The Conferences of the Parties (known as COPs) are the highest governing body of various multilateral agreements such as CITES, UNCCD, UNFCCC, CBD, etc., and are the countries that have ratified these agreements.
The COP of the CBD is currently made up of 196 countries or parties that have ratified this Convention. The COP holds biennial meetings during which the most important decisions regarding the operation, implementation and follow-up of the Convention are taken.
These meetings are also attended by observers such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), other United Nations agencies and States not party to the Convention. The functions of the COP are established in Article 23 of the CBD and are as follows:
- To review the application of the Convention
- Direct, supervise and decide on the process of instrumentation, operation and future development of the same with the advice of CBD bodies.
The thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the CBD (COP-13) will be held from 4 to 17 December 2016 at the Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort Cancun, Mexico under the theme “Integrating Biodiversity for Well-Being”.
Mexico proposed as the central theme for COP 13 the integration of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity into sectoral and intersectoral plans, programs and policies, with emphasis on four sectors: agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism. This implies that biodiversity is an integral part of the functioning of the productive sectors, seeking to reduce, avoid and mitigate their negative impacts, and enhance the positive ones so that healthy and resilient ecosystems ensure the provision of essential services for human well-being.
The integration of biodiversity is considered a key element for the achievement of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and other international processes such as the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its Objectives.