Just concluded last week was the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP-10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). A conference of parties means a meeting of governments who have signed the document, a convention is another name for a treaty.
There was good news and bad news from the conference. The are two pieces of good news. First is that there has an agreement for developed countries to provide financing to allow developing countries to set aside land for protecting wildlife. Even though we have heard these promises of money before and not had them delivered.
The biggest piece of good news is the agreement on the Access and Benefit Sharing Protocol. This protocol concerns sharing genetic resources between companies and countries and communities where the resource comes from. For example, when a company uses a naturally occurring plant to make drugs. The agreement means that when this occurs a share of the profits will go the people protecting the natural resource.
The only real bad news is that they agreed to set aside 17% of land area and 10% of the ocean areas for protected lands. That is not much, the oceans already are at 10% and the land area is currently at 13%.
UN press release
BBC Report - also includes a good description of biodiversity