The aim of the Convention on Biodiversity is to stop the current worldwide decline in the number of plant and animal species. Discussions are now underway regarding a future regime regulating access and equitable benefit sharing for genetic resources located in developing countries. Over the past few years, attention has been increasingly paid to the role played by ecosystems such as forests in water management, protecting biodiversity, preventing natural disasters and storing greenhouse gases. In this context, one of the questions raised is whether countries which make efforts to preserve such ecosystems should be compensated under a payment for ecosystem services scheme.

Another important factor in preserving biodiversity consists of numerous treaties which protect biotopes such as the marine environment, marshland, forests and international nature reserves, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

In addition to this convention, a biosafety protocol has been drawn up to minimise the risks associated with genetically modified organisms.

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