Tell the Senate to Ratify the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity
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.
Over the past 18 years, 193 nations have joined a global effort to conserve biodiversity, sustainably use its components, and establish fair and equitable use of the benefits of genetic resources through the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity. Despite the fact that many of the CBD's initiatives have been modeled on conservation practices developed here in the U.S., our nation remains one of only two that has yet to ratify this critical international legislation.
The U.S., a leader in environmental conservation, remains a voyeur—simply watching as the rest of the world works to solve one of the most pressing challenges of our time: the loss of biodiversity (and the grave threat this loss poses to millions of the world's poorest people who depend upon natural resources, most).
But it doesn't have to be this way. The U.S. can lend its voice, its wisdom, and its experience to help structure a sustainable, biodiverse future. All we need is for the Senate to bring the CBD to the floor and vote.
I ask that you take the intitiative to bring this issue to the floor, and then, cast your vote to ratify this important international legislation.
The world, and all its inhabitants, are waiting. And we're watching you now, too.
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