As a means to engage civil society as a whole, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, launched in Curitiba, Brazil on 19th January 2006 an electronic forum in preparation for the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties that focused on the issues surrounding the 2010 target “to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level”. The Virtual Curitiba Biodiversity Conference (VCBC) ran for six weeks in six languages (English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and Portuguese) and closed on 3 March 2006. This first ever biodiversity electronic forum undertaken under by the Secretariat was conducted in close collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and in partnership with the Free University of Curitiba for the Portuguese forum. It attracted more than 6,100 visits to the site, and over 700 registered users posted 300 messages.
Building on this success, ANIEC 2010 represents a mega on-line consultation process through the CBD clearing-house mechanism during the International Year of Biodiversity and prior to the tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10). The revised strategic plan, biodiversity target and indicators will be discussed at COP 10 and this e-conference provides an opportunity for a diverse group of stakeholders that are not necessarily part of the negotiation process a forum in which to share their views.
Participation to this electronic conference is open to any participant from all Parties and stakeholders: government and non-government organizations, indigenous and local communities, women, youth, scientific and expert networks, academia, business networks as well as any other interested institution or individual. The substance of the discussions will be synthesized and presented to the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2010. Also, a side event will be organized during COP 10 to present the results of this e-conference to the delegates.
Thanks to the support from long-standing CBD partners such as IUCN and UNEP, French, Spanish, and Arabic versions of this e conference will be made available in the near future. The Secretariat is also investigating the possibility of further collaboration to support additional languages.