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Biological Diversity

Protection of biological diversity in Iceland aims at strengthening and preserving for the future those species which have from its earliest days created Icelandic nature and have thrived in the country for millennia, and to prevent the extinction of species through human activities.

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was adopted at the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit. Iceland signed the Convention at the conference and it entered into force in the country in 1994. The Convention has three objectives: the conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of the components of biological diversity; and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits of genetic resources.

States are to incorporate various provisions of the Convention into national law, which has to a large extent been done through the Nature Conservation Act, the Act on the Icelandic Institute of Natural History and Natural History Centres, and several other Acts. The Government of Iceland adopted a biological diversity strategy in 2008 and a corresponding action plan in 2010 on the proposal of the Minister for the Environment. Work is underway on updating the strategy to take into consideration the 2020 objectives of the Convention.

See further information about biological diversity in Iceland at the website of the Icelandic Institute of Natural History.


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