The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) is a binding international legal instrument in the field of nature conservation, which covers the whole of the natural heritage of the European continent and extends to some States of Africa.
Its aims are to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats and to promote European co-operation in that field. It was adopted and signed in Bern (Switzerland) in September 1979, and came into force on 1st June 1982. It counts among its Contracting Parties 40 member States of the Council of Europe, as well as Burkina Faso, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia and the European Community. The protection of migratory species lends the Convention a distinct dimension of North-South interdependence and co-operation.
The Bern Convention co-ordinates the action of European States in adopting common standards and policies for the sustainable use of biological diversity, thus contributing to the improvement of the quality of life of Europeans and the promotion of sustainable development.The Convention is a fundamental treaty at European level for biological diversity. It is co-ordinated by a Standing Committee of the Council of Europe  that meets every year, has adopted 90 recommendations and seven resolutions, and organises many seminars and technical groups. It has put in place a very effective monitoring system (file cases) and develops a very comprehensive work programme. 
For more detailed information see http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/Commun/QueVoulezVous.asp?NT=104&CM=8&DF=2/15/2007&CL=ENG
- Council of Europe web site