This chapter introduces the overlapping issues of biodiversity, migratory species and natural heritage. In the context of global environmental politics, these issues have somewhat different meanings in theory and in practice. This chapter describes each of the issues and focuses on the practical governance of each one, and it explores their relationships to one another. The chapter applies a distinction made by North (1990), who pointed to formal institutions as the “rules of the game” in terms of formal regulatory rules that govern individual behavior and structure social interactions. The chapter aims to provide a focused overview of these formal global institutions, with a lesser emphasis on the relevant organizations (see also Chapter 8 and 9). Where deemed to be appropriate, governance-relevant information from the regional, national and subnational levels has also been included (see also Chapter 12 and 14).