La Consultation régionale nord-américaine du Processus consultatif vers un Mécanisme international d’expertise scientifique sur la biodiversité (IMoSEB) 

30 et 31 janvier 2007 | Montréal, Canada

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Tuesday 30
Wednesday 31
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Highlights from Tuesday, 30 January

On Tuesday, 30 January 2007, the North American Regional Consultation of the Consultative Process Towards an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB) opened in Montreal , Canada , with introductory statements. Participants then heard case studies and presentations from Canada, Mexico and the US, and exchanged views and discussed various options on a possible IMoSEB. Later in the day, participants divided into three working groups, focusing on issues such as mobilizing opinion and improving the science.

The consultation is scheduled to conclude late afternoon on 31 January. This is the first in a series of regional meetings planned for the IMoSEB process.

Above photo L-R: Dais during the opening session with Didier Babin, Executive Secretary IMoSEB Consultative Process, Chair John Karau, Environment Canada and Adrian Vazquez, Executive Director, Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)


John Karau
, Directeur du Bureau de la Convention sur la biodiversité (CDB) de Environnement Canada, a présidé cette réunion. Il a remercié les partenaires pour leur appui et leur assistance lors de la préparation de cette consultation régionale nord-américaine vers un IMoSEB.


Felipe Adrián Vázquez
, Directeur exécutif de la Commission pour la coopération environnementale (CCE) en Amérique du Nord, a présenté un aperçu de la CCE, expliquant qu’elle a été mise en place par le Canada, le Mexique et les États-Unis pour les questions environnementales régionales.

Didier Babin
, Secrétaire exécutif du Processus consultatif vers un Mécanisme international d’expertise scientifique sur la biodiversité (IMoSEB) et Point focal national pour la France pour l’Organe Subsidiaire chargé de fournir des Avis Scientifiques, Techniques et Technologiques (SBSTTA) de la CDB, a mis en exergue les graves défis actuels posés par la préservation de la biodiversité. Il a expliqué que le processus consultatif vers un IMoSEB se propose de relever ces défis en fournissant une « interface commune entre l’expertise et la prise de décisions ». ” 

Anne Larigauderie
du Secrétariat exécutif de l’IMOSEB et Directrice exécutive de DIVERTAS, a fait des observations sur le document intitulé « Réponses des membres du Comité directeur international : ‘Besoins et Options’». Soulignant la nécessité de s’appuyer sur cette base, et accueillant avec satisfaction d'autres observations, elle a classé les besoins dans trois catégories : incorporation des connaissances scientifiques et autres dans le processus de prise de décision; renforcement des capacités scientifiques en matière de prévision; et amélioration de la communication entre les parties prenantes.  

Leonard Hirsch, Smithsonian Institute, emphasized the need for a 21st Century model of the science-policy interface that assesses best practices and lessons learned for users and implementers of biodiversity conservation. 

Ole Hendrickson, Environment Canada, described Canada’s Federal Biodiversity Information Partnership. He explained that the partnership is a collaborative effort among seven agencies on biodiversity-related information management. He outlined the background to the partnership and highlighted its ongoing evolution, including a recent focus on integrated or horizontal activities across departments. 

Jorge Soberon, University of Kansas, presented a case study on Mexico’s experience in using science to articulate national policy, considering the role of scale of biodiversity information in decision making. 

Above photo L-R: Jorge Soberon (University of Kansas), Leonard Hirsch (Smithsonian Institute), John Karau (Environment Canada) and Ole Hendrickson (Environment Canada)

David Walden, Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, presented his views on the relevance of UNESCO’s work for the IMoSEB process. Noting the diverse and fragmented nature of work on biodiversity and the community involved, he suggested that UNESCO could play a role in this regard. 

Chair Karau in consultation with the Working Group facilitators.

Chair John Karau explained in plenary that three working groups would convene in parallel sessions to consider needs and options relating to IMoSEB. He invited comments to help guide these discussions. 


Leonard Hirsch, Smithsonian Institute, moderated this group, opening the discussion by noting the clear consensus that biodiversity is not being effectively protected, and asking what knowledge and governance structures are needed to make people betters stewards of biodiversity, as well as what IMoSEB’s role might be. 

Philippe Le Prestre
, Université Laval, Canada, moderated this session, highlighting questions relating to mobilizing opinion and improving the science. Several participants reflected on the importance of raising biodiversity’s profile with the media, which would have a major impact at the political and scientific levels. 

Hesiquio Benitez Diaz
, Comision Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO), Mexico, moderated this group, asking participants to focus on the issue of needs assessment. The group did not have a final recommendation on the direction for IMoSEB to take, noting that the problems IMoSEB is expected to address are not yet well defined. 

This service was prepared in cooperation with the IMoSEB Consultative Process Secretariat 


IMoSEB Resources
IMoSEB Consultative process Secretariat
IMoSEB Information Center and Documents
IMoSEB regional consultations
IMoSEB Concept Note
Report on Progress of the Consultative Progress at CBD COP-8

IISD RS Resources
IISD Reporting Services summary of the Biodiversity: Science and Governance conference, Paris, January 2005
SD Coverage of the International Conference on Biodiversity, 2005

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