Recalling Article 26 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as Article 20,
Recalling also decision 1/7 of the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties which requested the first meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to consider as a matter of priority what kind of scientific and technical information should be contained in national reports on measures taken for the implementation of the provisions of the Convention and their effectiveness in meeting the objectives of the Convention;
The first meeting of the SBSTTA recommends to the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties to consider the following elements in deciding on the form and intervals of national reports:
1. The scientific and technical information to be contained in national reports will depend on the expected decisions of the Conference of the Parties on the form and intervals of national reports;
2. Such decisions on the form of national reports should take into account:
(a) the three-fold objectives of the Convention;
(b) the different socio-economic conditions of Parties, as well as the various stages of the implementation of the Convention at the national level;
(c) the evolving tasks required under the Convention, as well as the evolutionary character of the reporting requirement contained in Article 26 of the Convention;
(d) the comprehensive scope of the Convention, as well as its multisectoral and multidisciplinary approach;
(e) the need for an agreed standard and methodologies for reporting, with particular regard to biological diversity data gathering;
(f) the purposes of reporting, as well as the need to share national experiences and relevant information between Parties;
(g) the need for a flexible form of reporting so that it may be adjusted in the light of progress achieved and experience gained in the implementation of the Convention at the national level;
3. Such decisions on intervals of reporting should take into account the following elements:
(a) the human, technical and financial implications related to the interval of reporting agreed upon;
(b) the time required for the preparation by the Parties and, in particular, the developing countries and countries with economies in transition Parties, of their national reports;
(c) the need to avoid placing a heavy burden on Parties with regard to reporting requirements;
(d) the need also to streamline information contained in national reports of Parties addressed to various fora related to biological diversity, including the Commission on Sustainable Development, so as to avoid duplication of efforts and overlap of reporting activities;
(e) the need to proceed in a step-wise approach.
4. In the light of paragraphs 2 and 3 above, the Conference of the Parties may wish to recommend that the first report of Parties may focus on the measures taken for the implementation of Article 6 of the Convention, as well as the information available in the national country studies on biological diversity. In this regard, the Conference of the Parties may wish to recommend the format contained in the annex of this recommendation. The content of such subject-oriented reports will be based on the outcome of the deliberations of the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties on approaches and experiences related to the implementation of Article 6.
5. The subsequent national reports may focus on selected subjects contained in the medium-term programme of work of the Conference of the Parties and the programme of work of the SBSTTA.
6. Such subject-oriented reports may lead, at a later stage, to a comprehensive report to be submitted by Parties on the implementation of the Convention.
7. In deciding on the form and intervals of national reports, due regard should also be paid to the need to strengthen capacity-building of developing countries and countries with economies in transition Parties, as well as to reflect the financial implications of such decisions in the budget of the Convention on Biological Diversity, so as to establish adequate administrative and human capacities.
(a) Executive summary: a brief summary of the action plan report, stating succinctly the importance of biodiversity, the commitment to the Convention, the mandate, the participants list, the biotic wealth and national capacity, the goals and gaps, strategic recommendations and characteristics of the action (who will do what, when, where, with what means and funding).
(b) Introduction: describe why biodiversity is important to the country and its local communities. Explain the Convention and the nation's commitment to its provisions. Present the aim of the national biodiversity action plan and specify to whom it is directed.
(c) Background: describe the legal and policy framework that provides the mandate and instructions for preparing the action plan report. Provide a short summary of the nation's biotic assets, capacity (human resources, institutions, facilities, and funding) and ongoing programmes. Explain the institutional arrangements and responsibilities, with a view to informing people of the manner in which the strategic recommendations will be implemented.
(d) Goals and objectives: state the vision for biodiversity and its place in the society, focusing on its protection, scientific understanding, sustainable use, and on the equitable sharing of its benefits and costs. The specific targets to meet the local, national, and international goals in terms of protecting, assessing, utilizing, and benefiting from biodiversity and its components need to be determined.
(e) Strategy: summarize the gaps between the current situation in the country and the stated vision, goals and objectives. Summarize the strategic recommendations, including the activities, policies, and tasks that have been selected for implementation to cover the gaps. Assign relative priorities to each.
(f) Partners: describe the public and private entities, communities and industries that have participated in the process and have agreed to be responsible for particular activities and investments.
(g) Action: present the detailed activities, tasks and policies to be implemented. Explain which partner (ministry, industry, indigenous group, NGO, or university) will implement each item, where, and what measures the partners will employ.
(h) Schedule: present a timetable for the implementation of the various tasks, reflecting the priorities that have been assigned. Note signposts to help signal progress or delay.
(i) Budget: provide the budget for the plan of action, showing funding requirements for operating expenses, capital purchases, transport, field costs, etc. List the personnel needed by category of skill or background, the facilities and services required, and possible international technical and financial cooperation.
(j) Monitoring and evaluation: explain the measures to be used for tracking the results of the action plan and for monitoring changes in the economy, environment and society. Give the indicators that will be used. Present the individuals and organizations who will carry these responsibilities and how they were selected. Note the audience for the reports, along with the document's content and timing of implementation.
(k) Sharing of national experience: present success stories on the implementation of Article 6 which might be useful for other Parties.