In 1992 at Rio de Janeiro the United Nations convened a meeting of all of the nations of the Earth. The subject of this world meeting was environment and development, and one of the primary topics on the agenda was the proposed convention on the conservation of biological diversity. Who was in attendance for these momentous discussions? Of course, each of the nations was represented by its negotiating team, and much of the focus was upon the division between the materially richer countries of the North and the more biodiversity-rich countries of the South. Also present were many non-governmental organisations representing a wide range of members' interests: animal rights, indigenous peoples' rights, conservation groups, etc. Of course each of these organisations brought a very different perspective on what was of importance at this conference; more interestingly, so did each of the nations present.