IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis

Twenty-fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-24)

Article 25 of the Convention on Biological Diversity establishes an open-ended intergovernmental scientific advisory body known as the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to provide the Conference of the Parties (COP) and, as appropriate, its other subsidiary bodies, with timely advice relating to the implementation of the Convention. As a subsidiary body of the COP, SBSTTA is to report regularly to the COP on all aspects of its work. Multidisciplinary and open to participation by all Parties, SBSTTA comprises government representatives competent in the relevant field of expertise. Its functions include: providing assessments of the status of biological diversity; providing assessments of the types of measures taken in accordance with the provisions of the Convention; and responding to questions that the COP may put to the body. SBSTTA has met 23 times to date and produced a total of 240 recommendations to the Conference of the Parties, some of which have been endorsed in full by the latter. Such endorsement makes these recommendations de facto decisions of the Conference of the Parties. Parts of other recommendations have also been endorsed, and many others have been taken up in modified form.

SBSTTA-24 will consider the following agenda items:

  • The post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
  • Synthetic biology
  • Risk assessment and risk management of living modified organisms (LMOs)
  • Marine and coastal biodiversity
  • Biodiversity and agriculture
  • Programme of work of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
  • Biodiversity and health
  • Invasive alien species

 

Third meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-3)

In Decision XII/26, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity established the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) to replace the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention, with the terms of reference contained in the annex to decision XII/26. The first meeting of the SBI was held on 2-6 May 2016 in Montreal, Canada. The four functions and core areas of work of SBI consist of: (a) review of progress in implementation; (b) strategic actions to enhance implementation; (c) strengthening means of implementation; and (d) operations of the convention and the Protocols. The Bureau of the Conference of the Parties serves as the Bureau of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation. The draft modus operandi on the organization and operation of SBI was submitted and approved by SBI at its first meeting, and submitted for the consideration of the Conference of the Parties at its thirteenth meeting.

 

Update on Meetings

In light of the ongoing uncertainties caused by the pandemic, it is now clear that it will not be possible to convene any large physical intergovernmental meeting this year.  The physical meetings of SBSTTA 24 and SBI 3 will be held in the first quarter of 2021, conditions allowing. For further information, click here to see the notification