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New & Emerging Issues

New and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity

The consolidated modus operandi of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), adopted by the Conference of the Parties in decision VIII/10, lists among its functions that SBSTTA should inter alia identify new and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. In decision IX/29 the Conference of the Parties provided guidance on the procedure for the identification of new and emerging issues and on the review of proposals. In accordance with this decision, Parties and relevant organizations are invited after each meeting of the Conference of the Parties to submit proposals on new and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Peer review of draft documents for future meetings of SBSTTA - SBSTTA-18

In decision XI/11 the Conference of the Parties requested the Executive Secretary to undertake some preparatory work on synthetic biology with a view to enabling the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to consider this proposal. Please provide your comments on the draft documents no later than 20 September 2013, using the template for comments:

Template for review comments

Potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology

Synthetic biology: gaps and overlaps with the Convention

Review comments received

Review comments from Belgium on "Potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology"

Review comments from Belgium on "Synthetic biology: gaps and overlaps with the Convention"

Review comments from Canada on "Potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology"

Review comments from China on "Potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology"

Review comments from the European Commission on "Potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology"

Review comments from the European Commission on "Synthetic biology: gaps and overlaps with the Convention"

Overview of comments from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Review comments from the United Kingdom on "Potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology"

Review comments from the United Kingdom on "Synthetic biology: gaps and overlaps with the Convention"

Review comments from the United States on "Potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology"

Review comments from the J. Craig Venter Institute on "Potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology"

Review comments from the J. Craig Venter Institute on "Synthetic biology: gaps and overlaps with the Convention"

Review comments from the University of Edinburgh on "Potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology"

Review comments from the University of Edinburgh on "Synthetic biology: gaps and overlaps with the Convention"

Review comments from the Wilson Center on "Potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology"

Review comments from the Wilson Center on "Synthetic biology: gaps and overlaps with the Convention"

Review comments from the Biotechnology Industry Organization on "Potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology"

Review comments from the Biotechnology Industry Organization on "Synthetic biology: gaps and overlaps with the Convention"

Review comments from the ETC Group on "Potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology"

Review comments from the ETC Group on "Synthetic biology: gaps and overlaps with the Convention"

Review comments from the European Molecular Biology Organization on "Potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology"

Review comments from the European Molecular Biology Organization on "Synthetic biology: gaps and overlaps with the Convention"

Proposals for new and emerging issues for SBSTTA-17 and COP-12

In decision IX/29 the Conference of the Parties provided guidance on the procedure for the identification of new and emerging issues and on the review of proposals. In accordance with this decision, Parties and relevant organizations were invited, through notification 2013-018, to submit proposals on new and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and to provide additional relevant information on components, organisms and products resulting from synthetic biology techniques. The deadline for submissions is 30 June 2013. Submissions will be made available below as they are received.

Proponent Date Proposed issue(s)
Brazil 28-Jun-13 No new agenda item for SBSTTA and information on synthetic biology
Ottawa River Institute 30-Jun-13 Impacts of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Biodiversity
China 01-Jul-13 Information on synthetic biology
Wilson Center 01-Jul-13 Summary report of 4 workshops on ecological impacts of synthetic biology
Wilson Center 01-Jul-13 Interactive map of synthetic biology actors
Wilson Center 01-Jul-13 Synthetic Biology Applications Inventory
Wilson Center 01-Jul-13 Press release for NSF grant to examine the ecological impacts of synthetic biology
Wilson Center 01-Jul-13 Public poll on awareness of synthetic biology within the U.S.
ETC Group 13-Jul-13 Eight case studies on commodity replacement
ETC Group 13-Jul-13 The Bioeconomy of landlessness and hunger
Argentina 08-Aug-13 Information on synthetic biology
IUCN Task Force on Systemic Pesticides 27-Aug-13 Comment on submission from Ottawa River Institute
IUCN Task Force on Systemic Pesticides 27-Aug-13 Profile of the Task Force
Awaaz Foundation and Bombay Natural History Society India 07-Oct-13 Sand mining
European Academies Science Advisory Council 07-Oct-13 Realising European potential in synthetic biology: scientific opportunities and good governance

Proposals for new and emerging issues for SBSTTA-16 and COP-11

In decision IX/29 the Conference of the Parties provided guidance on the procedure for the identification of new and emerging issues and on the review of proposals. In accordance with this decision, Parties and relevant organizations were invited, through notification 2011-013, to submit proposals on new and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and to provide further information on some proposals received prior to SBSTTA-14. The deadline for submissions was 15 October 2011. The following submissions have been received. Proposals which were accompanied by a detailed justification in accordance with paragraph 11 of decision IX/29 are printed in bold and the information is accessible through hyperlinks. Through notification 2011-204 Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations were invited to comment, by 20 January 2012, on these proposals, applying the criteria listed in paragraph 12 of decision IX/29.

Proponent Date Proposed issue(s)
Mexico 22-Jun-11 No new and emerging issue at this time
Friends of the Earth 14-Oct-11 Synthetic Solutions to the Climate Crisis: The Dangers of Synthetic Biology for Biofuels Production
EcoNexus 17-Oct-11 Synthetic Biology
ETC Group 17-Oct-11 Extreme Genetic Engineering: An Introduction to Synthetic Biology
ETC Group 17-Oct-11 The New Biomassters: Synthetic Biology and the Next Assault on Biodiversity and Livelihoods
ETC Group 17-Oct-11 Extract on Synthetic Biology from Forthcoming Report “Who Will Control the Green Economy”
ETC Group 17-Oct-11 Geopiracy: The Case Against Geoengineering
International Civil Society Working Group on Synthetic Biology 18-Oct-11 Potential Impacts of Synthetic Biology on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity
L.D. Emberson et al. 26-Oct-11 Biodiversity and Ground-level Ozone
Brazil 04-Nov-11 Deep sea fishing
Brazil 04-Nov-11 Climate change in coastal and offshore zones
United Kingdom 27-Jan-12 Synthetic Biology: scope, applications and implications

Proposals for new and emerging issues for SBSTTA-14 and COP-10

In decision IX/29 the Conference of the Parties provided guidance on the procedure for the identification of new and emerging issues and on the review of proposals. In accordance with this decision, Parties and relevant organizations were invited, through notifications 2008-083 and 2008-084, to submit proposals on new and emerging issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The deadline for submissions was extended to 31 October 2009. The following proposals for new and emerging issues relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity have been received. Proposals which were accompanied by a detailed justification in accordance with paragraph 11 of decision IX/29 are printed in bold and the information is accessible through hyperlinks.

Proponent Date Proposed issue(s)
Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy 30-Jul-08 Nanotechnology
Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy 30-Jul-08 Biotechnology and GMOs
Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy 30-Jul-08 Increased use of market-based incentives for conservation, such as payments for ecosystem services and biodiversity offsets
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 24-Oct-08 Potential and actual impacts of the global financial crisis on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use efforts
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 24-Oct-08 Cultural and social drivers of biodiversity change
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 24-Oct-08 Climate change and its continuing effects, in particular: (a) Opportunities offered and risks posed by Carbon offset schemes; and (b) Linkages between biodiversity and health
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 24-Oct-08 Assessing the nature and scope of processes and activities in the open and deep ocean
Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria 28-Oct-08 Collection, characterization, conservation, and development of native genetic resources (plant and microbial species) with potential for energy production
Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria 28-Oct-08 Collection, characterization, conservation and sustainable utilization in food security of tropical, native genetic resources emphasizing on species with high nutritional value (tuber crops, legumes, fruits)
Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria 28-Oct-08 Cultivar development
Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria 28-Oct-08 Recovery and conservation of high value land races
Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria 28-Oct-08 Technology transfer, training and adoption of robust techniques for fingerprinting / protection purposes of high value native genetic resources
Mexico 20-Nov-08 No emerging issue this time: there is a need to focus on implementation of current activities
United Kingdom Global Biodiversity Sub Committee 15-Dec-08 Ocean acidification
United Kingdom Global Biodiversity Sub Committee 15-Dec-08 Arctic Biodiversity
United Kingdom Global Biodiversity Sub Committee 15-Dec-08 Impact of ground level ozone on biological diversity
Iran, Islamic Republic of 15-Dec-08 Effects of climate change on habitats, specifically the effects of drought on wetlands
Iran, Islamic Republic of 15-Dec-08 Climate change effects on biodiversity
Iran, Islamic Republic of 15-Dec-08 Endemic species
Iran, Islamic Republic of 15-Dec-08 Effects of GMOs on genetic diversity of wild species
Iran, Islamic Republic of 15-Dec-08 Effects of invasive alien species on genetic, species and ecosystem diversity of protected areas
Royal Society 19-Dec-08 Impact of ground level ozone on biological diversity
Suriname 24-Aug-09 Factors that adversely influence on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity including large and small-scale mining, large-scale logging, habitat conversion, poaching, invasive alien species
Okeanos Foundation and Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society 23-Nov-09 Marine Protected Areas and Undersea Noise
Professor William J. Sutherland 08-Dec-09 Microplastic pollution; Nanosilver in wastewater; Synthetic meat; Artificial life; Stratospheric aerosols; Promotion of biochar; Mobile-sensing technology; Deoxygenation of the oceans; Changes in denitrifying bacteria; High-latitude volcanism; Invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish; Trans-Arctic dispersal and colonisation; Assisted colonisation; Possible impact of REDD on non-forested ecosystems; Large-scale international land acquisitions
Applied Environmental Research Foundation, India 03-Jan-10 Integrating high conservation value native species into biofuel production for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme