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Highlights for Thursday, 1 December 2005

Participants to the eleventh meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-11) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) continued their deliberations in two working groups (WGs) throughout the day. WG-I considered draft recommendations on: sustainable use; guidance to promote synergy; and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA). An informal evening session of WG-I also convened to consider draft recommendations on invasive alien species (IAS) and on incentive measures. WG-II addressed draft recommendations on: marine and coastal biodiversity; inland water ecosystems; and forest biodiversity. The contact groups on goal and targets on access and benefit-sharing (ABS) and on global outcome-oriented targets also met to consider relevant draft recommendations. 

Above photo L-R: Elaine Fisher (Jamaica) confers with Joel Miles (Palau) and Gordana Beltram (Slovenia).

Working Group I:


Regarding the MA findings, CANADA suggested consideration, rather than use, of the findings in work programmes’ implementation.

Above photo: Ole Hendrickson (Canada)

ARGENTINA supported the deletion of a request to the Secretariat to elaborate and extend the MA scenarios with a view to developing regionally-based response scenarios, noting the lack of terms of reference in the request and opposing references to collaboration with specific organizations.

Above photo: Jorge B. Riaboi (Argentina)

The NETHERLANDS opposed Argentina's suggested deletion of the recommendation on regionally-based response scenarios, and proposed collaboration with “relevant institutions.”

Above photo: Arthur Eijs (The Netherlands)

Delegates debated a proposal by El Salvador , on behalf of LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (GRULAC), to delete a recommendation that COP-9 consider the need for another integrated assessment of biodiversity and ecosystems.

Above photo: Jorge Ernesto Quezada Diaz (El Salvador)

THAILAND , joined France and others in opposing ARGENTINA's proposal to delete a reference to the consultation process on options for a scientific mechanism for biodiversity advice. 

Above photo L-R: Sita Pholpoke and Sirikul Bunpapong (Thailand) with Mario Ramos (GEF) seated at the back.


On a recommendation that SBSTTA note knowledge gaps for including biodiversity considerations into adaptation planning and implementation, FINLAND noted that the climate change adaptation framework for biodiversity presented in the AHTEG report contains a useful approach in preparation of national strategies and plans.

Above photo: Marina von Wissenberg (Finland)

AUSTRALIA proposed deleting a recommendation to identify potential joint activities with the UNFCCC.

Above photo: Mohan Mathews (Australia)

SWITZERLAND strongly opposed Australia's suggestion to delete the recommendation on  potential joint activities with the UNFCCC. This issue was referred to informal consultations.

Above photo:
Robert Lamb (Switzerland)

Working Group II:

CHINA 's suggestion to delete reference to the establishment of marine protected areas (PAs) was met with opposition

Above photo:
Yingda Han (China)

On the legal framework for regulating activities in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction and cooperation with other relevant organizations, CANADA requested deleting reference to a legal framework. 

Above photo: Timothy Hodges (Canada)

On Canada's proposal to delete reference to a legal framework, MEXICO favored referring instead to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Above photo: Alfonso Ascencio Herrera (Mexico)

On analyzing and exploring operational options for preventing and mitigating impacts of commercial activities to seabed habitats, COLOMBIA questioned the relevance of scientific information on genetic resources beyond national jurisdiction to the implementation of the PA work programme.

Above photoL-R: Martha Ligia Perez and Ana María Hernández Salgar (Colombia)

KENYA proposed compromise text stating that SBSTTA notes the existence of scientific information generated through other work programmes, including that on PAs. 

Above photo: Ebby Chagaza (Kenya)


On consideration of matters arising from the implementation of Decision VI/22 (Forest biodiversity), GABON requested deleting a reference to the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe.

Above photo: Emmanuel Bayani Ngoyi (Gabon)

GERMANY opposed Canada's suggested removal of a reference to governance and trade, and the Secretariat clarified that Decision VI/22 refers to forest law enforcement and related trade.

Above photo: Kilian Delbrück (Germany)



A lunch-time side-event focused on peatlands biodiversity and climate change. The event was organized by the Global Environment Centre, Wildlife Habitat Canada and Wetlands International, in conjunction with the CBD Secretariat.  

Liana Bratasida, Assistant Minister of the Environment, Indonesia outlined regional initiatives with regard to peatland management and reduction of fires. She focused on the Peatland Management Initiative and Strategy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which aims to: enhance awareness and capacity on peatlands; address transboundary haze pollution and environmental degradation; promote sustainable management of peatland; and promote regional cooperation.

Faizal Parish, Director of the Global Enviornment Centre noted that peatlands are one of the main regulators of carbon and global climate. He examined peatland ecology, peatland fires, and provided an overview of the situation of biodiversity and climate change issues related to peatland management, stressing the need to break through the on-going cycle of destruction.

Chee Tong Yiew, Global Environment Centre, looked at specific technical problems facing peatlands in Southeast Asia, particularly regarding land clearing by fire, as well as responses developed in order to conserve and rehabilitate peatlands, change human mentality, and provide alternative livelihoods to local communities.

Ed Wiken, Wildlife Habitat Canada, presented the Canadian experience on peatlands, biodiversity and climate change, focusing on peatlands’ ecology, distribution and climate impacts. He outlined threats, including fires, agricultural land conversion, and forest operations, as well as relevant policy responses. 

Yus Rusila Noor, Wetlands International Indonesia, shared experience with community-based peatland management, carried through a project on climate change, forest and peatlands in three provinces in Indonesia.

Clayton Rubec, Environment Canada, presented the Ramsar Convention Action Plan on Peatlands. He highlighted examples of initiatives supporting the Action Plan implementation, including the Global Peatlands Initiative, and regional and national peatland action plans.

This service was prepared in cooperation with the CBD Secretariat


CBD Secretariat
SBSTTA-11 documents
Global Biodiversity Outlook 
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  
UNFCCC Secretariat 
UNCCD Secretariat
Ramsar Secretariat

Links to ENB coverage

ENB coverage of COP-7
ENB coverage of SBSTTA-10
ENB coverage of WGPA-1

ENB archives of biodiversity meetings


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