This paper summarises the main developments in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity during 2003. Chief among these was the entry into force on 11 September of the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol, and an agreement among the convention’s 180 member countries to endorse a target date of 2010 for a reduction in the rate of loss of the species and ecosystems.

On 13 June 2003 the Republic of Palau became the 50th state to ratify the protocol, triggering a three-month countdown to its entry into force. The protocol is an international treaty aimed at ensuring an adequate level of protection against potential risks from genetically modified organisms.

In March 2004, representatives from 120 governments met at the biodiversity convention’s secretariat in Montreal to find ways to reach the 2010 target in which countries need to show progress in significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss. This target was first agreed at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa.

Colorado journal of international environmental law and policy yearbook 2003 (pp29-35). To order a copy of this and other biodiversity-related research not available from the web, subscribe to the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Weekly Journal review. Contact Stacy Matwick on [email protected]