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7th Meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the  Convention on Biodiversity (CBD)


Highlights for Thursday, 15 November  2001

Delegates to the seventh meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met in two working groups and two contact groups. Working Group I (WG-I) met in a brief afternoon session to address recommendations to COP-6 and convened two contact groups that met throughout the day and into the evening to draft text on elements of the work programme on forest biodiversity. Working Group II (WG-II) reviewed draft recommendations on: agricultural biodiversity; the plant conservation strategy; incentive measures; indicators; and environmental impact assessment (EIA). The Secretariat also launched its first Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO). Above photo L-R: The Global Biodiversity Outlook was launched by Geke Faber, State Secretary for Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries (NETHERLANDS), Reuben Olembo on behalf of COP-5 president and Hamdallah Zedan, CBD Executive Secretary


ENB Summary

Mon 19

ENB Daily Reports

Mon 12

Tue 13

Wed 14

   Thu 15

Fri 16

WEB Daily Coverage

Curtain  Wed 14
Mon 12 Thu 15
Tue 13 Fri 16

Click below for more photos from the meeting:

SBSTTA7 Snapshots

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The chair of the previous evening's contact group noted consideration of: programme elements on knowledge, assessment and monitoring; and conservation, sustainable use and benefit-sharing. Chair Paula Warren (New Zealand) then proposed that WG-I split into two contact groups to address the programme elements on conservation, sustainable use and benefit-sharing; and on institutional and socioeconomic enabling environments. She also proposed that the Ad hoc Technical Expert Group's (AHTEG) report be used to develop the relevant actors, timeframes and process targets for consideration by COP-6.

Delegates discussed objectives and activities, and recommended promoting collaborative work with other members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF). One developed country proposed support for credible voluntary forest-certification systems, and another questioned the role of States in such market-driven instruments. Delegates recommended using case-studies to illustrate forest conservation and on-ground delivery of goods and services through sustainable forest management. Right photo: Delegates attending a late night contact group session

On protected area networks, delegates discussed, inter alia: assessment adequacy and efficacy of existing networks; establishment of protected area networks; and participation by and respect for local and indigenous communities. Left photo: Contact Group chair Stefan Leiner (EC).

The second contact group addressed issues of desertification and unsustainable harvesting. After noting previous suggestions to delete the section on desertification, delegates discussed objectives and activities related to coordination and the CBD joint work programme with the Convention to Combat Desertification. Right photo: Co-chair Alfred Oteng Yeboah presiding the contact group.

The contact group reviewed the goals, objectives and activities during the morning, and then revisited areas of disagreement in the afternoon and evening. Regarding the goal on the institutional enabling environment and language on integration of forest biodiversity into policies and programmes, the group discussed: reference to donor bodies and poverty reduction strategy papers; national formulation of policies and priority targets; ecotourism and recreational activities; monitoring and assessment; sustainable forest management; and the ecosystem approach.

Regarding the recommendation on the work programme, the NETHERLANDS proposed having COP-6 decide on priorities, including definition of targets, timeframes and actors.

GERMANY proposed inviting the Secretariat to present SBSTTA's deliberations to the second UN Forum on Forests, which was questioned by MALAYSIA given lack of COP review.

Regarding implementation of the work programme, ARGENTINA  (left) emphasized full participation.

COLOMBIA referred to preventing adverse impacts of agriculture on biodiversity, and called for case-studies for the soil biodiversity initiative.

MEXICO requested that case studies on agricultural biodiversity be made available through the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM).


On the recommendation, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, JAMAICA and the SEYCHELLES (right) called for incorporating the strategy's implementation into existing CBD work programmes to avoid overburdening Parties.

CANADA (right), with SPAIN, suggested that language on the Executive Secretary's refinement of the targets' quantitative elements include consultation with relevant international initiatives.

SOUTH AFRICA called upon the Executive Secretary to make information gathered on perverse incentives available to COP-6.

NEW ZEALAND, supported by BELGIUM, said the list of available and potential indicators should be quantitative and qualitative. 

Delegates debated reference to the precautionary principle/approach. NEW ZEALAND noted COP language on the precautionary approach and the EUROPEAN COMMUNITY (right)  accepted the reference, but stressed they consider it to be a principle of international law.

In the afternoon, the Secretariat launched its first GBO, the CBD's report on its activities and the status and trends of global biodiversity. Reuben Olembo, UN Environment Programme, on behalf of the COP-5 President, congratulated the Secretariat and highlighted the CBD's achievements since UNCED. Hamdallah Zedan, CBD Executive Secretary, recalled SBSTTA's initial recommendation regarding prepa­ration of a periodic paper to assess status and trends of global initiatives. In accepting the first copy, Geke Faber, State Secretary of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries (the Netherlands) stressed the document's importance along with challenges facing the Parties before COP-6. Jan Plesník, SBSTTA-7 Chair, said the GBO would help achieve the CBD's three main goals by increasing knowledge about the status of management and sustainable use of biodiversity.

ENB Summary of  CBD SBSTTA-6 ( HTML or PDF )
CBD Secretariat web site with official documents and Information for participants (doc and pdf)
SBSTTA issues on: Forest Biological Diversity
Preparation of the Strategic Plan for the Convention
Managing Biodiversity in Agricultural Ecosystems
The second national reports
ENB's Introduction to CBD
German CHM COP Decisions Database

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