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5th Meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies for Scientific,Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD).

Montréal, CANADA
31 January - 04 February 2000


Wednesday 02 February :

^ Delegates at a reception hosted by CBD Executive Secretary, Hamdallah Zedan.

On Tuesday 01 February, delegates met in Plenary to hear presentations on sustainable use by Karimou Ambouta and on the ecosystem approach by Daniel Janzen.  Discussions then continued within Working Groups.  Working Group One (WG-1) addressed drylands and agricultural biodiversity.  Working Group Two (WG-2) addressed the ecosystem approach and biodiversity indicators.

< Daniel Janzen presents the ecosystem approach to the morning Plenary.

Using the Guanacaste Conservation Area in Costa Rica as a reference point, Daniel Jackson of the University of Pennsylvania illustrated the ecosystem approach in real terms.   He introduced the concept of the "gardenification of nature," seeing humans cultivate and utilize natural ecosystems for products and services.  Stressing the need to combine the traditional park conservation approach ("save it"), the scientific approach ("know it"), and the commercial approach ("use it"), Janzen advocated an adaptive management strategy, incorporating decentralization, popular education, and empowerment. He then reoriented popular perceptions of natural resource processes (such as watershed cycles) and human activities (such as cultivation) towards an economy of inputs and outputs, products and services.  In closing, he called on countries to implement at least one such local adaptive management, "ecosystem approach" project.

Side Events:

SBSTTA-5 Reception .

< Hamdallah Zedan, Executive Secretary of the CBD and host of the reception.

Gudrun Henne, Earth Negotiations Bulletin with Sam Johnston, SCBD

Martin Uppenbrink, WEOG member of SBSTTA (l) with Marc Auer, CBD-CHM (r).

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment:

At this popular side event on Monday 31 January, Walter Reid [right] outlined the proposal for the establishment of a worldwide facility for joint-assessment of ecosystems, known as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.  The goal of this facility would be to improve the management of local, regional, and global ecosystems by providing a high-quality and standardized information to decision-makers.  While the goal is to provide policy-relevant technical information through integrated ecosystem assessments, it is not meant to be policy-prescriptive or necessarily political.  The project recognizes that countries make choices about their ecosystems; ecosystems which are used for food, energy, tourism, conservation, trade, etc. and choices which often involve trade-offs.  Improving assessment is thus seen as a way to improve countries' capacities for making these important decisions.

With a clearly defined vision, the Millennium Assessment (MA) has 3 defining features:

  • Focus : on the capacity of ecosystems to provide goods and services important to human development through the provision of baseline information on resource-use, pressures, trends, conditions, evaluations of specific ecosystems scenarios and their trade-offs, and response options.
  • Process : which studies and evaluates ecosystems recognizing their differential spatial and temporal indices, and produces information useful at the international, regional, national, and local levels of decision-making, while building capacity at all levels, encouraging institutional collaboration, establishing methodologies for integrated assessment, and working with all levels of expertise.
  • Institutional Arrangements : with a Board comprised of "users" and "stakeholders" from international ecosystem conventions, governments, civil society, and private-sector industry, and with work being conducted by a dispersed worldwide network of UN institutions, research institutes, international conventions, and national governments to meet the needs of diverse interests.

More information can be found out about the MA at its website : [http://www.ma-secretariat.org/]

Convention on Biodiversity Homepage [CBD]
CBD Secretariat page for the Resumed ExCOP
Clearing House Mechanism [CHM]
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

This page was last updated 02/03/2000 14:07:31 -0600
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