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Supporting International Agreements

Since the late 1970s the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) has delivered services that support implementation of international biodiversity-related agreements at global, regional and national levels. These services not only support the work of the agreement secretariats, but also of the advisory and governance bodies, and of governments party to the various agreements. This section illustrates examples of work we have undertaken.

The support that UNEP-WCMC provides is based on expert understanding of the agreements and how they work, resulting from many years of experience and close relationships with secretariats. There are two key elements to this, which are essential to UNEP-WCMC’s ability to deliver relevant products and services.

  • Regular meetings with secretariat staff aid in planning the work that UNEP-WCMC can do to support conventions, and where possible this is translated into mutually agreed programmes of work.
  • Participation in major meetings for those conventions with which UNEP-WCMC is regularly working, both to listen to and participate in relevant deliberations, and to liaise with other participants.


 The breadth of this work is described in a six page paper Improving International Environmental Governance: 30 years supporting the Multilateral Environmental Agreements.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

The Centre works to support the implementation of CITES through a range of activities, while also supporting the implementation of EU wildlife trade regulations. Please click these links for more information on the Centre's support. 

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

The Centre supports the CBD through a number of activities:


Our section on the CBD contains more information on the history and context of the Convention and useful links. 

The programme of work, found below, identifies a number of areas where UNEP-WCMC and CBD will collaborate, including, among others, biodiversity indicators, marine and coastal biodiversity, protected areas and capacity-building for National Biodiversity Strategies and Actions Plans (NBSAPs).

Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)

UNEP-WCMC supports the CMS and its Annex II agreements through the following types of activities:


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

The centre provides support to UNESCO in the evaluation of World Heritage sites, and support to a number of conventions through information in the World Database on Protected Areas.

Harmonization of National Reporting and Synergies between MEAs

Because of extensive work with conventions on reporting and information management, the Centre is well placed to support increased harmonization. This section of our website looks in more depth at these projects. Additionally, the Centre supports the joint implementation of many conventions and looks to identify potential synergies between the various Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). 

In This Section

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an all-encompassing global treaty on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and natural resources. It was adopted in Nairobi and opened for signature at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and came into force in December 1993. It provides a logical and broad framework for actions to take place at all levels and thus is unique in making biodiversity a top priority amongst both decision makers and the public.


Support for CITES implementation

Support for CITES implementation

UNEP-WCMC manages the CITES Trade Database on behalf of the Convention, based on the annual reports compiled by Governments which include full details of all export and import permits and certificates issued during the previous year. In addition, UNEP-WCMC manages Species+, which includes CITES nomenclatural, distribution and legal data for all CITES listed species. The Centre also produces a range of outputs based on these databases, which are also available from the Species pages.


EU Wildlife Trade Regulations

EU Wildlife Trade Regulations

UNEP-WCMC provides a wide range of services to the European Commission in support of the effective implementation of the European Union’s Wildlife Trade Regulations, the legislation that provides for the enforcement of CITES within EU Member States.


Relevant Staff Members