The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is a multilateral treaty for the conservation of our planet’s biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

Isla San Jorge, sometimes called “bird island” by Americans, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and critical habitat for both the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) and diverse sea birds. The surrounding waters are home to sharks, rays, whales and dolphins and many species of invertebrates and bony fish.

The Convention was opened for signature in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992, and entered into force on 29 December 1993, and ratified by all nations except for the United States. The aims of this Convention are summarized in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011-2020), a ten-year framework consisting of a shared vision between participating nations and laid out in 5 strategic objectives (A,B,C,D & E) and 20 goals, known as the Aichi Targets (

The purpose of this article is to introduce these goals and targets, and to reveal areas of synergy between CEDO’s work in the northern Gulf of California and these guiding international objectives.

Aichi Strategic Goals & Targets (2011-2020)

The Vision:

By 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.

Bahia Adair is a negative estuary (more saline than the sea) and a critical wetland habitat for migratory birds and nursery for commercial fisheries’ target species.

Objective A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society.

  • A1: By 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.
  • A2: By 2020, at the latest, biodiversity values have been integrated into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies and planning processes and are being incorporated into national accounting, as appropriate, and reporting systems.
  • A3: By 2020, at the latest, incentives, including subsidies, harmful to biodiversity are eliminated, phased out or reformed to minimize or avoid negative impacts, and positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, taking into account national socio-economic conditions.
  • A4: By 2020, at the latest, Governments, business and stakeholders at all levels have taken steps to achieve or have implemented plans for sustainable production and consumption and have kept the impacts of use of natural resources well within safe ecological limits.

A large octopus prowls the reefs of the Peñasco-Lobos Biological and Fisheries Corridor among feeding gorgonian corals.

Objective B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use.

  • B5: By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced.
  • B6: By 2020 all fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem-based approaches, so that overfishing is avoided, recovery plans and measures are in place for all depleted species, fisheries have no significant adverse impacts on threatened species and vulnerable ecosystems and the impacts of fisheries on stocks, species and ecosystems are within safe ecological limits.
  • B7: By 2020 areas under agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are managed sustainably, ensuring conservation of biodiversity.
  • B8: By 2020, pollution, including from excess nutrients, has been brought to levels that are not detrimental to ecosystem function and biodiversity.
  • B9: By 2020, invasive alien species and pathways are identified and prioritized, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and measures are in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment.
  • B10: By 2015, the multiple anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs, and other vulnerable ecosystems impacted by climate change or ocean acidification are minimized, so as to maintain their integrity and functioning.

An endangered least tern (Sternula antillarum) baby in its sand-dune nest, by Estero Morua in Puerto Peñasco, awaits its parents for feeding freshly regurgitated fish like sardines. The nest is vulnerable to ATV’s, dogs and litter. CEDO monitors and protects this species.

Objective C: Improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species, and genetic diversity.

  • C11: By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.
  • C12: By 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.
  • C13: By 2020, the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and of wild relatives, including other socio-economically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity.

The sex of a male blue crab, or jaiba, is identifiable by the Washington Monument like shape on it’s underbelly. These swimming crabs are one of the most important small-scale fisheries in the Peñasco_lobos Corridor, and one of the most promising for sustainable management.

Objective D: Enhance the benefits to all people, from biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  • D14: By 2020, ecosystems that provide essential services, including services related to water, and contribute to health, livelihoods and wellbeing, are restored and safeguarded, taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities, and the poor and vulnerable.
  • D15: By 2020, ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks has been enhanced, through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15 per cent of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification.
  • D16: By 2015, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization is in force and operational, consistent with national legislation.

California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) bask at a rookery on Isla San Jorge off of Puerto Peñasco, the Gulf’s largest colony. CEDO is working with MX authorities on a management plan for this island.

Objective E: Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management, and capacity building.

  • E17: By 2015 each Party has developed, adopted as a policy instrument, and has commenced implementing an effective, participatory and updated national biodiversity strategy and action plan.
  • E18: By 2020, the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and their customary use of biological resources, are respected, subject to national legislation and relevant international obligations, and fully integrated and reflected in the implementation of the Convention with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, at all relevant levels.
  • E19: By 2020, knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity, its values functioning, status and trends, and the consequences of its loss, are improved, widely shared and transferred, and applied.
  • E20: By 2020, at the latest, the mobilization of financial resources for effectively implementing the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 from all sources and in accordance with the consolidated and agreed process in the Strategy for Resource Mobilization should increase substantially from the current levels. This target will be subject to changes contingent to resources needs assessments to be developed and reported by Parties.

Capacity building and training is a key element of CEDO’s Peñasco-Lobos Corridor Program.