Preamble

The Contracting Parties,

Aware of the intrinsic value of biological diversity and the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic value of biological diversity and its components,

Aware also of the importance of biological diversity for the evolution and conservation of biosphere support systems,

Affirming that the conservation of biological diversity is a common concern of humanity,

Reaffirming that states have sovereign rights over their own biological resources,

Reaffirming also that States are responsible for the conservation of their biological diversity and the sustainable use of their biological resources, concerned that biological diversity is significantly reduced by certain human activities,

Aware of the general lack of information and knowledge on biological diversity and the urgent need to develop its own scientific, technical and institutional capacity to ensure the fundamental understanding needed to plan and implement appropriate measures,

Noting that it is vital to anticipate, prevent and address at source the causes of significant reduction or loss of biological diversity,

Noting also that where there is a threat of a significant reduction or loss of biological diversity, the lack of total scientific certainty should not be used as a reason to postpone measures to avoid or reduce this danger,

Noting further that the fundamental requirement for the conservation of biological diversity is the “in situ” conservation of natural ecosystems and habitats and the maintenance and restoration of viable populations of species in their natural habitat,

Noting further that “ex situ” measures, preferably in the country of origin, also play an important role,

Recognizing that a large number of local communities and indigenous peoples depend on the biological resources on which traditional lifestyles are based and that it is desirable to share equitably the benefits of using traditional knowledge, innovations and practices on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of its elements,

Recognizing also the vital role that women play in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and affirming the need to ensure their full participation at all levels in the development and implementation of policies for the conservation of biological diversity,

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