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Thirteenth Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-13)  

18 February - 22 February 2008 | Rome, Italy

Highlights from Monday, 18 February 2008
Delegates to the thirteenth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 13) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met in plenary to hear opening statements and address organizational matters. The Committee of the Whole then considered SBSTTA’s modus operandi for addressing new and emerging issues, and the in-depth review of the work programme on agricultural biodiversity

Dario Esposito, on behalf of Walter Veltroni, the Mayor of Rome, signed the Countdown 2010 Declaration, a commitment to reduce emissions, increase the city’s biodiversity and undertake biodiversity restoration efforts.

Opening Plenary:

Asghar Mohammadi Fazel (right), SBSTTA 13 Chair, welcomed delegates to the meeting, noting the challenge of providing timely and informed scientific advice to decision makers in a rapidly changing world.

James G. Butler, FAO Deputy Director General, reaffirmed the close links between FAO's core mandate and the need to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, underscored the importance of agricultural biodiversity in achieving food security and development.


Dario Esposito, on behalf of Walter Veltroni, the Mayor of Rome, outlined the city’s efforts to protect its green areas and its intention to incorporate 31% of Rome’s land area into protected areas.

Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, Italian Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea, highlighted climate change as one of the major threats to ecosystems in the Mediterranean region and underscored the importance of linking the Rio Conventions in order to address this challenge.

Keynote Presentations:

Professor Rosalía Arteaga Serrano, Ecuador, presented on reconciling forestry, agriculture and environment in the context of the 2010 biodiversity target.
François Pythoud reported on the outcomes of the first International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, held in Interlaken, Switzerland in September 2007.
Peter Kenmore, FAO, highlighted the impacts of agricultural practices on agricultural biological diversity in particular and biological diversity in general, pointing to the need to increase food production by 50% by 2050 to feed the projected global population.

Committee of the Whole :
Delegates considered an in-depth review of the work programme on agricultural biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/13/2). Many countries called for enhanced cooperation with FAO and other organizations, with: the EC stressing cooperation in the areas of monitoring and evaluation, and genetic resource conservation.

Hesiquio Benitez-Diaz SBSTTA 13 Co-Chair (left) and Jo Mulongoy, CBD Secretariat
Dalia Salabarria Fernández, Cuba

Janet Lowe, New Zealand, calling for capacity building for national-level application of the ecosystem approach.
Ana Luisa Guzman, Mexico, requested FAO to compile successful practices in agriculture and livestock management.
Rawson Piniel Yonazi,Tanzania, for the African Group, preferred that the SBSTTA Bureau decide whether to consider new and emerging issues.

Francis Ogwal, Uganda Ole Hendrickson, Canada Fernando Coimbra, Brazil

Robert Lamb, Switzerland
José Luis Sutera, Argentina

Hakim Aulaiah, Yemen
Elzbieta Matyniuk, Poland
Shirin Karryeva, Turkmenistan

Ghanim Abdulla Mohammed, Qatar, drew attention to the negative impacts of biofuels.
Stefan Leiner, European Community, suggested that COP 9 develop guidelines to minimize potential negative impacts of biofuel production and consumption.
Tone Solhaug, Norway, called for mechanisms and systems for sustainable biofuel production.

Annik Dollacker, International Chamber of Commerce
Viviana Figueroa, International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity
Margaret Oduk, UNEP




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