The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice
1. Welcomes the proposed process and guidelines for the in-depth review of the implementation of the programme of work for the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) put forward by the Executive Secretary in collaboration with the Coordination Mechanism for the Initiative, as contained in annex I to the present recommendation;
2. Requests the Executive Secretary to:
(a) Carry out the activities described in the annex I to the present recommendation, also taking into account the report of the Coordination Mechanism for the Global Taxonomy Initiative, and to report thereon to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice at its eleventh meeting; and
(b) Develop an Internet-based portal dedicated to the Global Taxonomy Initiative in collaboration with the Coordination Mechanism for the initiative under the clearing-house mechanism of the Convention;
3. Invites Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations to contribute information needed for the review;
4. Endorses the outline of the Global Taxonomy Initiative guide as contained in annex II to the present recommendation.
A. Assessing implementation of the programme of work
1. The activities described in the programme of work for the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) include a rationale; expected outputs; a timetable/timing; actors; mechanisms; financial, human resources and other capacity requirements; and pilot projects. Each activity thus contains the necessary elements needed for assessing the level/stage of implementation.
2. The relevant information for the review may be obtained from: (i) national reports; (ii) the national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) and documentation prepared during their development; (iii) reports on taxonomy projects funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF); (iv) reports of regional GTI workshops; and (v) reports on GTI-related activities prepared by international organizations, non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations. Additional sources of information are listed in the report on progress and status of the GTI prepared for the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/INF/23).
B. Assessing effectiveness of the programme of work
3. An appraisal of the outputs of the planned activities and related pilot projects vis-à-vis the main goals and objectives of the GTI, may provide a baseline for assessing the effectiveness of the programme of work.
4. The Executive Secretary in collaboration with the Coordination Mechanism for the GTI is reviewing the GTI-related components of the programmes of work on thematic areas and on cross-cutting issues. This review will outline the taxonomic capacity required for the achievement of the targets of the programmes of work in order to strengthen the taxonomic components thereof. The results of this review will be partly reflected in the GTI guide and reported at the eleventh meeting of SBSTTA.
5. This review will also consider the needs of the new programmes of work and targets developed under the framework of the Strategic Plan of the convention. In addressing gaps in knowledge and tools, consideration may be made of taxonomy of micro-organisms and other poorly studied taxa, the role of traditional taxonomic knowledge systems, emerging techniques and technologies in taxonomy as well as the distribution of resources and taxonomic capacity vis-à-vis world centres of biodiversity.
6. The Executive Secretary is also carrying out a comprehensive gap analysis of missing elements of the existing programme of work taking into consideration the proposals prepared by the Coordination Mechanism in its fifth report.
7. In decision VII/9, the Conference of the Parties invited Parties, other Governments, regional and international organizations to take full account of the importance of taxonomic capacities in achieving the goals of the Convention, to support taxonomic activities to attain the 2010 target, and to provide all necessary support to national, and where appropriate regional, taxonomic centres of research and expertise. The Conference of the Parties also urged Parties, other Governments and relevant funding organizations to provide adequate and timely support to developing countries to assist in the implementation of the Global Taxonomy Initiative, and for integrating taxonomic capacity-building activities into thematic and cross-cutting programmes, including supporting activities and projects, such as, where appropriate, stand-alone capacity-building projects.
8. Some of the resources needed to support national and regional implementation of the GTI programme of work, as well as ways in which they can be applied, have been identified in thematic reports and other reports submitted by Parties, in regional workshops, in SBSTTA recommendation II/2, and in decisions III/10, IV/1 D and V/9 of the Conference of the Parties.
9. Potential synergies between the GTI programme of work and activities carried out by other organizations at a global/regional level, for example, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility in taxonomic information management and sharing, BioNET International, the Plant Resources of South East Asia, Plant Resources of Tropical Africa projects and other regional and national initiatives which involve a large number of institutes could provide practical support for national and regional implementation.
10. There is a need to compile relevant information on available and potential sources of practical support, share it among stakeholders such as through the clearing-house mechanism, e-forums and proposed partnership-building workshops (section IV below).
11. The process for the in-depth review of the programme of work for the GTI including a timeframe is presented in the following section.
Guidance/guidelines on the use of tools and application of mechanisms, and timeframe
1. Information acquisition
1.1. National reports
1.1.1. Guidelines/format for the section on GTI in the third national reports due in May 2005
1.1.1. The guidelines for the third national report / will assist Parties in preparing a comprehensive report on their implementation of the GTI programme of work, due in May 2005. Guidelines on how to fill the questionnaire accessible at http://www.biodiv.org/programmes/cross-cutting/taxonomy/gti/gti-review-en.doc .
Compilation of the third national reports will take place prior to SBSTTA 11 in December 2005
1.1.2. Questionnaire / for a thematic report addressing the 18 planned activities identified in the programme of work for the GTI annexed to decision VI/8
1.1.2. Because the number of reports submitted by May 2005 may not be enough for a comprehensive study, and to be able to prepare in time the note by the Executive Secretary on review of implementation of GTI for consideration by the tenth meeting of SBSTTA, a questionnaire was sent out to CBD and GTI national focal points on 23 April 2004, with a 30 June 2004 deadline for action. This deadline was further extended to 31 August 2004. To date, 32 Governments have responded.
A letter requesting information on the status of implementation of the programme of work for the GTI was also sent on 28 May 2004 to relevant organizations including all categories of actors listed in the programme of work for the GTI.
It is expected that a multi-stakeholder process will be used during national-information acquisition for the thematic and national reports, with the participation of all categories of actors listed in the programme of work, including, inter alia, relevant Government entities, academia, research organizations, indigenous and local communities. As described in the guidelines for the thematic report referred to under item 1.1.1 above, information should be gathered on: (a) whether the planned activities for the programme of work of the GTI have been started or completed, including the progress that has been achieved; (b) the impacts of the activities carried out in meeting the goals of the programme of work and achieving the objectives of the Convention; (c) opportunities and constraints in implementation; (d) achievement of the goals of the Strategic Plan of the Convention, in particular the 2010 target; and (e) lessons learned.
It is also expected that answers to the questionnaire will be used in the third national reports as appropriate.
1.2. Previous national reports and thematic reports containing sections on taxonomic issues, National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs); and other relevant documents prepared/considered during the preparation of NBSAPs.
1.2.1. Sections in NBSAPs and relevant documents used during the preparation of the NBSAPs will be compiled as part of national needs assessment for taxonomy and taxonomic capacity. This work is ongoing and should be finalized by June 2005.
1.2.2. GTI sections in the first and second national reports submitted between June 1997 and January 1998, and in May 2001 respectively will be compiled and updated as needed, although they include activities carried out before the adoption of the programme of work. Some activities had been initiated in response to decisions III/10, IV/1 D and V/9 and have been summarized for the countries that submitted reports in documents UNEP/CBD/COP/6/INF/10 and UNEP/CBD/COP/6/INF/23. Information on activities carried out by countries that did not submit their reports in time for inclusion in documents from the sixth meeting of the Parties will also be taken into account. This work is ongoing and should be finalized by June 2005.
1.3. Reports on relevant taxonomic projects from national and international organisations including GEF-funded projects with a taxonomic component
1.3. GEF funded a number of projects containing taxonomic components. Progress reports on these projects will contribute to the assessment of implementation of the GTI programme of work.
1.4. GTI workshop reports.
1.4. Pursuant to decision V/9, a number of regional workshops took place in Central America (in February 2001), Africa (February/March 2001 and July 2002)), Europe (June 2004), and Asia and Pacific (September 2002 and October 2004). The outcomes of these workshops have been submitted to SBSTTA or the Conference of the Parties in information documents. They contain information that is useful for the assessment of implementation of the GTI programme of work. Compilation of this information is ongoing and should be finalized by June 2005.
1.5. Reports relevant to the programme of work of the GTI from organizations at the regional and international levels; including the status of GTI pilot projects (see an indicative list in UNEP/CBD/COP/6/INF/23).
1.5. Various governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations are conducting work relevant or in the context of the GTI programme of work. The Executive Secretary requested these organizations to submit reports and is compiling that information. This work is ongoing and should be finalized by May 2005.
2. Assessment of the level of implementation
2.1. Synthesis of national and thematic reports using analytical tools developed by the Secretariat of the Convention for the third national reports.
2.1. The synthesis was started in September 2004 and will be completed in June 2005. Results of this study will be communicated to parties before the eleventh meeting of SBSTTA as a baseline for the in depth review.
2.2. Desk study: compilation of information from 2.1 above and relevant information from other sources.
2.2. The desk study is ongoing, and will be completed in May 2005. Operative indicators may include identification of regional taxonomic capacities, regional exchanges and training, selected taxonomic treatments of priority taxa and dissemination of protocols and methodologies.
2.3. E-forum and/or, depending on availability of funds, workshop to consolidate the conclusions/findings
2.3. The e-forum is expected to be launched from March to May 2005.
Assessment of the effectiveness of the programme of work and its output in meeting the objectives of the Convention, including the 2010 target
3.1. Desk study by the Executive Secretary in collaboration.
3.1. The desk study is ongoing and expected to be completed in February 2005.
3.2. E-forum and/or, depending on availability of funds, workshop to consolidate findings.
3.2. The forum is expected to be launched from March to May 2005.
4. Revision and updating of the GTI programme of work. adopted in decision VI/8 in 2002
4.1. Gap analysis taking into account results from assessments under items 2 and 3 above.
4.1.1. The Executive Secretary in collaboration with the Coordination Mechanism of the GTI will re-examine and re-evaluate the GTI programme of work after compiling and reviewing available information gathered above. This will explicitly consider decisions of the sixth and seventh meetings of the Conference of the Parties on the thematic areas and other cross-cutting issues, and earlier decisions, to ensure that all needs expressed by the Parties that are hindered by the taxonomic impediment are accommodated in the GTI programme of work, including thematic areas and cross cutting issues developed after endorsement of the GTI programme of work, e.g. mountain and island biodiversity, protected areas, and the international soil biodiversity initiative. This work is ongoing and should be finalized by June 2005.
4.1.2. For the purpose of revising and updating the programme of work for the GTI, the following are being considered: the Strategic Plan and the 2010 target, the goals, targets and sub-targets being developed as well as the indicators for progress in achieving the targets. This work is ongoing and should be finalized by June 2005.
4.2. E-forum, including for considering GTI contribution to the 2010 target.
The e-forum is expected to be launched in March 2005 and closed in May 2005
5. Enhancing practical support for national and regional implementation of the GTI programme of work
5.1. Desk study on good practices and success stories for dissemination and use in training workshops and survey of scientific literature.
5.1. The desk study is ongoing, to be completed in August 2005.
5.2. E-forum to assist activities under 5.1 above.
5.2. The e-forum is expected to be launched from March to May 2005.
5.3. Partnership building workshop, (subject to availability of funds).
5.3. A partnership building workshop is envisaged in May-June 2005, depending on availability of funds. The workshop will bring together key stakeholders to support the Coordination Mechanism in strengthening the implementation of the programme of work of the GTI and deliberate on means and ways for supporting measures to enhance progress in implementation such as in country training and capacity-building activities.
The executive summary provides a condensed narrative of the purpose and scope of the Global Taxonomy Initiative guide and highlights key messages on the Global Taxonomy Initiative, the programme of work and the mechanisms for promoting its implementation.
Chapter 1: Introduction
This chapter explains the purpose of the guide, defines the science of taxonomy, and highlights the taxonomic impediment and the reasons why the Global Taxonomy Initiative was established as a cross-cutting issue under the Convention. It describes the types of gaps found in taxonomic work relevant to the Convention and the lack of taxonomic capacity required for the implementation of the Convention.
Chapter 2: Background
This chapter provides a brief overview of the Convention and describes the historical background of the GTI and its operation within the context of the Convention. It highlights the objectives of the Global Taxonomy Initiative and the processes and mechanisms for its implementation.
Chapter 3: The programme of work for the Global Taxonomy Initiative
This chapter describes how the programme of work of the Global Taxonomy Initiative can contribute to the implementation of the thematic work programmes and cross-cutting issues of the Convention. It contains 18 sections representing the 18 planned activities of the Global Taxonomy Initiative work programme. Each section describes the key issues to be addressed, ways and means of implementation; as well as specific activities to be implemented by the Parties and other partners. The chapter also lists ongoing initiatives and programmes, relevant to the respective planned activities.
Chapter 4: Developing the Global Taxonomy Initiative
and monitoring its progress
This chapter articulates the range of actions and mechanisms that promote implementation, building on earlier chapters. The chapter describes pilot projects, the role of national focal points, the clearing-house mechanism and the GTI Coordination Mechanism in the implementation of the programme of work. It also highlights the need for communication, education and public awareness of taxonomic issues. In addition the relationship of the Global Taxonomy Initiative to the Strategic Plan of the Convention and the 2010 biodiversity target, mechanisms for monitoring progress in implementation, including a brief discussion on the forthcoming review of the GTI at the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties and its possible impact on future work.
Chapter 5: Funding for the Global Taxonomy Initiative
This chapter explains the resource needs to implement the Global Taxonomy Initiative, how finances can be mobilized for implementing the programme of work. It also highlights various potential funding sources for taxonomy-related projects and provides relevant examples of such projects including GEF-funded projects with a taxonomic component.
Chapter 6: Information sources and useful contacts
This chapter provides information on appropriate taxonomic
tools, presented in various text boxes and annexes, useful additional
literature and information sources and key partners to assist the Parties in
implementing the Global Taxonomy Initiative. Annexes/boxes Annexes and boxes
contain supplementary and more technical information, including some texts
from decisions of the Conference of the Parties. Annexes will include:
(a) Supplementary information;
(b) Information sources and further reading;
(c) Contact addresses and URLs of key organizations and initiatives;
(d) Glossary of terms;
(e) Key paragraphs of decisions of the Conference of the Parties referring explicitly to the Global Taxonomy Initiative or, more generally, to taxonomic needs for implementing the Convention's programmes of work on the thematic areas and cross-cutting issues.
/ The Guide will be a brief and concise document not more than 30 pages, in plain language, aimed at the general public, policy and decision makers and other stakeholders. It will be produced in both hard and electronic formats in all the United Nations official languages.