On June 5, 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity was introduced for signature at the so-called "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro. The Convention was one of four international agreements proposed at the Earth Summit. The Convention's explicit objectives are to conserve the Earth's biological diversity (or "biodiversity") for future generations, to exploit this biodiversity in a sustainable way and to share the benefits of biodiversity in a fair and equitable manner. Biological diversity is defined as "the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part."
Daniel T. Jenks,
A Convention on Biological Diversity--An Efficient Framework for the Preservation of Life on Earth?,
Nw. J. Int'l L. & Bus.