You are viewing our old site. See the new one here

go to IISDnet

6th Meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the 
Convention on Biodiversity (CBD)

Montreal, Canada 12-16 March 2001


Previous days' multimedia coverage of  SBSSTA-6 
(photos and RealAudio)


Highlights from Friday, 16 March 2001


During the closing Plenary, regional groups then presented their nominations for the SBSTTA Bureau. Delegates elected Dehui Wang (China), Grace N.W. Thitai (Kenya), Lily Rodriguez (Peru), Paula Warren (New Zealand) and Peter Straka (Slovakia). Raed Bani Hani (Jordan), Renato Rimoli (Dominican Republic), Anastasios Legakis (Greece) and Koffi Edinam Dantsey (Togo), and Jan Plesnick (Czech Republic) will remain in office as Bureau members. On the draft provisional agenda for SBSTTA-7, the Secretariat introduced UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/6/13. TOGO, on behalf of the African Group, proposed moving marine and coastal biodiversity from SBSTTA-9 to SBSTTA-7. After some discussion, delegates agreed that the SBSTTA Bureau would consider the issue as a substantive element for SBSTTA-8. Delegates adopted the dates and venue of SBSTTA-7, which are 12-16 November 2001, in Montreal. 

Above photo: Incoming and outgoing SBSTTA Bureaux of the CBD

During discussion on other matters, Chair Samper introduced a recommendation on the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO), which notes work made to date, and requests Parties and others to provide comments on the draft of the GBO to the CBD Executive Secretary by 30 April 2001. The recommendation was adopted without comment. VENEZUELA, with ECUADOR, requested a note in the meeting's report proposing further examination of biological control agents to eradicate crops.

Left photo: The dias of the SBSTTA-6 closing plenary.

Recommendations regarding the reports to Plenary on ad hoc technical expert groups, inland water biodiversity and marine and coastal biodiversity were adopted after some discussion. 
WG-II Chair Banihani (right) reported on the activities of WG-II, noted the spirit of cooperation, and introduced draft recommendations UNEP/CBD/ SBSTTA/6/L.7/Add.1 – Add.4 and UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/6/L.7, the report of WG-II, which were adopted with minor editorial changes. The report of the working group was adopted with an addition from the NETHERLANDS noting general concern that references to financial resources in the recommendations were not in harmony with COP Decision IV/16, paragraph 13. 

WG-I Chair Legakis then reviewed WG-I's deliberations and presented its recommendations. Chair Samper noted that the GPs are not legally-binding and that some issues, which are beyond SBSTTA's mandate, will be referred to COP-6 for resolution. After extensive discussion, Plenary adopted WG-I's recommendations UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/6/L.6, Add.1 and Add.2, and the report of WG-I in UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/6/L.6.

Delegates adopted the report of the meeting, UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/6/L.1, without amendment. In assessing SBSTTA-6's experimental modus operandus, Chair Samper noted that: information documents should be provided ahead of time and better linked to agenda items; the number of presentations should be reduced and made available through side events; more time should be devoted to drafting recommendations; and side events should continue to be arranged. Several developing countries proposed time and funds for regional group meetings prior to SBSTTA sessions. CANADA noted that some presentations were too basic and others needed to be more targeted, and suggested that relevant information be made available through CHM prior to meeting. The NETHERLANDS complimented such assessment as a process of translating the negative into positive. Chair Samper welcomed further feedback from participants for consideration by the SBSTTA Bureau. 

Chair Samper (left) noted SBSTTA's evolution in serving as a forum to exchange information and build bridges between science and politics, especially with regard to the issues of invasive species and climate change. He highlighted five essential aspects for the future: the long term view and approach to the CBD; ways to improve the structure of work programs by stressing priorities; adhering to the terms of reference in scientific and technical assessments; better coordination between the CHM and SBSTTA; and continuing the process of building bridges to other conventions to promote linkages and avoid duplication. Jan Plesnik expressed thanks to Chair Samper and said he would continue the process of making SBSTTA more operational, effective, and appropriate in preparing for SBSTTA-7.

Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan (right) stated that SBSTTA-6 has been successful despite a challenging agenda. He noted that SBSTTA continues to evolve as the authority of scientific technical and technological advice in the UN system, demonstrating the important role it plays in implementing CBD objectives. He thanked all for their commitment, support and guidance, and also thanked CIDA and the government of Quebec for their renewed financial support.  


Closing statements of appreciation were also given by: CANADA; TOGO (African region); IRAN (Asian group), who also emphasized lack of adequate time to review preparatory documents and organize meetings; POLAND (Central and Eastern Europe); and GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL, who encouraged all to understand the importance of forests in looking to SBSTTA-7.  

Above photo: David Brackett (Canada) gave closing statements of appreciation during the closing plenary of SBSTTA-6

Chair Samper then officially closed SBSTTA-6 at 6:30 pm.



ENB Coverage of SBSTTA-5
CBD Secretariat web site with official documents and information for participants
SBSTTA Issues on: Invasive Alien Species | Climate Change and Biodiversity | GTI
SBSTTA-5 Recommendations
ENB's Introduction to CBD
German CHM COP Decisions Database

© 2000, IISD. All rights reserved.