Initiative with Canadian Universities


On the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity, 2006, The Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) invited representatives of major Montreal-area universities and research centres to participate in the first ever round-table discussion on enhancing collaboration among their institutions and the Secretariat of the CBD, in support of the implementation of the Convention and the Cartagena Protocol.

The round-table discussion took place at the Secretariat's headquarters in Montreal, and the Letter of Intent (LOI) between the SCBD and several Canadian universities and research institutes was opened for signature. The agreement lays the foundation for a strong scientific and technical partnership among participating institutions. From this basis, the Secretariat plans to expand collaborative activities with academic and research institutes across Canada.

Once established, such cooperation could serve as a model for Parties seeking to develop similar relationships between policymakers and research institutions, at national and regional levels, in support of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.

Efforts to enhance cooperation at the national level can further serve as a platform for enhancing international technical and scientific cooperation. Article 18 of the Convention requires parties to promote such cooperation, along with access to and transfer of technology (Article 16) and exchange of information (Article 17). Progress in these areas is needed and would greatly further implementation of the Convention, particularly in developing countries.

On September 26, 2006, the first planning meeting of this partnership was held at the headquarters of the Secretariat, in Montreal, with the focus on the role Canadian universities and research centres can play in regards to the implementation of the Convention and its Protocol. The final result of this meeting was the formation of a working group, whose mandate is to develop a proposal of working modalities for the collaboration. They will aim to provide the Secretariat with a work plan containing their objectives, both long and short-term goals, and the actions to be taken.