National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans

Supporting the world to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework

Photo credit: Adriana Dinu


The NBSAP Forum is a global partnership aiming to support countries in implementing the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its strategic plans, including global biodiversity targets. To achieve this, CBD Parties are required to develop and implement national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs), including national targets, and integrate them into relevant sectoral and cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies, and submit national reports (NRs) on the effectiveness of measures taken to implement the NBSAP.  The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) host the NBSAP Forum, in partnership, through generous funding provided by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). The purpose of the web portal is to support countries in finding the information they need to develop and implement effective NBSAPs and prepare national reports. The NBSAP Forum includes several support functions:


A web-based e-learning platform that provides free opportunities to build your professional capacity in multiple languages.

An online forum to connect practitioners and technical experts on issues related to the alignment and implementation of NBSAPs in support of the goals and targets in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

A technical help desk in English, French, and Spanish, that is staffed by UNDP, UNEP, and SCBD.

This online community of practice connects a wide range of stakeholders who need access to timely information regarding the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its targets. Members can also share expertise, knowledge, technical support, and resources. Members speak 122 unique languages, access the Forum from 194 countries, and engage with each other from around the globe 24 hours a day in multiple languages.

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The views expressed in this public forum are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations, including UNDP, or the UN Member States.

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National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) are the principal instruments for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity at the national level. The Convention requires countries to prepare a  National  Biodiversity   Strategy and  Action  Plan (NBSAP)  (or equivalent instrument) and to ensure that this strategy is mainstreamed into the planning and activities of all those sectors whose activities can have an impact (positive and negative) on biodiversity.

Article 6 of the Convention, on General Measures for Conservation and Sustainable Use, states that each Contracting Party shall, in accordance with its particular conditions and capabilities:

  • Develop national strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity or adapt for this purpose existing strategies, plans or programmes which shall reflect, inter alia, the measures set out in this Convention relevant to the Contracting Party concerned.
  • Integrate, as far as possible and as appropriate, the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity into relevant sectoral or cross-sectoral plans, programmes and policies.

NBSAPs are the main instrument through which Parties establish and communicate their national contribution towards the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and its goals and targets (Source: Decision 15/6, Annex 1).

Guidance for revising or updating NBSAPs in the light of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework is provided in Annex I of decision 15/6 (Mechanisms for planning, monitoring, reporting and review). The information provided below reproduces the text contained in Annex I.

The NBSAP process should involve and facilitate the engagement of all government sectors at all levels of government, and all stakeholders, indigenous peoples and local communities, women and youth across society to ensure that targets, actions and expected outcomes are coordinated, that the concerns of different actors are addressed, and that their ownership and commitment towards implementation are attained. The NBSAPs should promote synergies and planning across other biodiversity-related conventions and multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). Additionally, the NBSAP process should garner high-level political support, ensure interministerial coordination and vertical integration, and facilitate implementation.

Non-state actors are encouraged to report activities contributing to implementation in the portal for the “Sharm El-Sheikh to Kunming and Montreal Action Agenda for Nature and People”.  They are also advised to share this information with the CBD Primary National Focal Point in their country whose contact details are available at the bottom of the country webpage (see https://www.cbd.int/countries/).

  • National targets addressing or contributing towards each of the goals and targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and ensuring close alignment where possible, taking into account the availability of resources and means of implementation. 
  • Concrete actions, policies and programmes designed to meet the national targets and contribute to the global goals and targets, including spatial, temporal and financial aspects, as appropriate. 
  • National monitoring, reviewing and assessment: While revising or updating NBSAPs, headline indicators as well as component, complementary and other national indicators where relevant should be used, including to track contributions towards the goals and targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, taking into account national circumstances.

In order to minimize the time and resources required to revise or update NBSAPs, the alignment of existing NBSAPs and their targets with the new framework could be assessed. This assessment should consider, according to national circumstances, elements such as implementation gaps, existing goals, targets and indicators, the effectiveness of past actions, monitoring systems (including any data and/or knowledge systems and gaps), sectoral and cross-sectoral policies, finance and other means of implementation, and an assessment of how stakeholders, indigenous peoples and local communities, women and youth were involved in revision and implementation. This exercise will allow identification of those aspects or components of their NBSAPs that need to be revised or updated in the light of the new framework.

Although the NBSAP can take the form of a single biodiversity-planning document (and many countries have chosen this form), this does not necessarily have to be the case. The NBSAP can also consist of several different ‘stand alone’ elements that work in a complementary fashion to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity in the country – for example: policies, laws and administrative procedures; scientific research agendas; programmes and projects; communication, education and public awareness activities; forums for inter-ministerial and multi-stakeholder dialogue. These together provide the means to meet the three objectives of the Convention, thereby forming the basis for national implementation. These elements may be brought together and made available on a web site (which could form part of the national Clearing-House Mechanism). Second generation, or revised NBSAPs have tended to be more in line with this broader definition; they resemble more a planning process than a fixed document. Such a planning process is equally relevant to the other biodiversity-related conventions and agreements.

While the Conference of the Parties (COP) considered Article 6 of the Convention for the first time at its second meeting in 1995, as well as at subsequent meetings, and adopted a number of decisions requesting Parties to prepare and submit an NBSAP, a specific submission timeframe was established for the first time by COP-10 in 2010. This related to decision X/2 (Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020), in which Parties were requested to submit their updated NBSAP by 2015, in accordance with Aichi Biodiversity Target 17.  Most recently, in decision 15/6, COP-15 requested Parties to submit their revised and updated NBSAP, aligned with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, by COP-16.  Further information is available on the CBD website 

To date, 194 of the 196 (99%) Parties to the CBD have developed at least one NBSAP. 

You can view NBSAPs submitted by CBD Parties on the CBD website and on the CBD Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM).

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework builds on the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and sets out an ambitious plan to implement broad-based actions to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity to ensure that, by 2050, the shared vision of ‘living in harmony with nature’ is fulfilled.

Learn about the goals of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework here.

Members of the NBSAP Forum are individuals or organizations from around the world who are involved in updating their country’s NBSAP, and/or who are able to offer support and expertise to those preparing their NBSAP.

If you have a question around NBSAPs and you can’t find the answer on this website, please email the NBSAP Forum Helpdesk at info@nbsapforum.net.

The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are consistent with the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity; the implementation of one contributes to the achievement of the other. The collective impact of the contribution of NBSAPs toward fulfilling SDGs is beginning to emerge. The impact of NBSAPs extends far beyond Goal 14 (Life below Water) and Goal 15 (Life on Land); each NBSAP action is capable of contributing to multiple development goals. NBSAPs adopted as policy instruments can provide a ready pathway to accelerate implementation of SDGs. Investing in biodiversity and ecosystems through NBSAP action also ensures that no one is left behind in the implementation of the SDGs.

The NBSAP Forum is managed through a partnership between the SCBD, UNDP, and UNEP, using financial support from the GEF. The Forum is hosted on Learning for Nature.

The platform is now oriented towards the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and features information and forums on the 23 Global Biodiversity Framework targets. NBSAP Forum 2.0 also provides access to robust learning and peer exchange opportunities and a technical help desk with support in English, French, and Spanish, staffed by UNDP, UNEP, and SCBD.

Through the GEF-7 Global Biodiversity Framework Early Action Support (GBF EAS) Project, UNDP and UNEP are collaboratively implementing a joint financial and technical support unit to fast-track readiness and early actions to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). Grants are being made to 138 GEF-eligible Parties to undertake early actions at the national level. In addition, a global technical support unit is providing technical guidance to Parties to ensure these early actions are effective, efficient, inclusive, and of the highest technical standards. The project is intended to mobilize alignment of NBSAPs with the GBF, including national biodiversity targets, monitoring, policy, and finance frameworks. The project is jointly implemented by UNDP and UNEP using a regional approach, where the agencies implement a shared scope of work based on the strategic advantages of each agency, and with the support of technical partners. It is governed through a long-standing Global Governance Committee that is convened by UNDP, UNEP, and the CBD Secretariat, and funded by the GEF. It is anticipated that, through a similar collaborative effort, UNDP will also support Parties to the CBD with the preparation of their 7th National Reports as well as updates of their NBSAPs (Source: UNDP).

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