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EXPERT WORKSHOP ON THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES ON THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY TO THE 1995 SESSION OF THE CSD: The Government of Spain convened this experts group meeting in Madrid from 11-14 October 1994. Experts from 22 countries, the European Commission, UNEP, FAO, the UN Secretariat and six NGOs participated. Two working groups were established to consider the obligations of the Convention and strategies and processes by which the Convention can contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity within the context of the cluster of topics to be considered by the CSD in 1995. The experts group agreed on the following points. (1) The need to sustain biodiversity must be fully integrated into overall plans for sustainable development and into sectoral plans such as those for forestry, agriculture, marine areas and rural development. (2) The implementation of the Convention and Agenda 21 will involve many tasks of a similar nature, such as information exchange, capacity building and the redefining of rights and obligations. For international efforts to be fully effective and to ensure wise use of scarce resources, international implementation of the Convention and Agenda 21 should be closely coordinated and integrated. (3) The CSD should encourage member States to ratify the Convention and focus on implementation.

LATIN AMERICAN CONFERENCE ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY: This Conference was held in Lima, Peru, from 7-8 November 1994 and participants developed a common position for the Latin American and Caribbean countries for the first Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Participants agreed on the following recommendations. (1) The Conference of the Parties should meet on an annual basis to expedite the adoption of the measures needed for the effective and efficient application of the Convention. (2) The decision-making system should be consistent for all dealing with the application of the Convention. (3) The Global Environment Facility should be adopted as an interim institutional structure. (4) Projects financed through the Convention"s financial mechanisms should support and be compatible with national development priorities. (5) Any subsidiary bodies should be open to membership of all Parties. (6) Access to and transfer of technology should be carried out under fair conditions, in an appropriate and secure manner, and under the most favorable conditions possible.

INTERNATIONAL TECHNICAL FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY: UNESCO, in cooperation with the International Union of Biological Sciences, the International Council of Scientific Unions and the French Government, hosted this international forum in Paris from 5-9 September 1994. Over 200 scientists, industry representatives, NGOs and policy makers attended. The Forum consisted of three panels on scientific issues, one on in situ and ex situ conservation, three panels on the economics of biodiversity, one on the importance of urban environments, and one on the ethical, cultural and educational aspects of biodiversity. Biodiversity is a high stakes economic actor measured in billions of dollars. Participants also agreed on the importance of the ethical value of biodiversity and that education and awareness-raising activities related to biodiversity need to be stepped up. The forum also called for close partnerships between the major stakeholders for biodiversity, educationalists, major groups, scientists, industry, policy makers and media.

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