The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) at its third session, in its review of
"sectoral cluster: land desertification, forests and biodiversity", reviewed progress in the
implementation of chapters 10 to 15 of Agenda 21 and decided to establish an open-ended
ad hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) to pursue consensus and formulation of
coordinated proposals for action.
In decision II/9, the Conference of the Parties adopted a statement from the Convention to
the IPF on biological diversity and forests and requested the Executive Secretary to provide
advice and information pertaining to the relationship between indigenous and local
communities and forests.
Decision II/9 of the Conference of the Parties also requested the Executive Secretary to
produce a background document on the links between forests and biological diversity, in
order to consider, at its third meeting, whether further input to the IPF is required and to
transmit this document to the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests for information. This
background document is contained in UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/2/11 and was reviewed by the
second meeting of the SBSTTA.
There was substantial discussion of a full range of issues arising from a review of the
Secretariat note and the following recommendations resulted.
Having contemplated the issues considered by the CSD in light of the provisions of the
Convention, the SBSTTA:
(a) recommends the Conference of the Parties to ask the Executive Secretary to explore
ways and means to cooperate with the United Nations Convention to Combat
Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification
particularly in Africa on matters relating to biological diversity and drylands with a view to
identifying common priorities for further consideration at the next meeting of the SBSTTA;
(b) recommends that the Convention examines the specific issues related to biological
diversity arising out of the implementation of chapter 13 of Agenda 21 and further
recommends that the Conference of the Parties asks the Executive Secretary to contact
those agencies and networks working on sustainable mountain development with a view to
examining forms of cooperation and report back to the next meeting of the SBSTTA.
The SBSTTA also recommends the Conference of the Parties to ask the Executive
Secretary to explore ways and means to cooperate with the Intergovernmental Panel on
Forests on matters relating to biological diversity and forests with a view to developing
common priorities for further consideration at the next meeting of the SBSTTA. In this
process the Executive Secretary should take account of the research and technical
priorities listed at the end of this document.
Based on the statement on biological diversity and forests sent from the second meeting of
the Conference of the Parties to the IPF and reviewing the background document on links
between forests and biological diversity prepared by the Secretariat
(UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/2/11), the SBSTTA recommends that the following additional inputs
be sent to the IPF:
(i) Biodiversity considerations should be integrated fully into the IPF recommendations and
proposals for action. IPF should also consider ways to deal with identified gaps in forest
(ii) In relation to the programme element 1.1 of the IPF on national forest and land use
plans, strategies for sustainable forest management should be based on an ecosystem
approach, which will integrate conservation measures (e.g. protected areas) and
sustainable use of biological diversity. Methodologies need to be developed to assist
countries in identifying sites of high interest for biodiversity. These recommendations
should take into account national financial circumstances, laws and regulations.
(iii) In relation to the programme element of the IPF dealing with criteria and indicators,
conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components, as well as
the maintenance of forest quality, as part of sustainable forest management, should be
substantively included in the deliberations of the IPF.
The SBSTTA also identified the following research and technological priorities:
(i) Building the scientific foundation and methodologies necessary to advance the
elaboration and implementation of criteria and indicators for forest quality and biodiversity
conservation as part of sustainable forest management;
(ii) Analysing the role of biodiversity in forest ecosystem functioning;
(iii) Analysing measures for mitigating the underlying causes of biodiversity loss;
(iv) Advancing scientific and technical approaches to (a) rehabilitating degraded and
deforested ecosystems and (b) enriching biodiversity in forest plantations;
(v) Identifying gaps in knowledge in the areas of fragmentation and population viability, to
include mitigation options such as corridors and buffer zones;
(vi) Assessing ecological landscape models, the integration of protected areas in the
ecosystem approach to sustainable forest management and the representativeness and
adequacy of protected areas networks;
(vii) Analysing scientifically the ways in which human activities, in particular forest
management practices, influence biodiversity and assessing ways to minimize or mitigate
(viii) Developing assessment and valuation methodologies for the multiple benefits derived from forest biodiversity.