Conventions to which Austria is a party

Convention on Biological Diversity

The objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity is to preserve the diversity of life on earth.

Its priorities are the protection and the sustainable use of the different components of biological diversity as well as the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources. More than 190 countries – among them also Austria – have ratified this Convention. The Convention focuses on the diversity of species, genes and habitats, their conservation, management or restoration.

Bonn Convention

The objective of the Bonn Convention is the protection and conservation of migratory animal species, which frequently migrate across political borders, on an international level. Austria has been a member to the Bonn Convention, in full Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), since 2005.

Bern Convention

The aim of the Bern Convention is to ensure the conservation of wild European plants and animals and of their natural habitats.
The Bern Convention, officially named the “Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats”, is a Council of Europe agreement under international law regulating the protection of European animals and plants living in the wild. Austria has been a member to the Bern Convention since 1983.

Ramsar Convention

The objective of the Ramsar Convention is the protection and sustainable use of wetlands.

The Ramsar Convention, formally Convention on wetlands of international importance, especially waterfowl habitat, covers three fields of activity:

  • the identification of Ramsar sites
  • wise use – sustainable utilisation
  • international cooperation

As many as approximately 160 states have already signed the Ramsar Convention. World-wide there are about 1,930 Ramsar sites with a total area of approximately 188 million hectares. Austria has been a member state of the Ramsar Convention since 1983.

Washington Convention (CITES)

It lays down the rules for the international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora and their products.

The implementation of the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora protects about 5,000 animal species and 28,000 plant species that are endangered by international trade. In Austria, the Convention has been in force since 1982; since 1984 it has been executed in the European Union. Since Austria’s accession to the European Union on 1 January 1995 the relevant EC regulations have been legally binding for Austria and are implemented by national laws and ordinances. Penalties may reach amounts of up to 40,000 Euro.

The purpose of CITES is to ensure, by means of international controls of trade, the sustainability of this trade in wild animals and wild plants, but not to prevent it in general.