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Highlights for Monday, 28 November 2005

The eleventh meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-11) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened in a plenary session in the morning to hear opening statements, address organizational matters, and consider the progress report on the implementation of the work programme and the second Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-2). In the afternoon, delegates met in two working groups (WGs) to consider the global taxonomy initiative (GTI), the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), dry and sub-humid lands biodiversity, and review of the work programmes.

Above photos: SBSTTA-11 Chair Christian Prip (center) in consultation with the Secretariat.


In opening the meeting, Chair Christian Prip 
(Denmark) stressed the need for: parties to contribute quality information for a proper assessment of implementation; sectoral integration of biodiversity concerns; and promotion of synergies at the national level.

In his final meeting as CBD Executive Secretary, Hamdallah Zedan emphasized the Convention’s major achievements, inter alia: rapid progress in operationalizing access and benefit-sharing (ABS) provisions; adoption of the Cartagena Protocol; and recognition of biodiversity's role in human well-being and poverty alleviation.

Bakary Kante, UNEP, speaking for UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer, stressed the 2010 target to significantly reduce biodiversity loss, UNEP’s work in supporting the CBD, and the importance of ecosystem services.


IRAN, speaking for the ASIA AND THE PACIFIC GROUP, noted two priorities for SBSTTA-11: adopting clear recommendations on invasive alien species, and emphasizing the role of biodiversity in disaster mitigation and adaptation, and other climate change-related issues. TANZANIA , speaking for the AFRICAN GROUP, prioritized: a training fund for the GTI; incentives for biodiversity conservation outside protected areas (PAs); community management of coastal and marine PAs; and capacity building for implementing the dry and sub-humid lands work programme. Poland for CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE, EL SALVADOR on behalf of the LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN, and the UK for the EU, welcomed the informal joint meeting of the subsidiary bodies of the CBD and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held on Wednesday

Above photos L-R:
Ashgar Mohammadi Fazel (Iran); Rawson Piniel Yonazi (Tanzania); Bozena Haczek (Poland); Jorge Ernesto Quezada Diaz (El Salvador), and Roy Hathaway (UK)

The FAO outlined its contribution to the Convention’s implementation, underscoring its role in fisheries, forestry and agricultural sectors.

Above photo: Linda Colette (FAO)

The UN UNIVERSITY highlighted its work on the MA and on deep seabed genetic resources.

Above photo: Sam Johnston (UNU)

Chaweewan Hutacharern (Thailand) was elected as Rapporteur for the meeting.


SOUTH AFRICA called for greater inclusion of indicators relating to benefit-sharing.

Above photo: Maria Mbengashe 
(South Africa)

On GBO-2, SWITZERLAND proposed that the Secretariat prepare an executive summary targeted to the general public. 

Above photo: Robert Lamb (Switzerland)

SWEDEN highlighted the importance of evaluating indicators’ performance.

Above photo: Lars Berg (Sweden)

MALAYSIA asked that the report mention the effects on biodiversity of the December 2004 Tsunami.

Above photo: Letchumanan Ramatha (Malaysia)

Working Group I

JAPAN proposed minimizing the time between application and funding of GTI projects for areas where urgent implementation is needed.

Above photo: Junko Shimura (Japan)

BELGIUM , supported by many, suggested that the GEF fund national GTI focal points through its enabling activity projects.

Above photo: Jackie Van Goethem (Belgium)

The GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY INFORMATION FACILITY outlined its efforts to make taxonomic data freely available over the Internet and its contribution to capacity building in taxonomy-related fields.

Above photo: Beatriz Torres (GBIF)


Neville Ash, MA Secretariat, outlined the MA, the largest-ever international assessment of the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being. He highlighted unprecedented rates of biodiversity loss leading to a decline in ecosystem services, especially for the poorest.

JAMAICA said land-use change is due not only to agriculture but also to commercial and industrial developments.

Above photo: Elaine Fisher (Jamaica)

LIBERIA stressed the need to mitigate the effects of inappropriate land use practices, particularly from agricultural expansion, farming practices and mining schemes.

Above photo: Ben Turtur Donnie (Liberia)

Working Group II


Nick Davidson, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, briefed participants on the CBD-related outcomes of Ramsar COP-9.

Jan Valkoun, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, presented on biodiversity, land degradation and poverty alleviation in dry and sub-humid lands. He noted widespread poverty in dryland areas and the importance of dryland biodiversity for nutrition, health, and livelihoods.


BRAZIL suggested adding a reference to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and to national legislations on ABS. 

Above photo: Hadil Fontes Da Rocha Vianna (Brazil)

NAMIBIA urged focusing on recommendations on dryland biodiversity use options that benefit local communities. 

Above photo: Sem Shikongo (Namibia)

NEW ZEALAND stressed the need to be mindful of the CBD’s mandate on climate change.

Above photo: Andrew Bignell (New Zealand)

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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