Biological resources are the pillars upon which ACP countries can build their economic development. Nature's products support such diverse industries as agriculture, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, horticulture, construction and waste treatment. However, the loss of biodiversity threatens food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and sources of wood, medicines and energy in many ACP countries. The Convention on Biological Diversity, as an international treaty, identifies common problems, sets overall goals and policies and general obligations, and organizes technical and financial cooperation. However, the responsibility for achieving these goals rests largely with the ACP themselves (and of course with other countries on the planet). This dossier provides background information on issues pertaining to the protection of biodiversity that are of special interest to ACP countries.