Padilla, Stansbury Lead Bicameral Resolution to Join United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity On International Day for Biological Diversity
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the world marks the International Day for Biological Diversity, at a time when over one million species are threatened with extinction, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Representative Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.-01) led nine of their colleagues in introducing a concurrent resolution expressing the need for the U.S. Senate to ratify the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity and bring the United States in as a formal party.
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity is an international legal instrument that encourages actions by signatories to protect habitats and natural resources that sustain biodiversity. The United States is the only UN member state that has not ratified the treaty despite already legally complying with the obligations under the Convention. The climate crisis, habitat destruction, and other human-related causes have been linked to a 69% average decline in wildlife population over the last 50 years, while 30% of mammals worldwide are at risk of extinction.
“The United States is home to a rich array of plants, animals, and ecosystems—but our biodiversity is at risk and we must reverse course to protect it,” said Senator Padilla. “America cannot afford to stand on the sidelines while one million species are at risk of extinction. That’s why I’m excited to co-lead introduction of this resolution to push the Senate to ratify the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity.”
“The United States leads the world in biodiversity conservation efforts—it is well past time to formalize our participation in global conservation by ratifying the UN Convention on Biological Diversity,” said Representative Stansbury. “As we are all interconnected on this planet, the United States must have a more active seat at the table as we work to honor and integrate Indigenous knowledge, foster global cooperation, and preserve the incredible ecosystems that sustain human life.”
Despite being one of the top contributors in international conservation funding and biological diversity expertise, the United States is currently limited to being an observer during the deliberations and decision-making processes of the Convention on Biological Diversity. While the treaty was signed in 1993, it has never been formally ratified, which has limited our ability to fully participate in protecting global biodiversity.
In the Senate, the resolution is cosponsored by Peter Welch (D-Vt.). In the House of Representatives, the resolution is cosponsored by Representatives Raúl M. Grijalva, (D-Ariz.-07), Nanette Barragán (D- Calif.-44), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.-01), Eleanor Homes Norton (D-D.C.-AL), Summer Lee (D-Pa.-12), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.-07), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.-30) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.-12).
The full text of the resolution can be found here.