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Fourth Meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-4)
21-25 June 1999
Intersessional Meeting on the Operations of the Convention
28-30 June 1999 - Montréal, Canada

SBSTTA-4 delegates continued their deliberations in two working groups. Working Group I discussed the Global Taxonomy Initiative and a Chair's draft recommendation on drylands. Working Group II discussed environmental impact assessment and a Chair's draft recommendation on new plant technology.

Working Group I
Peter Bridgewater, DIVERSITAS Programme/UNESCO, presented the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI). He stressed the importance of cooperative efforts at national, regional and international levels and called for new partnerships between the CBD and other institutions. He recommended that SBSTTA develop criteria and principles for priority setting processes and provide suggestions for capacity-building. The Secretariat introduced the Executive Secretary's note on the GTI (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/4/6 and Corr.1).

Complete RealAudio of Dr. Bridegewater's presentation:

Part one: Introduction of the speaker and the GTI, how many species exist and how many are categorized, what is taxonomy

Part two: International and organizational cooperation issues, capacity-building in taxonomy

Part three: Question and answer on the shrinking financing for taxonomy, problem of political attractiveness and the public profile of taxonomy, and a non-question from the Chair

AUSTRALIA supported identifying framework projects and suggested educating government policymakers and encouraging them to create permanent taxonomist positions.
Delegates received and discussed the Chair's draft decision on drylands in the afternoon. Martin Uppenbrink (Germany), Chair of Working Group I, is pictured here.
ARGENTINA questioned the call for a liaison group to help draft the programme of work.
Working Group II
CANADA, BURUNDI and CÔTE D'IVOIRE underscored the importance of incorporating traditional indigenous knowledge into EIAs.
FRANCE said it was essential that assessments be carried out on policies, plans and strategies; and emphasized transboundary impact assessments.
CAMEROON called upon the World Bank to assist developing countries to finance EIA workshops.
GERMANY stressed the importance of national legislation and regulation to protect biodiversity and the need to better define biodiversity EIA. He also emphasized that biodiversity should be integrated into EIAs rather than separate biodiversity impact assessments.

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