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SBSTTA 1 Recommendations

SBSTTA 1 Recommendation I/1
Retired sections:

Recommendation on the modus operandi of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice

Recalling the relevant provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular Article 25, and the principles contained in the preamble of the Convention;

Recalling also the decisions of the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Nassau, Bahamas, from 28 November to 9 December 1994, and in particular its decision I/7 on the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA);

The first meeting of the SBSTTA, held in Paris at the Headquarters of UNESCO from 4-8 September 1995, recommends for the consideration and adoption by the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties, to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 6 to 17 November 1995, the following additional elements on its modus operandi:

I. Functions

1. The functions of the SBSTTA are those contained in Article 25 of the Convention. Accordingly, the SBSTTA will fulfill its mandate under the authority of, and in accordance with, guidance laid down by the Conference of the Parties, and upon its request.

2. Pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 3, the functions, terms of reference, organization and operation of the SBSTTA may be further elaborated, for approval by the Conference of the Parties.

II. Rules of procedure

3. The Rules of Procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity shall apply, in accordance with rule 26, paragraph 5, mutatis mutandis to the proceedings of the SBSTTA. Therefore, rule 18 on credentials will not apply.

4. In accordance with rule 52, the official and working languages of the SBSTTA will be those of the United Nations Organization. Accordingly, the proceedings of the SBSTTA will be carried out in the working languages of the Conference of the Parties.

5. The Chairman of the SBSTTA, elected at an ordinary meeting of the Conference of the Parties, shall remain in office until his or her successor is elected at the next ordinary meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

III. Frequency and timing of the SBSTTA

6. The SBSTTA shall meet annually and sufficiently in advance of each regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties, for a duration to be determined by the Conference of the Parties. The number and length of the meetings and activities of the SBSTTA and its organs should be reflected in the budget adopted by the Conference of the Parties or other sources of extra-budgetary funding.

IV. Documentation

7. The documentation prepared for meetings will be concrete, focused draft technical reports and will include proposed conclusions and recommendations for consideration of the SBSTTA.

V. Organization of work during the meetings

8. Two open-ended sessional working groups of the SBSTTA could be established and operate simultaneously during meetings of the SBSTTA. They shall be established on the basis of well-defined terms of reference, and will be open to all Parties and observers. The financial implications of these arrangements should be reflected in the budget of the Convention.

VI. Ad hoc technical panels of experts

9. A limited number of ad hoc technical panels of experts on specific priority issues on the programme of work of the SBSTTA may be established, as required, for a limited duration. The establishment of such ad hoc technical panels of experts would be guided by the following elements:

(a) The ad hoc technical panels of experts should draw on the existing knowledge and competence available within, and liaise with, international, regional and national organizations, including non-governmental organizations and the scientific community;

(b) The ad hoc technical panels of experts shall be composed of a limited number of experts competent in the relevant field of expertise, taking into account the need for a balanced representation of the five regional groups referred to in United Nations General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972 which would, each year, designate members to be represented in each of the established Intergovernmental Technical Panels of Experts, taking also into account the provision of rule 21, paragraph 1, of the rules of procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties;

(c) The SBSTTA will recommend the exact duration and specific terms of reference, when establishing such panels for the approval of the Conference of the Parties;

(d) Panels will be encouraged to use innovative means of communication and to minimize the need for face-to-face meetings;

(e) The ad hoc technical panels of experts may also convene meetings parallel to the proceedings of the SBSTTA;

(f) All efforts will be made to provide adequate voluntary financial assistance for the participation of experts of the panels from developing countries and countries with economies in transition Parties; and

(g) The number of ad hoc technical panels of experts active each year will be limited to a maximum of three and will depend on the amount of resources designated to the SBSTTA by the Conference of the Parties in its budget or on the availability of extra-budgetary resources.

IV. Documentation

7. The documentation prepared for meetings will be concrete, focused draft technical reports and will include proposed conclusions and recommendations for consideration of the SBSTTA.

V. Organization of work during the meetings

8. Two open-ended sessional working groups of the SBSTTA could be established and operate simultaneously during meetings of the SBSTTA. They shall be established on the basis of well-defined terms of reference, and will be open to all Parties and observers. The financial implications of these arrangements should be reflected in the budget of the Convention.

VI. Ad hoc technical panels of experts

9. A limited number of ad hoc technical panels of experts on specific priority issues on the programme of work of the SBSTTA may be established, as required, for a limited duration. The establishment of such ad hoc technical panels of experts would be guided by the following elements:

(a) The ad hoc technical panels of experts should draw on the existing knowledge and competence available within, and liaise with, international, regional and national organizations, including non-governmental organizations and the scientific community;

(b) The ad hoc technical panels of experts shall be composed of a limited number of experts competent in the relevant field of expertise, taking into account the need for a balanced representation of the five regional groups referred to in United Nations General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972 which would, each year, designate members to be represented in each of the established Intergovernmental Technical Panels of Experts, taking also into account the provision of rule 21, paragraph 1, of the rules of procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties;

(c) The SBSTTA will recommend the exact duration and specific terms of reference, when establishing such panels for the approval of the Conference of the Parties;

(d) Panels will be encouraged to use innovative means of communication and to minimize the need for face-to-face meetings;

(e) The ad hoc technical panels of experts may also convene meetings parallel to the proceedings of the SBSTTA;

(f) All efforts will be made to provide adequate voluntary financial assistance for the participation of experts of the panels from developing countries and countries with economies in transition Parties; and

(g) The number of ad hoc technical panels of experts active each year will be limited to a maximum of three and will depend on the amount of resources designated to the SBSTTA by the Conference of the Parties in its budget or on the availability of extra-budgetary resources.

10. In addition, and in order to avoid duplication of efforts and facilitate the use of available scientific, technical and technological competence available within international organizations, including non-governmental organizations, the Executive Secretary may establish, in consultation with the Chairperson and the other members of the Bureau of the SBSTTA, liaison groups, as appropriate. Such liaison groups will depend on the resources available and the results should be widely reported to Parties in a transparent manner.

VII. Contribution of non-governmental organizations

11. The scientific and technical contribution of non-governmental organizations to the fulfillment of the mandate of the SBSTTA will be strongly encouraged in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention and the rules of procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties.

VIII. Cooperation with other relevant bodies

12. The SBSTTA shall cooperate with other relevant international, regional and national organizations, under the guidance of the Convention of the Parties, thus building upon the vast experience and knowledge available.

13. In this context, the SBSTTA emphasizes the importance of research to further increase available knowledge and reduce uncertainties, and recommends that the Conference of the Parties consider this issue in relation to the financial resources required for the effective implementation of the Convention.

IX. Regional and subregional preparatory meetings

14. Regional and subregional meetings for the preparation of regular meetings of the SBSTTA may be organized as appropriate. The possibility of combining such meetings with those regional preparatory meetings of the Conference of the Parties, in order to make maximum use of available resources, should be considered. The convening of such regional and subregional meetings will be subject to the availability of voluntary financial contributions.

15. The SBSTTA should, in the fulfillment of its mandate, draw upon the contributions of the existing regional and subregional intergovernmental organizations or initiatives.

X. Focal points

16. A list of focal points and focal persons to the SBSTTA shall be established and regularly updated by the Secretariat, on the basis of information provided by Parties and other relevant regional, sub-regional and intergovernmental organizations.

XI. Roster of experts

17. A roster of experts, in the relevant fields of the Convention, will be compiled by the Secretariat from a list of experts provided by Governments and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The roster of experts will be regularly updated.

18. The ad hoc technical panels of experts referred to in paragraph 9 above should make full use of such a roster of experts.

Recommendation on the modus operandi of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice

Recalling the relevant provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular Article 25, and the principles contained in the preamble of the Convention;

Recalling also the decisions of the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Nassau, Bahamas, from 28 November to 9 December 1994, and in particular its decision I/7 on the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA);

The first meeting of the SBSTTA, held in Paris at the Headquarters of UNESCO from 4-8 September 1995, recommends for the consideration and adoption by the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties, to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 6 to 17 November 1995, the following additional elements on its modus operandi:

I. Functions

1. The functions of the SBSTTA are those contained in Article 25 of the Convention. Accordingly, the SBSTTA will fulfill its mandate under the authority of, and in accordance with, guidance laid down by the Conference of the Parties, and upon its request.

2. Pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 3, the functions, terms of reference, organization and operation of the SBSTTA may be further elaborated, for approval by the Conference of the Parties.

II. Rules of procedure

3. The Rules of Procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity shall apply, in accordance with rule 26, paragraph 5, mutatis mutandis to the proceedings of the SBSTTA. Therefore, rule 18 on credentials will not apply.

4. In accordance with rule 52, the official and working languages of the SBSTTA will be those of the United Nations Organization. Accordingly, the proceedings of the SBSTTA will be carried out in the working languages of the Conference of the Parties.

5. The Chairman of the SBSTTA, elected at an ordinary meeting of the Conference of the Parties, shall remain in office until his or her successor is elected at the next ordinary meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

III. Frequency and timing of the SBSTTA

6. The SBSTTA shall meet annually and sufficiently in advance of each regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties, for a duration to be determined by the Conference of the Parties. The number and length of the meetings and activities of the SBSTTA and its organs should be reflected in the budget adopted by the Conference of the Parties or other sources of extra-budgetary funding.

IV. Documentation

7. The documentation prepared for meetings will be concrete, focused draft technical reports and will include proposed conclusions and recommendations for consideration of the SBSTTA.

V. Organization of work during the meetings

8. Two open-ended sessional working groups of the SBSTTA could be established and operate simultaneously during meetings of the SBSTTA. They shall be established on the basis of well-defined terms of reference, and will be open to all Parties and observers. The financial implications of these arrangements should be reflected in the budget of the Convention.

VI. Ad hoc technical panels of experts

9. A limited number of ad hoc technical panels of experts on specific priority issues on the programme of work of the SBSTTA may be established, as required, for a limited duration. The establishment of such ad hoc technical panels of experts would be guided by the following elements:

(a) The ad hoc technical panels of experts should draw on the existing knowledge and competence available within, and liaise with, international, regional and national organizations, including non-governmental organizations and the scientific community;

(b) The ad hoc technical panels of experts shall be composed of a limited number of experts competent in the relevant field of expertise, taking into account the need for a balanced representation of the five regional groups referred to in United Nations General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972 which would, each year, designate members to be represented in each of the established Intergovernmental Technical Panels of Experts, taking also into account the provision of rule 21, paragraph 1, of the rules of procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties;

(c) The SBSTTA will recommend the exact duration and specific terms of reference, when establishing such panels for the approval of the Conference of the Parties;

(d) Panels will be encouraged to use innovative means of communication and to minimize the need for face-to-face meetings;

(e) The ad hoc technical panels of experts may also convene meetings parallel to the proceedings of the SBSTTA;

(f) All efforts will be made to provide adequate voluntary financial assistance for the participation of experts of the panels from developing countries and countries with economies in transition Parties; and

(g) The number of ad hoc technical panels of experts active each year will be limited to a maximum of three and will depend on the amount of resources designated to the SBSTTA by the Conference of the Parties in its budget or on the availability of extra-budgetary resources.

IV. Documentation

7. The documentation prepared for meetings will be concrete, focused draft technical reports and will include proposed conclusions and recommendations for consideration of the SBSTTA.

V. Organization of work during the meetings

8. Two open-ended sessional working groups of the SBSTTA could be established and operate simultaneously during meetings of the SBSTTA. They shall be established on the basis of well-defined terms of reference, and will be open to all Parties and observers. The financial implications of these arrangements should be reflected in the budget of the Convention.

VI. Ad hoc technical panels of experts

9. A limited number of ad hoc technical panels of experts on specific priority issues on the programme of work of the SBSTTA may be established, as required, for a limited duration. The establishment of such ad hoc technical panels of experts would be guided by the following elements:

(a) The ad hoc technical panels of experts should draw on the existing knowledge and competence available within, and liaise with, international, regional and national organizations, including non-governmental organizations and the scientific community;

(b) The ad hoc technical panels of experts shall be composed of a limited number of experts competent in the relevant field of expertise, taking into account the need for a balanced representation of the five regional groups referred to in United Nations General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972 which would, each year, designate members to be represented in each of the established Intergovernmental Technical Panels of Experts, taking also into account the provision of rule 21, paragraph 1, of the rules of procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties;

(c) The SBSTTA will recommend the exact duration and specific terms of reference, when establishing such panels for the approval of the Conference of the Parties;

(d) Panels will be encouraged to use innovative means of communication and to minimize the need for face-to-face meetings;

(e) The ad hoc technical panels of experts may also convene meetings parallel to the proceedings of the SBSTTA;

(f) All efforts will be made to provide adequate voluntary financial assistance for the participation of experts of the panels from developing countries and countries with economies in transition Parties; and

(g) The number of ad hoc technical panels of experts active each year will be limited to a maximum of three and will depend on the amount of resources designated to the SBSTTA by the Conference of the Parties in its budget or on the availability of extra-budgetary resources.

10. In addition, and in order to avoid duplication of efforts and facilitate the use of available scientific, technical and technological competence available within international organizations, including non-governmental organizations, the Executive Secretary may establish, in consultation with the Chairperson and the other members of the Bureau of the SBSTTA, liaison groups, as appropriate. Such liaison groups will depend on the resources available and the results should be widely reported to Parties in a transparent manner.

VII. Contribution of non-governmental organizations

11. The scientific and technical contribution of non-governmental organizations to the fulfillment of the mandate of the SBSTTA will be strongly encouraged in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention and the rules of procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties.

VIII. Cooperation with other relevant bodies

12. The SBSTTA shall cooperate with other relevant international, regional and national organizations, under the guidance of the Convention of the Parties, thus building upon the vast experience and knowledge available.

13. In this context, the SBSTTA emphasizes the importance of research to further increase available knowledge and reduce uncertainties, and recommends that the Conference of the Parties consider this issue in relation to the financial resources required for the effective implementation of the Convention.

IX. Regional and subregional preparatory meetings

14. Regional and subregional meetings for the preparation of regular meetings of the SBSTTA may be organized as appropriate. The possibility of combining such meetings with those regional preparatory meetings of the Conference of the Parties, in order to make maximum use of available resources, should be considered. The convening of such regional and subregional meetings will be subject to the availability of voluntary financial contributions.

15. The SBSTTA should, in the fulfillment of its mandate, draw upon the contributions of the existing regional and subregional intergovernmental organizations or initiatives.

X. Focal points

16. A list of focal points and focal persons to the SBSTTA shall be established and regularly updated by the Secretariat, on the basis of information provided by Parties and other relevant regional, sub-regional and intergovernmental organizations.

XI. Roster of experts

17. A roster of experts, in the relevant fields of the Convention, will be compiled by the Secretariat from a list of experts provided by Governments and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The roster of experts will be regularly updated.

18. The ad hoc technical panels of experts referred to in paragraph 9 above should make full use of such a roster of experts.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme