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Editor’s Note No. 99
Thursday, 24 January 2008
Lynn Wagner, Ph.D.
Editor, Linkages Update
and MEA Bulletin
Let the sustainable development negotiations of 2008 begin.

Our first Earth Negotiations Bulletinteam of 2008 is almost finished with its coverage of the sixth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) of the Convention on Biological Diversity,  held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 21-25 January 2008. Talks at this meeting are reported to have swung into full negotiation-mode, following several years of scoping out the shape of a possible ABS regime.

Meanwhile, we have been busy establishing the roster for our meeting coverage during the first half of 2008. It has been quite a task to match 70 writers’ skills with the 19 meetings for which we will produce Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage, along with four meetings we will cover through our Africa Initiative and, at current count, five through our for-hire publication Your Meeting Bulletin. We look forward to bringing you real-time news and photos on numerous negotiations related to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the first steps along the Bali roadmap for climate change, the Commission on Sustainable Development’s discussions of agriculture and desertification, and more. We are always pleased to see the many ways that our coverage also is used as part of the historical record of the meetings we attend, as in this recent New York Times story about Kevin Conrad’s (Papua New Guinea) statement during the closing session of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali. 

In addition, MEA Bulletin will continue to follow the Secretariats’ activities in between the big meetings we cover, while Linkages Update brings you news from multilateral environmental processes that our ENB teams do not regularly attend, such as this issue’s report on the adoption of the first-ever legally-binding international instrument on coastal zone management during the meeting of the parties to the Barcelona Convention on the Mediterranean marine environment and coastal region. Other Linkages Update stories help identify the context in which the negotiations we follow take place, such as this issue’s stories about two agri-biotech firms’ decision to no longer participate in the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), which is due to be completed prior to the Commission on Sustainable Development’s discussion of related issues, and reports that suggest Japan may propose using the year 2000 as the baseline year for emissions targets for the post-2012 period, rather than the Kyoto Protocol’s current 1990 baseline. We look forward to watching the negotiations and helping you to develop the linkages between issues in 2008.
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