MOU identifies joint priorities for conservation and sustainable usage

NEW YORK (September 22, 2010) – The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to coordinate their mutual conservation objectives and activities around the world.

The MoU was signed by Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the CBD, and Dr. Steven Sanderson, WCS President and CEO, at the Central Park Zoo on Tuesday, September 21. The MoU provides a framework of collaboration in areas of mutual interest to both parties such as working to sustain protected areas in the world’s most important land and seascapes, and other priorities such as linking biodiversity conservation to climate change mitigation efforts.

Initiated at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty organization that promotes: the conservation of biological diversity; sustainable use of biodiversity; and the fair and equitable sharing of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the CBD is based in Montreal, Canada and operates under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program.

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with CBD in our quest to safeguard wildlife and wild places around the world,” said Dr. Sanderson. “Effective conservation often requires teamwork among governments, conservation organizations, and other stakeholders.”

Specifically, the MOU identifies several potential areas of collaboration between WCS and the signatory nations of the treaty, including:

  • Support in development, management, and financing of protected areas.
  • Identifying high priority marine and coastal areas for biodiversity.
  • Minimizing the impacts of infrastructure (dams, highways) and extractive industries on biodiversity and ecosystem integrity.
  • Catalyzing public engagement in support of biodiversity conservation and the post-2010 strategic plan to be finalized in Nagoya, Japan in October.

According to the agreement, WCS will contribute expertise, data, and scientific analysis to issues of importance to the CBD’s mission and goals. The Secretariat of the CBD will in turn inform WCS of opportunities to contribute input into regional workshops, technical clinics, and other means of sharing relevant research.

Stephen Sautner: (1-718-220-3682;
John Delaney: (1-718-220-3275;

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.  

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