Ensuring that existing national domestic and foreign policies, plans and programmes support the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources and minimise adverse impacts on biodiversity. Ensuring the effective incorporation of biodiversity considerations into all new policies, plans and programmes, including the development of national environmental policy and other ongoing policy initiatives of relevance to biodiversity. Requiring all government departments responsible for activities affecting biodiversity, or for activities concerning the conservation or use of biodiversity, to develop sector-specific plans based upon agreed guidelines.
Article 6 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992 specifically requests each party to: "develop national strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity which shall reflect, inter alia, the measures set out in this Convention relevant to the Contracting Party concerned; and 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".
The ecosystem approach should be fully taken into account in developing and reviewing national biodiversity strategies and action plans. There is also a need to integrate the ecosystem approach into agriculture, fisheries, forestry and other production systems that have an effect on biodiversity. Management of natural resources, according to the ecosystem approach, calls for increased intersectoral communication and cooperation at a range of levels (government ministries, management agencies, etc.). This might be promoted through, for example, the formation of inter-ministerial bodies within the Government or the creation of networks for sharing information and experience.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is responsible for assisting developing countries in the preparation of country biodiversity strategies in support of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Article 6 of the Convention, entitled, General Measures for Conservation and Sustainable Use, states: Each Contracting Party shall, in accordance with its particular conditions and capabilities: (a) 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; and (b) 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.
Costa Rica has begun a large national biodiversity survey. The main emphasis is to describe their estimated 300,000 insect species. This survey is being performed by the new Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad de Costa Rica (INBio). Even though a quarter of this nation's land is protected in national parks, nearly all of the land outside these parks has been cleared as demands for the growing population increase. With this in mind, the clock is running too fast for INBio to hesitate with this survey. The search for new drugs, crops, and natural pesticides has also pushed them to thoroughly examine their estimated 12,000 plant species.
The China Programme for Natural Conservation published by the Environmental Protection Committee of the State Council in 1987 was the first strategic document on conservation in China, and provides the overall strategy, fundamental principles and general response measures for the protection of biodiversity in China.
In the UK there is a national biodiversity strategy, involving action plans for threatened species and habitats. Consultants have recently been employed to take stock of action to date in the UK to implement the Convention, in all of its aspects, with a view to informing future decisions on priorities and action. The UK has also helped developing countries, and countries with economies in transition, to implement the Convention, for example through the Darwin Initiative grant scheme.