At its eighth meeting (Brazil, March 2006), the Conference of the Parties adopted the first-ever programme of work dedicated solely to the uniqueness and fragility of island biodiversity (decision VIII/1
). Its aim is to reduce significantly the rate of island biodiversity loss by 2010 and beyond as a contribution to poverty alleviation and the sustainable development of islands, particularly small island developing States. The programme of work sets out almost 50 island-specific priority actions arranged under 11 goals, which are in turn organized under seven focal areas:
1. Protect the components of biodiversity
2. Promote sustainable use
3. Address threats to biodiversity
4. Maintain goods and services from biodiversity to support human well-being
5. Protect traditional knowledge and practices
6. Ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of genetic resources
7. Ensure provision of adequate resources
While the adoption of the CBD's newest programme of work is a significant achievement, it is only the very beginning. It is now time for the Secretariat to undertake a series of activities to assist the Parties to implement it. These activities will be mainly chanelled through the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), which has been recognized by the COP as one of the mechanisms to implement the island biodiversity programme of work (decision IX/21).
The island biodiversity programme of work will be reviewed in-depth by the 16th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA); the COP will consider the review at its 11th meeting, in 2012.