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ENB will provide a daily report on negotiations at the SBSTTA-8. This website brings you daily coverage, with images and Real Audio.

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8th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the Convention on Biological Diversity  
10 - 14 March 2003 | Montreal, Canada


Daily Web Coverage |Curtain| |Mon 10| |Tue 11| |Wed 12| |Thu 13| |Fri 14|

Highlights for
Wednesday, 12 March 2003

Delegates met throughout the day in two Working Groups. Working Group I (WG-I) considered SBSTTA operations, and biological diversity and tourism. Working Group II (WG-II) continued discussions on marine and coastal biodiversity, and started considering dry and sub-humid lands biodiversity. The contact group on the programme of work for mountain biodiversity and a contact group on deep seabed genetic resources met in the evening. Above photo: CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan, with former SBSTTA Chairs Peter Schei (Norway) (left) and Cristian Samper (Colombia)(right).

Working Group I: 

Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Ghana) presented the strategic plan of SBSTTA (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/8/12), and the Secretariat introduced the review of SBSTTA recommendations (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/8/13).

NORWAY, supported by UGANDA, stressed that SBSTTA should focus on technical and scientific issues, and avoid political debates.

CANADA, questioned the need for an additional plan, noting that the Convention’s Strategic Plan provides overall guidance for SBSTTA. 


Cameroon, on behalf of the AFRICAN GROUP, reiterated the importance of women’s empowerment, CHM, and a broader definition of mountain. She also proposed incentives for conservation for indigenous and local communities, rather than capacity building for benefit-sharing arrangements.

BRAZIL said that activities should take into account national and local conditions, and requested reference to national legislation regarding access and benefit-sharing.


Scott Muller, Project for the Study and Management of Wilderness Areas of Kuna Yala, presented a case study on the implementation of CBD draft guidelines on sustainable tourism.

The Secretariat presented documents on the draft guidelines for sustainable tourism and biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/8/11) and on case studies on their implementation (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/8/INF/8).

The PHILIPPINES underscored the need for capacities and technologies to promote sustainable tourism, and proposed amendments relating to marketing sustainable tourism.

ORDAN noted that national sustainable tourism activities have generated income and employment.

MEXICO stressed participation of local and indigenous communities.

Working Group II: 


Clive Wilkinson, Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, presented the status of global coral reefs, their importance, and reasons for concern. He highlighted anthropogenic interference, climate change impacts, and bleaching from El Niño and La Niña, and recommended ways forward.

NAMIBIA (left) underscored that mariculture contributes to food security and, with BRAZIL, emphasized the needs and role of indigenous and local communities in mariculture management.

Valentina Germani (far left with Dan Ogolla, CBD), UN Division of Oceans Affairs and the Law of the Seas (UNDOALOS), outlined the main findings of the joint CBD-UNDOALOS study, on the relationship between the CBD and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

ARGENTINA and many developing countries said they lacked the means to exploit deep seabed genetic resources and, noting that genetic resources beyond national jurisdiction fall outside the CBD mandate, opposed SBSTTA dealing with the issue.

GREECE recalled that the issue fell within the CBD�s mandate according to CBD Articles 3 (Principle) and 4 (Jurisdictional scope), and that SBSTTA was competent to deal with its scientific aspects under Decision II/10 on marine and coastal biodiversity.


Ndegwa Ndiang�ui, UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), outlined progress on the UNCCD-CBD joint work programme.

COLOMBIA highlighted the need for resources and appropriate mechanisms for periodic assessment of status and trends, and development of progress indicators.

The CONVENTION ON MIGRATORY SPECIES said a Memorandum of Understanding with the CBD was under development and requested its inclusion in the joint liaison group. 


Delegates considered UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/8/WG.II/CRP.1 on the work programme on inland water ecosystems, prepared by the Friends of the Chair group. On assessment of status and trends, and rapid assessment, the GEF (left) suggested including causes of threats to inland waters and COLOMBIA noted the need to define the resources to carry out the work mentioned.


ENB Summary of  CBD SBSTTA-7 ( HTML or PDF )

CBD Secretariat web site with official documents 

ENB's Introduction to CBD



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