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Divisions

Office of the Executive Secretary

The Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) is responsible for the overall management of the Secretariat, ensuring coherence in its work and responsiveness to the needs of Parties. It is also responsible for ensuring substantive and timely support for the Conference of the Parties to the Convention and the Biosafety and Nagoya Protocols as well as their subsidiary bodies, including their respective bureaus. The office also coordinates the representation of the Secretariat at external meetings and is the principal interface between the Secretariat and the Parties, relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations as well as major groups and inter-agency processes. The office is responsible for fund raising, recruitment and applying the financial and human resources of the Convention and its Protocols in a flexible manner to meet the evolving needs, where appropriate.

Technical Support for Implementation (TSI)

The division provides technical support to strengthen capacity of Parties for implementing various articles of the Convention, especially, Article 6 to develop national strategies, Article 20 to develop resource mobilization strategies and Article 17 to facilitate exchange of information relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. The division is also encouraging cooperation with the private sector under Article 10 and scientific and technical cooperation under Article 18.

In addition, the division liaises with the financial mechanism of the Convention to fulfil the mandate under Article 21, supports access to and transfer of technology under Article 16 and economic and social incentives under Article 11.

Science, Assessment and Monitoring (SAM)

The division supports the work of Parties, stakeholders and partner organizations in improving scientific understanding of biodiversity and its conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits and in monitoring biodiversity in support of evidence-based decision-making. SAM also coordinates the preparation and analysis of national reports to assess progress in the implementation of the Convention. SAM does this in collaboration with the other units of the Secretariat, while focusing specifically on a number of thematic areas and cross-cutting issues.

Thematic areas:
  • Inland waters biodiversity
  • Marine and coastal biodiversity
  • Agricultural biodiversity
  • Forest biodiversity
  • Dry and sub-humid lands biodiversity
  • Island biodiversity
  • Mountain biodiversity

Cross-cutting issues:
  • Aichi Biodiversity Targets
  • Climate change and biological diversity
  • Global Strategy for Plant Conservation
  • Invasive alien species
  • Impact assessment
  • Ecosystem approach
  • Identification, monitoring, indicators and assessments
  • Global Taxonomy Initiative
  • Protected areas

The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention relies on its Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) for scientific and technical guidance. This committee of government-nominated experts from relevant fields also promotes international cooperation on biodiversity science, technical matters and technology. SAM provides support to SBSTTA, by organizing meetings, preparing background documentation for those meetings and coordinating the scientific work carried out under the Convention with that of other relevant institutions and conventions.

Mainstreaming, Partnerships and Outreach (MPO)

The division for Mainstreaming, Partnerships and Outreach supports Articles 6(b) and 10(a) to integrate conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity into national decision making through relevant sectoral and cross-sectoral plans and policies. With that overarching mandate, the division promotes engagement with major stakeholders, public education and awareness under Article 13, cooperation among Parties under Article 5 and building relationships with other international conventions, organizations and initiatives.

In addition, the division is responsible for supporting Article 8(j) and related provisions of the Convention in respect to traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities (ILC) and for the engagement of ILC in the Convention.

Biosafety Protocol

The Biosafety division, within the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, services a distinct international regulatory instrument: the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The Protocol provides an international regulatory framework to reconcile the primary objective of protecting biological diversity and human health from the possible risks posed by living modified organisms (LMOs) with the aim of deriving maximum benefits from the potential modern technology. The Protocol is governed by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (COP-MOP).

The Biosafety division hosts the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH), as established under Article 20 of the Protocol. The BCH, being an information exchange mechanism, aims at assisting Parties in implementing the provisions of the Protocol and facilitates the sharing of information on, and experience with LMOs.

Under the obligations of the Protocol and through the decisions of COP-MOP, the work of the division is structured as follows:

  • Capacity Building & Outreach including the Action Plan, Coordination Mechanism, Financial Mechanism, Public Awareness & Participation, Biosafety Protocol Website and the Roster of Experts
  • Policy and legal Issues including the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, Compliance, National Biosafety Frameworks and Decision Procedures
  • Socio-Economic Considerations & Trade Issues including Identification / Documentation, Socio-Economic Impacts and Trade Rules and the Protocol
  • Scientific Issues including Risk Assessment and Risk Management, Post-release Monitoring and Other scientific issues
  • BCH & Information Sharing including Central Portal maintenance, Focal Points, Other information resources and National Reports

Nagoya Protocol

The Nagoya Protocol division (NP) provides support in relation to the: Implementation of the access and benefit-sharing (ABS) provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the ratification, early entry into force and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity; Carries out awareness-raising activities and capacity-building and development initiatives to support the ratification, early entry into force and implementation of the Protocol; Develops and hosts the Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House as the information-sharing mechanism related to access and benefit-sharing; and Liaises with the GEF Secretariat and GEF Implementing Agencies on matters relating to implementation of COP guidance to the financial mechanism regarding provision of support for the ratification and implementation of the Protocol.

Resource Management and Conference Services

The Resource Management and Conference Services (RMCS) division is responsible for management of financial and human resources, as well as servicing of meetings under the Convention and the Biosafety Protocol. In cooperation with the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), it provides fund management, personnel and general administrative and travel services.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme