The Convention on Biological Diversity arose as an international agreement for the conservation and continued exploitation of Earth's biological diversity (biodiversity). It directly affects those involved in conservation, exploitation and investigation of biodiversity in all its forms, as well as affecting the viability of all life. Australia is one of more than 170 countries that have ratified the Convention. Its involvement in this Convention will be considered in terms of the National Strategy for the Conservation of Biological Diversity with a focus on the coverage of microorganisms within this strategy. Microorganisms represent a major part of the biodiversity on Earth but, as yet, remain relatively unknown. Among those microorganisms that have been described, many, originating from a range of countries, have been deposited in culture collections worldwide. The Convention contains articles that impact on ex situ collections, although precise protocols are not set out therein. An international code of conduct is now being formulated to ensure ongoing access to and exchange of microorganisms in the interests of sustainable development in industrialised and developing nations.
- microbial diversity
- the Convention on Biological Diversity