Predictions about the success of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are pessimistic. It has now become commonplace to bemoan the scope, ambition, and deeply political nature of a convention that addresses issues ranging from ecosystems protection to the exploitation of genetic resources, from conservation to justice, and from commerce to scientific knowledge. Ten years after its adoption, how can we assess the difference that the CBD has made? Is it in danger of collapsing under its own weight or is it building the foundations of new patterns of relations between societies and nature? What achievements can we record and what challenges does it face? In this book, which is unique in its scope, diversity and the wealth of information it contains, contributors from a variety of academic disciplines tackle an issue of enduring importance to the protection of biodiversity and enhance our understanding of humanity's capacity to reconcile its various aspirations and halt the destructive path upon which it is set.