally sound technologies to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity by:
    1. encouraging collaboration to develop new approaches to technology transfer among the private sector, government, non-governmental organizations and communities; and
    2. facilitating access to samples of Canada's genetic resources on mutually-agreed terms, and under the understanding that arrangements will differ for each sector using these resources.
  4. Cooperate with the international community to explore mechanisms to encourage the private sector, government, indigenous communities, non-government organizations and communities to share benefits derived from using genetic resources provided by other countries.
  5. Encourage the participation of stakeholders, including non-government organizations, the private sector, and indigenous communities, in international efforts to implement the Convention.
  6. Incorporate biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of biological resources into the criteria for choosing, designing, and evaluating development assistance projects.