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COP 8 Decision VIII/10

Operations of the Convention

The Conference of the Parties,

Recalling its decisions VII/30 and VII/33,

Recognizing the need to enhance the effectiveness of and streamline Convention processes with a view to strengthening the implementation of the Convention,

I. The Conference of the Parties

1. Decides to maintain the current periodicity of its ordinary meetings until its tenth meeting, in 2010;

2. Recognizing the need to streamline the meeting schedule of the Convention, requests the Executive Secretary, in consultation with the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties, to develop a schedule for meetings of the Convention up to 2010;

3. Decides to consider at its ninth meeting the meeting schedule of the Convention after the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2010, and requests the Executive Secretary, in consultation with the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties, to prepare options for the meeting schedule, including the financial implications of each option, taking into account, inter alia, the periodicity of ordinary meetings of the Conference of the Parties and the periodicity and scheduling of meetings of its subsidiary bodies, and to make available a report on those options to Parties, Governments and relevant organizations for their review and comments at least six months prior to its ninth meeting;

4. Requests the Executive Secretary to work with the host country to ensure an effective and productive ministerial segment; and further requests the Executive Secretary in agreement with the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties and the host country of any meeting of the Conference of the Parties, to develop a format for the ministerial segment that will enhance its contribution to the Conference of the Parties and generate support for, and raise awareness of, biodiversity-related issues and the implementation of the Convention;

5. Decides to use the procedure contained in annex I below as guidance for the process of priority-setting for the allocation of financial resources by the Conference of the Parties;

6. Adopts the refined multi-year programme of work of the Conference of the Parties up to 2010, specifying strategic issues for evaluating progress or supporting implementation for in-depth consideration, as set out in annex II below;

7. Requests the Executive Secretary to compile a list of all proposals for new principles, guidelines and other tools, and all requests to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, contained in the draft decisions for the Conference of the Parties, and to update this list as new proposals emerge over the course of a meeting, in order to assist the Conference of the Parties in finalizing its decisions;

8. Requests the Executive Secretary, in preparing for meetings of the Conference of the Parties, to keep the number and length of documents to a minimum, and to circulate documents to Parties as early as possible, preferably no later than three months in advance of meetings;

9. Further requests the Executive Secretary to note linkages among draft decisions in the documentation in order to minimize overlap among them, and encourages Parties and the Executive Secretary to bear these linkages and the need to maintain a manageable number of decisions in mind when considering or preparing draft decisions and to consider the amendment of current decisions before proposing additional ones;

10. Decides to maintain the changes it made to rule 21 of the rules of procedure in paragraph 5 of decision V/20;

11. Requests the Executive Secretary to maintain a list of requests for information, reports, views and compilations proposed during meetings of subsidiary bodies to allow Parties to have an overview of all requests to the Executive Secretary for further inter-sessional work.

12. Further requests the Executive Secretary in undertaking the task above to provide indicative information on: cost estimates, time-frames, and duplication with existing activities;

13. Takes note of the ongoing review and revision of the administrative arrangements between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Convention and invites the Executive Director of UNEP and the Executive Secretary to finalize the revision for consideration of the Conference of the Parties at its ninth meeting, taking into consideration decisions IV/17 and VII/33 and the need for a transparent and objective process for appointment of the Executive Secretary that involves the Conference of the Parties and its Bureau in a manner consistent with paragraph 1 of decision IV/17, which refers to consultation with the Conference of the Parties through its Bureau before appointing the Executive Secretary and to the authority of the Conference of the Parties to determine the term of office of the Executive Secretary;

II. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice

14. Notes with appreciation the work of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to carry out its mandate effectively as defined in Article 25 of the Convention and underlines the need to reduce the number of agenda items for consideration by the Subsidiary Body at each meeting in order to improve the effectiveness of its proceedings;

15. Requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to ensure that assessments are carried out in an objective and authoritative manner, and that sufficient time is allocated for the consideration of results of assessments (in line with its recommendations VI/5 and X/2);

16. Requests the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, whenever it convenes ad hoc technical expert groups under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties, to provide oversight to ensure that terms of reference clearly indicate their mandate, duration of operation, expected outcomes and reporting requirements, and that their mandates are limited to the provision of scientific and technical advice and assessments;

17. Requests Parties to give priority to the nomination of appropriate scientific and technical experts for participation in ad hoc technical expert groups and other assessment processes, and decides to discontinue the maintenance and use of the roster of experts;

18. Requests the Executive Secretary to develop and maintain a list of upcoming meetings of ad hoc technical expert groups, other expert groups and assessment processes that require Parties to identify experts, and to circulate the list to all national focal points after each meeting of the Conference of the Parties and the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice;

19. Requests the Executive Secretary and the Bureau of the Subsidiary Body Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to consider the options for facilitating information exchange and views on items on the agenda of the Subsidiary Body contained in annex IV below when preparing for meetings of the Subsidiary Body;

20. Endorses the consolidated modus operandi of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, as contained in annex III to the present decision and decides to review the operation of paragraph 16 above at its ninth meeting;

21. Recognizing that Parties determine the specific responsibilities of their focal points to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, notes that such focal points act as liaisons with the Secretariat on behalf of their Parties with regard to scientific, technical and technological matters related to the Convention and that, in doing so, they may undertake the following tasks:

(a) Developing linkages, and facilitating information exchange, between the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice and relevant regional and national agencies and experts;

(b) Responding to requests for input from the Conference of the Parties and the Secretariat related to scientific, technical and technological issues;

(c) Communicating and collaborating with focal points for the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice in other countries to improve the effectiveness of the Subsidiary Body and to facilitate implementation of the Convention;

(d) Collaborating with other national-level focal points for the Convention on Biological Diversity and focal points from other biodiversity-related conventions to facilitate implementation of the Convention at the national level;

22. Encourages Parties that have not already done so to appoint focal points for the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice;

III. Ad hoc open-ended working groups

23. Decides that when establishing an ad hoc open-ended working group, it will clearly define the mandate of that working group, including terms of reference, duration of operation, expected outcomes, and reporting requirements. The Executive Secretary shall assist each working group in responding to requests for work that are consistent with the mandate the Conference of the Parties has established, and in producing its final report;

24. Decides that, subject to the availability of the necessary budgetary resources and/or voluntary contributions, the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention will meet prior to the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties for a period no longer than five days and, if possible back-to-back with the next meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice;

25. Further decides that at its second meeting, the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention will undertake an in-depth review of the implementation of goals 2 and 3 of the Strategic Plan (excluding consideration of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety) in accordance with decisions VIII/8 and VIII/13, on national biodiversity strategies and action plans and financial resources and the financial mechanism, and report its findings to the Conference of the Parties at its ninth meeting; 

IV. Other matters

26. Recognizing that Parties determine the specific responsibilities of their national focal points, notes that the primary function of national focal points is to act as liaisons with the Secretariat on behalf of their Parties and in so doing, they are responsible for:

(a) Receiving and disseminating information related to the Convention;

(b) Ensuring that Parties are represented at meetings under the Convention;

(c) Identifying experts to participate in ad hoc technical expert groups, assessment processes and other processes under the Convention;

(d) Responding to other requests for input by Parties from the Conference of the Parties and the Secretariat;

(e) Collaborating with national focal points in other countries to facilitate implementation of the Convention;

(f) Monitoring, promoting and/or facilitating national implementation of the Convention;

27. Invites Parties and Governments, international and regional financial institutions and development agencies, as well as other donors, to make funds available for strengthening the capacity of national focal points for the Convention in developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing states, and countries with economies in transition, so as to make them more effective, for example through regional and subregional workshops and the sharing of information and experience;

28. Invites Parties to facilitate regional and subregional preparation for meetings of the Conference of the Parties and implementation of the Convention at the regional and subregional levels as appropriate;

29. Recalling paragraph 10 of decision VII/33, requests the Executive Secretary, subject to the availability of the necessary budgetary resources and/or voluntary contributions, to make the necessary arrangements for at least one regional preparatory meeting per region prior to each meeting of the Conference of the Parties;

30. Calls upon developed country Parties to provide financial resources to the Special Voluntary Trust Fund for Additional Voluntary Contributions in Support of Approved Activities (BE Trust Fund) and the Special Voluntary Trust Fund for Facilitating Participation of Parties in the Convention Process (BZ Trust Fund) in a timely manner to facilitate the planning of meetings and the full participation of representatives from developing country Parties and countries with economies in transition;

31. Recalling paragraph 17 of decision VI/27 B, decides, subject to the necessary financial resources, to fund the participation of two delegates from developing countries or countries with economies in transition in meetings of the Conference of the Parties and the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice through the Special Voluntary Trust Fund for Facilitating Participation of Parties in the Convention Process (BZ Trust Fund);

32. Decides that prior to the development of new principles, guidelines and other tools under the Convention, the Executive Secretary will, upon request and as appropriate, conduct a gap analysis with a view to:

(a) Identifying existing, useful tools which it might endorse or welcome;

(b) Identifying existing, useful tools, and tools under development that it might try to influence, such that they adequately reflect biodiversity considerations;

(c) Identifying the need for new tools developed under the Convention;

33. Noting that the Conference of the Parties has frequently invited other institutions and organizations to make use of the principles, guidelines and other tools developed under the Convention, requests the Executive Secretary to identify ways and means to more actively promote the use of such tools by international organizations and institutions;

34. Requests the Executive Secretary to report on progress in the implementation of elements of this decision to the Conference of the Parties at its ninth meeting.

V. Retirement and consolidation of decisions

Recalling paragraph 3 of its decision VII/33,

Taking note of the proposals prepared by the Executive Secretary regarding the retirement of decisions and elements of decisions taken at its fifth and sixth meetings pursuant to decision VII/33 (UNEP/CBD/COP/8/16/Add.1 and UNEP/CBD/COP/8/INF/2),

35. Requests the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention to develop guidance for the future review and retirement of the decisions of the Conference of the Parties;

36. Requests the Executive Secretary to make proposals to its ninth meeting regarding the retirement of decisions and elements of decisions taken at its fifth meeting and to communicate such proposals to Parties, Governments and relevant international organizations at least six months prior to its ninth meeting;

37. Invites Parties, Governments and relevant international organizations to submit to the Executive Secretary written comments on the proposals referred to in paragraph 36 above at least three months prior to its ninth meeting;

38. Recognizing the complexity and far reaching implications of the process of consolidation of decisions, decides to discontinue the process established in paragraph 2 of decision VII/33;

VI. Admission of bodies and agencies to meetings under the Convention

Recalling Articles 1 and 23, paragraph 5, of the Convention and rule 7 of the rules of procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity,

39. Requests the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention, at its second meeting, to consider procedures for admission of bodies and agencies, whether governmental or non-governmental.

Annex I

GUIDANCE FOR PRIORITY-SETTING TO GUIDE THE ALLOCATION OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES BY THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES

1. All draft decisions are accompanied by an assessment of their cost implications and a summary of those decisions and costs is included in the documentation on the budget and programme for the next biennium. Cost assessments are based on notional costs according to the list maintained by the Executive Secretary, and reflect the major costs associated with the decision, such as the establishment of open-ended meetings, technical expert groups, liaison groups and partnerships, as well as an overall estimate of other costs, such as staff time.

2. The Executive Secretary prepares a stand-alone summary of these costs indicating costings for each proposed activity and updates it on daily basis.

3. Early in its discussions, the budget group analyses the cost of proposed activities, as well as the funds that are likely to be available to support those activities, taking into account administrative costs for the Secretariat, the Conference of the Parties and the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice. Simultaneously, working groups negotiate proposals and request the Executive Secretary to refine cost assessments accordingly.

4. Mid-meeting, the budget group presents its findings to the plenary of the Conference of the Parties. All proposals that have major financial implications, such as those establishing open-ended meetings, are considered and Parties are invited to indicate their priorities for the allocation of resources.

5. The budget group continues negotiations based on revised cost assessments and working groups proceed bearing in mind the identified priorities.

6. The plenary of the Conference of the Parties makes the final decision on core budget allocations in its consideration of budget papers and endorsement of draft decisions with a budgetary component.

7. The Conference of the Parties will review experience with these procedures of priority-setting at its next meeting.

Annex II

REFINED MULTI-YEAR PROGRAMME OF WORK OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES UP TO 2010: SCHEDULE FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF STRATEGIC ISSUES THAT SUPPORT IMPLEMENTATION

Explanatory note : Column 2 is reproduced directly from the multi-year programme of work of the Conference of the Parties up to 2010 (decision VII/31, annex) and is included for information only, and column 3 specifies: (1) the focus of the review of progress in the implementation of the Strategic Plan; and (2) the mechanisms for implementation to be reviewed at each meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

 

1. Meeting

2. Issues for in-depth review or consideration

3. Strategic issues for evaluating progress or supporting implementation

COP 8

1. Dry and sub-humid lands biodiversity

2. Global Taxonomy Initiative

3. Access and benefit-sharing

4. Education and public awareness

5. Article 8(j) and related provisions

6. Island biodiversity

1. Progress in the implementation of the Strategic Plan and follow-up on progress towards the 2010 target and relevant Millennium Development Goals: review of the second Global Biodiversity Outlook; consideration of findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

2. National reports; cooperation; stakeholder engagement; operations of the Convention

COP 9

1. Agricultural biodiversity

2. Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

3. Invasive alien species

4. Forest biodiversity

5. Incentive measures

6. Ecosystem approach

1. Progress in the implementation of the Strategic Plan and follow-up on progress towards the 2010 target and relevant Millennium Development Goals: review of national biodiversity strategies and action plans

2. Financial resources and the financial mechanism; Identification and monitoring

COP 10

1. Inland waters biodiversity

2. Marine and coastal biodiversity

3. Sustainable use

4. Protected areas

5. Mountain biodiversity

6. Climate change

1. Progress in the implementation of the Strategic Plan and follow-up on progress towards the 2010 target and relevant Millennium Development Goals: review of the fourth national reports and the third Global Biodiversity Outlook; revision of the Strategic Plan and framework of goals and targets

2. Clearing-house mechanism; technology transfer; capacity-building

 

Annex III

CONSOLIDATED MODUS OPERANDI OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODY ON SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE 

A. Functions

1. The functions of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice are those contained in Article 25 of the Convention and the decisions of the Conference of the Parties (see appendix A for a list of functions of the Subsidiary Body).  Accordingly, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice will fulfil its mandate under the authority of, and in accordance with, guidance laid down by the Conference of the Parties, and upon its request.

2. Pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 3, of the Convention, the functions, terms of reference, organization and operation of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice may be further elaborated, for approval by the Conference of the Parties.

B. Operating principles 

3. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, in carrying out its functions, shall support the implementation of the multi-year programme of work of the Conference of the Parties and the Strategic Plan of the Convention, in a manner consistent with other internationally agreed goals relevant to the objectives of the Convention. 

4. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice shall endeavor to constantly improve the quality of its scientific, technical and technological advice by improving scientific, technical and technological input into, debate at, and work of, meetings of the Subsidiary Body.  Strategic ways and means of improving the advice of the Subsidiary Body are included in Appendix B. 

C. Rules of procedure

5. The rules of procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity shall apply, mutatis mutandis, in accordance with rule 26, paragraph 5, to the proceedings of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice. However, rule 18, on credentials, will not apply.

6. In accordance with rule 52, the official and working languages of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice will be those of the United Nations Organization. The proceedings of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice will be carried out in the working languages of the Conference of the Parties.

7. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, within the available budgetary resources for matters related to its mandate, may make requests to the Executive Secretary and utilize the clearing-house mechanism, and other appropriate means, to assist in the preparation of its meetings.

8. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice may make recommendations that include options or alternatives. 

9. In order to facilitate continuity in the work of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice and taking into account the technical and scientific character of the input of the Subsidiary Body, the terms of office of members of its Bureau will be two meetings. At each meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice one of the two regional representatives shall be elected in order to achieve staggered terms of office. The members of the Bureau of the Subsidiary Body will take office at the end of the meeting at which they are elected.

10. The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, elected at an ordinary meeting of the Conference of the Parties, shall take office from the end of the next ordinary meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice and remain in office until his/her successor takes office. As a general rule the chairmanship of the Subsidiary Body shall rotate among United Nations regional groups. Candidates for the Chair of the Subsidiary Body should be recognized experts, qualified in the field of biological diversity and experienced in the process of the Convention and the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice.

D. Frequency and timing of meetings of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice

11. The meetings of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice should take place as necessary and sufficiently in advance of each regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties, for a duration to be determined by the Conference of the Parties which should not normally exceed five days. The number and length of the meetings and activities of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice and its organs should be reflected in the budget adopted by the Conference of the Parties or other sources of extra budgetary funding.

E. Documentation

12. The documentation prepared for meetings will be distributed three months before the meeting in the working languages of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, will be concrete, focused draft technical reports and will include proposed conclusions and recommendations for consideration of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice.

13. To assist with the peer review of documentation, the Executive Secretary may establish, in consultation with the Chairperson and the other members of the Bureau of the Subsidiary Body, a liaison group comprising a balanced range of experts qualified in fields relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, and including scientific institutions and societies, as appropriate. Such liaison groups, and the way in which they interact, will depend on the resources available. 

14. In preparing documentation for meetings, the Executive Secretary will establish work plans, timetables, resource requirements, and collaborators and contributors, and follow a transparent process for contributions, comments and feedback at various stages of document preparation.  Technical reports prepared for the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice will be peer-reviewed as appropriate. 

F. Organization of work during the meetings

15. Each meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice will propose to the Conference of the Parties, in light of the programme of work for the Conference of the Parties and the Subsidiary Body, a particular theme as the focus of work for the following meeting of the Subsidiary Body.

16. Two open-ended sessional working groups of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice could be established and operate simultaneously during meetings of the Subsidiary Body. They shall be established on the basis of well-defined terms of reference, and will be open to all Parties and observers. The financial implications of these arrangements should be reflected in the budget of the Convention.

G. Scientific and Technical Assessments 

17. Scientific and technical assessments initiated by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice shall be regionally balanced, carried out in an objective and authoritative manner, according to the terms of reference that clearly establish the mandate, duration of operation and expected outcomes, and undertaken according to the process outlined in appendix C below. 

H. Ad hoc technical expert group meetings

18. A limited number of ad hoc technical expert groups on specific priority issues on the programme of work of the Conference of the Parties may be established under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties, as required, for a limited duration, to provide scientific and technical advice and assessments. The establishment of such ad hoc technical expert groups would be guided by the following elements:

(a) The ad hoc technical expert groups should draw on the existing knowledge and competence available within, and liaise with as appropriate, international, regional and national organizations, including non-governmental organizations and the scientific community, as well as indigenous and local community organizations and the private sector, in fields relevant to this Convention;

(b) The Executive Secretary, in consultation with the Bureau of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, will select scientific and technical experts from the nominations submitted by Parties for each ad hoc technical expert group.  The ad hoc technical expert groups shall be composed of no more than fifteen experts nominated by Parties competent in the relevant field of expertise, with due regard to geographical representation, gender balance and to the special conditions of developing countries, in particular the least-developed and small island developing States, and countries with economies in transition, as well as a limited number of experts from relevant organizations, depending on the subject matter. The number of experts from organizations shall not exceed the number of experts nominated by Parties;

(c) The number of ad hoc technical expert groups active each year will be limited to the minimum necessary. In the establishment of such groups, Parties shall take into consideration the availability of extra-budgetary resources as determined by the Conference of the Parties; 

(d) Ad hoc technical expert groups will be encouraged to use innovative means of communication and to minimize the need for face-to-face meetings;

(e) Reports produced by the ad hoc technical expert groups should, as a general rule, be submitted for peer review;

(f) All efforts will be made to provide adequate voluntary financial assistance for the participation of experts, in the ad hoc technical expert groups, from developing countries and countries with economies in transition Parties.

I. Contribution of non-governmental organizations

19. The scientific and technical contribution of non-governmental organizations to the fulfilment of the mandate of the Subsidiary Body will be strongly encouraged in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention and the rules of procedure for meetings of the Conference of the Parties.

J. Cooperation with other relevant bodies

20. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice shall cooperate with other relevant international, regional and national organizations, under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties, thus building upon the vast experience and knowledge available. To facilitate such cooperation, the Bureau of the Subsidiary Body may hold meetings with equivalent bodies of other relevant biodiversity-related conventions, institutions and processes.  In addition, the Chair of the Subsidiary Body, or other member of the Bureau authorized by the Chair, may represent the Subsidiary Body at meetings of the scientific bodies of such groups. 

K. Regional and subregional preparatory meetings

21. Regional and subregional meetings for the preparation of regular meetings of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice may be organized, as appropriate, for specific items. The possibility of combining such meetings with other scientific regional meetings, in order to make maximum use of available resources, should be considered. The convening of such regional and subregional meetings will be subject to the availability of voluntary financial contributions.

22. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice should, in the fulfilment of its mandate, draw upon the contributions of the existing regional and subregional intergovernmental organizations or initiatives.

L. Focal points

23. A list of focal points and focal persons to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice shall be established and regularly updated by the Executive Secretary, on the basis of information provided by Parties and other relevant regional, subregional and intergovernmental organizations.

24. Although the specific responsibilities of focal points to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice will be determined by Parties, such focal points act as liaisons with the Secretariat on behalf of their Parties with regard to scientific, technical and technological matters related to the Convention and, in doing so, they may undertake the following tasks: 

(a) Developing linkages, and facilitating information exchange, between the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice and relevant regional and national agencies and experts;

(b) Responding to requests for input from the Conference of the Parties and the Secretariat related to scientific, technical and technological issues;

(c) Communicating and collaborating with focal points for the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice in other countries to improve the effectiveness of the Subsidiary Body and to facilitate implementation of the Convention;

(d) Collaborating with other national-level focal points for the Convention on Biological Diversity and focal points from other biodiversity-related conventions to facilitate implementation of the Convention at the national level.

Appendix A

FUNCTIONS OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODY ON SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE

The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice was established to provide the Conference of the Parties and, as appropriate, its other subsidiary bodies with timely advice relating to the implementation of the Convention.  Its specific functions are to:

(a) Provide scientific and technical assessments of the status of biological diversity; 

(b) Prepare scientific and technical assessments of the effects of types of measures taken in accordance with the provisions of this Convention; 

(c) Identify innovative, efficient and state-of-the-art technologies and know-how relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and advise on the ways and means of promoting development and/or transferring such technologies; 

(d) Identify new and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; 

(e) Provide advice on scientific programmes and international cooperation in research and development related to conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity; 

(f) Respond to scientific, technical, technological and methodological questions that the Conference of the Parties and its subsidiary bodies may put to the body. 

Appendix B

STRATEGIC WAYS AND MEANS OF IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODY ON SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE

1. Improving the scientific, technical and technological inputs into SBSTTA meetings by, inter alia: 

(a)Strengthening relationships with the scientific and technical community through: 

(i) Providing material about the work of the Subsidiary Body in a format that is accessible and relevant to the scientific and technical community;

(ii) Actively disseminating the results of the work of the Subsidiary Body through scientific literature, both as reporting items and scientific papers, as reviewed and approved by the Conference of the Parties;

(iii) Participating in, and contributing to, the scientific and technical components of other biodiversity-related processes;

(iv) Using other bodies as a bridge between the Subsidiary Body and the scientific and technical community in relation to work programmes;

(v) Engaging the scientific community in scientific assessments.

2. Improving the scientific, technical and technological debate during SBSTTA meetings by, inter alia:

(a) Raising delegates’ awareness about, and encouraging informal debate on, key issues through the provision of scientific and technical publications, keynote speakers, poster sessions, round-table debates and other side events during meetings of the Subsidiary Body; 

(b) Identifying other opportunities to prepare delegates, particularly those with limited experience, for the discussions on scientific and technical matters; 

(c) Dedicating sufficient time to the consideration of results of scientific and technical assessments. 

Appendix C

PROCESS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL ASSESSMENTS INITIATED BY THE SUBSIDIARY BODY ON SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE

Assessment steps

Modalities/activities

Recognition of assessment need/mandate

1. Mandate given by the Conference of the Parties;

2. Needs identified:

  • Through the review of programmes of work, e.g., for forest biodiversity, and biodiversity and climate change;
  • After an initial assessment, e.g., for invasive alien species; or
  • During implementation of programmes of work, e.g., for rapid assessment methods.

Preparation of background document or note by the Executive Secretary

Provide notice of intention to undertake assessment:

1. Invitation given to scientific community to submit evidence

Background documents or detailed outlines drafted by the Executive Secretary with or without assistance from:

2. Consultant/collaborating organization; and/or

3. Expert meeting.

Consideration by an AHTEG 1 / established by the Conference of the Parties

1. Review of background document or Note by the Executive Secretary;

2. Identification of gaps; and

3. Revision of background document taking into account additional published information.

Peer-review

Peer-review, if applicable, by:

1. Selected reviewers;

2. A wider audience including Parties, other Governments, SBSTTA focal points, experts nominated by Parties, organizations and indigenous and local communities and/or other conventions and their focal points.

Consideration by SBSTTA

1. Development of conclusions on assessment;

2. Recommendation to the Conference of the Parties.

Use and application of results (including consideration by the Conference of the Parties) and identification of gaps to be addressed in future

1.Utilization of the revised document to develop elements and activities for the relevant programmes of work, and follow-up activities and submission of draft decision for consideration by the Conference of the Parties;

2. Decision by the Conference of the Parties;

3. Publication of assessment reports in the CBD Technical Series;

4. Use in other publications, e.g., Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report;

5. Active dissemination of results to scientific community.

6. Use by Governments and others;

7. Identification of additional information needs, including the need for new assessments.

 

Annex IV

OPTIONS FOR FACILITATING EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION AND VIEWS ON THE ITEMS ON THE AGENDA OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODY ON SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE

Pursuant to recommendation 1/2 of the Working Group on Review of Implementation, the Executive Secretary, in consultation with the SBSTTA Bureau, has explored options for facilitating the exchange of information and views on SBSTTA agenda items in the table below. These options have been defined with a view to facilitating the formal discussion of agenda items at SBSTTA meetings and should be considered bearing in mind the time constraints during meetings of the Subsidiary Body.

 

Option

Commentary

Keynote speakers

  • Keynote speakers may be asked to speak during the opening of SBSTTA meetings. Experience under the Convention suggests that keynote speakers can usefully set a constructive tone for a meeting either by providing an inspirational or provocative speech; however targeted introductory presentations facilitate the exchange of information and views on specific issues more effectively.
  • Selected keynote speakers may be from outside the Convention or from amongst delegates; however, in addition to being knowledgeable about the subject of discussion, they must also be animated and interesting speakers.

Introductory presentations

  • Introductory presentations are often used to introduce specific issues in Plenary or in the working groups at SBSTTA. They may be given by Secretariat staff, delegates, or guests. They can be very effective in terms of raising awareness about and outlining key issues for delegates, especially technical or complex issues; however they do not provide an opportunity for in-depth discussion of issues.

Presentations in meetings of regional groups

  • Experts could be invited by regional groups to their meetings held during SBSTTA to give brief presentations and catalyze discussion within regions on key issues being addressed at SBSTTA meetings. Prior to SBSTTA meetings, regional groups could determine for which agenda items presentations might be useful and invite the relevant experts to their respective meetings.

Informal workshops

  • Informal intra- and/or inter-sessional workshops on key agenda items could be held to enable delegates to exchange views on issues without the constraints of a formal negotiating process. Workshops would be held in response to an identified need from SBSTTA and would likely consist of presentations (from Secretariat staff, delegates, or guests) and discussion and could help to raise and resolve challenging issues in a less formal setting. Outcomes of the workshops could be in the form of a chair’s text. It would not need to be agreed upon, but it could be referred to during the formal debate.
  • Intra-sessional workshops could be held in working groups prior to the formal negotiation of a particular agenda item, while inter-sessional workshops could be held just prior to SBSTTA meetings. In the case of intra-sessional workshops, participation would be guaranteed.
  • Inter-sessional workshops could be held a few weeks prior to, or back-to-back with, SBSTTA meetings. They could also be held simultaneous to other biodiversity-related meetings (e.g., Ramsar COP, UNCCD COP etc.).





1 / The cost of a meeting of experts (including 12 experts from developing countries and countries with economies in transition) varies between US$ 40,000 and US$ 60,000 depending on the venue and participation of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity when meetings are held outside of Montreal.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme