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SBSTTA 3 Recommendation III/5
Retired sections:

AGENDA ITEM 7.3: CURRENT APPROACHES TO INDICATOR DEVELOPMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A PRELIMINARY CORE SET OF INDICATORS OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, PARTICULARLY THOSE RELATED TO THREATS, AND OPTIONS FOR CAPACITY-BUILDING IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES IN THE APPLICATION OF GUIDELINES AND INDICATORS FOR SUBSEQUENT NATIONAL REPORTS

The SBSTTA

Reaffirming the vital importance of indicators of all levels of biological diversity in the implementation of the Convention, particularly with respect to Article 7, and recognizing the need to provide urgent, practical advice to Parties in the implementation of identification and monitoring,

Having examined the documents prepared by the Executive Secretary in consultation with a liaison group concerning recommendations for a core set of indicators of biological diversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/3/9 and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/3/Inf.13),

1. Considers that these provide a good basis for the development of further work on indicators and generally supports the proposed work programme on indicators as set out in UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/3/9;

2. Stresses that the primary role of indicators in this context should be as a tool for management of biological diversity at local and national levels and assessing the implementation of the Convention, but recognizes also that they may have a wider role, for example in increasing public awareness;

3. Stresses that, in the future, the development of regional and global indicators will be necessary to assess specific aspects of the world’s biological diversity;

4. Stresses also that all work undertaken by the secretariat and any liaison group on indicators should be integrated with any work on indicator development undertaken within thematic areas under the Convention, for example concerning forests, inland water ecosystems and agricultural biological diversity;

5. Recognizes that the development and application of indicators requires the collection and analysis of data on a continuing basis, and that this is likely to be a costly activity;

6. Recognizes also that every attempt should be made to avoid duplication of effort in the development and application of indicators;

7. Recommends to the Conference of the Parties:

(a) That any liaison group on indicators of biological diversity have as wide as possible a range of expertise, both geographical and sectoral, represented on it;

(b) That the secretariat and any such liaison group be requested to ensure that all their work on indicators take as full as possible account of other relevant indicator initiatives undertaken by different international processes and organizations, particularly those relating to sustainable development and biological diversity;

(c) That the secretariat and any such liaison group be requested to develop a key set of standard questions, using as a basis the material on pages 12 and 13 of document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/3/Inf.14;

(d) That the secretariat and any such liaison group be requested to compile a set of principles for designing national-level monitoring programmes and indicators. These should address matters such as:

(i) the way indicators relate to management questions;

(ii) the ability to show trends;

(iii) the ability to distinguish between natural and human-induced change;

(iv) the ability to provide reliable results (i.e. through the establishment of standard methodologies);

(v) the degree to which indicators are amenable to straightforward interpretation;

(vi) the question of baselines for measurement, in light of the fact that application of a pre-industrial baseline may often prove problematic;

(e) That the Executive Secretary be requested to invite countries and relevant organizations to forward case studies to the secretariat. The secretariat and any liaison group should use these to provide a menu of possible approaches and a synthesis of best practice and lessons, to provide further advice to Parties on identification and monitoring;

(f) That consideration be given to providing means for regional coordination of indicator development;

(g) That Parties be urged to share relevant experience concerning the development and application of indicators through the clearing-house mechanism and other means; and also be urged to include in their future National Reports specific reference to indicator development activities and their capacity to implement indicators;

(h) That the need for capacity-building in indicator development and application be stressed;

(i) That the work programme on indicators as set out in Table 5 of UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/3/9 be adopted, as amended, in the annex to the present recommendation.

Annex to recommendation III/5

Preliminary outline of work under the two-track approach

ACTIVITY DETAILS WAYS AND MEANS TIME SCALE
FIRST TRACK
Roster of Experts Establish a roster based upon submissions of names by Contracting Parties, countries and relevant organizations Secretariat Immediately
Contributions Contact relevant institutions and processes to seek information and expertise, and to explore collaboration Secretariat Immediately
Further development of indicator framework, including standard questions and principles. Incorporate recommendations from SBSTTA-3 and other reports Liaison group, incorporating further expertise Further meeting in 1997 if funds available
Support from financial mechanism Liaison with GEF secretariat on methodologies and priorities for supporting national development of indicators Secretariat Ongoing
Development of menu of indicators in thematic areas Case studies (compilation and synthesis) of indicators for coastal and marine, agro-biological diversity, forest and freshwater systems Liaison group For SBSTTA-4
Capacity assessment Questionnaire distributed to countries following agreement on indicator framework and analysis of first national reports Developed by secretariat with assistance of liaison group Questionnaire ready by COP-4
Training Development of methodology sheets, guidelines and public information Liaison group Guidelines by SBSTTA-4
Training Development of training systems to meet identified needs Liaison group After COP-4
Agreed indicator framework Recommendations made available to Parties for inclusion in the second national report Secretariat As soon as available, and one year prior to deadline for report
Global Biodiversity Outlook Data from initial national report and other sources for inclusion in GBO-2 Secretariat Publication likely by COP-5
SECOND TRACK
Research and development Develop research proposal Submission to agencies by mid-1999
Pilot programme Set up pilot programme to develop and test indicators Completed by May 1999
Second set of indicators Further development of indicators Available for preparation of third national reports

AGENDA ITEM 7.3: CURRENT APPROACHES TO INDICATOR DEVELOPMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A PRELIMINARY CORE SET OF INDICATORS OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, PARTICULARLY THOSE RELATED TO THREATS, AND OPTIONS FOR CAPACITY-BUILDING IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES IN THE APPLICATION OF GUIDELINES AND INDICATORS FOR SUBSEQUENT NATIONAL REPORTS

The SBSTTA

Reaffirming the vital importance of indicators of all levels of biological diversity in the implementation of the Convention, particularly with respect to Article 7, and recognizing the need to provide urgent, practical advice to Parties in the implementation of identification and monitoring,

Having examined the documents prepared by the Executive Secretary in consultation with a liaison group concerning recommendations for a core set of indicators of biological diversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/3/9 and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/3/Inf.13),

1. Considers that these provide a good basis for the development of further work on indicators and generally supports the proposed work programme on indicators as set out in UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/3/9;

2. Stresses that the primary role of indicators in this context should be as a tool for management of biological diversity at local and national levels and assessing the implementation of the Convention, but recognizes also that they may have a wider role, for example in increasing public awareness;

3. Stresses that, in the future, the development of regional and global indicators will be necessary to assess specific aspects of the world’s biological diversity;

4. Stresses also that all work undertaken by the secretariat and any liaison group on indicators should be integrated with any work on indicator development undertaken within thematic areas under the Convention, for example concerning forests, inland water ecosystems and agricultural biological diversity;

5. Recognizes that the development and application of indicators requires the collection and analysis of data on a continuing basis, and that this is likely to be a costly activity;

6. Recognizes also that every attempt should be made to avoid duplication of effort in the development and application of indicators;

7. Recommends to the Conference of the Parties:

(a) That any liaison group on indicators of biological diversity have as wide as possible a range of expertise, both geographical and sectoral, represented on it;

(b) That the secretariat and any such liaison group be requested to ensure that all their work on indicators take as full as possible account of other relevant indicator initiatives undertaken by different international processes and organizations, particularly those relating to sustainable development and biological diversity;

(c) That the secretariat and any such liaison group be requested to develop a key set of standard questions, using as a basis the material on pages 12 and 13 of document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/3/Inf.14;

(d) That the secretariat and any such liaison group be requested to compile a set of principles for designing national-level monitoring programmes and indicators. These should address matters such as:

(i) the way indicators relate to management questions;

(ii) the ability to show trends;

(iii) the ability to distinguish between natural and human-induced change;

(iv) the ability to provide reliable results (i.e. through the establishment of standard methodologies);

(v) the degree to which indicators are amenable to straightforward interpretation;

(vi) the question of baselines for measurement, in light of the fact that application of a pre-industrial baseline may often prove problematic;

(e) That the Executive Secretary be requested to invite countries and relevant organizations to forward case studies to the secretariat. The secretariat and any liaison group should use these to provide a menu of possible approaches and a synthesis of best practice and lessons, to provide further advice to Parties on identification and monitoring;

(f) That consideration be given to providing means for regional coordination of indicator development;

(g) That Parties be urged to share relevant experience concerning the development and application of indicators through the clearing-house mechanism and other means; and also be urged to include in their future National Reports specific reference to indicator development activities and their capacity to implement indicators;

(h) That the need for capacity-building in indicator development and application be stressed;

(i) That the work programme on indicators as set out in Table 5 of UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/3/9 be adopted, as amended, in the annex to the present recommendation.

Annex to recommendation III/5

Preliminary outline of work under the two-track approach

ACTIVITY DETAILS WAYS AND MEANS TIME SCALE
FIRST TRACK
Roster of Experts Establish a roster based upon submissions of names by Contracting Parties, countries and relevant organizations Secretariat Immediately
Contributions Contact relevant institutions and processes to seek information and expertise, and to explore collaboration Secretariat Immediately
Further development of indicator framework, including standard questions and principles. Incorporate recommendations from SBSTTA-3 and other reports Liaison group, incorporating further expertise Further meeting in 1997 if funds available
Support from financial mechanism Liaison with GEF secretariat on methodologies and priorities for supporting national development of indicators Secretariat Ongoing
Development of menu of indicators in thematic areas Case studies (compilation and synthesis) of indicators for coastal and marine, agro-biological diversity, forest and freshwater systems Liaison group For SBSTTA-4
Capacity assessment Questionnaire distributed to countries following agreement on indicator framework and analysis of first national reports Developed by secretariat with assistance of liaison group Questionnaire ready by COP-4
Training Development of methodology sheets, guidelines and public information Liaison group Guidelines by SBSTTA-4
Training Development of training systems to meet identified needs Liaison group After COP-4
Agreed indicator framework Recommendations made available to Parties for inclusion in the second national report Secretariat As soon as available, and one year prior to deadline for report
Global Biodiversity Outlook Data from initial national report and other sources for inclusion in GBO-2 Secretariat Publication likely by COP-5
SECOND TRACK
Research and development Develop research proposal Submission to agencies by mid-1999
Pilot programme Set up pilot programme to develop and test indicators Completed by May 1999
Second set of indicators Further development of indicators Available for preparation of third national reports

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme