18 July 2003

The revision of the 1968 'African Convention' was adopted by the Assembly of the African Union (AU) on July 11, 2003 in Maputo. IUCN played a major role in the drafting of this important regional treaty, as adviser to the Organization of African Unity (now the AU), and IUCN and UNEP provided advisory services in the preparation of the revision. The new text makes the African Convention the most comprehensive and modern regional treaty on environment and natural resources conservation, and the first to deal with an array of sustainable development issues. It covers a wide spectrum of questions, ranging from biological diversity conservation, sustainable use of soil, air, water and land, and provides for procedural rights and mechanisms serving its implementation. The revised convention also incorporates the IUCN Protected Areas Management Category System in its totality - the first time any international or regional convention has done so. The Convention will enter into force once 15 States have ratified it.

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