Thursday, 28 June 2007

The international agenda has been particularly full for those following biodiversity policy issues. Specialists and policy makers have recently addressed, and will be addressing, topics ranging from species-specific to strategic questions, in meetings from Anchorage to Paris, and many points in between.

The need to find a balance between conservation and sustainable use has once again been at the heart of the debates of the fourteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). With a series of longstanding items, such as elephants, tigers and whales, as well as more recent ones, namely timber and marine species, both conservationists and sustainable use proponents claimed their respective wins and losses. Whale conservationists claimed two separate but interconnected victories, as the international moratorium on whaling gained the renewed support of both CITES and the International Whaling Commission.

Elsa Tsioumani, LL.M.
Guest Editor, Linkages Update Biodiversity and Wildlife Cluster Expert

From whales to genes, marine biodiversity has claimed center stage at additional forums. It has drawn the attention of the eleventh session of the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which developed its multi-year programme of work, seeking to ensure that its full mandate, with regard to fishery, forestry and microbial genetic resources, is implemented. Marine genetic resources is also the central topic of the eighth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, which is being held this week in New York.

And the list goes on. There is not much time left before the twelfth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the second meeting of the CBD Working Group on Review of Implementation, which will be held in Paris during the first two weeks of July. Although these gatherings will mostly deal with strategic, scientific and technical issues, with the links between biodiversity and climate change high on the agenda, it is more than certain that they will attract the interest of the entire biodiversity community and beyond. Being part of this community, we will also be following the developments to let you know the latest news. Stay tuned!
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