Today, 193 countries have signed the U.N Convention on Biological Diversity. The U.S. is not one of them. In fact, the U.S. is only one of two countries—the other is Andorra—to have failed to ratify the CBD.
This convention, launched at the 1993 Earth Day summit in Rio, seeks to conserve biological diversity, promote the sustainable use of biological diversity, and establish fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from genetic resources. With millions of the poorest people in the world directly dependent upon natural resources, and continuing rates of biodiviersity decline in recent decades, the CBD and it's initiatives are more important than ever.
This legally-binding document helps to carve out a sustainable future for the world on the world stage. But right now, the U.S. is not permitted to take part in any strategic planning or decision-making process. Instead, at each of the meetings (held every two years) since 1993, the U.S. delegation has simply observed.
President Clinton ratified the treaty in 1993. The U.S. Senate only has to bring it to the floor for a vote. It's time the U.S. step up and take part in one of the strongest, most important mechanisms available to govern future use of the world's living resources.
Tell your Senators to bring the CBD to a vote, and to vote for ratification. The rest of the world—and all its species—have waited long enough.