Thursday, 13 September 2007

After a relatively quiet couple of months in July and August, the calendar has filled up again over the past two weeks. As this issue of Linkages Update shows, climate change continues to hold center stage, with a major meeting in Vienna in late August marking the first of a series of events leading up to the Bali conference in December, when delegates will try to agree on a framework for negotiating a post-2012 agreement.

But climate change is not the only important issue on the multilateral radar. The Conference of Parties to the Convention to Combat Desertification is currently meeting in Madrid, and is entering a new phase of leadership, with the recent appointment of a new Executive Secretary. As well, the Montreal Protocol is set to host its 20th anniversary celebrations on 16 September, as this “poster child” for multilateral environmental negotiations kicks-off its 19th Meeting of the Parties.

Chris Spence
Managing Editor, Linkages Update and
Deputy Director, IISD Reporting Services

Meanwhile, biodiversity negotiators and experts are experiencing a particularly busy period. A successful outcome to last week’s Interlaken Conference on Animal Genetic Resources has given a boost to the FAO and other groups working on an issue that has widespread implications for biodiversity, food security and rural development. In the weeks ahead, two regional meetings of the “IMoSEB” process towards an “International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity” are slated for late September and early October, in China and Argentina. Last but certainly not least, the Convention on Biological Diversity is holding back-to-back meetings in Montreal in October, on traditional knowledge (Article 8j) and access and benefit sharing, while a working group on liability and redress under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is also scheduled. Both the CBD and Cartagena Protocol are gearing up for major meetings in May 2008.

As always, our teams of experts will be attending all of these events and reporting on them in Linkages Update and our other publications.

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